Are you a somewhere or an anywhere person? A conversation with Doug Wilson

It’s an honor for us to sit down and have a conversation with Doug Wilson, he is the founder and Chairman of Monon Capital. The firm engages with partners around ideas and opportunities for innovation and imaginative/redemptive entrepreneurship through venture investments, a thought and conversation studio, a venture lab, and a charitable fund.

Prior to launching Monon Capital, he was a founding executive, Senior Vice President, and Chief Administrative Officer, of NYSE listed Hillenbrand, Inc. He previously held senior executive positions at Boston Scientific Corporation, Guidant Corporation, Ronald Blue & Co., and Eli Lilly & Company.

Doug serves as a trustee of the Sagamore Institute and The Trinity Forum. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Tuskegee University and the DeVoe School of Business at Indiana Wesleyan University. He serves as a director of the International Arts Movement, EDGE Mentoring, and Telemachus. He also serves on the board of several for-profit businesses, among which are Valve + Meter, Lost Valley Ranch, and Sun Chef Global.

He attended Ball State University, where he earned a BS and a MS, and Babson College’s Consortium for Executive Education.

Insights & Inspirations

  • Fred Smith talked about recently “Some people are anywhere people. They can operate anywhere. Other people are somewhere people.”
  • I really am a somewhere person. I value where I live. – Doug Wilson
  • I believe that community is about relationships, it’s also true, I believe, that you can’t have community without place.  – Doug Wilson
  • I can be an “anywhere” person meaning when you leave, you don’t really have the same kind of accountability. I can leave but I really don’t have to live with the consequences of what we’re really doing.- Doug Wilson
  • When I’m a “somewhere” person and we’re talking about, “Okay, we’re going to do this type of development and it’s actually in the community where I live. It’s going to be here long after I’m gone.” – Doug Wilson
  • Danny Myers says, “ hospitality when it happens for you instead of to you.”
  • “Well, what if we thought about a hotel?” I started talking with different people in the hotel business and I realize that hotels aren’t really fundamentally in the hospitality business. They’re fundamentally in the real estate business. They just happen to build a hotel on it.- Doug Wilson
  • “Why is it that people want to build things that don’t seem to have a lot of interest and sustainability to them?” I thought, “Then, I realize well, it’s because everybody’s trying to figure out how do you exit.” (they think) You only build something so that you can exit. – Doug Wilson
  • Why is beautiful, not affordable? Why is affordable, not beautiful? – John Marsh
  • For us, our experience is that most often you can do good and do well. It’s not either or, just and.  – John Marsh
  • I’m looking for people who can think … my word for this is orthogonal. I want people who can think metaphorically. I want people who can look at something that’s over there and they can go, “Oh, I’ll bet that concept, that way of framing it, that way of doing it, maybe I could take it into this world.” – Doug Wilson
  • I think rural America is going to be cool again. Largely because of the technology opportunities and the changing in manufacturing supply chain and all the things that technology can do for us. I will say that that’s not without significant risk but you could choose to live in Opelika now and be part of almost any company anywhere in the world. – Doug Wilson,
  • We (our community)  have all the same brokenness that occurs in the rest of the world. The difference is we have enough wherewithal to make it look like it’s not here at times.- Doug Wilson
  • I mean our food is incarnate. You eat junk and then you become partially built of junk. You think about I always say, “Who would ever believe you could build a great house with bad boards.” – John Marsh
  • Instead of the idea of re-enactment, think about pre-enactment. This is the idea of they bring in set designers all the people, who live in the specific community, and theater companies. They essentially perform for a long weekend. What could this part of our community actually look like? They visualize and act out what they want this community to be. – Doug Wilson
  • Love is the most expensive four-letter word you can find.  – John Marsh
  • Another question is how do we come back to some portion of our original beauty and intended purpose? – Doug Wilson
  • “A friendship begins when one man says to another, what you to? I thought I was the only one.”  -C.S. Lewis

Information & Links

Closing Questions

What Have I Read that You Should Read?

Who do you know that we should know?

Where have you been that we should go?