/20VC: Sonos CEO Patrick Spence on His Biggest Lessons Building and Growing Blackberry, The Right Way to View Competition and Innovation Cycles & How To Make The Transition From COO To CEO Most Effectively

20VC: Sonos CEO Patrick Spence on His Biggest Lessons Building and Growing Blackberry, The Right Way to View Competition and Innovation Cycles & How To Make The Transition From COO To CEO Most Effectively


Patrick Spence is the CEO @ Sonos, the sound experience company connecting millions of listeners around the world to the content they want. Prior to their IPO, they raised over $450M from the likes of Mike Volpi @ Index, Satish @ Redpoint and e.ventures to name a few. As for Patrick, prior to Sonos, he spent an incredible 14 years with RIM (makers of Blackberry) across multiple different roles.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Patrick made his way into the world of tech and startups and became an instrumental part of the exec team at Blackberry? How that led to his joining Sonos as COO and later becoming CEO?

2.) How did building and growing RIM influence everything that Patrick does at Sonos? From the battle with Apple, what were Patrick’s biggest lessons on the right way to approach competition? How does Patrick think about both partnering with Google today whilst also suing them at the same time?

3.) From COO to CEO: How did Patrick make the transition from COO to CEO so successfully? What were the most challenging elements to scale into? How does Patrick empower his team to have the confidence to stand up and say no to the CEO? How can one encourage debate and dissent in the team?

4.) How does Patrick feel about the role that vulnerability has to play in leadership? How does Patrick approach his own self-doubt as a leader today? How does he manage it? How does he advise founders unsure if they can scale into their leadership roles? What mentors does Patrick have? What has he learned from them?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode

Patrick’s Favourite Book: The Infinite Game: How Great Businesses Achieve Long-Lasting

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