Ep. 77: Name It To Tame It, Asking Questions & Making Tough Decisions – An Interview with Zach Stein

Ep. 77: Name It To Tame It, Asking Questions & Making Tough Decisions – An Interview with Zach Stein

By Scott Sambucci | December 18, 2019


In this episode of the Startup Selling Podcast, I interviewed former CEO of Osmo Systems, Zach Stein.

Zach is an entrepreneur living in Oakland, California. He was previously the CEO of Osmo Systems, a hardware startup building AI-driven solutions for aquaculture (fish and shrimp farms), and now he and his co-founder are working to launch a new project that focuses on combatting climate change.

I first met Zach through the Highway1 Accelerator Program – he was a participant and I was one of his mentors.  About a year later when Zach and his team were starting their go-to-market work, he became a client in our Startup Selling Coaching Program.


Some of the topics that Zach and I discussed in this episode are:

  • His journey as an entrepreneur and what led him to work on environmental challenges.
  • Decision-making processes based on identifying a lack of clarity, weaknesses, and pain in the business operations.
  • Using “Name it to Tame It” – a psychological process to articulate a problem and identify potential solutions.
  • How to use questions to orient a decision-making process.
  • Creating a clear set of rules for your team focus and daily activities.
  • “Say it out loud” – sharing your idea with your team and have them reflect what you just said to their understanding. This creates clarity to prevent ambiguity.
  • How can rulemaking allow you to avoid decision-making fatigue. 

Links and Resources:

Highway1 Hardware Accelerator Program: highway1.io


[book] Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio



[book] The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: An Illustrated Leadership Fable

by Patrick Lencioni www.amazon.com/dp/0787960756


[book] The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business by Patrick Lencioni



[Blog post] An Entrepreneur’s Lessons Learned



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