Hey there! I’m Noah Zender (@noahzender).

From Selling, To Investing, & Now Building

I feel like I’ve been living in dog years ever since I joined my first startup, Seamless.AI. Back then I was a hungry 21 year old that escaped getting doors slammed in his face while going door to door to sell insulation.

I tried to make the most of this opportunity. I cold called across time zones to pitch almost 500 people daily. Selling wasn’t the important thing. My goal was never to be the best salesman. What became important was the company closed a round of venture funding in 2020. On the ground floor, I learned more as the capital was deployed and the company doubled in size.

I left my sales role in Summer 2021 to work for an early-stage VC fund, Lytical Ventures. I sat in pitches where I got exposed to technology I never knew existed. I met people creating the future, but quickly realized the sidelines were not the place to be.

I’m now a self-taught Product Manager at Paradox, a company disrupting the traditional hiring process by giving everyone a conversational assistant, Olivia. We are changing the candidate experience from initial capture through up to their start date.

The Case For Innovation

Our current world operates under old industrial ideologies that only keep the world moving, but not necessarily forward. These antiquated ideas have built up enough idea inertia to hold us in place. Yet the world we live in today is not the same world we were born into.

Society did not advance itself. Businesses do not innovate without competition. Groups of people do not create new things without a leader. Individuals are the ones that push new frontiers.

Artists, entrepreneurs, and leaders are the ones that repeatedly expand the field of potential. These are the pioneers of civilization. People with a sense of high agency, a pioneering mindset, and specific knowledge to apply to their craft.

Pioneers are the cornerstone of growth and competitiveness, driving the creation of new technologies, products, and services that enhance quality of life and solve complex problems. They’re encouraged by learning, efficiency, and the adaptation to rapidly changing environments.

We need more people like this. Wouldn’t you agree?

Pioneers Project

I’ve spent 100s of hours studying pioneers. Innovation doesn’t have an instruction manual, but it is learnable.

Innovation is driven primarily from two qualities: creativity and decision making.

I started the Pioneers Project to share useful ideas on creativity and decision making. It’s a project to map the common patterns behind the success and failures of pioneers.

Each week I provide you with something practical, methods and processes, to create new possibilities in your life. I don’t have all the answers, or a simple 5 step framework, to becoming Elon Musk (I don’t think anyone does).

I mostly share stories, frameworks, and ideas that I’m learning to bring you closer to becoming an innovator. I’m doing something right if I get you to think about your creative and decision making processes differently after reading it.

If you’d like to join me as I deconstruct pioneers and innovators, you can sign up below:

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Every Sunday, you'll receive ideas to help you challenge the status quo, refine your craft, and shape the future.