Jonathan Rosoff

Jonathan Rosoff

CEO and Founder, Formative

Today we talk to Jonathan Rosoff, an entrepreneur, business leader, marketer, social impact strategist, and now the CEO and founder of Formative, a venture capital firm focused on investing in technology startups that are making a positive impact on society.

Jonathan shares his insights on technology and social impact, the evolution of his definition of success, and his advice for finding meaningful work that feeds your soul.


[01:34] – Dino introduces Jonathan Roseoff, his old friend and colleague who founded Formative, an agency that blends marketing, technology, and policy expertise to design and launch social good campaigns for purpose-driven brands. They also help tackle significant global health issues for clients such as Microsoft.

[02:13] – Formative’s role in flattening the Curve at the beginning of the COVID Pandemic.

[03:00] – Jonathan talks about his journey to where he is now and the things that form who he is and inform what he wants to do.

[05:12] – From telling dad jokes to wearing his heart on his sleeve Jonathan shares his natural evolution, what authentic leadership means to him, and learning from his successes and failures.

[06:44] – Jonathan discusses what he thought a leader would be (compared to now) and shares his secrets for building trust.

[08:45] – What genuine authenticity looks like in a  corporate environment and the ingredients it needs to be effective.

[10:23] – Dino emphasizes the importance of marrying authenticity with additional values.

[11:37] – True authenticity reveals who people are; Jonathan shares the need to motivate positive change.

[12:33] – Jonathan shares the motivation behind starting his own agency and the challenges and rewards of competing against larger firms and solving complex global problems.

[15:43] – How Formative’s work with the Seattle Flu Study informed decision-making during the pandemic.

[18:00] – Jonathan reveals Formative’s secret to success and the core values that drive everything they do.

[19:45] – Jonathan shares what type of people Formative hires and how the company helps people grow in their careers.

[21:45] – How Formative uses employee surveys to reinforce its core values and how market conditions have affected them.

[22:54] – What makes up Formative’s core values, and why Jonathan believes productive debate drives great work.

[26:06] – The pros and cons of bringing business skills to social impact work and the challenge of creating partnerships that incorporate the countries that will be recipients or collaborators in developing solutions.

[28:21] – Jonathan talks about how his definition of success has changed over the years.

[29:34] – Why impact matters, and Jonathan’s advice for finding opportunities that align with your passions and your way into places where your heart is.

[32:30] – If you want to learn more about Jonathan and Formative, visit their website or drop him a line.

[33:05] – Jonathan shares his passion for music outside of work, including singing with the Seattle Symphony and a dad band in dive bars.

[35:13] – Jonathan shares the “humble brag” expression that he feels is inauthentic.

[36:53] – How the Ukrainian group DakhaBrakha is making incredible original music and using it to raise awareness for what’s needed and necessary in Ukraine.

Contact dino at:


Other links:


Formative Instagram: @formativeco

Authentic Leadership For Everyday People / Dino Cattaneo

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Podcast Instagram – @al4edp 

Podcast Twitter – @al4edp

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