Aug 16, 2016
The other day, a local entrepreneur and I were discussing just what makes for success. (He’s had both failure and success, and notes that he learned some of his best lessons from his worst mistakes.) Of course, there is no simple, magical, one-size-fits-all answer (regardless of what about a 150,000 consultants and a million books may promise.)
However, we agreed that one thing is absolutely required...and that’s homework. Market research (and not just the numbers. Look at trends, etc.)
Jul 21, 2016
Me? I see a glass of what appears to be water. As for the positive or negative view - that depends on level of thirst, and how far you are from other water.
It’s as much a mistake to always cheerily see the glass as half-full as it is to always whine it’s half-empty.
If you’re always optimistic, you’ll miss warning signals. If you’re always negative, you’ll miss opportunities (and people will soon knock over chairs to get out of the room when you enter.)
Perspective, folks, perspective.
Jun 08, 2016
“The short road to ruin is to emulate the methods of your adversary.” - Winston Churchill.
Benchmarking. Best Practices. “Competitive Intelligence.” (often an oxymoron anyway) “Competitive Analysis.” All this will tell you where people have been and are - not where they’re going or what the next BIG thing is/will be. Plus, “industry standard” may in fact be thoroughly mediocre, not a good thing to emulate. Your customers can’t tell you the revolutionary BIG thing either - but they
May 03, 2016
Recently I was talking to a young entrepreneur (or trying to…the man’s ability to not take a breath was truly amazing). I did manage to get in one or two basic questions about his market research and product viability. He then proceeded to give me a lovely 101 lecture on creating markets, using Steve Jobs and Apple as the example of creating a market and a demand. If they could do it, so could he! And, certainly, Apple is a fascinating story, but “they” didn’t do it overnight (and Jobs had a
May 02, 2016
(Previously published on LinkedIn.)
But look! I posted an image which is supposed to increase my views! And it was really good sandwich! And, here’s the recipe! Okay, I’ll stop now.
Here’s a very brief Social Media sanity check for you.
LinkedIn now has over 400 million users. I’ve personally got about 500 followers (which is not anywhere close to a “power number” and I’m fine with that. I only have one brain and a limited number of work hours to offer. I’m not a mass marketer of
Apr 29, 2016
“Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.” — Charles Dickens
Friends and regular readers know I love to “nest.” My home is my sanctuary and the foundation for much of my sanity and calmness. However, what if I didn’t have that? Here in the “first world” we often forget that many of our fellow human beings don’t have even the basics…forget not being able to afford a new car or a kitchen
Apr 27, 2016
In talking with entrepreneur clients, I often do a bit of tough love and give them the “so what” test. (Better to hear from me than a potential investor or customer.)
If you’re thinking about starting a new biz or have a cool new invention - before you max out the credit cards, quit your job or clean out the kids’ college fund - think about how you would answer the following:
1. “I’ve got a great _________! Nobody else can do it.” So What? What problem does it solve? Do people
Contact Mary Schmidt Today!
- “It’s Almost Painful.”
- Biz Lessons From The 2016 Election
- The Founder of I.B.M. Didn’t Have an Exit Strategy
- Hope or Homework?
- Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty?
- Hitting a Moving Target.
- Markets: Creating or Evolving? Disruptive or Incremental?
- Brain Food
- Do Good. Do Well.
- Start-Up Sanity Checks
- Mindful Mondays
- Marketing Troubleshooting
- Pet Peeves
- Social Media Reality Checks
- Web Bytes