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
Apr 25, 2016
Photo credit: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Yes, it’s Monday again. But, c’mon. It’s only a day out of a week…part of an artificial time construct we humans have crafted. It could just as easily be called Friday…(Do you feel better already?) And, there wasn’t even such a thing as “weekends” until the late 19th/early part of the 20th century. (Thank you, labor unions! More at Where the Five-Day Workweek Came From.)
And so we come to that image. Here’s why I so love history (and
Apr 07, 2016
Consider the ballpoint pen. John J. Loud patented a “rolling-pointed fountain marker” on October 30, 1888. Over the next 30 years, 350 similar patents were issued by the U.S. Patent Office. But none of these products appeared on the market. The idea was fine—they just couldn’t get the ink right. If it was too thin, the pen leaked. Too thick, the pen clogged. Eventually two French brothers solved the problem and licensed their patents, in 1950, to a Frenchman named Bich. He then took
Apr 04, 2016
“I’m not against having a nice day. I’m not against happiness.”— Barbara Ehrenreich at TEDxZaragoza (video here). Ms. Ehrenreich conceived of her book, Smile or Die, How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World, when “she became ill with breast cancer, and found herself surrounded by pink ribbons and bunny rabbits and platitudes. She balked at the way her anger and sadness about having the disease were seen as unhealthy and dangerous by health professionals and other sufferers.”
Apr 01, 2016
Yes, you read that right. Do Nothing.
We are all faced with URGENT! IMPORTANT! every day. If we don’t ACT RIGHT NOW, all will be lost. Well, maybe…maybe not. And if we rush in without knowing what we’re doing, we could actually do more harm than good. These days, thanks (or no thanks) to social media, we can be instantly aware of all the world’s ills and outrages. And, of course, the world is full of really awful people and terrible tragedies (and always has been. Over all, the quality of
Apr 01, 2016
Certainly, marketers have glommed onto SM for communications. Especially the increasingly desperate (and clueless) ad and PR agencies (who anoint themselves social media experts…and send out cold email spam to bloggers - such as me - about topics that aren’t even remotely related to my blog and biz. Jelly Belly jelly beans and moms? Really?)
However, social media isn’t marketing. (Just as advertising isn’t marketing, another one of my pet peeves.) It’s a tool set that can - properly used -
Mar 28, 2016
Years ago, I worked with a start-up company that was full of scary smart geek guys. One of my many “herd the cats” tasks was to facilitate product planning and development meetings. As you might imagine this was a challenge. Each thought they were the smartest person in the room. We were neck deep in testosterone (several ex military in the group contributed significantly - HOOAH!) And, they were all afraid to look stupid in front of the others.
This meant important questions went
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- Hitting a Moving Target.
- Markets: Creating or Evolving? Disruptive or Incremental?
- You Mean You Don’t Care What I Had For Lunch?
- Do Good Do Well: The Power of Home
- The “So What” Test for Entrepreneurs
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