Month: April 2012

“We cannot predict the future. But we can create it.” – Jim Collins

The iPod led to the iPhone and the iPad.  Was it intentional?  Probably.  Regardless, five years ago, tablet computers were expensive, bulky and generally worthless.

The future happens quickly.  The iPad was introduced less than two and a half years ago and yet it seems like they’ve been around longer.  That’s how it is with innovation.

Read “Great By Choice”  by Jim Collins



“Do something hard and lonely.” – Jeffery J. Fox

Distance runners, cabinet makers, cyclists, solo musicians all have something in common. It takes time to be good at what they do and no one else can do it for them.

Taking on a hard, physically demanding avocation will help focus your mind and build your internal confidence.  Plus it will give you time to think.

You need time to think.  Away from everything and everyone.

Read “How to Become a CEO” By Jeffery J. Fox

“It’s important for entrepreneurs to understand that their “Brand” is the collective emotional response to their product or service.” – Mike Troiano

The days when companies can control their message and protect their brand are just about gone with the dawn of the social media age.  Consider the airline industry.  About the only company that advertises is the one that hasn’t alienated their customers…Southwest Airlines.

The only way to “protect” your brand is to delight your customers.

“Hedgehogs…understand that the essence of profound insight is simplicity.” – Jim Collins

The Hedgehog Concept described in Jim Collins’ “Good To Great”  is a great tool for developing a strategic vision for your startup company.  It is the intersection between what drives your passion, what you can be really good at, and what can make you money.  These are the essence of a good startup.

Read “Good To Great” by Jim Collins

“It’s a tangent looking for a circle” – Mike Carroll

Technology for technology’s sake is not a business.  That does’t mean it’s not useful, or valuable or necessary.  It may even enable an innovator to find a use in a market but unless the technology solves a problem that a customer is willing to pay for, it’s not a business.

The sooner you understand the needs of a market segment, the more likely the technology will be successful as a business.

“In the majority of cases, the CEO serves as the externally facing leader. The COO serves as the internally facing leader.” – David Thomson

There are a few key roles you need to fill in your startup.  What you call them is up to you.  Whether you fill them with fewer people is also.

  •  You need the the person that is the face of the company and sells to the market, investors, partners, board members. (CEO)
  • You need the person that gets things done.  (COO)
  • You need the person looking for the next big thing (CTO)
  • You need a rainmaker.  The one that finds customers and closes deals. (VP Biz Dev.)
  • …and you need good advisors.

A lot of technology starts get heavy on one end.  Launching a company is not the time to develop new business skills.  Find the right people.

Read “Blueprint to a Billion” by David Thomson