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Showing posts from January, 2015

Old Cunning Canine

When most people think of start ups they think of a couple of young kids working in a garage or basement (or now Starbucks), eking out a living until they are purchased for billions of dollars, but this is more fiction than reality. As published in Time's March 14th, 2013 issue, according to research by Vivek Wadhwa, an academic and tech entrepreneur, and the Kauffman Foundation, the average age of successful start-up founders of start-ups and other high-growth industries was 40. And high-growth start-ups are almost twice as likely to be launched by people over 55 as by people 20 to 30. How can that be? 
Well firstly, most startups take founders with multiple skill sets and know-how. Yes, dreaming is important, but execution is paramount to success. As an example of this, I thought I would share a story about an old dog and if you can draw the conclusion about age. A wealthy old lady decides to go on a safari in Africa, taking her faithful aged poodle named Cuddles along for company…

Most Overused Marketing Terms

A few years ago, Jason Cohen posted in his blog (A Smart Bear)  "Authentic" is dead, in which he goes on to say that some words have been used so often, that they have actually lost all meaning.  Well, that got me thinking, since I help a lot of start ups, and do a lot of marketing, branding, and word-smithing along the way, I thought I would build upon Jason's observations and do my own little survey.  So, I compiled a list of 43 words (see THE LIST below) that I see used over, and over, and over again, and asked my little network of people (colleagues, friends, business partners, etc.), what they though were the most overused.  Well, 1351 people responded, and out of the list of 43, there are five that stand out as the most overused. With 1351 respondents the percentage indication is in parenthesis.  The most overused terms  include: Innovative (54.5%); Cost Effective (43.0%); Low Hanging Fruit (42.8%); Out of the Box (42.6%); and Best of Breed (41.8%).
Most of the o…

Life in the 1500s

The great thing about history, is that we do NOT necessarily need to repeat it and many of the customs, traditions and idioms come directly from a history long ago forgotten. Like, did you ever wonder where the phrase "Piss Poor" come from? 
A long time ago, they used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot. And then once it was full it was taken and sold to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor". But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot. They "didn't have a pot to piss in" and were the lowest of the low.

So....The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so …

What Makes a Great Boss?

As a young boy, I was sent away to Military School and there began my journey on discovery of what makes a good leader, and what does not.Of course we had to study many of the great leaders of history, but more importantly, when put into positions of power, I discovered that just having rank, did not necessarily give your power over individuals. From that time until now, I have realized that in order to get anything done, and done well, involves leadership, and being a boss is no exception.Of course, good bosses have strong organizational skills, are smart, creative, have solid decision-making skills and they get things done; exceptional bosses have that and something more.
It is not the what, but the how, that make good bosses great bosses.It is how they take care of the people around them, the esprit d corps they create, the joy they bring to any endeavor and the passion they instill to all they meet.Great leadership makes ordinary people into extraordinary people, and being a great …

Traits of an Entrepreneur

I will begin and end this article with two quotations. The first is from Edward Rogers:

"You don't deserve to be called an entrepreneur unless you've mortgaged your house to the business."
--Edward S. (Ted) Rogers 

This one sentence pretty much says it all. Entrepreneurs are not necessary gamblers, but they are willing to put everything they own, or go all in, in order to make it happen. In the classical sense an entrepreneur is define as anyone who has possession of a new enterprise, endeavor, venture or idea, and assumes significant accountability for the inherent risks associated with the development, growth, and outcome. He or she is an organizer who combines land, labor, material resources, and/or capital to create and market new goods, products, or services. The term "entrepreneur" is loaned from the French and was first defined by the Irish economist Richard Cantillon, where the term was applied to the type of persona who was willing to take upon them…

The Non-New Year's Resolutions

I know it is that time of the year when EVERYBODY makes New Year’s resolutions about how to have a better year.I have my own resolutions, but they are not about having a better year, but a better life in general.Of course there are 10 of them… but I think if you can adapt them into your daily regime, you will see that the changes them make in your life will be more than extraordinary.
1. Get Rid of Toxic People You know how Superman has his Kryptonite? Well, toxic people in your life are just like that. Oh, and they may be people who are very close to you: your father, mother, girlfriend, boss, husband, etc.If you really want to succeed and be happy in this life, you have to get rid of those who are poisoning you.As I like to say, if you want to lift yourself up, see who is bringing you down, and get rid of them.I know this may sound harsh and callous, but if you really want to get on with your life, you first need to go through a detox.
As a curative to this, Ben Glass has a solution,…