For New Ideas, Look at Moving Categories that Other Entrepreneurs are Missing and Focus on the Niche

September 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

  • You’re in business; stuff always comes up in the last minute
  • For ideas, look at moving categories that other entrepreneurs are missing and focus on the niche
  • Look deep into the data to look for opportunities
  • Prototype quick, if it gains traction, make it big
  • Entrepreneurs have some kind of level of A.D.D.

Source: David Cancel (@dcancel) of Performable, through Mixergy on 6/4/2010

Pioneering a New Category, Creating a Need, Selling The Startup & Moving on

July 28th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

On Entrepreneurs:

  • Have a vision of how things could be to a point where it’s only a matter of time before your vision is real.
  • Talk about the things in the future as though they’ve already happened today.
  • Entrepreneurs don’t see the future as possible, but rather as probable
  • Ask “How are you going to change the world with this product?”
  • Gauge your success by how many times people recognize what you do

On Startups:

  • Sell a business and don’t look back. It’s a chapter
  • Be comfortable selling and moving on
  • Sometimes the timing is not right to start. Keep developing until the timing is right
  • Don’t go of and build something unless you’re pretty sure you’ll solve a need

On Product Development:

  • First Ask “Is this something I would buy?”
  • Secondly “Will the technology support this idea?”
  • Thirdly “Can you solve the problem at a price that’s acceptable to the market?”
  • Every year, the cost of technology decreases by 35%, thus increasing the success of your business
  • Be careful of the advice given to you at product development phase

On Customers:

  • Simplify the decision process; both at customer acquisition, and at secured customer
  • Address the issues, be responsive and jump in. Be like Nordstrum, take the blame even if not your own
  • If you don’t know the answer, find someone who does, don’t give your customers BS
  • When things break, the people need someone to hold your hand
  • Do your market research first
  • Talk to 100 people, write down their responses, and this will represent the bigger picture

References:

David Friend of Carbonite, through Mixergy.com on 4/29/2011

The Heart of a Company is the Entrepreneurial DNA it Begins With

July 19th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

  • No one knows everything
  • Entrepreneur love the idea of venture capital. Be careful what you ask for
  • Learn to stay calm when the crap hits the fan
  • The heart of a company is the entrepreneurial DNA it begins with
  • Learn to love new and disruptive things
  • Never, ever, ever give up

Source: David Hayden (Pana.ma) 5/31/2010 Mixergy.com

What is Innovation?

September 24th, 2010 § 6 comments § permalink

Innovation is the successful exploitation and execution of the opportunity of an idea within a business model.

Innovation – This is the space following an idea generation session (creative thinking, brainstorming, etc.). Innovation deals more with quality, evaluation and implementation. It’s an idea that has the proper resources supporting it and ideal market conditions ahead. Innovation is about moving a novel idea into an idea of value that fills a specific need. Identifying an innovative idea can be a creative process.

Idea Generation – The generation of ideas. This deals with quantity and novelty. This is what we typically refer to as Creativity.

Opportunity – An opportunity looks at and depends on resources (capital, staff, sales team, etc.), and conditions (consumer need & desire, idea value, competition, timing, etc.)

Bottom Line: Innovation is when a highly creative person becomes a successful entrepreneur.

Criteria For a Successful Startup

July 30th, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink

Every successful entrepreneur has his own criteria for measuring the success factor of an idea for starting a business. There is also value in studying how others make decisions. Norm Brodsky, a veteran entrepreneur who founded and built half a dozen large companies, uses a simple approach when starting a business.

According to Brodsky, three factors must be at play when venturing out:

An Established Concept

Education can be expensive. Educating the masses can be really expensive, not to mention a daunting task for a business to undertake. Stick with something people are familiar with.

Focusing on an established concept does not lessen your ability to create innovative and revolutionary products. Take Apple for example. They’ve been doing the same thing since day one – developing technology that is intuitively simple, functional and beautiful. The iPad, the iPhone, the Touch – these are all familiar devices. The market does not need a crashcourse on what these devices are and what they do. Yet, they are truly remarkable products that challenge our accepted perception of what technology is able to do, how it’s able to do it – and its aesthetics. Human-centered design has been around for centuries, yet Apple continues to push the envelope.

Takeaway – Instead of painfully searching for the “next big wow thing”, identify a familiar or understood industry/product and build upon it. Just look at what Aaron Patzer did with mint.com – genius!

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We Need More Forms, Hoops & Procedures; How to Kill Your Business the Bittersweet Way

July 1st, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

A simple theory of input-output in economics states that as more resources are added (the input) such as staff, raw material, time and technology, then productivity (the output) will increase as well.

There does come a tipping point when the production curve makes a downward dash. As input is increased beyond the tipping point, it will begin have an adverse effect on productivity, causing production to decrease quantitatively and qualitatively.

If 5 workers are assigned to lay shingles on a roof of a single-family home, they will get the job done much quicker than with 2 workers. If 20 workers were assigned to the same project, productivity would decrease as communication becomes more complex, task assignment is unaccounted for, worker mobility is limited, etc.

The same holds true in any other system and context.

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Testing Your Ideas

June 11th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

No entrepreneur wants to waste their time developing a business idea that will only end up flopping. Here’s a simple test to determine whether your idea has a chance of becoming valuable and desirable, or you’re just wasting your time and resources.

The above drawing takes into account two factors, PR value and Needs value.

Bottom Left -If your idea falls into this quadrant, just stop. No one will ever buy your product, nor will the press care for the lack of a story.

Top Left - This quadrant can be described as the typical publicity stunt without the proper backing. The story is great. PR loves it. Mass exposure is achieved. But the immediate rise is short-lived after the public realizes your product is without value and doesn’t fill an actual need.

Bottom Right – A great idea without PR support is paved with a journey of an uphill push. Eventually the product will make it into the mass market, only after it’s passed the chasm.

Top Right – If you’re story or idea is newsworthy, it is the best free advertising anyone can get. If you’re story is really good, it will spread like wildfire through blogs, tweets and likes. A great idea coupled with immediate publicity equals a true winner.

Bottom line, as you come up with ideas, make sure people will buy it and there’s an interesting story behind it for the press to eat up.

Thank you @gaeblerdotcom for sharing your approach on Gaebler.com

Just Get Things Done, and Not Another Strategy Plan!

May 18th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

“We have a ‘strategic plan.’ It’s called doing things.” ~ Herb Kelleher

  • It’s not about talking to do something
  • It’s not about thinking to do something
  • It’s not about planning on doing something
  • It’s not about creating hoops to jump through
  • It’s not about creating forms
  • It’s not about distributing memos
  • It’s not about meetings
  • It’s not about adding more resources
  • It’s not about inner-office politics
  • It’s not about bureaucracy
  • It’s not about policies
  • It’s not about the leadership
  • It’s not about nostalgia
  • It’s not about could’ve, should’ve, would’ve
  • It’s not about playing business

It’s about getting things done!

To Identifying The Purpose, Answer the "Why" Question

May 18th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

At the beginning of the day, every organization must ask themselves the provocatively dumb “Why?” question; “Why are we doing this?”

Non-monetary success cannot be determined without understanding your true purpose behind what you do? Getting into business to make money is not the purpose, it is merely a result of the vision that birthed the idea which has been translated into a viable business.

Organizations like Apple and Starbucks understand their Why, Microsoft and Dunkin Donuts does not.

Variations of Why Questions:

  • Why should anyone care about what you do?
  • Why are you doing what you’re doing?
  • Why should you, the leader, care about your idea?
  • Why do you think your idea (product, service, belief, etc.) is needed in this world?
  • Why should your customers spend their money on your idea?
  • Why should your employees care and support your idea?

If the above questions cannot be answered, your business is simply just operating without a true purpose – even if monetary success is achieved.

Law of Diffusion of Innovation

May 13th, 2010 § 6 comments § permalink

 

Innovators 2.5% – These are the ground-breakers, the risk-takers, the creative thinkers and entrepreneurs whom by nature are designed to change the world.

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