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

  • 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

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


David Friend of Carbonite, through on 4/29/2011

Simplicity Is Not a Lack of Ability

“I’m sorry this letter is so long, i didn’t have enough time to write a short one” ~ Samuel Clemens

Simplicity is not a lack of ability.

Simplicity shows a level of maturity novice creative thinkers do not have. It’s a lot of work to create something simple and beautiful. It takes time and rigor to build an idea or a business that is simple, yet full of potential.

The Answer is in the Question, The Invitational Stem

Newton’s third law of motion states that “Every action is accompanied by an equal and opposite reaction. And, these forces always occur in pairs”. This simple law reveals that a reactive force cannot exist without an active counterpart.

An answer is a reaction of opposition, agreement or indifference to a previous action. The magnitude or quality of an answer largely depends on the question. The principles in the art of conversation instruct that desired results depend on the right answers, and the right answers depend on the right questions.

This truth is especially critical in creative thinking and ideation, where optimal results are desired.

A simple way to build a strong question is to phrase it around an Invitational Stem.

An Invitational Stem is the beginning part of a question that focuses on very specific phrasing. The focus on the phrasing is what creates a great question, thus resulting in a great answer. The key structure of the phrase is:

“In what ways might we…..”?

In what ways might we increase productivity?” is a better question than “How do we increase productivity?”, or “Let’s increase productivity!

The term “How?” is narrow-focused and asks for a specific. “Ways” is broad, open-ended and encourages creative thought.

Another great phrase alternative is:

“How might we…”?

Might…” implies a greater level of curiosity, wonder and experimenting.

In ideation, quantity is a value as much as quality.

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