Rant: Entrepreneurship, Dropouts, and Bad PR

I was writing an email to these folks and I just stopped and deleted the draft. Why waste the time raising entrepreneurs I don’t even know.book cover

My complaint? I got to my office this morning after a few weeks elsewhere and found the results of a concentrated campaign for me to write about a certain entrepreneur and his startup. He’s all about how he’s so successful as a college dropout. I have one package containing a coffee mug with chocolate drops, and another with a... Read more »

I Really Don’t Like All This Sh*t

 

Some of the best and brightest, some of the most educated people I know, have decided that it’s cool to use the word “sh*t” to replace the old-fashioned words “things,” “stuff,” “work,” and so on. That’s too bad.allthatshit

Of course I remember “get your sh*t straight,” a phrase that’s as old as the golden age of hippies in the late 1960s. That was as common as “groovy” back in the day. So, millennials: you hate “groovy," right? Yeah, that... Read more »

New Research on How to Motivate Your Employees



How to motivate employees? According to new research, messages from on high need to be more abstract and less details. And messages from immediate supervisors need to be more concrete. Here’s the summary:

In particular, they found that the right message from the right person — a concrete call to action from a leader close to a follower and an abstract message from a leader hierarchically distant from a follower — elicited a stronger commitment and willingness to take...
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3 Things Never to Tell an Entrepreneur About her/his Spouse

I just read 7 Things Never to Tell Your Spouse About Business Finances, posted by Barry Molz on Amex OPEN forum. I like Barry and I like his work.  I’ve been on his podcast before and it was great. But his tone of voice in this post makes me uncomfortable. Dont tell your spouse

If you’re curious, compare Barry’s tone in that post to mine in some of my (somewhat confessional) posts on me and my wife and entrepreneurship: My biggest startup boost, for example; or this true story on... Read more »

True Story: Don’t Compromise Your Ethics

This is Heidi Roizen talking about the old days of  Silicon Valley software startup (T/Maker), with a true story about an ethical choice she and her co-founder brother Peter made. It’s less than three minutes and it’s a perfect example of the kind of thing that happens all the time; and the choices you as business owner and/or entrepreneur need to make.

My thanks to Stanford Business School’s Ecorner for making this available.



(If for any reason you don’t... Read more »

Reality Check on Crowdfunding

I’m seeing more and more marketing showing up about so-called crowd funding these days. Sorry, but no. Not yet. Reports of crowdfunding in the U.S. are, as of today, just wishful thinking.

That is, to be sure, unless you play with definitions. For example, if you call KickStarter crowdfunding, then yes, Kickstarter is a great source of prepaid sales and donations, great to validate sales, and it's healthy and growing. And Kiva too, is an excellent source of small loans... Read more »

10 Mistakes Big Businesses Make with Small Business Owners

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For several decades now I’ve been back and forth between working on and building my own business, helping others build theirs, helping people manage small business, and, occasionally, helping larger businesses understand and presumably sell to smaller businesses.

So I watch and listen. And I see how big businesses try to reach the solopreneur, home office, and small businesses. And the mistakes they make. So here’s my list of 10 mistakes big businesses make with small... Read more »

Infographic: Stats and Rankings on Schools Teaching Entrepreneurship

I don't agree with everything in this infographic,but at the very least it's an interesting summary. Notice the huge increase in the number of institutions offering courses on entrepreneurship.

The question it asks -- can schools teach entrepreneurship -- isn't one to be answered with statistics and rankings. Of course that takes a qualitative answer, sifting through what elements business schools can teach and what elements business schools don't teach. I say in those... Read more »