If You Are Cycling Through Chaos, Keep Pedaling

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Design of Experiments, Rules of Thumb, skmurphy

Patrick Brady writes at “Red Kite Prayer” on cycling and related topics. His blog took a very personal turn in February of 2013 with a post entitled “Any Normal Person.” In reading the series I was reminded of a remark Irwin Federman made to MMI employees when were using four day work weeks (actually five days work for four days pay): “We trust you to do the right thing. God has given you so much more responsibility as parents how can we not trust you.

Leonard Nimoy 1931-2015

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Quotes, skmurphy

Leonard Nimoy played Spock, the science officer on the starship Enterprise in the original 1960’s television series, the first six movies in the franchise that followed, and many of the Star Trek spinoff movies and series thereafter. Nimoy infused Spock’s character with a detached rationalism that resonated with many who follow science and engineering careers, including many entrepreneurs–although he was perhaps more of a role model for CTO than CEO.

Some Unsolicited Advice From David Cain

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Rules of Thumb, skmurphy

David Cain wrote a thought provoking, practical, and inspiring blog post today on “67 short pieces of advice you didn’t ask for.”  He acknowledges it’s a smorgasbord of unsolicited advice where you can take what you like and leave the rest for others:

“There’s no way for such an avalanche of unsolicited advice to come off as anything but preachy. But there’s also something appealing about the scattergun approach. Trying on a few dozen ideas in a few minutes will almost always leave you with something you can take to the bank, if you don’t get hung up on what doesn’t resonate. Here are sixty-seven short pieces of advice I either follow, or probably should. Take from it whatever rings true to you, and don’t take the whole thing too seriously. ”
David Cain’s intro to  “67 short pieces of advice you didn’t ask for.

Here are seven I took away, I have preserved his original numbering and added a few comments to particularize them for entrepreneurs:

Sean Murphy Joins IEEE-CNSV Board of Directors

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in skmurphy, Testimonial

I was gratified to be elected to the board of directors for the IEEE Consultants’ Network of Silicon Valley as an at-large director and chair of the marketing committee for 2015. My specific focus will be on initiatives to increase awareness of the CNSV Project Bank and to foster programs–including special interest group meetings, clinics, and workshops–that encourage and assist members to upgrade their on-line presence on the CNSV website, on LinkedIn, their consulting practice website, and other forums and sites that are appropriate for their specific skills and experience. The board has a strategic offsite planned at the end of February to finalize plans for 2015 and I will blog about programs that may also be of interest to bootstrapping entrepreneurs as they announced.

Bootstrapper Breakfast: Real Recognizes Real

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events, skmurphy

I had a great conversation with a first timer after today’s Bootstrapper Breakfast in Sunnyvale. He was a serious entrepreneur who had been bootstrapping for two years and he said, “Real recognizes real, this is the first entrepreneur Meetup I’ve been to where I have been able to talk about my challenges and get practical advice. Also, the other entrepreneurs weren’t just pitching, they were trying to help.”

5 Ways To Start Customer Discovery Interviews

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in 1 Idea Stage, 2 Open for Business Stage, 3 Early Customer Stage, Customer Development, skmurphy, Workshop

Customer discovery interviews are essential to testing key B2B product hypotheses and understanding your target customers’ needs. Broadly there are five ways that you can reach out to potential customers to have a discovery conversation. All of them assume that you have a clear picture of who your target is and a few key questions that they will be willing and able to answer that will indicate they have a problem or need your solution may address.

Few–If Any–Silicon Valley Secrets

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in 2 Open for Business Stage, Consulting Business, Customer Development

I signed up for a mailing list a while ago from a reasonably famous entrepreneur and he sent me this mass email in late November promising to share “Silicon Valley Secrets.” I don’t know if it’s because I have worked in Silicon Valley for more than three decades but I found the whole thing kind of sad (of course, he’s probably laughing all the way to the bank).

Connect With Your Purpose

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in skmurphy

Bud Caddell (blog “What Consumes Me“) is someone I have been following for a while. He started a new consulting company and I thought I would reach out to see if there were partnership opportunities. He is in his 30’s but suddenly feeling his mortality–see “The Merchant of Death is Dead“–so his application process asked you to write an obit as a way to connect with your purpose.

Kin Hubbard on a Family Reunion at Christmas

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in skmurphy

The following is excerpted from the December section of Abe Martin’s Almanack for 1908 by Kin Hubbard. Hubbard tells a story of a family reunion at Christmas–that must be at least partly autobiographical–from the point of view of a young man who has been estranged from his family returning home with his new wife. Like much of Hubbard’s writing each word is carefully chosen and much communicated by detailed observations–and things that are left unsaid.

Ultimately it’s the story of a happy family: I hope your Christmas Day has been as happy.

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