Archive for January, 2007

Going Solo or Partnering Panel: Stanford E-Conference

Written by Francis Adanza. Posted in Events

Today I attended the 2007  Entrepreneurship Conference at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. One session that I truly enjoyed and found very informative was the “Going Solo or Partnering” Panel. Below are three questions and answers I believe capture the importance of developing a solid team.

Moderator Andy Rachleff – Founder, Benchmark Capital

Panelists

How do you find good co-founders?

Consensus Answer: finding a good partner/partners is usually someone you have had a shared success with. It is someone you trust and whom you are willing to share every intimate detail about the business with. This person should be as passionate about the venture as you are and willing to risk it all and go to the end with you. There are only a few individuals that have all the necessary skills to run a business by themselves. An ideal partner would be a person who complements your strengths. It is okay to have some overlap but you really want someone who can bring differentiating attributes to the table.

How did you structure equity with your co-founders?

  • Larsen- 50/50
  • Rosenblum- split it equally with 5 people
  • Sindhu- We split it 3 different ways, everyone agreed before we started
  • Wang- 50/50

Consensus answer: it is important to figure out your founder’s equity early, otherwise it will cause major problems later on. All co-founders need to be clear on what they want out of the venture and how much time they are willing to put into it. You can prevent misunderstandings by setting up a metrics to measure each founder’s performance. Building a sustainable business is building something bigger than any one individual. You need to structure the company in a way that allows it to exist if a founder leaves. Also if the company takes off and exit opportunities arise, everyone needs to agree when to cash out.

Some important concerns that we believe should be addressed in your performance metrics include:

  1. Key product development milestones for key modules, first product, and whole product.
  2. Specifications and plans are needed for engineering and marketing. If you don’t have these it’s harder to know what to change to get different, and hopefully better results.
  3. Timetables that comprehend both internal dependencies and different levels of prospect and customer acceptance of your offering (e.g. it’s foolish to optimize a design when you can’t find anyone interested in the basic functionality).

Do you recommend starting a company by yourself?

Consensus Answer: No way! It is an extremely emotional and stressful process. You need someone to lean on and hold you up while things are down. You also need to be able to hold your partner up when they are having feeling low energy  as well. Another benefit of having a co-founder is the ability to share ideas and listen to alternative perspectives. Furthermore, starting a company is such a time commitment it is almost impossible to do everything by yourself. With co-founders you can share tasks and relieve some of the workload.

More from William Feather’s “The Business of Life”

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Quotes, skmurphy

More quotes from William Feather’s “The Business of Life

Uneasy lies the head that ignores a telephone call late at night.

It is a fine compliment to be able to say of a man that he quickens the pulse of any group that he joins. Some men are like that. They are alive. Through charm, intellectual capacity, physical fitness, manners, or some other quality, they command respect and attention. They compel the rest of us to appear at our best.

To make fairly sure that an unpleasant job won’t be done, plan to do it yourself.

Some people have the art of compelling others to be pleasant.

Feather observes in “The Jolt” something that many entrepreneurs discover in their first startup, that most of their credibility flowed from their employer.

In my early twenties this idea was impressed upon me. I had been doing newspaper work, and as a reporter for a leading daily I was usually received promptly and affably by mayors, bankers, manufacturers, actors, United States Senators, and even presidents of the United States.

I quit my newspaper work and called on a few friends of my newspaper days. I was not insulted when I presented myself, but I was not offered cigars with quite the same alacrity as in my newspaper days.

[...] most of us in our working hours are like actors. The power and dignity and age and good repute of the corporations for which we work clothes us, and adds to our effectiveness and acceptance by those whom we serve and who serve us.

The only way to be rid of worry about the things we have not done is to do them.

What is Your Website Grade?

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Startup CEO: Question of the Day, Startups, Tools for Startups

I found an interesting little tool Website Grader which evaluates your website. It produces a score and a list of things you can do to improve it. Some of the things I don’t agree with, but most are pretty good. Last night I played with it and the best sites I looked at were 80-70/100 and the poor ones were below 20/100.

At first I thought the comments on meta-data were bogus, but it is explained better in the blog article Understanding The Magic Of Meta-Data. It points out that although search engines don’t use them exclusively, most SEO experts do recommend that websites use meta-tags. The Meta Description Tag may influence the description of your page. The Meta Keywords Tag is useful for synonyms and less common words. These tags can work in conjunction with your website text.

Also see an earlier post Philipp Lenssen’s Tips For Crafting a Linkable Blog Post.

Beyond Google: A9, Citeseer, and Krugle

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Rules of Thumb

I had lamented that I always Google too late, but lately I’ve been getting better. Here are some tools to use beyond Google and LinkedIn for searching for different kinds of specialized information.

A9 let’s you search the contents of any books that Amazon carries, all of Amazon, and another 500+ specialized information sources.

Citeseer, which seems to me to be more useful than Google Scholar, searches scientific and academic papers.

Krugle searches code examples and some related technical references.

Stepping on the Web 2.0 Scale at IBDNetwork Jan-23-07

Written by Francis Adanza. Posted in Events

Last night I attended the IBDNetwork Strategies Series: Stepping on the Web 2.0 Scale. The event was hosted at Shasta Ventures and featuring guest speakers:

I noted a couple of good quotes, the first were two answers to “How would you define Web 2.0?”

Sam Schillace stated that Web 2.0 revolves around collaboration. It is a better model for interacting with customers and quicker release times due to user demand.

Jason Pressman believes an ideal Web 2.0 application should be built with AJAX or a LAMP Stack. The application should allow interaction with data that comes mostly from the users vs. company generated. He believes a good example of a Web 2.0 company is Logoworks.

The second were some detailed answers to “What does it take to be a successful ad website?”

Jason Pressman believes that it needs to be a consumer conversation driven website for three reasons:

  1. Nobody is buying technology anymore, there is always more than one person developing the same technology
  2. Investors are buying teams that can execute and provide returns
  3. Investors want companies with defensibility, competitive advantage, IP, a good team

Pressman indicated that there were significant Web 2.0 opportunities for E-commerce: continues to grow, more people shop online; security has improved but needs to continue to develop; the key challenges are scaling and inventory.

There is also event recap on the Under the Radar Blog.

SVASE: Do I Have What it Takes to Be an Entrepreneur?

Written by Francis Adanza. Posted in Events

Over lunch today I attended the SVASE Startup-U Event: Do I Have What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur? Which was held at Plug & Play Tech Center. The guest speakers were John Kim founder of Five9 and LeadMarket, and Steve Stephansen, Board Director of the Sand Hill Angels. It was an open discussion with a lot of questions from the crowd and good interaction. The five questions and answers I found most interesting were:

1. What characteristics are common amongst successful entrepreneurs?
Usually entrepreneurs are people who can’t work for someone else, they like new things, and feel that they can’t innovate in other companies, thus start their own. Other characteristics of a entrepreneurs is someone who is focused, is an expert in a particular area and has passion for their offering.

2. What types of commitments, sacrifices and joys can I expect as I get my new business started?
Being an entrepreneur is very time consuming. The biggest sacrifice you can expect to make is giving up your time. Since time is so prevalent in becoming successful, it is extremely tough for married entrepreneurs and even tougher with kids.

Steve Stephansen spoke on his personal experience of being a CEO. Looking back when trying get started and trying to raise capital there was no way I could be in a relationship. I was so stressed out! All I could think about was the responsibility I took when I accepted investor capital. My reputation and future in the valley was based on what I could achieve the money.

3. Is failure good?
Many people learn from failure but it does not necessarily mean it is good. These days, the people raising money have had successful exits. It is getting harder and harder for first time entrepreneurs to raise capital because there are so many people with similar technologies. It is okay to fail, but you need some success factor in the journey to substantiate your loss. Otherwise it could be more difficult to raise money the next time around.

4. What resources are available to help me avoid mistakes and make wise decisions?
John Kim spoke about his experiences. In my limited experience, it has been all about customer acquisition. If you think you have a compelling value proposition, you should be able to sell it before it is built. Early on we were sales focused. There was no time for “strategy planning.” We did not even think about raising capital, we were solely focused on finding customers. With nothing more than a laptop and a cell phone my partner and I went 32k into credit card debt but in 9 months we successfully grew to 900K in revenue.

5. If I recognize that I may not have what it takes to be an entrepreneur, what options do I have to realize my idea?
You can validate proof of concept with customers. Customers prove that there is a problem that needs to be solved. Once you know you have something, everything becomes easier. It is not about the “great idea,” it is about the execution on the marketing.

William Feather’s “The Business of Life”

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Quotes

Some quotes from William Feather’s 1949 book, “The Business of Life.” It’s a collection of short notes, letters, newspaper columns magazine articles. Very insightful, and something like reading a blog from the 1930’s and 40’s.

The way to get things done is to have a good assistant.

In closing a deal, what you don’t say may be more helpful than what you do say.

…every job has two salaries. One is the pay you get. The other is the mental satisfaction you derive from working for the company.

Business is scheming ways by which you can help your customers make an extra dollar in the hope that they will let you keep ten cents for yourself.

Business is showing a prospect how a job should be done and then having him give it to a competitor.

If you do not have the capacity for happiness with a little money, great wealth will not bring it to you.

Many people are thwarted by excessive ambition. They want a hundred thousand dollars but are unwilling to save a hundred dollars. They want a big house, but do not accumulate enough money to make the down payment on on a small house. They want to write a book, but will not learn to write a letter. Most men become successful and famous, not through ambition, but through ability and character.

Evaluating Business Advice

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Consulting Business

Everyone has advice for you about how to run your company! Even if it’s in the form of question like “When are you going to Get a Job?”

Friends and relatives who have only been employees may have your best interest at heart but not have the background or temperament to help you get your startup off the ground.

Starting a business is like becoming a new parent. When you are a new parent, everyone has advice. Sometimes you have to ignore friends, family and acquaintances’ best intentions. You’re the parent you know what’s best. Business advice is often the same way.

Hugh MacLeod’s Thoughts on Being an Entrepreneur

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Startups

Hugh MacLeod posted “Random Thoughts on Being an Entrepreneur” earlier this week. I’ve picked the best five and added some of my own comments

4. Once you become an entrepreneur, you find the company of non-entrepreneurs a lot harder to be around. You’ve seen things they haven’t; the wavelengths alter, it’s that simple.

There are different perspectives in the world. There are craftsmen and brokers, salesmen and engineers, inventors and caretakers, just to name a few. It took me a long time to realize that I had an entrepreneurial frame of reference and that many folks around me didn’t. I think Hugh’s correct in that entrepreneurs can see possibilities that many other folks don’t, but the same is true of artist, engineers, and architects as well. I think entrepreneurs focus their imagination on business possibilities, where an artist may work in metal or an engineer in silicon.

6. Word of mouth is the best advertising medium of all. The best word of mouth comes from disrupting markets.

Creating value, exceptional or at least novel value, is another good way.

14. Smart, young, artistic people are always asking me which is a better career path, “Creativity” or “Money”. I always answer that it doesn’t matter. What matters is “Effective” and/or “Ineffective.”

I think what the more pernicious aspect to this is putting your creative life on hold to make money. As Robert Service observed “There are no pockets in a shroud.”

18. People remember the quality long after they’ve forgotten the price. Unless you try to rip them off.

In general, it’s best to assume that everything you do will be made public. If you are contemplating something that wouldn’t withstand that kind of scrutiny, try and find a more creative solution.

23. Running a startup is full of extreme ups and downs. Which is why so many successful and happy entrepreneurs I know lead such normal, stable, unglamorous, “boring”, family-centered lives. Somehow they need the latter in order to balance out the former. Extra-curricular drama looks great in the tabloids, but that’s all it’s ultimately good for.

I think this is probably the most important one. Steely Dan’s “Any World (That I’m Welcome To)” opened with “If I had my way, I would move to another lifetime.” But this is a teenager’s fantasy of getting away from home. Marriage and child rearing are not easy, much harder in many ways than doing a startup. But creating a decent workplace that provides a good living for your employees and value for your customers is easier when you are situated in a long term relationship and a family.

Update July 21, 2009: I just realized that I have done two distinct blog posts using this same blog post by Hugh MacLeod as a point of departure. See also “Hugh MacLeod’s Thoughts on Being an Entrepreneur 2” They make for interesting reading back to back.

Thinking About Your Business Goals for 2007, Part 2

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Consulting Business, Startups

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post on business goal for 2007, it’s also worthwhile to look at your own motivations and needs.

Richard Leider advises that you ask yourself two key questions:

  1. What do you want?
  2. How will you know when you get it?

The best reason to take part in a startup or to start your own software or consulting business is that it furthers your own personal development. It should allow you to work on the problems that you feel are important or to create something that leverages your creativity, experience, expertise, and passion.

We don’t tend to explore these as much in our engagements: team dynamics and shared goals are more where we tend to focus. It’s not a bad idea at least once a year to make sure you are working on what you want to achieve and you have given some thought as to how you are keeping score.

Thinking About Your Business Goals for 2007

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in skmurphy, Startups

We went through a brief planning exercise with our clients, and some prospective clients, that several found useful. Since it’s not not too late to do some planning for 2007, here are a few questions that should answer on a single piece of paper (perhaps even a 3×5 card you can carry with you)

  1. What went well last year? (If you haven’t celebrated do so now)
  2. How will you build on your 2006 success?
  3. What key value or attribute of your business do you want to enhance?
  4. What are one or more activities or initiatives you plan to stop doing in 2007?
  5. What is your target for growth next year? Are you ready for growth?
  6. What are the major risks you face in 2007; how will you mitigate them?

3 Ways to Build Credibility with Prospects

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Consulting Business, Rules of Thumb, Startups

Here are three ways for building credibility.

  1. Referrals
    A referral is an introduction to a prospect with an endorsement. A referral allows you to borrow credibility from a trusted third party. They spring from shared success with your customers or former co-workers, someone who knows your potential and can vouch for you or your team’s ability to deliver. Meaningful referrals do not originate from a casual contact, someone you have met and spoken with only a few times: without a history of shared success they cannot substantiate your ability to deliver value.
  2. Speaking Engagements
    As soon as you are in the front of the room doing the talking, most people in the audience will give you the benefit of the doubt as a credible expert. Obviously once you open your mouth you can rapidly undo that perception. A successful speaking engagement combines a clear presentation of your thoughts not only in a strong narrative on a topic that’s of use to potential customers, but also in your answers to real questions from the audience.
  3. Writing Articles
    It may be easier to communicate your knowledge of your prospect’s issues in writing. Especially if you are someone like me who doesn’t enjoy public speaking you should work at the craft of clear business and technical writing. Most articles these days are presented on a website (e.g. blog entries like this one) or in an email newsletter. In either case you should consider writing in HTML and adding links to provide substantiation of your key citations.

Ser Hou Kuang & Sean Murphy Granted US Patent 7162706 B2

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in skmurphy

Ser Hou Kuang & Sean Murphy Granted US Patent #7162706 B2 for “Method for Analyzing and Validating Clock Integration Properties in Circuit Systems” on January 9, 2007.

Abstract: A method for analyzing and validating clock integration properties in a circuit design is disclosed. A database of timing points that are clocked cell elements of the circuit design is generated. Next, a timing point frame showing the interaction of the clocked cell elements and the non-clocked cell elements is generated. The timing point frame graphically shows the timing network properties for the cell elements of the circuit design. A clock analysis view can be generated from the timing point frame for selected timing points. In this respect, the timing point frame shows timing points that meet a prescribed criteria (e.g., same clock domain). Therefore, the clock analysis view provides a graphical representation of timing and clock interactions for the circuit design.

Here are excerpts from the PicoCraft datasheet for it’s initial offering

Clock Domain Profiler and Analysis tool that leverages your existing Static Timing setup and Library, to rapidly identify likely Synchronization Errors in the final tape-out netlist for high clock-count multi-million gate SOC designs.

  • Uncover Asynchronous CDC Errors PrimeTime Ignores
  • High Capacity: Fast Turnaround of Full Chip Analyses
  • Exhaustive Root-Cause Analysis for all Modes

This is a challenge related to but distinct from detailed timing analysis, complicated by several design trends that we believe will continue to accelerate over the next two to three process nodes:

  1. Increasingly complex power management schemes are proliferating the number of distinct operating modes that need to be analyzed.
  2. Higher levels of integration are increasing the number of distinct interfaces, each with their own on chip clocking and synchronization requirement.
  3. Clock trees are consuming a higher fraction of chip logic and require separate analysis that is aware of physical implementation and on chip variation effects.

Traditional static timing tool development teams at remain focused on calculating detailed timing that is highly correlated with Spice. New entrants are relying either on formal methods that work from pre-layout RTL but lack the capacity for full chip analysis or structural pattern recognition techniques that require naming conventions or a distinct set of cell models to work. GPP is unique in leveraging existing static timing models to build high level clock interaction representations from the physical implementation of a full chip.

Power of Website Content

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Blogging, Consulting Business

Here’s a good blog post on website content. How Can 10 Simple Articles Change Your Life? In his post Chris Pearson, recounts a story about a friend who creates a website (nothing fancy) but has wonderful content (10 articles). He kills his competition with his content. If you are selling your expertise, try promoting yourself with articles that satisfy your prospects’ needs. They will search the web looking for information and find you. Articles posted on a website can provide leads years after the initial posting. Don’t forget to submit them to industry websites. If your website provides a service, people will find you.

Making Our Business More Credible in 2006

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Uncategorized

We did an end of year de-briefing session an concluded that that the following changes had a things that had a positive effect on our business in 2006.

“The right way to build a company is to experiment in lots of small ways, so that you have plenty of room to make mistakes and change strategies.”
Vinod Khosla quoted in “What Does Vinod Khosla Know About Web 2.0 That Others Don’t?

As an old friend used to say “easy to say, very hard to do.” What experiments are you running this year to improve the credibility of your business?

January’s Silicon Valley NewTech Meetup

Written by Francis Adanza. Posted in Startups

Last night, I attended the January Silicon Valley New Tech Meetup.  For those of you who do not know the format of these gatherings, it is very simple.  Each group of presenters is allowed five minutes to pitch their offering and then the crowd is allocated five minutes to ask questions.

The first presenters were the founders of inChorus.  inChorus has a very complicated technology that leverages the knowledge of its users.  Users post projects/problems on the site and people who feel they have knowledge of the subject matter respond with their insight.

The second presenters were the founders of Pinger.  It was obvious that their pitch was well rehearsed and timed perfectly.  The presentation was articulate, timed, and informative.  It was easy to see the problem and the value of their solution.  To me, the most compelling part of their business model is that they do not have to partner with any of the cell phone service providers.  In a very competitive cell phone market, startups usually design technology that can only be used with the service provider’s permission.  I really like the fact the Pinger understands this challenge and designed an application that works around this obstacle.

The third presenters were from ComicVine.com.  The presentation was very casual and conversational.  The presenter really opened the door for crowd interaction.  If you visit their website, you will be blown away by the graphics and the imagination of the sites users.

The last presenter was from PowerReviews.com.  I found the site to very similar to consumer digest reports.  It is a customer reviews and ratings service.  PowerReviews.com is trying to leverage the power of its users to rank and compare consumer products.

Paul Saffo “Best Strategy is Ready, Fire, Steer”

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Quotes, skmurphy

Paul Saffo had the lead quote in my October 18 post on Quotes on Foresight (Understanding the Future) “Never mistake a clear view for a short distance.” He has so many more trenchant observations on foresight and understanding what has already happened that I am following up with a post devoted to his quotes and observations. Those of you taking part in the “ruthless reinvention” of Silicon Valley may find some food for thought.

“Best strategy used to be ready, aim, fire. Now the best strategy is ready, fire, steer. Put supplies where you might need them on the journey. Just get into the right neighborhood and you will find the address.”

recounted in How To Mobilize The New Players on the Field by Richard Edelman (note: emphasis added, does not appear in original text).

“Never mistake a clear view for a short distance”

Paul offers an elaboration of this one on his website: technologies take time–as much as twenty years–to move from invention to arrival in our lives. Because we assume the adoption will be more rapid, we inevitably over-estimate the short-term and under-estimate the long-term impact of new technologies.

War is no longer chess; it’s Go.”

He explains to Maryann Lawlor in “Collaborative Technologies Demand Deep Change

In chess, the center of the board is the important real estate to control; in the game of Go, the edges are critical to winning. While chess pieces are hierarchical, each stone in Go is equally powerful.

Cheap sensors are shaping this decade, and the poster child is going to be robots.

from “The Ten Coolest Technologies You’ve Never Heard of: The Robot Revolution” (July 7, 2006 in PC Magazine).

The secret to Silicon Valley’s success is that it’s constantly reinventing itself. The secret to it continuing to be a high-tech center is that it is a place that continues to ruthlessly reinvent itself, to ruthlessly drive old companies out of business, start new companies. That turnover is, I think, the secret to our success. We always think about being a success, but there are vastly more failures in the valley than there are successes. And the valley is not really built on the spires of earlier companies, but on their rubble.

From April 1997 interview for the Tech Museum The Revolutionaries: Paul Saffo

There are no regular people. There are people we tend to remember the names of, and we seem to have this fascination with deifying certain individuals. At some level, how do I say it? Look at any Silicon Valley company, and people instantly say, this company, oh! The head of that company; they are so smart. But the company isn’t one person; the company is a team of people and for everyone who conventional wisdom says a genius business leader or a successful entrepreneur or whatever, there are hundreds of other people who are just as extraordinary whose names we don’t know.

From a 2006 SF Chronicle Interview “Institute for the Future / On the Record

I don’t think information overload is a function of the volume of information. It’s a derivative of the volume of information plus the sense-making tools you have. Think about the rise of info-graphics in newspapers. Those were sense-making tools to help people (absorb information). You can bookmark your Web pages. Now we have things like (the Web site) Del.icio.us that allow you to create tags to share and organize Web pages. In my class, we are using a wiki (a Web page that is like an open bulletin board). The rise of Wikipedia (an online encyclopedia)—that is a sense-making tool. These are tools that help us make sense of information. I think it was Samuel Johnson who said, “There are two kinds of information in this world: that what you know and that what you know where to get.” The tools help the latter, and that is what keeps us from going nuts. The sense of overload comes from the gap between that sudden jump in volume (of information) and the tools we have to make sense of it.

People Manage People, Tools Manage Data

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

This was a principle for systems design suggested in a talk I heard 15-20 years ago. I can no longer remember the speaker’s name but I remember that he was in the disk drive business. Google has proven unavailing in sourcing it so it was probably an original insight with this engineer that hasn’t gained wider currency.

It should. People Manage People, Tools Manage Data

When I went back to Cisco for my second tour of duty in 1998 (I had been there from 1990 to 1994; the second time I was able to last until mid-2003 before I went back to being an entrepreneur) I was surprised at the number of workflow systems that were being designed and deployed to limit input and decrease options that could be requested. People were instructing IT to design interfaces that would do things they would never be so rude to do face to face, in e-mail, or over the phone. The designers were always surprised when they (or their management chain) continued to get e-mail and phone calls because people wouldn’t limit themselves to the options on the web form.

These were workflow systems and request tracking systems for what had been negotiations. So what’s my point? Anytime you set out to manage employees, partners, or customers with inflexible systems to channel their activities don’t be surprised when it doesn’t quite work out like you planned.

I am a huge fan of defect tracking systems, source code management systems, and any tool that allows you to get a better handle on the data thrown off by your actions. But be careful of trying to use software to “manage people.”

Winston Churchill observed that “We shape our buildings, and forever afterwards our buildings shape us.” So it is with our internal control and scorekeeping mechanisms. Be careful not to abdicate your responsibilities here.

Six From Encyclopedia Neurotica

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Quotes, skmurphy

Jon Winokur has published a number of good books, including “The Portable Curmudgeon” and “Advice to Writers,” and was interviewed September 2006 by Guy Kawasaki, which prompted me to add his most recent, “Encyclopedia Neurotica” to my Amazon cart (where books can linger for months or years). I was frankly a little disappointed, but found a half dozen nuggets–one for each of my readers–that founding teams might find thought provoking.

affluenza
Virus of affluence that psychotherapist Jessie H. O’Neill defines as “the collective addictions, character flaws, psychological wounds, neuroses, and behavioral disorders caused or exacerbated by the presence of, or desire for, wealth.” Affluenza victims, regardless of their socioeconomic level, falsely believe that money can solve all their problems.

“Our Age of Anxiety is, in great part, the result of trying to do today’s jobs with yesterday’s tools.”
Marshall McLuhan

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
E. B. White

“In the real dark night of the soul, it is always 3 o’clock in the morning.”
The Crack Up, F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Mid-life crisis is what happens when you get to the top of the ladder and discover that it’s against the wrong wall.”
Joseph Campbell

“The struggle to reach the top is itself enough to fulfill the heart of man. One must believe that Sisyphus is happy.”
The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus

Our 2007 New Year’s Resolutions

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Consulting Business

Theresa: my 2007 New Year’s Resolution is to do more public speaking. Given how nervous I get speaking in public, I’m going to start with baby steps and talk at our upcoming workshop, Getting More Customers. Hopefully I will have enough nerve to do a joint talk later this year.

Francis: I also want to get better at public speaking but since Theresa took that one I will take a different one. I plan to read the books mentioned in Sean’s talk “Twelve Books for the Busy CEO” this year.

Sean: focus more on the positive accomplishments of clients and prospects. I think it’s an occupational hazard as a consultant to try and “add value” by pointing out where folks are making mistakes or have problems. It’s just as important to acknowledge what’s working that we can help them build on. I blogged about this in Hey Wait a Minute, That’s Me in the “Before” Picture but it’s worth more focus in 2007.

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