Posts filed under 'Blogging'
February 9th, 2012
I have been really encouraged by comments I have received on some recent blog posts:
- Fantastic textual content and additionally a great web site.
- Your authored material is stylish.
- You are wonderful! Thanks!
- WOW just what I was looking for.
- I truly like your way of blogging.
- Thank you for another excellent post.
It’s a shame that they ended up in my spam folder. Apparently folks who sell pharmaceuticals, toner ink, and mortgage refinancing, not to mention site owners who host a wide variety of video clips all really really appreciate this blog.
As for you, my fifteen readers, please let me know what I can do to improve your reading experience.
Update–later that same night–
A real comment from Will Sargent
that did make my day:
I read your blog and appreciate how to the point you are. You have a good healthy balance between practical discussion and idealistic views. Your blog is an example to others.
September 20th, 2011
Prospects gain an appreciation for your expertise and ability to understand and to solve their problems through what you write, what you say, and what your customers’ say about you. You should have a plan for developing referrals and testimonials, but I want to focus writing and public speaking as opportunities to demonstrate your expertise and give prospects a reason to believe that you can assist them. These outbound messaging strategies will complement your referral program and are essential to attracting new customers and cultivating valuable long-term business relationships.
Here are some suggestions for practices that will help you routinely refine and curate your thoughts.
- Collect Good Questions & Your Good Answers: When you get a good question from a prospect or a customer take the time to write up a succinct answer in a follow up e-mail (even if you have answered it in a phone call or face to face meeting).
- Refine & Generalize Your Good Answers: save your e-mail in a special folder for “good answers” and set aside time every week or month to reviewing and refining it so that it becomes a more general answer that’s applicable to more than just the person you initially answered it for.
- Start a FAQ on your website: If you don’t have one it’s worth considering starting a “Frequently Asked Questions” list. If a particular question indicates you have a defect in our standard presentation or marketing materials it’s more appropriate to fix the source of the question instead.
- Reformat Your Generalized Good Answers: Convert good answers into articles or blog posts.
- Make the Time to Rehearse: Always leave time to rehearse in front of at least one other person before you give the live talk.
- Record Your Talks: Record at least the audio for your talks and listen to both your presentation and any Q&A. Listen to it again a few days later and a month or two later.
- Consider Writing an Article: either as a leave behind instead of your slides or as another blog post.
- Never Give a Talk Only Once: Considering the cost in time to develop and rehearse a good talk, you want to find at least three opportunities to give a talk or variations on it.
- Videotape A Good Talk In Front Of An Audience: Once you have given a talk two or three times live either do a video recording of it or arrange to have later versions videotaped. You will look and sound much better in front of a live audience with a talk you are comfortable giving and this will come through on the video. Consider editing it into a couple of 5-10 minute chunks if you can to use as teasers, summaries, or good stand-alone content.
August 24th, 2011
||FREE recorded discussion on Seth’s blog article. The panelist share how they manage their tasks and make sure they are focused the important items that differentiates their offering.
View recorded session
Texting while working
by Seth Godin
A thought provoking blog article by one of our must read bloggers, Seth Godin. We will discuss topic Seth raises like being “in flow” and raising the stakes.
Share your story -
Leave a comment below
- What do you think of the topic?
- Do you have a question about this topic?
- How did impact your business?
Additional Book Reviews
January 13th, 2011
In my “Maiden Voyage” post on Jul-30-2010 for my Entrepreneurial Engineer blog on EE Times I said that I would focus on innovation and entrepreneurship in the broader electronic systems design ecosystem. I hoped to provide insights in the following areas:
- Perspective on technology innovation.
- Analysis of business strategy for emerging markets.
- New models for global teams and multi-firm collaboration that are predicated on incessant collaboration among experts.
- Perspective on the impact of communication and pervasive connectivity in creating new business models.
- Insights from pioneering engineers on how new computing paradigms are enabling new models for how they invent.
- Interviews with entrepreneurs sharing lessons learned from their successes and their setbacks.
I am going to continue to focus on these areas for 2011 as well.
I have another ten posts in various stages of completion and plan to post one a week at least for the first quarter of 2011. If you would like to be interviewed or have some insights you would like to share about areas 3 and 4 in particular please contact me.
January 8th, 2011
“Little by little, one travels far”
Theresa Shafer, one of my partners in SKMurphy, advised me recently that “most powerful insights are simple.” It was by way of encouragement to simplify and focus my blog posts.
She continued her critique: “If you can’t get your point across in a hundred or two hundred words why do you think another thousand and a half dozen hyperlinks is going to make it any clearer?”
You have to take your inspiration where you can find it. I plan to keep my blog posts more succinct in 2011 than years past.
January 5th, 2011
Writing a blog takes time and can be difficult as you get busy. We often invite guest writers to contribute content. Besides giving us a break from having to write everything ourselves, they also:
- Bring fresh content
- Bring fresh perspective
- Infuse their passion
- Build trust
- Bring new audiences
So thank you to our guest writers. We love you.
Sometimes people approach us about being a guest blogger but we also actively look. A couple of places we look for guest authors
- Thought leaders (anyone with something interesting to say)
- Potential Partners
We welcome contributed content that’s appropriate for an audience of entrepreneurs either on the SKMurphy blog or the Bootstrapper Breakfast blog.
January 4th, 2011
We’re all born late. We’re born into history that is well under way. We’re born into cultures, nations and languages that we didn’t choose.
Among all the things we don’t control, we do have some control over our stories. We do have a conscious say in selecting the narrative we will use to make sense of the world. Individual responsibility is contained in the act of selecting and constantly revising the master narrative we tell about ourselves.
David Brooks “The Rush to Therapy“
I have blogged before that you need to be careful how you tell yourself “the story so far.” I was reminded of it as I spent time today editing some interviews for my “Entrepreneurial Engineer” column in EE Times. I think a good story has key components that can be presented in several different sequences:
- The Past: where you have come from, what led you to start your company and what about your background prepared you to be effective at solving this particular problem for your customers.
- The Present: what have you accomplished to date and more importantly, what have you learned from your journey so far.
- The Near Future: what you are actively working on, what you plan to accomplish in the near term, how you will demonstrate traction if your audience asks you “how is it going” in three to six months.
- Who You Are: why do you have an interest in the problem or field that you are focused on, what are the values and the passions that you bring to working on it.
- The Future: what you ultimately hope to accomplish, a vision of a better world you are working to bring about.
Pay close attention the next time you tell someone you have just met the story of your entrepreneurial journey.
November 7th, 2010
“The time will come when Winter will ask you what you were doing all Summer.”
I took the extra hour I had today and made a list of a few key things I want to accomplish before the end of the year. Many of these I can use your help or feedback on, please feel free to contact me.
Warning Dates in Calendar Are Closer Than They Appear
There are slightly less than eight weeks left in 2010–given that Thanksgiving and Christmas take place in two of them it’s more like six work weeks–so it’s time for a kick finish if you need to catch up.
November 1st, 2010
Mark Zimmerman’s Zhurnaly (“Russian for Journal”) ) is food for the soul. The wiki format allows him to blend a journal, a runner’s diary, a commonplace book, and short essays. I enjoy his insights and his exploration Zen and ongoing self-improvement. It’s worth reading whenever you want to renew your gumption.
In “Welcome to 2009” I mentioned that I had read Zimmerman’s zhurnaly:
“I recommend it wholeheartedly for entrepreneurs even though it’s written by a physicist with a Zen frame of mind who has taken up marathon running in his 50’s. He is thoroughly committed to mindfulness and self-improvement, two goals any entrepreneur should strive for.”
Here he is on “How To Succeed”
- Help other people help you. Don’t struggle alone; we’re all in this together. Did somebody assign you an impossible mission? Maybe they meant to request something different. The situation may have changed since you began. You may have taken a wrong turn. Ask early and often for clarification, suggestions, feedback, …
- Fail for a good reason. It’s OK to crash and burn if you took a well-calculated risk and it didn’t work out. It’s fine to let a higher priority (e.g., family, health, spiritual obligation, etc.) preempt a task. But there’s no honor in “I forgot” or “The time just slipped away from me” or …
And “On Failure”
“Fail. Fail again. Fail better.”
This advice was reportedly posted on Samuel Beckett’s wall beside his desk. Any worthwhile pursuit — gardening, cooking, drawing, writing, thinking, teaching, learning, … — is never done to perfection. There is always room for improvement, a shortfall to correct, an error to identify and fix.
That’s precisely what makes something worthwhile: inevitable failure, plus the golden chance to try again, and to do better next time. Living is like that.
And finally two excerpts from “Arnold Bennett on Life” that has a number of thought provoking passages from the 1923 Arnold Bennett book “How to Make the Best of Life” (Gutenberg has many of his works but not this one.)
- “I am far off old age, but old age is approaching daily. The terrors of old age are solitude, neglect, boredom, lack of suitable activity, utter dependence on others, and the consciousness of wasted opportunities, of having achieved less than one might have achieved. What am I doing now to destroy those terrors, or even to minimise them? Am I sufficiently providing for the final years? Am I keeping my old friendships in repair and constructing new ones? Am I, in the intervals of satisfying my greatest interest, creating minor interests which will serve me later? Am I digging my groove so deep that I shall never be able to climb out of it? Am I slacking?”
- “No corner of the field is too small to occupy. No effort is too humble to produce an effect worth producing. No effort is wasted. And there will never be any millennium, you know! The millennium is a chimera. A millennium involves perfection. A hundred centuries hence the citizens of those days-to-come, regarding us of the twentieth century somewhat as we regard the inhabitants of the stone age, will still be yearning towards the millennium and still be shocked by the scandalous imperfections of their humanity and the inefficiency of their communities. There can be no finality except death. The dream of a millennium is a device of nature’s, and a very effective and agreeable device, for encouraging us to be persistent.”
See also these posts for other quotes from Mark Zimmerman’s Zhurnaly
For more on gumption (and sisu) see
October 12th, 2010
This is my 700th blog post since my first post “Welcome Entrepreneurs!” on October 1, 2006 which opened with:
This blog is dedicated to entrepreneurs at any stage of their journey. As individuals, in teams, and collectively, we all hope to create a better world for our customers, our employees, our stakeholders, and our children.
Our focus is helping startups find early customers for emerging technologies. This is very different from the traditional sales and marketing at established firms. Correctly identifying early customers who can be references to others is key to introducing emerging technologies.
Although emerging technologies change the rules and often enable far reaching growth most early adopters are focused on near term risks and benefits, and it is to those concerns entrepreneurial teams need to speak to get a foothold. The decision to act as a “beta” software site or early user of new software tools often resembles a hiring decision (does the prospective customer want to “hire the team”) more closely than a technology adoption decision.
Emerging technology marketing is a distinct domain from classical product marketing, most of the traditional market assessment techniques are not effective: focus groups, surveys, etc… Emerging markets require a strong commitment by the founding team to
- appreciating the prospective customer and customer’s view,
- rapidly evolving the product specification in response to feedback and customer experience,
- ongoing refinement and delivery of customer focused solutions.
Not everything I have written since has held up as well as these paragraphs. I believe that they still offer a good high level overview of the new product introduction problem as it applies to new technologies.