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Any innovation effort is a painful struggle punctuated by false starts and dead ends. Your efforts are met with lack of interest even when a basic invention is working and active resistance when it starts to replace the tried and true. Like any childbirth the trick is managing the pain long enough to deliver.
The Consultants Network of Silicon Valley (CNSV) was recognized by IEEE Region 6 in 2015 for its outstanding achievements in promoting members’ skills and providing educational opportunities for Silicon Valley. The award reads:
IEEE Region 6 Outstanding Chapter presented to
Consultants Network of Silicon Valley
For creating a network to promote the skills of its consultants, fostering collaboration among its members, creating alliances with other IEEE chapters, and providing educational opportunities for Silicon Valley.
In an 1983 radio interview Margaret Thatcher defined Victorian values as hard work, self-improvement, self-reliance, living within your income, cleanliness, self-respect, a duty to help others, pride in country, and being a good member of your community. Here are some excerpts from an April 15, 1983 radio interview with Peter Allen on The Decision Makers program.
Normally if you are not getting traction, if you are not able to reliably set and hit goals, then it’s a good idea to narrow your focus and take smaller steps. Zoom in for traction. This is a good rule of but you may need to take a step back and look at yourself as an actor in the system (or contributor to the problem).
In new situations, keep a journal of your experiences. This helps you organize your thoughts and remember observations clearly. When exploring, keep a log. This strategy is useful if you are starting a new job, a new project, forming a startup or launching a new product in an unfamiliar market.
When I first went to work for Monolithic Memories my boss, Ivan Pesic, told me, “It will be rough for the next two months and then it will get easier.” He was still telling the team that a year later when someone else offered that advice during a problem solving session and we all broke out laughing because we realized it was never going to get easier. We kept working on harder problems. Ivan went on to found Silvaco and despite a few legal setbacks built a company that has endured more than three decades.
Trust is built over repeated interactions between people. If your business requires long term relationships then you have to make sure that investments in automation are not deployed in a way that undercut your ability to have real conversations. Unfortunately, some uses of email automation tools are pushing sales conversations into the “Uncanny Valley” because they strive to simulate–but miss–a genuine personalized touch.
Q: We have a product for bloggers but I am having a lot of trouble getting leads. I have met bloggers from popular media companies at events, I have cold called them, e-mailed them, and e-mailed to on-line groups that I am a member of. None of this has worked. How do I interest people in my product?
I have a couple of suggestions:
Lee Kuan Yew (16 September 1923 – 23 March 2015) governed Singapore as its first Prime Minister from 1959 to 1990. He shepherded the transformation of a small island economy into a first world technology leader.
Here are some excerpts from “The Wit and Wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew” published in 2013, a collection of quotes curated from public sources. I have added some commentary after each related to entrepreneurship.
Simon Sinek earned a BA degree in cultural anthropology from Brandeis University; he attended City University in London with the intention of becoming a barrister, but left law school to go into advertising. He was interviewed in August of 2014 by John Wall on the RoninMarketeer site in connection with the launch of his second book “Leaders Eat Last.” Here are some excerpts that highlight his insights about why leaders and advertisers should put people first.
I remember first learning the principle “leaders eat last” from John K. Russell, an advisor on a summer Presbyterian workcamp in Westpoint Mississippi. He had been an officer in the Army and talked about how the officers had nicer silverware and napkins but it was the same food and they ate after the enlisted men. Simon Sinek uses that principle as a point of departure–leadership as a combination of higher status and service. His description of leadership reminded of Goethe’s maxim “A man is really alive only when he delights in the good-will of others.”
Here are some of my key take-aways from this talk:
Four excerpts on how entrepreneurs exploit errors in conventional wisdom. The first two are from a Feb-8-2001 public forum that was part of BusinessWeek’s “Captains of Industry” series, where Oracle Corp. CEO Lawrence J. Ellison sat down with Editor-in-Chief Stephen B. Shepard. The last two are from Peter Thiel’s CS183 class lecture on secrets.
I really like this 2013 passage by Patrick Brady from his “Enter the Deuce Series” that addresses his desire to make his son a repository for dreams. It offers useful insights for both parents and entrepreneurs. I cut it from my “If you are cycling through chaos keep pedaling” post but I liked it so much I wanted to blog about it separately and expand on how to apply it as a parent and/or an entrepreneur.
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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 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.
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: