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Ken Iverson wrote “Plain Talk” 1997 to document the management and innovation principles that led Nucor from bankruptcy to the number three position in the steel industry in the United States. Since the publication of the book Nucor has become the number one player.
I take a fair amount of inspiration from dreams, which I believe are a way for the mind to reprocess memories into new configurations, the same way that a mixmaster can beat eggs or potatoes into a smooth consistency. I think dreams are a way of reprocessing experiences and distilling additional insights and learning.
Offering expert consulting means developing a specialization and focus that enable you to execute with distinction. The phrases “finding the niche for your product” and “product market fit” are essentially equivalent. A key definition of a market is that members reference each other’s buy decisions and therefore building up a set of references lowers your next prospect’s perception of the risks in your product or service (not just will it work or will you do what you say you can do but are you going to offer them significant value.
A review of some remarks by Vinod Khosla on “Silicon Valley Vision” in 2012 and the value of youth from the Nasscom conference in November 2011. I contrast that with an earlier article by Jim Collins on “Built to Flip.”
One documentary worth watching to get some context on the history of entrepreneurship and venture capital is “Something Ventured.” It’s a series of interviews with venture capitalists talking about their investments and their risk mitigation strategies in the 1950’s through 1970’s. It’s clear that they paid a lot of attention to “minimum viable products” and pivoting based on new information and asked for business plans. The question is how to have enough of a plan to proceed that includes what experiments you will run to refine your understanding of the product and the market.
I had strong memory this morning of riding my bike down a hill on the street in front of our house. The air was skin warm and after the heat of the summer was a delightful caress, going downhill I did not have to pedal and it was like flying. It’s hard to recapture the freedom of a child biking on a empty road at the end of summer. I am not sure what triggered this childhood memory but it got me to thinking about growing up in St. Louis.
Kinetic River Corp. has been awarded contract from the National Cancer Institute for a modular flow cytometer that will be used to test novel laser sources for applicability to flow cytometry. It will also serve as a test bed for new detectors, electronics and other technologies critical to the future of flow cytometry.
The Cofounder Academy is offering an innovative event at the Hacker Dojo on Mon-Oct-17 for cofounders to explore your fit with potential startups.
This is a republished version of a blog post I did originally on July-21-2008 on the FunMurphys.com blog. It’s a meditation on fighting terrorism and creating a common enemy to foster collaboration. Architect of fear has a dual meaning: both the terrorist (e.g. the Joker in the movie “The Dark Knight”) and the scientists in the Outer Limits episode “the Architects of Fear” who try and create a scare crow to stop the nations of Earth from going to war, possibly accidentally.
The customer determines the details that matter in assessing the quality of your product. Here is a true story where this was brought home to me.
Painful cofounder experiences are more common than happy ones, and especially so when the parties don’t know each well to begin with and the business startup fails. Here is a real email exchange that explores some ways to minimize the risks.
Our September/October 2016 newsletter explores different aspects of the challenge pricing to value: setting the price of your product based on the value that it offers a prospect.
I like getting up early and arriving early. But I find the hours late at night can unlock a lot of creativity so I often get up late unless I schedule something early. I also like working up to the last possible moment–what is it about the last few minutes before you have to leave that are so productive–that I arrive late. Starting from myself as someone with good intentions but poor follow through here are some observations and suggestions for getting up early and arriving early.
I can be very productive with a certain amount of background noise, I find it easier to write if there is music playing or I am in a moderately noisy coffee house where there are many low conversations going on in the background. But when I really need to think hard about something–typically a problem or a challenge I am facing–and give it all of my concentration and focus, then working in silence is best.
David Cain has many thoughtful and carefully observed posts on his blog “Raptitude: Getting Better at Being Human.” Here are excerpts from three posts that offer practical advice for entrepreneurs.
15 years after the 9-11-2001 attack on New York that left some 3,000 Americans dead and 4 years after the 9-11-2012 attack on a US diplomatic mission in Benghazi left four dead including a US ambassador it’s time for a look back. As to what difference this may make, George Santayana advises “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”