OCT Offers Insights That Used To Require an Autopsy

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in 3 Early Customer Stage, skmurphy

Christoph Guetter suggests in “The eye is a window to the brain; but who’s looking?” that the micron scale resolution of optical coherence tomography (OCT) for in vivo cross-sectional imaging of the human retina may allow earlier and more accurate diagnoses of several common neurodegenerative disorders: Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Webinar Replay: Innovator’s DNA Series Overview

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in 1 Idea Stage, Books, Customer Development, Video

Steve Hogan and Sean Murphy walk through a five part webinar series on “The Innovator’s DNA” by Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen,and Clayton Christensen. Sean thinks it’s the best book on innovation and entrepreneurship for 2011 and useful for any team that is trying to innovate. Each webinar will be in a roundtable format and include first time entrepreneurs and experienced innovators discussing lessons learned applying the five key discovery skills described in the book.

Freedom

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

The desire for economic freedom and autonomy drives many entrepreneurs. Bootstrappers would rather work for customers than investors, choosing the discipline of the competitive marketplace over the wisdom and caprice of the boardroom.

“Life is too short to work at a job you hate,
but everyone has to do something someone else is willing to pay them for.”
Sid Emmert

Movies to Renew Your Sense of Wonder

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in 1 Idea Stage, skmurphy

I caught Interstellar  over the weekend and was mesmerized for the entire three hour runtime. Coop the astronaut/farmer falls goes exploring and falls down a series of rabbit holes that take him far from home. It’s a movie that celebrates exploration and continually triggered my sense of wonder if only because none of the protagonists are fearless action heroes but all too human in their desires to return home safely and be re-united with families and loved ones.  I don’t want to say too much about the plot not because of all of the twists and turns but I think the movie is best appreciated by not knowing how it’s going to turn out.

Thanksgiving 2014

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events

We did something different for Thanksgiving 2014: we held a Bootstrapper’s Potluck and hosted a dinner for a dozen people or so with our family. It was a chance for my sons to meet some real entrepreneurs and give folks who were new to the area or far from family a nice Thanksgiving. We supplied the turkey and some sides and folks brought many flavors of  pie, miso soup, raw vegetables, wine, hors d’oeuvres, jambalaya, sausage and cheddar fondue, and rice.  There was enough left over that everyone was able to leave with one or two meals (or a pie) for the weekend, such is the miracle of a potluck.

Customer Interviews: How To Organize Findings

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Audio, skmurphy

I sat down with Bruce La Fetra of La Fetra Consulting for a conversation on customer interviews. We compared notes on qualitative conversations versus quantitative surveys and exchanged tips and tricks. Bruce presented some great insights on how to organize findings and how to take best advantage of insights gleaned from interviews.

What follows is an edited transcript with some hyperlinks for clarity.

Preventing & Managing Challenging Customer Situations

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Consulting Business, skmurphy

Here are my notes from tonight’s Professional and Technical Consultants Association (PATCA) meeting on “Handling Difficult Client Scenarios in an Agile and Effective Manner.” It was a candid discussion among primarily experienced consultants about real situations that were challenging–and frequently painful. Several good suggestions for preventing and managing challenging customer situations:

Managing Sales People

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Sales, skmurphy

Q: I work at a SaaS company in the services team, we often  team often finds that customers mistakenly believe that:

  1. Certain features are included in the product package they bought.
  2. Certain services projects are included in the services package they bought.

What are some ways to prevent this from happening?

Managing sales people is straightforward: you get what you reward.

Crafting a Value Proposition

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in 2 Open for Business Stage, 3 Early Customer Stage, Rules of Thumb, Sales

Q: I struggle with the value proposition for our product. Either I am too abstract “we offer a positive return on time invested” or too vague “help increase your ability to manage critical challenges.” Do you have any suggestions for how to frame or formulate a value proposition?

Here a few questions that a value proposition normally addresses

Joseph A Murphy 1925-2007, 7 Years On

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in skmurphy

Further Reflections on My Father

Joseph A Murphy Nov 1 1925 Oct 23 2007Some further reflections on my relationship with my father seven years after his death.

“I understood that the man I was calling for could never ever come back.
Because I understood that the man that I was calling for was dead.”
Anne Lamott in “Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

I figured he had lived through so many things that as long as he stayed indoors and avoided getting hit by lightning he would come to my funeral in a decade or two. At the time I told close friends that it hadn’t really sunk in yet. I would normally talk to him once a week for an hour or so. Now I mainly talk to him in the shower when he chews me out from time to time for a recent stupidity. He asks me what I am going to do to fix or improve a situation and my most common answer is “I don’t know.”

Robert Anderson observed, “Death ends a life, but it does not end a relationship, which struggles on in the survivor’s mind toward some resolution which it may never find.” That’s certainly true in my experience. My father’s advice was especially on point in difficult situations, he could cut to the heart of issues and understood how to calculate downside risk and determine possible courses of action that would minimize the potential damage or worst case scenario. As I work with other attorneys I see this as a not uncommon strength of the profession. It’s certainly a perspective I fit naturally into.

Do I Need To Be A Supplicant In a Sales Call?

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Demos, Sales, skmurphy

Q: In your blog post “Four Presentation Traps to Avoid” (which drew on Mike Monteiro’s “13 Ways Designers Screw Up a Client Presentation” which I found overall to be very valuable) you highlighted his item 4  “Not setting the stage properly” which ends with “Start the meeting by thanking them for their time.”

I feel this puts you below the prospect or customer as a supplicant. Your time is just as valuable. It’s a minor thing but I suggest “I’m glad we could all find the time to meet today.” or something that puts you at least level with who you are presenting to in terms of the value of your time.

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