Month: August 2014

Nadia James’ Daily Checklist for Aligning Efforts With Goals

Nadia James recently posted a thoughtful article on “Why Entrepreneurs Must Stretch to Reach Their Visions of Success” that included the following daily checklist for aligning efforts with goals for your business. What vision did I have for my personal and work life when I decided to launch a business? (Think of this vision for yourself as your …

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Customer Interviews: Spend an Hour to Save a Minute

For customer interviews we have a rule of thumb that if an hour or research saves a minute early in the conversation it’s a good investment.  When you look at the list of questions you have prepared to learn about the prospect’s business and their needs, it’s easy to say to yourself, “I am really …

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Minimum Viable Product: Enthusiastically Proceed Skeptically

In a candid discussion about the challenges of managing your own expectations for a minimum viable product (MVP), Tristan Kromer observed, “It’s psychologically hard to enthusiastically proceed with skepticism.” And that is the challenge, we have to be enthusiastic about our product ideas to persevere to complete them and tell others about them, but we have to …

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Chris Yonge on 3D Printing: Past, Present, Future

The following is a guest post by Max Murphy, a mechanical engineering student who is interested in the implications of  3D printing or positive manufacturing for  mechanical design, its synergies with animation, and potential for fostering new opportunities for entrepreneurs. Max is an intern at DreamWorks and returns to his sophomore year in college this fall.  …

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Q: How Do I Calculate Business Model Parameters For A Novel Product

Q: How can I go about calculating  Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC),  Customer Lifetime Value (LTV), and other business model parameters for a technology that I will use to attack an entirely new market with no historical data? While there may be “new markets with no historical data” there are no new markets that cannot be benchmarked …

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Five Blogger Outreach Mistakes To Avoid

I got the following unsolicited E-mail this morning; I think the marketing term for this is “blogger outreach.” I have redacted the name of the sender (“YYY”) and the name of the firm/product (“XXX”) but “[press kit]” and “[review/checkout]” were included verbatim in the original. There was no footer with an unsubscribe option although phone …

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An Entrepreneur Is A Change Agent

I like this 2009 video by Grasshopper “Entrepreneurs Can Change The World” that portrays the entrepreneur as a change agent and celebrates the freedom and economic opportunities that America has traditionally offered immigrants. Here is the transcript from the Grasshopper site with some observations interspersed Do you remember when you were a kid and you …

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Few Against Many Requires Focus and Perseverance

We Happy Few The fewer men, the greater share of honour. […] We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; Henry V in Act IV Scene iii 18–67. “St. Crispin’s Day speech” A college kid in a dorm room starts assembling and selling person computers.. Two college dropouts–or recent graduates–start building hardware in a …

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David Binetti On The Mind of the Entrepreneur

In the mind of the entrepreneur the future is obvious and imminent. This  “reality distortion field” can be useful for making a better future possible, but it inclines the entrepreneur to minimize adoption risk–people will see the benefits of my product immediately and adopt it–and to be impatient. Customer development techniques allow you to identify expensive …

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