Nature, Technology and Magic

What seems natural, artificial, or supernatural is a function of familiarity. Nature is the background or context for innovation. The challenge is that we live in a world and culture formed by millennia of innovation so that some incredibly advanced technologies seem natural. The difference between technology and magic is [...]

3D Printing: The Next Best Thing But Not Yet

3D printing is overhyped and its implications are not well understood. It will be twenty plus years before there is a 3D printer in most homes due to limitations of the cost of the machine, material, obtaining software and learning how to use the software. Other fundamentally problem that prevent 3D [...]

When Exploring, Keep a Log

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. [...]

The Uncanny Valley of Email Automation

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 [...]

5 Ways To Start Customer Discovery Interviews

Customer discovery interviews are essential to testing key B2B product hypotheses and understanding your target customers’ needs. Broadly there are five ways that you can reach out to potential customers for a discovery conversation. All of them assume that you have a clear picture of who your target is and [...]

Entrepreneurial Mindset: Create Value For Others

Creating value for others is the core of the entrepreneurial mindset. It enables the exchange of value that fuels entrepreneur’s efforts to bring new ideas and products to market. Dan Sullivan: Entrepreneurs Make Two Decisions In “The Great Crossover,” Dan Sullivan offers the following insight on entrepreneurial mindset: Successful entrepreneurs differ [...]

Tristan Kromer on Testing Customer and Value Hypotheses

These are excerpts from  Episode 9 of Outlier on Air: Tristan Kromer, A Lean Approach to Business.  They are in the same sequence the took place in the interview but a number of stories and asides have been omitted to focus on what I felt were some extremely valuable insights from Tristan [...]

Entrepreneurs Blend Passion and Prudent Risk Taking

Successful entrepreneurs are fueled by a passion to change the world tempered by prudent risk taking. Many risks have to be managed on an ongoing basis cannot be eliminated once and for by careful planning or the achievement of a particular milestone: managing cash flow and the risk of a [...]

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 [...]