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Faster and faster?

The common meme you hear in the news is that the world is changing ever fast than before.  It’s not.  It took mankind less time to get from the first airplane flight to the first person on the moon than from the moon to today! Computers may be faster since then and the internet may have connected them all together, but that change pales to the 19th century when mechanization led...

Not enough time

To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.Leonard Bernstein

This is the core idea behind a business accelerator.  Invite a handful of entrepreneurs to focus on planning instead of doing, create some artificial deadlines, and they find more efficient and more likely paths to success.

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Forget accounting, focus on ledgers, lists, and summaries

Seven years into guiding new entrepreneurs through the thicket of issues between idea and success, I’ve found quite a few common pitfalls and areas where common knowledge is less common than I had thought. The biggest of these is accounting, or more specifically, how to keep track of sales, customers, and everything else. This isn’t at all difficult, it’s just not a topic taught...

Capitalism in America

Entrepreneurship comes in waves!? Snowed in, I finally finished Capitalism in America: A History, yet-another a book I stumbled upon at my local library. This one in the “new book” stack, which caught my eye both from the title as well as the co-author, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan. The book does live up to its title. It’s an easy-to-read economic...

Asking How and Why

I learned a great lesson last week from a fellow teacher at Start.coop, the world’s first accelerator for co-ops, and it was applicable to every startup, cooperative or not… To think about your idea more abstractly, ask the question, “Why?” To think about your idea in more detail, ask, “How?” — For example, all my work is centered around entrepreneurs...

Gemeinschaftsgefühl

Back in 2011 I left the world of tech and joined a world that has no universally agreed upon name.  Back in 2011 it was the world of “social enterprise” and “social entrepreneurs” and those terms are still commonly used, but these definitions vary from organization to organization.  These are terms that first arose in the nonprofit sector, and nearly all my work is with...

Why Africa?

Why is so much of my work with entrepreneurs in Africa? Two main reasons:

There are fewer quality business accelerators in Africa than in other regions of the world, and thus Fledge receive more quality applicants from Africa
The opportunities in Africa are enormous. It’s the last place on Earth with 1 billion people growing from poverty to middle class.

The most popular posts in 2018

The 18 most popular posts in 2018: Selling the first telephone A realistic view of the startup “hockey stick” The 140-character (Tweet) pitch Investing without “Exits” The unintuitive Hype Curve (of startup value) Your entrepreneurship skills The art of “cold email” messages SunCulture: drip-irrigation for Kenyan farmers Breaking the paradigm of startup investment Before the chasm… comes the...

Infinite games have different rules

We are taught how to play finite games.  Games where there are fixed rules, a fixed timeline, where the purpose is to win.  But life, sustainability, and the world we want is part of an infinite game: players that come and go, rules that change, where the objective is to keep playing the game. Simon Sinek explains this in the following interview, which is an overview of his new book, The Infinite...

Put yourself in the shoes of a startup investor

Put yourself in the shoes of a startup investor. Every day you review entrepreneurs, through a sort of funnel: very wide at the top and narrow down below, with only a few investments coming out the bottom each year. The average venture capital firm reviews approximately 1,200 companies in order to make 10 investments. At Village Capital, we make contact with nearly 10,000 entrepreneurs a year...

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