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Success by Ten

I love to uncover hidden assumptions and thus enjoy stories of the early days of some industry,  where all of what we take for granted today didn’t exist.  Modern portfolio theory, mutual funds, and retirement accounts are commonplace today, but were all invented and become popular between the 1960’s and 1990’s. Success by Ten is supposed to be advice for creating a $1...

The Growth Delusion

Fifty years ago, presidential candidate Bobby Kennedy shared these words: Even if we act to erase material poverty, there is another greater task, it is to confront the poverty of satisfaction – purpose and dignity – that afflicts us all.  Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things.  Our...

Visualizing (Global) Wealth Inequality

Why do I spend my free time trying to understand wealth inequality? 0.7% of the global population (a.k.a. 52 million people) own 50% of everything there is to own. The other 7.5 BILLION people split the other half. 8.5% of the global population (a.k.a. 600 million) own 85% of everything there is to own. The other 7 BILLION people split the other 15%. 70% of the global population (a.k.a. 5.2...

Too little butter or too much bread?

Is it too little butter, or too much bread? I’m a fan of Seth Godin. I’m a fan of Bilbo too. And I’m one of those people who can’t sit still, who isn’t satisfied working on just one project at a time, and as such, once or twice per year multiple projects all need attention at once, and I’m awash in bread with too little butter to go around. Unfortunately...

The World’s Population (in one chart)

These days it seems everyone knows China and India each have over 1 billion citizens, but ask an audience to name the third most populous country, and very few seem to know. Ask to list the top five, and its just the rare few who love the intersection of global geography, demographics, and statistics who can answer the question. I stumbled on the above chart, and its interactive website, and it...

The (True) Purpose of Business

Five years ago when this blog was new, I posted an Ignite talk about the true purpose of business. Two years ago, I reprised that topic to help break the myth that the (sole) purpose of business is to maximize shareholder value. My podcast is almost a year old, and last week I not only (re)explained the Ignite talk with more words, but then spent the week talking what Apple, Google, Facebook, and...

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.

Image from Flickr

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...

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