CategoryAdvice

19,001 Contacts

In 2011 I left my life as a tech entrepreneur and began my work as a teacher, mentor, and impact investor. That change meant building a new network of contacts, and I started that effort with just a few dozen curated connections from the first twenty years of my career. Ten years later, I’ve been keeping a CRM database of (almost) everyone I’ve met and today the 19,001st person was...

Not Juggling, but Flashing

People who work with me think I don’t sleep. They see me working on multiple projects and getting more done than they think reasonable in any given week, month, or year. They conclude I’m one of those people who never sleeps. In reality, I sleep at least as much as they do. Maybe more. I’m just a better juggler. Look at my LinkedIn profile and you’ll find at least four...

Renting the last telephone

What I glossed over in Selling the first telephone is the fact that AT&T didn’t actually sell any telephones. Until the breakup of the company in 1984, telephones were rented as part of the monthly service. Renting was a choice to seemingly maximize profits. The excuse AT&T gave the government disallowing customers from owning their own phones was that AT&T was protecting their...

RUT not MVP

I saw this on Twitter yesterday: These days I spend more time with entrepreneurs who have products in the market and paying customers, rather than the dreamers who are still struggling with their minimal viable productions and first sales. In either case, what I teach entrepreneurs is that they need to not only worry about that first initial design for customers, but every incremental design...

(A solution to) Zoom Fatigue

Spending too many hours per day on Zoom? Finding Zoom calls far more draining than phone-based conference calls and face-to-face meetings? Yes and yes for me, and I’ve been experimenting to try and figure out how to overcome Zoom Fatigue. Over the summer (and before the unbreathable smokey air showed up), I took pleasure in any meeting that was by phone rather than Zoom, as that let me get...

Am I Being Too Subtle?

Many months ago, someone suggested I read “Am I Being too Subtle?“, Sam Zell’s memoir. It’s a good read. Clearly written by Sam itself, as Sam is a go-getting entrepreneur, a true self-made billionaire, but one that didn’t simply have one success, but a whole series of successes in a multitude of industries. The biggest teaching moments of the book come at the end...

Gmail is:muted

I spend a lot of my day in Gmail “talking” to hundreds of people at a time. The web interface to Gmal is efficient and sufficient, but today I discovered a fixable flaw… MUTED. I noticed that in a little box next to the title of one important email.  It looked this this: Googling, it turns out you can find all your muted email by searching for “is:mute”.  I had two...

Advice from first time entrepreneurs

I’ve been an entrepreneur for almost 30 years. I’ve founded or co-founded a lot of companies in that time. I’ve taught and mentors hundreds of entrepreneurs in the last decade. I’m a lifelong learner and am constantly finding and reading more advice to make entrepreneurs’ lives easier, including my own. There is no shortage of startup advice. The trouble is, a lot of...

How to use 99designs

An oft-repeated advice to startups is to fret over your name and logo. It’s the first impression you make with customers, potential hires, investors, and everyone else. Over on Fledge’s blog is a video (below) showing off examples of how we’ve done this at Fledge. Some of the “after” logos were my designs, some by professional designers. For the Fledge logo, the logo...

One step ahead of the Pandemic

When the world gives you a pandemic, make lemonade??? Maybe, if what your city needs most of all is lemonade. Most likely it is something else. But what? Well… unless you live in China, the good news is that some country is ahead of yours in terms of dealing with the pandemic, and thus you can look to see how they dealt with their epidemic to better guess how your customers will deal with...

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