Category Archives for "All"

Elevating the Conversation

For 2 years of my life I directed the growth strategy of a $2.5B procurement firm. One of the many sales models we had was a pyramid. At the base of the pyramid was a commodity sale and at the top of the pyramid was trusted advisor. What does it truly mean to be a […]

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Being Shy is Not an Option

As I travel the world speaking to entrepreneurs, there is a key difference between those who succeed and those who don’t. The people who go out and speak to people, get their service out there faster and execute always win. Many people don’t even try and sabotage themselves before they are past an immature idea. Thankfully for […]

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Truly Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Earlier in July 2012, I gave a talk on Hiring, Firing and Cofounders in Chicago. This is something love, both because the people and food in Chicago are excellent working with startups is one of my favorite things to do. Perhaps this explains why I have been mentoring startups for years at this point. After […]

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The Client Experience

Clients. They are the single most important ingredient in the success of any business, and it is essential to keep them satisfied. Clients should be catered to; their every want and need should be met and more. This shouldn’t be something new to any professional business person, because after all, we all know that exceptional […]

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Ad Revenue on the Web? Don’t Count On It

Never has it been so easy for teams of entrepreneurs, or even individuals, to create a business from scratch. However, one of the biggest red flags I see with many web-based startups these days is relying on advertising for their main revenue streams – or even a large part of it. All too often, I […]

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How Startup Weekend Didn’t Change My Life

Startup Weekends (and similar conferences) are an interesting concept; but they are also an oxymoron. They are basically weekend-long, hands-on experiences where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable. These 54-hour events bring together developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts to share ideas, form teams, build products and […]

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The Shifting Landscape of Real Estate

There was a time not too long ago when the main demographic target for the real estate industry was the baby boomer generation.  This was the generation that valued the American dream of owning a home and looked to the expertise of a real estate agent and an ad in their daily newspaper to make […]

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Don’t be a Commodity

When an economist talks about a commodity, he or she generally means a good that possesses a few key qualities: Produced and/or sold by many different companies Uniform in quality between companies that produce and sell it. Basically, you can’t tell the difference between one company’s product and another’s. When something is viewed as a […]

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Consultative Selling of Services: Smell the Roses

Across the country, customers are being asked to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on floral arrangements. Most of the time, they’re only allowed to look through a book of laminated photos before they’re expected to part with a large sum of money. What kind of consultation service is that? The florist’s consultation book might […]

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Product Marketing

If it takes over a minute for you to explain a new product to me, then there’s something wrong with your product marketing strategy. Just recently, I spoke to someone who was launching a new product, but they couldn’t tell me anything about it. That’s a problem. You have to know what your product is, […]

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Technology in Business

When it comes to the reality of business technology, you have to remember one thing: your customer does not live in Silicon Valley. Despite new technologies, your  customer probably doesn’t know their Klout score or the measure of their online influence. They probably haven’t answered ten questions on Quora in the past week. They probably […]

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Can you Avoid Becoming a Commodity?

No company wants to be commoditized or treated like a commodity. When you or your business adds no value to your product, though, you’re instantly at risk of losing business, customers, and revenue. So is there some way to develop a commodity strategy to retain your customers so that you’re never considered a commodity in […]

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Employee Stock Options

When it comes to how to pay your employees, there are two options: salaries and bonuses or stock options and equity. I prefer the former, and I’ll tell you why. Salaries and bonuses are paid once. It’s a no-brainer, and it has no effect on the piece of the pie that is the company as […]

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Business Technology: Not Always The Solution

On a recent trip to Singapore, I spoke to 20 or so entrepreneurs. After the talk, someone brought up the idea of an online marketplace for people to meet. They continued going on and on about the idea, gaining steam as their thought process gained momentum. They asserted that a marketplace based on information technology […]

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