Archive for the ‘entrepreneurship’ Category

Resistant to Change

Posted on: February 16th, 2012 by Mike No Comments

Apple is cannibalizing its own tablet sales.

It can be hard to change when you’re experiencing partial success. You’re making $10k per month, but the jump to $20k may require substantial change to your processes, marketing, or product line. Some times, such a change also requires your revenue to initially decline before it grows back up to that next higher level.

These clients — those experiencing partial success — may be the hardest clients to help. They are afraid to kill what they worked so hard to achieve, which is completely natural.

However, bold improvements come from bold moves. Two things to realize:

  1. If you continue doing what you’ve always done, you’ll continue getting what you’ve always gotten.
  2. If you don’t try it, it is inevitable that your competitor will. If it works, all that you’ve worked for will slowly (or quickly) erode to her.

So that’s the choice. Do you want your competitor to try something new and cannibalize your sales… or do you want to do it to yourself but keep the reward?

Your daily quota

Posted on: April 30th, 2010 by Mike No Comments

What does your daily quota look like?

There are infinite tasks in your business. Which 4 areas are most important to grow your sales?

When you break it down like that, it becomes pretty clear what you must do each day. What are your 4?

If I was starting a web design firm today

Posted on: April 28th, 2010 by Mike No Comments

I would approach small, high-quality specialty shops with weak websites. Like this or this or this. And I’d offer some online craftsmanship that properly reflects their offline craftsmanship.

These shops deserve a high-class feel to their sites. That’s great for me showing my design prowess.

Their products cost a lot, so their customers have money. Maybe they have money for a website (that costs a lot)?

If generating referrals and a portfolio of interesting stuff is the goal, this is where I might start.

High and Low Risk Maneuvers

Posted on: February 5th, 2010 by Mike No Comments

I have a rule: if the toilet seat is up, the phone remains in my pocket. I adhere to this with dogmatic loyalty.

The upside of checking that email or having fun scrolling to nothing in particular is just too small, and the downside far too great. Sure, the likelihood of catastrophe is small, but what if.

Is seeing that email 10 seconds sooner worth dunking your device?

It’s a high risk maneuver whose possible ROI is minuscule. There are other examples, like throwing that pillow to your buddy when his glass hookah is lit (Just walk it over, friend.)… or dropping all your dimes on some mildly useful idea that just might work, hoping it becomes the next big consumer web app.

On the other hand, there are low risk moves with huge possible returns. Talking to that girl next to you. Building a web app in a defined, existing market that HARK! you could charge someone $5 every month to continue using.

These low risk high return moves get far less publicity. They aren’t sexy.

But I bet if you spent your life on them, you’d come out much more successful.

Choosing Your Next Target

Posted on: January 28th, 2010 by Mike No Comments

We believe in the simple, not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution. (Tim Cook @ Daring Fireball)

Emphasis mine. Apple doesn’t go into a market hoping to be “one of the players.” They go into it specifically to seriously kick everybody’s ass.

There is a mind shift when you choose to only select and tackle markets this way. You have to choose your targets more carefully and focus your energy and resources more intently.

I don’t think this is necessary for the entrepreneur just finding her feet (just get revenue!), but it certainly affects how she might think about expanding.

How much does an MBA and multi-million dollar consulting experience help you start a business?

Posted on: December 26th, 2009 by Mike No Comments

First he spent 2 years and $100,000+ getting a Stanford MBA.

Then he spent the next 2 years and $10,000 learning the real thing.

It is interesting to see what happens when one exits the classroom and consulting office and makes his way down to the trenches.

5 Biggest Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

Posted on: November 9th, 2009 by Mike No Comments

Through the lens of Silicon Valley:

(HT: VentureBeat)

RE: Back against the wall

Posted on: November 6th, 2009 by Mike No Comments

Scott recently described his experience with his back against the wall.

Looks like he’s been doing pretty well, too.

Is your back against the wall

Posted on: November 5th, 2009 by Mike 3 Comments

I’ve been feeling serious heat lately to make things happen.

(The kind where I can’t sleep until I’ve exhausted myself with effort, which, I think is how it should be when you’re trying to start several gigs at the same time (we’ll leave the wisdom of that “several” part for later).)

The urgency I feel is uncomfortable, yet, it pleases me. This is the exact state I’ve heard other entrepreneurs describe as the kick-start that began their ascent to a defined success.

Your back is against the wall.

It’s a feeling of your back against the wall. Somewhere, somehow, something draws your final straw.

It might be your $8.57 debit charge bouncing. Or the useless task you must do at work, because someone told you so again. Or a social injustice you witness and can’t bear to see once more. A problem that still isn’t solved.

Whatever it is, it puts a line in the sand over which you vow never to cross.

I think this is key to building the stamina a startup requires. If you haven’t drawn that line, then you’ll continue to back up, to avoid the necessary risk, to put off the needed sacrifice.

Once you hit that wall, it becomes the foundation of your defense from failure, lost potential. It’s the launch pad you use to finally catapult toward the vision floating around your head. And that’s when you begin leaping forward.

Is your back against the wall?

How much risk is too little risk?

Posted on: November 5th, 2009 by Mike No Comments

…we do have to work closer to the limits of our abilities [Joel]

Most of the time we talk about taking too much risk. But, what if you’re taking too little?