500 - 1
Tips 500 to 1 for Innovators and Entrepreneurs ...
500) The purpose of a business is to create customers. [Thank you, Peter Ferdinand Drucker]
499) Breakfast or Lunch or Dinner ... which one do we want to serve to our customers, and why?
498) Skilled innovators and entrepreneurs are able to organize and prioritize.
497) Common cause of venture death: disharmony with investors.
496) Marketing is not a battle of products, it's a battle of perceptions.
495) Take a little walk, have a little talk ... beats sitting behind a desk all day! A little change of scenery, a little exercise can stimulate some new thinking. [Thank you, Nelson Wang]
494) Common cause of venture death: an inferior business model.
493) Pitch: clearly, succinctly, and concisely describing a product or service or venture to others with a goal of enticing them to learn more about what we speak.
492) Find a better solution for the problem, better than our competition.
491) Slow down when we're going around a curve so we don't run off the road.
490) Dip our toes in the water before jumping in the ocean. (Q: How deep is the ocean? A: Depends where we're standing. -Jim)
489) Look the part to start.
488) To kill creativity, just say: "Well, maybe next week ..."
487) Subjective benefits ... the customer determines the priority.
486) She has the attention span of a gnat ... his is even less. So how are we going to sell our story to them in the time we have?
485) Resolve interpersonal conflicts as quickly as possible or they may escalate to the point where they are destructive. [Thank you, Andrew Corbett]
484) Assume the competition is smarter than us ... learn from them ... see what they do that is so smart ... then we can do it smarter and better than them.
483) Learn faster than our competition ... that may be the only way to stay ahead.
482) The more people that participate, the more accurate the survey.
481) No risk, no reward.
480) Selling isn't "closing", it's "opening". [Thank you, Michael Edward Gerber]
479) Successful teams are honest and direct with each other.
478) We have two ears and one mouth ... use them in the same proportion!
477) Us or Them ... who should we focus on today?
476) Corporate entrepreneur credo: Do any job needed to make the project work, regardless of job description. [Thank you, Gifford Pinchot III]
475) Tip for creating a good venture plan: Fairly and logically size up the competition.
474) Get out of the office every day. (Talk to customers, see what they see, feel what they feel. -Jim)
473) When memories exceed dreams, the end is near ... the hallmark of a truly healthy organization is the willingness to abandon what made it successful and start fresh. [Thank you, Michael Martin Hammer]
472) Empower our team ... let's go!
471) Business Plan: a formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons they are believed attainable, the proposal for reaching those goals, and information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals.
470) We will be taxed ... in more ways than one!
469) Rise above the little things.
468) Don't just tell, show ... demonstrate to prospective customers how our products work!
467) Don't wait for others to do it ... it's up to us to get it done.
466) Much of what ultimately becomes an innovative product, service, or process is due to the hard work that goes into working out glitches and false starts along the way ... innovation takes discipline, a fact many folks overlook when they consider innovation as representing only the next "big idea". [Thank you, Dee McCrorey]
465) The less we speak, the more we hear. [Thank you, Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn]
464) Types of barriers to competition: investment requirements of a venture; well-established brand; market saturation; economies of scale; customer loyalty; low-ball pricing; intellectual property; government regulation.
463) No such thing as a freebie!
462) When there is less to see, our customer looks more carefully. [Thank you, Anne Marie Russell]
461) I believe there are numerous potential trim-tabbers in every organization who can lead and spread their influence no matter what position they hold ... they can move themselves and their team or department in such a way that it positively affects the entire organization. . [Thank you, Stephen Richards Covey]
460) Be personal, direct, and natural.
459) The entrepreneurial process is not linear. [Thank you, Kathleen R Allen]
458) We're no good dead ... we need to be healthy if we're going to continue to serve our customers in new and better ways! [Thank you, Thomas R Brown]
457) Whatever is worth doing is worth doing well.
456) Successful entrepreneurs have an ability to manage ongoing business operations. [Thank you, Lynda McDonald Applegate] (... but if they don't, they find someone who does! -Jim)
455) Give credit when and where it's due.
454) Entrepreneurship puts innovation to work.
453) Give or Grovel ... what should we focus on today?
452) How to change our financial bottom line: change our pricing policies. How do our prices compare to our competition? Are they reasonable and fair?
451) Creativity is a critical skill for innovators and entrepreneurs. [Thank you, P G Greene]
450) Customers rely on our dependability, and depend on our reliability.
449) Product Development Triangle: the relationship between 1] the Customer Needs, Wants, Desires; 2] the Fit, Form, Functions, Features, and Fell of our product; and 3] our Product Value Goals.
448) We are prisoners of our own experience.
447) Skilled innovators and entrepreneurs have wide and varied interests.
446) Entertain our fears, get them totally blitzed ... then cut off their heads with a sharp knife and get on with life.
445) A potential business model: Provide labor resources to other business ventures.
444) Every industry has a rock star or two ... how can that be us?
443) B2B: abbreviation for a Business-to-Business relationship.
442) Oh, the creatures of habit ... same way every day ... but, not all habits are bad: consciously build good habits so we continue to do them without a second thought.
441) Key question for our venture: Do we know what to put in our business plan, and why?
440) Resources: a stock or supply of money, materials, facilities, staff, time, and other assets that can be drawn on by an organization in order to function effectively.
439) Our time will come ... we need to be ready when it does.
438) Replace an empty mind with an open one.
437) The harder it is to do something, the better we'll feel after doing it. [Thank you, Marguerite de Angeli]
436) Less than one-tenth of one percent of all start-ups receive VC money, accounting for less than 2 percent of all small business financing.
435) Nothing is so amusingly arrogant as someone who has just discovered an old idea but thinks it is new and their own. [Thank you, Sidney J Harris]
434) Don't hope, pray, or wish for success ... we've got to get out there and make it happen.
433) Borrowing money often costs too much ... do we really need it? ... will we use it wisely?
432) it's time to purge our negative thoughts and emotions ... time to focus on the positive things in our lives so that we will continue to attract positive energies.
431) Support, empower, and reward employees. [Thank you, Walt Disney]
430) Promote our venture with news releases.
429) Public Relations: the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person.
428) Common cause of venture death: poor products and/or services.
427) Carefully craft our story ... make sure our customers "get it".
426) The number one factor that contributed to our success at Google is luck ... we followed our hearts, and worked on search because it was useful and an interesting problem. [Thank you, Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin]
425) Appreciate the questions as much as the answers. [Thank you, University of Wisconsin - Parkside colleagues]
424) An innovation is [simply] something new and better.
423) Entrepreneurs have a knack for turning the commonplace into the unique and unexpected. [Thank you, D G Mitton]
422) Invest in solid technology ... leave the flim-flam to our competition.
421) Time waits for no one ... time wasted cannot be recovered.
420) Half of the prospects that make contact with us are going to buy, if not from us from someone else ... if we can sell half the contacts we get, we're doing great ... if we only sell one in ten, ninety percent of our potential customers went somewhere else! [Thank you, Michael Rymsza]
419) Skilled innovators and entrepreneurs are intelligent and put their smarts to work.
418) Necessity is the mother of innovation.
417) Continuously improve and update our products.
416) Successful teams are doers, movers, and shakers.
415) We have half the deed done when we have made a beginning. [Thank you, Quintus Horatius Flaccus]
414) Never throw away an idea. [Thank you, 3M]
413) Capitalization Table: a capitalization table (Cap Table) lists who owns what in a startup ... it shows how the option pool shuffle and the seed debt lower the Series A share price.
412) Insight and knowledge produce enlightenment.
411) Types of customer segments: mass market, niche market, segmented market, diversified market, multi-sided market.
410) Key question: Is the name of our venture, business, or product limiting? (Apple Computer worked fine in the beginning, but eventually they became just Apple as the company scaled and scoped. -Jim)
409) Promote our venture with telemarketing?
408) Keep an eye on what we want to happen.
407) It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken the joy of creative expression and knowledge in the student. [Thank you, Albert Einstein]
406) Buy quality ... sell value.
405) Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to carry on with dignity in spite of it. [Thank you, Scott Turow]
404) People always pay too much attention to things that are easy to quantify ... money vs happiness, blood pressure vs fitness, grades vs competency.
403) A good business plan is plausible throughout. [Thank you, BottleKnows]
402) Push in just one direction, not two. [Thank you, Rita Levi-Montalcini]
401) Any jackass can kick a barn door down, but it takes a skilled carpenter to build one. [Thank you, Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn]
400) Making a great presentation: Use color carefully. [Thank you, Ian McKenzie]
399) Do our best ... why do less?
398) To create a new product, apply SCAMPER to an old one ... SCAMPER: Substitute; Combine; Adapt; Modify, minimize, magnify; Put to another use; Eliminate, elaborate; Rearrange, reverse. [Thank you, Bob Eberle]
397) Every millisecond counts. [Thank you, Sue Factor]
396) Relax ... don't let our emotions get in the way of progress.
395) Innovators and entrepreneurs are agents of change.
394) Dare to take calculated risks in order to bring innovative ideas to fruition. [Thank you, Walt Disney]
393) Skilled innovators and entrepreneurs are able to think metaphorically.
392) Possible but not probable, possible but not plausible. What's it going to take to make it happen?
391) The person who says they are willing to meet us halfway is usually a poor judge of distance. [Thank you, Laurence J Peter]
390) Skilled innovators and entrepreneurs are alert to gaps in their knowledge and expertise.
389) Obstacles are what we see when we take our eyes off our goals.
388) Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots ... so far, the Universe is winning. [Thank you, Rick Cook]
387) I didn't fail, I just found 1,000 ways that don't work. [Thank you, Thomas A Edison]
386) When in over our heads, grab a life preserver and be careful not to swallow.
385) Be stubborn about our vision but flexible with our plan. [Thank you, John C Maxwell]
384) All creative endeavor begins with just fooling around, not doing much of anything, just noodling and letting the different parts of our mind talk to each other ... science and art and invention spring forth when we do the unexpected and so coax our brains into letting some imaginative combinations of ideas and concepts jangle together. [Thank you, Cory Doctorow]
383) Software: the programs and other operating information used by a computer ... sometimes, software is used to describe the variable content of something. For example, a music player needs "software" (the music) to be of any value to the user.
382) In God we trust, all others bring data!
381) Imagination rules the world.
380) Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions ... small people always do that, but the really great make us feel that we can become great, too. [Thank you, Samuel Clemens]
379) Under-promise, over-deliver.
378) Passion: an intense desire or enthusiasm for something.
377) Suppose we promote our venture with grocery store cart signs?
376) Home Run or Touchdown ... what game are we playing today?
375) Chance favors the prepared. [Thank you, Louis Pasteur]
374) Get the details right ... the devil is in there, get him out!
373) Probability: the likelihood of something happening ... rarely is something 100% certain to happen or 0% certain not to happen ... what are the real odds we're dealing with?
372) Stage: a particular point in a process.
371) There are tricks to every trade.
370) Deploy: bring into effective action.
369) If it weren't for the last minute, a lot of things wouldn't get done. [Thank you, Michael Traylor]
368) Everyone is a fool for at least five minutes every day ... wisdom comes from not exceeding the limit! [Thank you, Elbert Hubbard]
367) An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field. [Thank you, Niels Bohr]
366) Price is a strategy, be it high or be it low or be it right in-between.
365.25) Sixty seconds per minute, sixty minutes per hour, twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week, 365.25 days per year ... that's all we got, and that's all we get.
364) People act differently in a crowd than when they are alone ... group-think usually rules.
363) Be guided by our venture vision and mission statements ... that's what they're there for.
362) The most important person in the room is the one who knows what to do next. [Thank you, James Webb]
361) It is difficult to believe that someone can differ from us and be right. [Thank you, Bob Swelgin]
360) We don’t know until we try.
359) Distance often allows us to see things more clearly than when we're standing right in the middle.
358) The only thing we know for certain about the future is that it’s going to be different. [Thank you, Peter F Drucker]
357) Different strokes for different folks ... tailor our marketing messages to market segment niches.
356) List 100 potential customers for the products and services we offer in our venture ... if we can't, why not?
355) When things go wrong, don't go with them. [Thank you, Elvis Presley]
354) Encourage purposeful evolution. [Thank you, S A Buckler]
353) With grace, ambidexterity, fitness, and poise ... how to stand in front of an audience.
352) Imagination caps intelligence.
351) If we think we're paying too little for our tattoos, there’s probably a reason and it's probably not good.
350) Board of Directors: a group of persons chosen to govern the affairs of a corporation or organization.
349) Some 3 million new business-oriented ventures are launched each year in the US ... many more worldwide, of course!
348) Me or Thee ... what should we focus on today?
347) Low investment, low return ... the only low investment with a (potentially) high return is a lottery ticket, but the risks are (truly) insurmountable!
346) No risk, no reward. Some risk, some reward? Balance the two.
345) Skilled innovators and entrepreneurs are able to cope with novelty.
344) Old habits die hard. (Not all old habits are bad! Don't let the good ones die! -JIm)
343) Have a customer champion inside our venture ... that person looks at everything we do from a customer perspective so we can nip the bad in the bud.
342) We don't learn anything the second time we're kicked by a mule.
341) When writing a business plan, avoid gimmicks ... serious investors want facts, not hype ... they may eat the chocolate rose that accompanies the business plan for our new candy shop, but it won't make them any more interested in investing in the venture. [Thank you, Kaye Vivian]
340) Excellence is our goal, understanding is our foundation. [Thank you, Lew Sorensen]
339) TRIM: Team, Resources, Idea, Market ... a basic outline for a business venture.
338) Decide whether we're having a creative meeting to generate ideas, or an analytical meeting to make decisions ... don't try to do both in the same meeting or we'll all go crazy!
337) Develop multiple paths to success, but be careful about trying to walk down all of them all at once!
336) Seeking to please others is perilous ... but that is what we must do..
335) Brands require constant attention ... staying fresh and relevant in the marketplace takes work! [Thank you, Leslie Bromberg]
334) We are responsible for our own happiness.
333) Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. [Thank you, Christopher Lasch]
332) Innovation is an art and a science ... the art of seeing things that aren't there, the science of creating them.
331) Nothing is so contagious as an example. [Thank you, François de La Rochefoucauld]
330) Build products that are already in demand. That's why it's good to take a look at the competition and see what is (and isn't) working for them. Can we do what they do only much better?
329) Skilled innovators and entrepreneurs have good communication skills.
328) Eighty percent of the work is done by twenty percent of the staff.
327) Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction. [Thank you, John C Crosby via Carol Shaughnessy-Quinn]
326) Outsource when possible ... focus on our core competencies.
325) Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. [Thank you, John Wooden]
324) Our brand is our promise to our customers that they will have a consistent experience ... preferably a great experience!
323) There are no patent police ... we're on our own to go after suspected infringement.
322) Mind our image online ... once it's on the internet, it's almost impossible to retract or retread.
321) A good business plan provides a clear explanation of what the investor will get for their investment. [Thank you, Arizona State University Colleagues]
320) To kill creativity, just say: "It's not our job ..."
319) Thinking is the hardest work of all, and that’s why so few of us do it. [Thank you, Henry Ford]
318) The C's of Motivation for Innovators and Entrepreneurs: Cash ... the potential to make more money; Celebrity ... the potential to look good in the eyes of others; Challenge ... the potential to put abilities to work in new ways; Change ... the potential to make a difference in the world; Competitive Advantage ... deliver a superior value proposition; Control ... the potential to lead the course of events; Creativity ... the potential to develop new ideas and concepts; Customers ... the potential to serve others in new and better ways
317) Can we readily answer this question: How will our venture deserve and earn a profit?
316) Use social media to get the word out about our venture.
315) Skilled innovators and entrepreneurs are able to use wide categories and images to see things through.
314) Each mind has its own method. [Thank you, Oleh Fostiak]
313) Be brief.
312) If people listened to themselves more often, they'd talk less.
311) Many hands make light work ... teamwork is terrific!
310) Opportunity knocks, but sometimes not very hard or loud. Pay attention!
309) Find problems, fix them.
308) Change is inevitable ... it will happen again ... always has, always will.
307) Pursue opportunities with discipline, not emotion. [Thank you, Cooper Kowalski]
306) Think things through, then follow through. [Thank you, Edward Vernon Rickenbacker]
305) Key question for our venture: What are our unit economics? What does it cost to make one?
304) First, create a PR campaign for our new product concept ... if after creating the campaign, the product concept still looks good, do it!
303) Let's not just be credible, let's be incredible (and certainly never uncredible)!
302) Skilled innovators and entrepreneurs are aware of the world around them, and the changes taking place every day.
301) The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit. [Thank you, Milton Friedman]
300) Learn every step of the way.
299) Love to learn, learn to live, live to love, and so forth.
298) Common bootstrapping strategy: be frugal.
297) Mental Error: "We'll capture 50% of the market in no time at all!" ... If our market size is two and one of them is mom, maybe. But if we're a normal venture, it's going to take some time. Further, a 50% market share is phenomenal for most any business!
296) Treat our customers like guests. [Thank you, Walt Disney]
295) Lean and mean, Gene! Keep our profit-generating machine clean! [Thank you, Gene E Tobey]
294) If we're going through hell, keep going. [Thank you, Winston Churchill]
293) Take hands out of pockets when making a presentation.
292) Tomorrow is another day. (Thank you, Scarlett O'Hara)
291) Skill or Luck ... what should we focus on today?
290) Anything worth having is worth working for.
289) Can we promote our venture, products, and services with educational seminars?
288) The window of opportunity won't stay open forever.
287) A leopard cannot change its spots without a can of spray paint.
286) Use beta tests to gather primary research data.
285) Key question for our venture: What traction has our venture generated? How can this traction be accelerated? What has been the principal reasons for this traction?
284) Skilled innovators and entrepreneurs are willing to question norms and assumptions. Just because it's been done that way doesn't mean it has to be done that way.
283) Strength comes from commitment ... make commitment one of our strengths.
282) Be impeccable with our words.
281) There are always obstacles, potholes, and roadblocks. Get over them.
280) Sometimes apparent failures lead to great successes ... the glue didn't stick very well, but worked great on the back of the 3M Post-it Note. [Thank you, Spencer Silver and Art Fry]
279) Recognize the difference between the big and small.
278) Move our venture forward, from dream to concept to reality.
277) Nothing is ever lost by courtesy ... it is the cheapest of pleasures, costs nothing, and conveys much. [Thank you, Erastus Wiman]
276) Lose a small fish to catch a big one. [Or, catch a bunch of small ones instead? -Jim]
275) Light travels faster than sound ... this is why some people appear bright until we hear them speak!
274) Learn from mistakes, ours and others.
273) People will forget what we said, people will forget what we did, but people will never forget how we made them feel. [Thank you, Maya Angelou]
272) Key question for our venture: Is our name pleasant to see, say, hear?
271) The best judge of an argument is time. [Thank you, Barbara Ann Kipfer]
270) Improvement requires change.
269) The key to failure is trying to please everyone.
268) Always have a margin of safety in case something goes wrong, and it will! [Thank you, Warren Buffett]
267) In truth lies beauty.
266) If it was easy to succeed, everyone would do it.
265) Bury “can't” and we'll find “can”.
264) Key question for our venture: What new milestones will new funding allow us to achieve?
263) Application: putting something into operation.
262) The prime purpose of eloquence is to keep our customers listening to us instead of our competition. [Thank you, Louis Vermeil]
261) Act constructively. [Thank you, Warren Donian]
260) Beware of the Ides of March ... it can be a killer day ... depending on our venture, some days are just naturally good for business, others not ... are we ready for either or both?
259) Success is 99 percent failure. [Thank you, Soichiro Honda]
258) Our biggest competition is the status-quo ... customers simply don't like a change.
257) Summertime and the living is easy ... wintertime and we've got to keep the fire going.
256) Don't assume it will get done, do it.
255) Buy low and sell high ... the basics of every good business model ... the value from the business lies in that "and" between "buy low" and "sell high".
254) The number of members on the board of directors should be odd ... no tie votes. [The members of the board could be odd, too, but that's another story. -Jim]
253) We gotta polish it if we want it to shine! [Thank you, Len Goodman]
252) How can we answer this question: How will this venture grow, and over what time period?
251) There is no time like the present. [Thank you, Tyler Johanson]
250) Common bootstrapping strategy: don't give up the day job!
249) Research: the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.
248) Move first, move fast ... if we're not first, we must be better ... even if we are first, we need to remember that it won’t last ... we still need to be better.
247) Never has anything great been achieved without danger. [Thank you, Niccolo Machiavelli]
246) We cannot resist an idea whose time has come. [Thank you, Victor Hugo]
245) Viral marketing is the ability to create entertaining or informative messages that are passed along in an exponential fashion, often electronically or by e-mail. [Thank you, Andrew Corbett]
244) Let's have some fun until the sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard, and then some. [Thank you, Sheryl Crow]
243) Perhaps no one's lives depend on what we do ... but their livelihood might, so it's important that we do a good job. [Thank you, Ian Lurie]
242) Handle numbers consistently and coherently ... it's easier to understand $73 million than $73000000 or even $73,000,000.
241) Copy successful business models. What worked, do. What didn't, don't.
240) A new venture may be feasible if it's possible to create a sustainable solution.
239) Our attitude changes our reality.
238) Believing is seeing. [Thank you, Naomi Klein]
237) Champions are made from something they have deep inside them ... a desire, a dream, a vision. [Thank you, Muhammad Ali]
236) Can we promote our venture with sponsorship of charitable events?
235) The source is often more important than the story.
234) Common Mistake: underestimating the time to make a sale.
233) Job or Career ... what should we focus on today?
232) We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are. [Thank you, Max de Pree]
231) Innovation is essential for achieving competitive advantage in today's high pressure business environment ... too few companies have successfully integrated systematic innovation into their operating methods and practices ... it is often too easy to become internally focused, losing site of key sources for inspiration and customer needs in changing marketplaces thus stifling creativity and long-term growth. [Thank you, MIT]
230) Eighty percent of success is showing up. [Thank you, Woody Allen]
229) Make sure everything is polished ... shiny, sparkling, looking like new, and ready to make a great impression on our customers!
228) There’s always a reason to smile! [Thank you, Julie Olden]
227) Key question for our venture: Is our name itself confusing?
226) First listen, then ask questions: repeat six times before talking.
225) Life is one experiment after another ... some work, some don't.
224) A potential business model: Transportation of people or products. [Thank you, Uber and Lyft]
223) Anyone can say they are an investor ... doesn't mean they really are!
222) Iterative, not linear, that entrepreneurial process.
221B) It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. [Thank you, Sherlock Holmes]
221) Version 1.0 (one point oh) is the first out-the-door product that we're selling to any and all customers. It comes after our alpha and beta versions. Keep in mind it wasn't until version 3.2 that Microsoft Windows really took off.
220) Don't act like a dumb idiot ... at least not in public. In private, we can do what we want. [Thank you, J Browning]
219) There is no right way to do wrong.
218) Without customers, we don't have a business ... we have but a hobby! [Thank you, Don Peppers]
217) Offer direction instead of issuing orders.
216) There’s no crying in baseball ... but there is a lot of crying in entrepreneurship ... it's how we see through the tears that will make us great. [Thank you, Jimmy Dugan]
215) Imagination or Intuition ... what should we focus on today?
214) Google was not the first search engine ... since they weren't the first mover, they had to be better!
213) Successful innovators and entrepreneurs have tenacity and determination. [Thank you, Kevin Akat]
212) Fear kills growth. [Thank you, Gary Vee]
211) One way to get high blood pressure is to go mountain climbing over molehills. [Thank you, Earl Wilson]
210) Write our own ending. (Now, let's make it happen. -Jim)
209) Look at the bright side of things, even if we have to use a candle for illumination.
208) There is a solution to every problem ... the difficulty is finding it. [Thank you, Ewie Nef]
207) Make others feel good, and we will feel good, too.
206) Should and can we sell our products wholesale?
205) Imagination is a good servant but a bad master.
204) To make a great presentation, make pictures and diagrams easy to see. [Thank you, Ian McKenzie]
203) Promote our venture with tchotchkes, baubles, and beads?
202) The key to good research is to keep it simple ... focus on measuring one or two variables at a time to keep things manageable. [Thank you, Jenn Kim]
201) When we have a list of things that need to be prioritized, put the items in order by picking one or the other, then move down the list until all are sorted.
200) Most every problem has multiple solutions.
199) COGS: abbreviation for Cost of Good Sold, the cost of the components and labor required to produce a product.
198) Design for the world. [Thank you, Sue Factor]
197) Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak ... courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. [Thank you, Winston Churchill]
196) Needs, wants, desires ... the categories of problems our customers have, ranging from painful needs to pleasurable desires.
195) Don't make our employees come in on days they're normally not scheduled to work or call them while they're on vacation ... give 'em a break ... they deserve it.
194) Refine roles, risks, and rewards.
193) Successful teams respect each other. [Thank you, David Terrell]
192) Evolution of a Business Venture ... i] Opportunity: there is a gap in market, there is new technology; maybe, just maybe, we can do something here ... ii] Idea: clear problems, viable solutions; hmmm, there is something here ... iii] Concept: viable strategies for earning a profit solving customer problems better than the competition ... iv] Venture: viable innovation concept (product, service, process, position, method); team (innovator, entrepreneur, money manager); resources (people, places, things, time, money) ... v] Organization: team, roles, clear strategies ... vi] Company: legal formation, pre-sales, unstable financials (raising funds) ... vii] Business: low-hanging fruit, sales, customers, stable, positive EBITDA, viable business model ... viii] Enterprise: scale, scope, markets, growth, significant EBITDA, defined task and assignments, employees ... ix] Institution: significant market share, significant industry position, re-invention, continual innovation ... x] Tombstone: the cows have run out of milk
191) The company of tomorrow will consist of a CEO with a cell phone, everything else is sub-contracted. [Thank you, Tom Peters] (Tom said this about 1985. -Jim)
190) Key question for our venture: What is the critical mass for our venture? ... How much money, how many people, what resources, which customers do we absolutely need to make it a go?
189) Begin with the end in mind. [Thank you, Stephen R Covey]
188) The worse the news, the more effort should go into communicating it. [Thank you, Andy Grove]
187) Banish the word "cannot" from our vocabulary.
186) Big oceans are full of big sharks, little lakes and ponds, not so much ... occasionally, there might be a Loch Ness Monster-ish critter in a little lake or pond, but that could actually be fun! Let us focus on markets where we're not so likely to get a bite on our butt from a big shark!
185) Everybody is somebody we can learn from.
184) When we come to the end of our rope, tie a knot and hang on.
183) Ask many questions ... gather many answers before making a final decision.
182) The future changes everything and everyone.
181) To kill creativity, just say: "Their ideas don't count ..."
180) Promote our venture through networking with our prospective customers.
179) An old dog can still learn new tricks. [Thank you, John Sidney McCain III] (It just might take a little patience in training. -Jim)
178) Successful entrepreneurs do not wait until "the Muse kisses them" and gives them a "bright idea" ... they go to work ... they do not look for the "biggie," the innovation that will "revolutionize the industry," create a "billion-dollar business", or "make one rich overnight." ... those who start out with the idea that they'll make it big in a hurry can be guaranteed failure. [Thank you, Peter F Drucker]
177) Critical Success Factor: the elements necessary for an innovation or entrepreneurial venture to reach fruition. (Also, see: Tip #1)
176) Ask: Are the advice givers giving us good advice?
175) Key question for our venture: What have we learned from our competitors' mistakes?
174) If we can't win the game, kick over the table. [Thank you, Nancy Diane Hughes]
173) Planning is what we do before we do something so when we do it, it’s not all mixed up. [Thank you, Winnie the Pooh]
172) To kill creativity, just say: "That's been done before ..."
171) The traditional entrepreneurship process ... i] Think of an idea ... ii] Do market research ... iii] Put together some financial projections ... iv] Put a team together ... v] Write business plan ... vi] Find funding ... vii] Build a prototype and test it with prospective customers ... viii] Bring the product and/or service to market ... ix] Manage the business ... x] Find an exit.
170) Buy in bulk ... but only if we're really going to use it all ... nice if it's not perishable, too.
169) Beat the competition with our better customer service. (If we offer essentially the same product as our competition, customers will buy from whomever makes their buy and try experience easier. We won't win them all, but let us try to win the most. -Jim)
168) Are we open 24/7?
167) Common cause of venture death: corruption ... someone on the team is taking something out the back door.
166) We need a buffer in the bank ... a little extra cash to hold us over on rainy days, weeks, months!
165) See everything as if it were for the first time.
164) Real or Imaginary ... what should we focus on today?
163) Get in low, get out high.
162) The ultimate inspiration is a deadline. [Thank you, Nolan Bushnell]
161) Branding mistake: lack of passion. [Thank you, Jarad Hull]
160) Skilled innovators and entrepreneurs have stamina.
159) One person’s leisure is another person’s work.
158) Follow the advice we've been giving others.
157) Take responsibility, good or bad ... lavish credit on others when things go well, take it on the chin when they do not.
156) The easiest thing to achieve is a misunderstanding.
155) Tardiness can rob us of opportunity. [Thank you, Niccolo Machiavelli]
154) Ensure our message has important details and facts, but that nothing deters the focus of our message.
153) Key question for our venture: Do our marketing messages make sense? ... Check to see that all of our points are relevant and that everything is consistent with the tone and flow of our text.
152) Don't get caught up in the latest and greatest fads ... they, too, shall pass.
151) People forget how fast we did a job, but they remember how well we did it ... good quality is benefit number one. [Thank you, Howard Newton]
150) What one sees depends on where one sits. [Thank you, James R Schlesinger]
149) Praise competitors ... learn from them, too ... there are times when we can collaborate or cooperate with them to their advantage and to ours! [Thank you, George Matthew Adams]
148) Haste makes waste.
147) The person with a new idea is often considered a quack ... until the idea succeeds. [Thank you, John Goulding]
146) If they are selling dogs at a flea market, they are not reputable breeders. [Thank you, Sarah Mister]
145) Crucial Questions (the CQ's): Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? ... (The six most powerful questions in the world!). [Thank you, Northwestern University, Journalism 101]
144) Sometimes we gotta walk before we've even learned to crawl.
143) A problem is an opportunity in disguise. [Thank you, Pouria Valley]
142) Give ourselves an hour instead of the whole day ... get it done, now.
141) Wise people sometimes change their minds, but fools never will.
140) Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Thank you, Albert Einstein]
139) Experienced mentors can help innovators and entrepreneurs effectively and efficiently move their venture concept ahead ... their expertise can help the team avoid many of the rabbit holes and booby traps that can hinder success. [Thank you, University of New Mexico colleagues]
138) When work is a pleasure, life is a joy ... when work is a duty, life is slavery! [Thank you, Maxim Gorky]
137) Make our writing active and personal. [Thank you, Kenneth Roman]
136) Spend some time protecting the earth ... we've only got but one to go around. (Actually, Planet Earth is likely to survive most anything we throw at her ... we, however, may not survive the consequences.)
135) IPO: abbreviation for Initial Public Offering.
134) End User: the ultimate consumer of our products and services ... the buyer might not be the end-user, like dad buying diapers for the baby.
133) Embrace change, or brace for the consequences.
132) ASP: abbreviation for Average Selling Price.
131) The first rule of intelligent tinkering: save all the pieces. [Thank you, Aldo Leopold]
130) One fantasy can transform one million realities. [Thank you, Barbara Ann Kipfer]
129) We cannot undo anything that we did in the past ... all we can do is learn from it, repeat the good and avoid the bad.
128) Good leadership matters we're told, when plans to succeed we unfold, but if people are crossed and integrity's lost, then passion for work will grow cold! [Thank you, John Michael Beck Taylor]
127) Beware tagalongs ... some folks are just there to bask in our glory without breaking a sweat to help get us there in the first place.
126) Don't procrastinate (starting tomorrow, of course!).
125) Be willing to shift ... iterate, pivot, and start all over again.
124) It could be a good opportunity if the upside potential is significant and timely.
123) Put our money where our need is. [Thank you, Madeline E Cohen]
122) Managers do things right ... leaders do the right things. [Thank you, Daniel McCullum]
121) It takes less time to do a thing right than to explain why we did it wrong. [Thank you, H W Longfellow]
120) Proofread, then proofread again ... and again ... and again and again ... and again. (Have someone else proofread for you, too! This particular tip had a spelling error published for almost 6 months before a reader finally noticed and reported it! Sheesh! And how did I miss it in the first place?! -Jim)
119) Rule of Thumb: a commonly accepted truth-ism or way of doing something. A rule of thumb may or may not be right, but it is probably a good place to start.
118) It’s hard to detect good luck ... it looks so much like something we've earned! [Thank you, Fred Clark]
117) We have to know the ropes in order to pull the strings.
116) Don't look back ... something might be gaining on us! [Thank you, Satchel Paige]
115) Time: the indefinite continued progress of existence with events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.
114) Can we promote our venture with placards and paste-up signs?
113) Make a "preliminary" marketing brochure for a new product or service ... use that brochure to "test market" before the product or service is actually launched for real ... apply the feedback we receive from prospective customers from showing them the brochure.
112) There is a great difference between knowing and understanding ... we can know a lot about something but not really understand it. [Thank you, Charles F Kettering]
111) If we want to do something new, we've got to do something different!
110) Intellectual Property: something that is the result of creativity, such as a manuscript or a product design, to which one has rights and for which one may apply for a patent, copyright, or trademark.
109) We may be blessed with brilliant brains, but they're not much good unless we use them ... not just our own grey matter, but that of our colleagues as well.
108) Famous: being known because of notable achievements ... Infamous: being known because of notable failures.
107) We can't cut costs without making a better quality product ... that seems counter-intuitive, but it's not. [Thank you, W Edwards Deming]
106) Yada, yada, yada! [Thank you, Jerry Seinfeld] (There are always more details than what we first may think. -Jim)
105) How was our company’s intellectual property developed? Who owns the rights?
104) Opportunity evaluation checklist: Is it timely, solvable, doable, important, potentially profitable, have favorable regulatory and industry context, and can be positioned favorably in the market relative to the competition?
103) Entrepreneurship is a methodology, a set of practices, continuous learning, iteration and improvements, a focus on action, and collaboration. [Thank you, Candida G Brush]
102) Should we promote our venture with branded drinking mugs?
101) How can we answer these questions: What sets us apart from all our competition? How are we different? How are we better? How are we going to stay better?
100) Keep our team informed. (The bad news as well as the good. -Jim)
99) Innovators often have good memories ... what worked before, and what didn't.
98) Build a loyal fan base by being better than everyone else ... customers, suppliers, employees, the competitors. [Thank you, Kyle Joubert]
97) Cash flow: the total amount of money being transferred into and out of a business, especially as affecting liquidity.
96) Send handwritten notes ... saying "thank you" is one of the nicest things you can do for someone.
95) Heroes take risks ... often without much thought.
94) Create something.
93) Clearly assess our strengths and weaknesses and opportunities and threats.
92) Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
91) Spoken words can’t be recalled. (Emails and tweets are even worse ... they may live in the clouds forever! -Jim)
90) See what new patents are being issued to other companies in our industry ... are they relevant to what we are doing?
89) Allow our colleagues to speak their minds and offer differing opinions. [Thank you, Scott Isaksen]
88) Love and kisses! [Thank you, American Radio Relay League]
87) A good business plan contains reasonable financial objectives with key assumptions explained and justified. [Thank you, Mike Arnold]
86) Conceit is the finest armor anyone can wear. [Thank you, Jerome K Jerome]
85) Lean Canvas: a version of the Business Model Canvas that focuses on addressing broad customer problems and low-development-cost solutions and delivering them to select customer segments to validate (or not) a particular value proposition.
84) Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.
83) Estimate sales and revenue from several perspectives to see if they are in the same ballpark.
82) Underestimate rather than overstate.
81) Principles don't change with circumstances ... that's what makes them principles! [Thank you, George Colombo]
80) Technology: the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry.
79) Successful innovators and entrepreneurs know how to reflect the good and deflect the bad. [Thank you, Patricia G Greene]
78) Practice makes us better. (Oh, yeah? Tell that to my piano teacher! -Jim)
77) Choose the best words.
76) A good business plan reads like a combination of the Wall Street Journal (a model of good business writing) and USA Today (a model of good storytelling).
75) Like a child plays, a genius works. [Thank you, Barbara Ann Kipfer]
74) Fate laughs at probabilities. [Thank you, Edward George Bulwer-Lytton]
73) Best wishes! [Thank you, Hams Around the World]
72) Limitation is the severest storm of fattery! [Thank you, Francis James Arnold] (Dieting made simple. -Jim)
71) Respond positively to negative feedback.
70) Winning is a habit ... unfortunately, so is losing. [Thank you, Vince Lombardi]
69) What goes around comes around.
68) When someone does something good, applaud ... we'll make at least two people happy! [Thank you, Samuel Goldwyn]
67) No speech was ever too short.
66) So many books to read, so little time.
65) Something: a product, service, process, marketing position, paradigm, or combination of some or all of these. What is the valuable "something" we deliver to our customers?
64) Forget a wrong, remember a kindness.
63) Beachhead: focusing resources on one key area, usually a smaller market segment or product category, and winning that market first, even dominating that market, before moving into larger markets . ("Beachhead" is a term from World War II when the allies stormed Normandy, the beachhead from which they moved forward into mainland Europe.)
62) Build-Measure-Learn (B-M-L): the process of creating a new product, service, process, or method through continual incremental change and improvement. (With B-M-L, speed is a critical ingredient to product development where a prototype product is built, tested with customer interaction, and feedback recorded and used to learn more about serving customer needs, wants, and desires. -Jim)
61) We can do it if we have the passion to do it ... if we don't, we won't.
60) Luck has a lot to do with it ... the more we prepare, the luckier we get. [Thank you, Reuben Garrett Lucius Goldberg]
59) A potential business model: Sell and deliver a service.
58) Beware of zombies and other nefarious characters.
57) Always look our best.
56) Help others on their path. [Thank you, Bob Moskovitz]
55) When in doubt, deduct. (Referring to filing income tax returns. If you happen to work for the IRS, please ignore this tip or at least forget that your read it here. -Jim)
54) The truth is sometimes hard to hear. (A couple of beers might help. -Jim)
53) Be passionate about everything we do. (If we're not passionate, why would anyone else be? -Jim)
52) Can we promote our venture with newspaper inserts? How would that work?
51) Skilled innovators and entrepreneurs are continuously curious.
50) A flag can be a nice "trademark" for a city, a state, a country, an organization. (Pop quiz: What is the only US state to include a Union Jack on their flag? Hint: it's not in New England! -Jim)
49) Failure isn't fatal unless we make it so.
48) Radical innovation never originates with the market leader. [Thank you, Jim Utterback]
47) The hardest part is starting.
46) Charm: giving delight, arousing admiration. (Do we have charm? What do we do if we don't? -Jim)
45) We live in a world of unprecedented change, increasing global competitiveness, and the very real threat of commoditization ... innovation in this world is the best way to win, arguably the only way to really win ... innovation is not a separate, discrete activity but the job of everyone in a leadership position and the integral, central driving force for any business that wants to grow organically and succeed on a sustained basis. [Thank you, A G Lafley]
44) Understand why ... and why not!
43) There is another world, there is a better world, there must be. [Thank you, The Smiths]
42) The answer to life, the universe, and everything is 42. [Thank you, Douglas Adams and Eoin Colfer]
41) If we're not part of the solution, we're the precipitate. [Thank you, Henry J Tillman]
40) The most frequent reason for unsuccessful advertising is advertisers who are so full of their own accomplishments (the world's best grass seed!) that they forget to tell us why we should buy (the world's best lawn!). [Thank you, John Caples]
39) Figures rarely lie but liars frequently figure. [Thank you, Dennis Kozlowski]
38) Is it really a good new opportunity for us? It could be if we can find the resources needed to pursue it properly.
37) Unhappy customers are our greatest source of learning ... of course, if they're too unhappy they're not going to be customers for very long. [Thank you, Bill Gates]
36) How should we start tomorrow?
35) Entrepreneurship is a mashup of many different perspectives, experiences, skills, talents.
34) If we want to keep it a secret, keep it a secret. [Thank you, Troy Mihalek]
33) Big corporations increasingly turn to small companies for new ideas ... part of our strategy should include positioning our venture to complement and collaborate with the big players in our industry.
32) Customers are the stars of our show ... let's do all we can to keep them lit and shining bright.
31) Don't discriminate ... it's just not right ... not because of age, sexual preference, race, religion, gender, ethnic background.
30) Don't interfere with a colleague's work ... help, but don't hinder.
29) Value equals Benefits divided by Price ( V = B / P ) ... to increase Value, we can decrease our Price, we can increase our Benefits, or we can do both ... better Benefits at a lower Price is "a competitor-killer deal" for our customers!
28) Everyone we know is a potential door opener to a new opportunity. [Thank you, Nelson Wang]
27) Innovators create something new and better, entrepreneurs put it to work. (Jim Jindrick)
26) Govern the clock, not be governed by it.
25) Beware: pseudo-investors ... big egos, big talk, little money.
24) Skilled innovators and entrepreneurs can find big opportunities in little problems.
23) Keep sentences to 23 or fewer words; short sentences enable us to deliver a clearer message and avoid getting lost in wordy rhetoric. [Thank you, Michael Betrus]
22) Change can be chaotic ... it's the nature of the beast.
21) There are three types of people ... those with wishbones, those with funny bones, and those with backbones. [Thank you, Barbara Ann Kipfer]
20) A source of opportunity for innovation is new knowledge, both scientific and nonscientific. [Thank you, Peter F Drucker]
19) Manage transitions ... change is inevitable!
18) Trust our gut. (... unless it's just telling us to eat more! -Jim)
17) Start at the end, then figure out how to get there.
16) Character will win us respect, especially if respect is in our character.
15) Persistence pays. [Thank you, Amber Feller]
14) Neither underestimate or overestimate our competition ... some of them are geniuses, some of them are nuts!
13) Everyone has their own personal vested interest ... if our venture doesn’t serve their need, they won't buy in. [Thank you, Ralph Blazek]
12) We always have a choice ... and so do our customers! (Let us make the right decisions in our venture so we make it easy for our customers to make the right decision when they choose us! -Jim)
11) There ain't no right way to do the wrong thing. [Thank you, Waylon Arnold Jennings]
10) Work smart ... work hard, too, and we've really got something going! [Thank you, David Bradshaw]
9) We're never too old to learn something new.
8) Venture Adventure: the process of discovering a new opportunity, defining a new venture that can capitalize on the opportunity, designing and developing the details of the new venture, and deploying the venture plan. Any day can be a new venture adventure.
7) There's usually more to success than just luck.
6) Skilled innovators and entrepreneurs focus on their true love. [Thank you, Kyle Cherrick]
5) There are two sides to innovation ... technical feasibility and business viability. [Thank you, Francis James Arnold]
4) We're here, we wanna be there ... how is that going to happen? (We need a master plan, maestro! -Jim)
3) Entrepreneurship is the bridge connecting Enterprise and Innovation. [Thank you, Francis James Arnold]
2) To create a new venture, product, service, or process, go on a DXpedition: Discover, Define, Design, Develop, Deploy ... i] Discover what is needed, wanted, desired ... ii] Define what is required to meet those needs, wants, and desires ... iii] Design a solution to meet the defined requirements ... iv] Develop the solution from prototype to customer-ready ... v] Deploy the solution to customers: measure the results, learn what does and doesn't work, then iterate and refine the solution to be even better.
1) The Critical Success Factor and Mission of Every Successful Business Venture: Earn a Profit Solving Customer Problems Better than the Competition! [Jim Jindrick]
0) "... and away we go!" [Thank you, John Herbert Gleason]