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Movies and TV shows/episodes for entrepreneurs. Some are good depictions (or parodies) of the entrepreneurial experience. Others are good examples of what NOT to do …

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Fragile Egg


I love reading Paul Graham.  Heck, everyone loves reading Paul Graham’s writings on entrepreneurship and investing.  The two best thing things about the Y-Combinator founder’s essays are:  1) They are intensely insightful – from his broad and deep understanding of the startup experience, and 2) They are indeed essays as opposed to the pithy, all-fluff-and-no-substance “5 things you need to know” posts that dominate the web – especially on the subject of entrepreneurship.

Below is a particularly insightful section from his recent “Do Things that Don’t Scale” essay:
Filed under the subheading,  Fragile:

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Tapestry.  It’s the title of one the most powerful episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Captain Jean-Luc Picard gets to re-live his life and correct some of the ‘stupid mistakes’ he made in his youth. This time, he avoids confrontation,  avoids risks and plays it safe. Later we see the outcome of his revised life, with the corrections:  He’s become a dreary middle level officer plodding through a life of mediocrity and obscurity. We feel pity for the man he has become, in the shadow of his former greatness.


Ron Wayne
Have you ever heard of Ron Wayne? Probably not. Of course you’ve heard of Steve Jobs, and Steve Wozniak, co-founders of Apple – the platinum standard for entrepreneurial success stories.

Ron Wayne was the third founder of Apple. And the lesson from his story is equally as heartbreaking.  

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The concept drives some people crazy and causes them countless hours of lost sleep, but personally I don’t mind: Google Latitude automatically broadcasts and stores a record of my whereabouts at any given time (it’s on my Android devices, iPad, iPhone and PC). In the next 10 years we’ll look at our discomfort in revealing our location the same we now look at those who were so shrill about Caller-ID 20 years ago. Sure, there are times when it might reveal too much information, but as with caller-id, I think most of us realize the benefits far outweigh the typical risks.

Below is a heat-map of my most frequented locations, updated near real-time over the past 14 months. The interesting part about Google Latitude, unlike Foursquare right now, is that I don’t have to check-in. Latitude automatically logs when I am at a location for a given number of minutes or seconds. The data on the heatmap is not all that surprising:

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(Originally published as a Guest Blog on CX.com  on December 11, 2012) 

Crowdfunding. You’ve heard of it — sexy projects by entrepreneurs who buck the establishment by going directly to the public for funding. Or maybe you’ve heard of the other crowdfunding — fraud, deceit and boiler room brokers bilking widows out of their pensions and life savings.

It’s a familiar tune. New technology disrupts an established, elite industry and empowers us to do it better, fast and cheaper. And, in the beginning, the professionals, pundits and predictors of doom tell us how bad the world will be if the industry is democratized.

Anyone over the age of 35 can remember the same dire warnings about eBay and the entire eCommerce industry — typing in your credit card number online was insane.

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Someone posted a question on Quora the other day – and the question itself was insightful:

 bizmodel1What is the difference between a revenue model and a monetization model?

I’m a bit of a stickler for consistent definitions of terms in business (particularly entrepreneurship), so I provided a detailed answer clarifying the differences between a Business Model, Revenue Model and Monetization Model.

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A familiar meme is that Entrepreneurs are somewhat crazy.  Many use the phrase affectionately when implying that the prototypical entrepreneur is willing to attempt things that the average person would not risk.  Or perhaps it’s because entrepreneurs often paint a vision for the future that seems unimaginable, that they seem crazy.

Entrepreneurs “Think Different”;  we call them crazy, and it sounds almost romantic.    Shortly after Steve Job’s triumphant return to Apple in 1997, the company officially adopted the slogan “Think Different”, and released the inspiring commercial:

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