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Entrepreneurs! Here’s a great way to have fun when sitting in meeting with a typical corporate customer, or even some potential investors, advisors and partners.

These meetings are, by design, not  with innovators or visionaries. Half the time, the participants utter the most predictable and inane comments. We see right through their attempts to appear helpful, savvy or superior — but it’s frustrating because you really can’t say anything. Until now.

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I was merely going to retweet this funny little factoid from Social Rehab – a company with apps designed to get you to reduce your online dependence – my retweet was to include an inevitable quip.  Then I realized, I had far too many clever retorts to ever fit inside a single tweet.

Before I release my incredible capacity for sarcasm on the world, I must point out that the Social Rehab factoid is misleading and inaccurate (and dated).   Apparently, I’m late to this party.   The ‘statistic’ was a meme at least as far back as 2010 when a ‘recent survey […] uncovered the disturbing statistic‘ :

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Last week I started a new feature on this site specifically for first-time entrepreneurs: A repository of quotes, tips and advice collected from around the web, but also contributed by some of the most experienced and respected minds in entrepreneurship, technology, and venture investing. I have been posting (and tweeting) at least one of these tips per day while providing pages where entrepreneurs can access most of the tips at any time.

In the process of soliciting quotes and advice from the experts, I stumbled across a fun idea inspired by a submission from one of our experts. Our expert, investor, mentor and widely respected thought leader and blogger Francine Hardaway, replied with some nuggets of valuable advice:

Incur no overhead before its time.
The best funding comes from customers.
It’s the team that gets funded. The product will change.
Traction is the best revenge.

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There’s an age-old and ongoing debate about whether entrepreneurship can be taught or if it’s something that people are born with. Having both been a serial entrepreneur, and a mentor and educator in entrepreneurship, I must admit that I go back and forth on this issue often. As a mentor and educator, I suppose I must firmly believe that entrepreneurship can be taught — and this is probably the subject of a much longer blog post or article. However, after being an investor advisor and mentor for over 10 years is more than obvious that some entrepreneurs simply possess the gene without ever having really studied or ever having a role model.

Nothing so reinforces the “natural entrepreneur” theory than when I travel to different parts of the country, and abroad – particularly when I travel outside the major business ecosystems such as Silicon Valley (or other major metropolitan area). Often I will encounter a small business person or entrepreneur (there is a difference) who, not only naturally displays the attributes and behaviors of a successful entrepreneur, but also comes up with a unique and brilliant approach that would make their Silicon Valley counterparts a little jealous.

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From : Slideshare – Professors meme by Timothy Christy


Silicon Valley and the high tech world have long ago gotten over the notion that talent doesn’t always conform to dress codes and other norms. I’m not sure if it started with Steve Jobs in the 70’s – wearing shorts and sandals to meetings (without showering) – but I am pretty sure there was very little tolerance for non-conformity in prior decades. Entrepreneurs are almost by definition nonconformists and iconoclasts. In order to do business with the outside world, they often have had to conform – at least enough to get through the door.

But ever since the first high-tech entrepreneurial boom of the 80s through the subsequent dotcom 90s, the tables have turned:

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Took a quick family trip to Las Vegas last week (one of the advantages of living in Phoenix)- and spotted Pete Rose selling autographs at a memorabilia shop. Apparently no one else appreciated the irony of Pete Rose doing business in Vegas.