Board of Directors – Top 12!

It’s no secret that I believe having a board (of directors / advisers), formal or not, is critical to a company’s success.  As in life and in business, perspective is key when making important decisions and having someone who has your (or your company’s) best interest in mind, is a valuable resource.

As I was reading yesterday, I came across some great information about questions that a board must ask to really gauge the state of a company.  If you are a CEO who has a board and they are not asking these questions, maybe you need to augment your board (or, find new members all together).  If you are currently a board member and not asking these questions, you need to start.

Regardless on which side of the table you sit, these are critical questions that require considerable thought.  Granted – some questions may not apply to all businesses but, if nothing else, maybe asking some of these questions today will position the company on a successful track thereby allowing you to ask the remaining question later?

Continue reading “Board of Directors – Top 12!”

How to E-mail Busy People…

It’s no secret that today’s world is highly interconnected and more interdependent than ever before.  And, in order to succeed in this world, obtaining the right guidance is more important than ever before.  The challenge, however, is that many times, the people you seek guidance from are not directly connected to you – so, how do you ask for help?  In many cases, we do what we feel most comfortable with – e-mail.  It provides us the ability to reach out while still remaining in our comfort zone.

The challenge with e-mail, as with many initial communication methods, is that there is an art behind getting what you want without burdening the other person.  All too often, we’re a mixed bag of information and rarely communicate all that we want to on the first attempt.  In fact, many times we find ourselves reflecting back on the conversation either regretting something we said, or worse, didn’t say.

I came across a great post by Jason Freedman who outlined some tips on how to e-mail busy people… below are the key points.  Valuable stuff.

Continue reading “How to E-mail Busy People…”

Does my company need a Board of Directors?

Board of DirectorsOkay – so let’s be clear on what a “board of directors” is.  According to Wikipedia, A board of directors is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization. The body sometimes has a different name, such as board of governors, board of managers, board of regents, board of trustees, board of visitors, or executive board. It is often simply referred to as “the board.”

All right – that’s done… so, let’s try to answer the question: Does a startup need a board of directors?  The answer is… it depends.  To be more clear – it depends on what stage the “company” is in specifically relating to its idea or product.
Continue reading “Does my company need a Board of Directors?”

Schools Killing Creativity?

The concept of “education” has always been of great interest to me and its importance in my life is, and will remain, paramount.  The beauty of learning is that it comes in many forms – through formal study, through conversations with others, through experiences – it’s all around us and all we have to do is allow the power of osmosis to work its magic.

I recently came across an amazing TED video by Sir Ken Robinson discussing his position on why he believes schools are killing creativity.  It’s incredibly insightful and definitely makes you think.  This video was originally published back in 2006 but, true to its form, has tremendous merit even today as we look upon our dwindling educational system. Continue reading “Schools Killing Creativity?”

The Power of Enchantment!

Recently, I was fortunate enough to hear Guy Kawasaki speak about his new book, Enchantment.  For those of you who don’t know who Guy Kawasaki is, he’s a local Silicon Valley guy who’s done many things including having written 10 great books.  His un-official bio reads as VC, start-up, and author.

It was a pleasure for me to hear Guy talk about his new venture and trust you too will enjoy it.

Enchantment
62:20
Guy Kawasaki at Stanford

Blue is the new Black!

For starters, it’s good to be back on the blogging scene.  I spent most of May traveling to Asia (Hong Kong, China, and Bangkok) getting an whirlwind overview on their economies, doing business in these booming markets, and what we can expect over the next few years.  Needless to say it was a great education…

Now… back to the topic at hand.  To clarify when I say “Blue is the new Black”, I’m not referring to fashion – in fact, I’m the last person that should be writing about that topic!  I’m talking about business… in accounting slang, it’s understood that when your business is operating in the “black”, the company is actually operating above the bottom line – in other words, doing well.  Conversely, when the company is operating in the “red”, it means the company is on fire and may need to be saved (or shut down – depending on which is more prudent). Continue reading “Blue is the new Black!”

10 Entrepreneurship Rules You Must Know!

If there is one person out there who knows the rules of engagement for a new start up, it’s Reid Hoffman. He’s the co-founder of LinkedIn – the original business social media site that has become a part of our daily digital lives; which, incidentally, has also recently filed to go public. In addition, Reid is a partner at Greylock so he’s intimately familiar with both the entrepreneurial and venture rules of success. Recently, I was able to hear Reid speak to his rules for building companies and thought it would be great information to share: Continue reading “10 Entrepreneurship Rules You Must Know!”

Silicon Valley – Respect!

The hype around “Silicon Valley – no longer the place to be!” seems to be everywhere in some form or another nowadays.  Whether it’s in the news or some high profile former valley exec (who, by the way, probably loved the valley at some point because it helped them get mega-rich!), they are all touting the challenges associated with doing business not only in the valley but California too – and, in some cases, doing business in the USA in general!  Fair argument… let’s see if we can break this down… Continue reading “Silicon Valley – Respect!”

I was here FIRST!

In business, never underestimate the value of true first mover advantage.  True first mover advantage reflects not the first actual mover, but the first mover to garner significant market share.  In fact, the gains can be tremendous – become recognized as the leader in the space (whereas everyone else becomes the “me too”), get customers (and revenue) before any competitor can arrive on the scene, and reap great profits and possibly gain monopoly-like status.  An entrepreneur’s (and the VC who backed the company) dream come true! Continue reading “I was here FIRST!”

Gone in 60 Seconds!

No, we’re not talking about that awesome movie with Nicholas Cage… we’re talking about someone bailing on you when you ramble on about your idea!

It’s all about the ‘art of the pitch’.  When you have an idea that you want to share, it’s important to understand that your ability to sell the idea, in the beginning, is potentially more valuable, than the idea itself. Continue reading “Gone in 60 Seconds!”