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…”

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!”

Yes, No, Maybe So?

Of the many decisions a start-up company founder has to make, “to sell or not to sell” ranks right at the top of the list.  With the underlying assumption that the founder has arrived at this point because the company is doing great (or on the verge thereof), not only is this is a good problem to have, but it can mark a critical point in not on the entrepreneur’s life but also in the company’s legacy.  Selling at the right time to the right partner could bring tremendous value to both the start-up, acquiring company, employees, and shareholders.  Continue reading “Yes, No, Maybe So?”

The Culture Driven Company!

About ten years ago, Reed Hastings co-founded a small company in Los Gatos, CA (Silicon Valley) that would mail you DVDs.  Ten years later, they are a force to be reckoned with and are disrupting how you watch TV and movies!  With an IPO price of $15 (May, 2002), today their stock is trading at over $240/share and the company has a market cap of over $12B!

One reason for Netflix’s ongoing success is the company’s culture, which emphasizes performance, freedom, and responsibility.  If you want an example of Employees First and Customer’s Second, search no more!

Continue reading “The Culture Driven Company!”

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!”

Conjunction Junction – What’s your function?

I received a call from a friend the other day seeking some guidance.  He’s newly unemployed and we were discussing his options.  He said, “I’ve never really been in this position before… not sure if I should start something on my own or if I should go back and take up a new job?” In the midst of the conversation, my mind froze!  There it was!  The infamous grammatical conjunction that stops us in our proverbial tracks almost every time we use it.  Can you guess which word I’m referring to?  It’s the word, “OR”.  Don’t get me wrong… the word ‘or’ can be critical at times when faced with the difficult decision of choosing between the lesser of two evils.  For example, would you like to be audited by the IRS or spend a week with your mother-in-law?  Depending on your circumstances… the IRS may not seem so bad! Continue reading “Conjunction Junction – What’s your function?”

Employees First, Customers Second

It absolutely goes without say that today’s business environment is ultra-competitive.  Over time, brick-and-mortar evolved to click-and-mortar which essentially leveled the competitive playing field.  Today, your new competitors may not only be located around the corner or in the next town over, but half the way around the world!  In fact, technology advancements have created the new “self-serve” business models whereby customers no longer need to interact with an employee to seek out what they are looking for.  For example, do you need a customer service rep to help you open a new account on Facebook or Twitter… or hundreds of other companies online? Continue reading “Employees First, Customers Second”

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