A Primer on America’s Startup Culture

Today I hosted a delegation of 8 Korean college students brought to Seattle for a week by Kickstart Investment, a Korean business incubator. Sounds exotic, but I host a handful of foreign delegations each year from all around the world, often hosted by the U.S. State Department. It’s a fun way to meet entrepreneurs and people who help entrepreneurs without the accompanying jet lag. We...

Semi-Weekly Newsletter

My daily creation habit includes quite a variety of creations: blog posts, podcasts, videos, books, and a semi-weekly newsletter for Fledge. A sample of the newsletter is below. Here in 2019, the key to building a brand is being seen online, and the key to being seen is publishing content. As often as you can. As widely disbursed as you can, to reach into all the various corners of the digital...

Just Ask the Author

I’m in the middle of yet-another economics history book and came across the fact that investors in the first Bank of the United States purchased their shares for $25 in gold, then the remaining $375 in a mix of gold and other means. The book then continued on to talk about how the bank functioned. But not me. I was sitting there wondering what other currency those investors were using, as...

Two types of problems

Startups suffer from two types of problems. Neither is fun. Both are stressful. You only want one type, but don’t have control of which you’ll get. One set of problems are the search for more customers, the search for more investors, the search for more talent to get you out of the current hole you are in. These are not the problems you want. The other set of problems are too many...

Peer learning circles

There is something about people who aim to improve the world and circles. Maybe its the camaraderie vs. the hierarchical structures of family, work, and school. Maybe its something else. Whatever the cause, I find myself sitting in a lot of circles in my work and life. Today it was the Seattle Impact Investing Group’s offsite. I won’t tell you what we discussed, as the core purpose of...

Logos for Eight of History’s Greatest Artists

I came across these logos on my news feed. I love a good logo, and these are great examples of how logos can the most elegant logos can be simple line drawings. In the last seven years I’ve helped (re)brand more than a dozen companies, and have personally created quite a few of their logos. A quick sampling of that effort is in the following video: Does your logo look this good? If not, why...

Assumed the expert

A hidden assumption in how the world works came up yesterday at a startup pitch event. More than once. It goes like this… When you are the speaker, someone introduces you, and at that moment the audience presumes/assumes that you are an expert in whatever topic you’ve been introduced to present. You remain an expert in the eyes of the audience until either you say something that an...

Too little butter or too much bread?

Is it too little butter, or too much bread? I’m a fan of Seth Godin. I’m a fan of Bilbo too. And I’m one of those people who can’t sit still, who isn’t satisfied working on just one project at a time, and as such, once or twice per year multiple projects all need attention at once, and I’m awash in bread with too little butter to go around. Unfortunately...

The (True) Purpose of Business

Five years ago when this blog was new, I posted an Ignite talk about the true purpose of business. Two years ago, I reprised that topic to help break the myth that the (sole) purpose of business is to maximize shareholder value. My podcast is almost a year old, and last week I not only (re)explained the Ignite talk with more words, but then spent the week talking what Apple, Google, Facebook, and...

Not enough time

To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.Leonard Bernstein

This is the core idea behind a business accelerator.  Invite a handful of entrepreneurs to focus on planning instead of doing, create some artificial deadlines, and they find more efficient and more likely paths to success.

Image from Flickr


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