I’ve spent a longtime thinking about this post. Is it perfect? No. Is this the way I live my life? Not fully…yet. Is it something I’m gearing towards? A bit more each day. Is it something I hope happens? For the sake of my kids and grandkids, yes.
Much like a legal document, let’s define something at the start to ensure we’re on the same page. When I use the word System (note the capital “S”) in this article, I’m referring to mass media and big business. I’ll leave the topics of Wall Street and our government for some other (far distant) day.
The only way to bring down the System is by depriving it of life. Yes, this could be achieved by violent actions, but I’m not a violent kind of guy. Instead, I’m thinking of something that will bring about the same effect, but will use positivity and humanity to starve the system of the money it needs to survive. Because more than anything, the System craves one thing and one thing alone: money.
And who is going to bring about this change? Why you and I, of course. For if not us, then who?
Continue reading “Helping Change the System”
Let’s Talk Business
I talk about business with a lot of people. The concepts behind a business: the whys, the hows, the wheres and the whats. One thing that has always boggled my mind is exit strategies. Some companies are clearly built to be flipped (i.e. sold early on), while others are intended to be around for a long time.
In an interview with Dropbox CEO, it was brought to light that Steve Jobs wanted to buy the online storage company. Steve told them, “You don’t have a product, you have a feature.” Clearly, the team at Dropbox disagrees, but that got me thinking.
Build to Sell or Build to Grow?
Up until fairly recently, I didn’t understand people who built to flip. Yet, at 360Conferences, I really did want a bigger media company to buy us. I wasn’t building a company to flip, I just thought that while we were good at doing conferences, we’d be better applying our mentality inside a bigger media company with the resources to fund wild ideas we dreamt up. John was definitely more of the “I want to do 360 for life,” which is why I sold out my half to him.
Continue reading “Features vs Products, Sell vs Grow, Corporations vs Startups”
Some People Like to Serve Others
I think I figured out why some people, like me, are serial entrepreneurs: We miss not having customers to serve.
Technically, I’ve only begun one real business (360Conferences) with paying customers. However, I also built up a technical user group that served hundreds of (non-paying) customers. In addition, I’ve done some independent consulting where the customer was another business. The point is this: I’ve done a lot of things where the endpoint is providing service for someone.
I like to cook elaborate meals to achieve an unspoken give and take:
- I provide them sustenance, which fills a basic need to help keep them alive
- They provide the time to eat the meal, which fills a basic need of helping our relationship grow
This is true of my wife, kids, family and friends. It’s an unspoken contract where everyone benefits, unless I give them food poisoning and they yap on their cell the whole time. Neither have occurred yet though and hopefully never will. 🙂
Business is a Special Give and Take
In business, there’s also an unspoken give and take, but it looks like this:
- I provide a product/service, which fills a basic need that the customer wants/needs
- They provide the time/money, which fills a basic need of helping our relationship grow
Continue reading “Reason for Serial Entrepreneurs: We Miss Serving Customers”
Too many want to climb to the top by stepping over people versus being pushed to the top by a group of friends.
I wrote that statement awhile back to explain my philosophy on leadership, particularly in business. Sadly, the world of business has become too much about greed. Too many CEOs and other business “leaders” look out for only one person, themselves. It would seem that amassing ever larger fortunes are more important than looking out for those who are supposedly in their care.
A lot of this is because leaders these days have forgotten what it means to serve. A leadership role does not command respect by default. Though, many in CxO level positions seem to think that. Heck, I’ve seen that mentality manifested down to the very first level of management. Respect, at all levels of the workplace, is something that must be earned. Many think that intimidation or bureaucratic process will help them achieve this respect, but that just backfires. They may feel they have respect, but don’t realize that people laugh and talk smack about them behind their backs. Continue reading “Getting ahead by serving others”