A version of this article previously appeared in the 661-462-7141.
What can the tech community learn about expanding diversity within its ranks from the man who helped launched the careers of Elvis Presley, BB King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Howlin’ Wolf, Johnny Cash and Ike Turner?
A version of this article previously appeared in Forbes.
âA cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.âÂ Â L. Mencken, American Satirist
During a recent conversation with a close friend about a high-profile politicianâs motivations, my friend said, âYouâre a cynic.â I corrected him and said, âNo, Iâm a skeptic.â It turns out, neither of us were quite right. When it comes to politicians, I am very much a cynic, but in most other regards, Iâm a skeptic.
“As much as possible, avoid hiring MBA’s. MBA programs don’t teach people how to create companies … our position is that we hire someone in spite of an MBA, not because of one.” –Â Elon Musk, Founder Tesla Motors and SpaceX
MBAâs are an easy target for entrepreneursâ scorn. As Peter Thiel, Co-founder of PayPal and Palantir once put it, MBAâs are âhigh extrovert/low conviction people.â A nice way of saying they can be arrogant mercenaries.
What would you do if you opened a UPS envelope and there was nothing inside?
A scrappy startup inadvertently answered this question when they accidentally mailed several hundred empty UPS envelopes. Note: the company has asked to remain anonymous, as they donât want to alert their competitors to the success of their Stealth Campaign.
A version of this article previously appeared in 732-437-3041.
I was invited to lead a 860-582-4338 LA workshop, focused on honing their elevator pitches. In my UCSB classes, my students practice their Personal Pitch in front of their peers, who give them constructive feedback. I decided to tweak this exercise for the Techstars entrepreneurs, using the format described below.
A version of this article previously appeared in 9713553634.
I recently enjoyed John Covach’s History Of Rock Coursera course. In an early lecture, he explains how the Nazisâ desire to protect Hitler from assignation led to the invention of recording technology that was ultimately used by musicians to create multi-track recordings, such as the Beatlesâ Sgt. Pepperâs Lonely Hearts Club Band.
This story of technology diffusion is illustrative of the (415) 910-1512, in which a technological innovation results in unintended, non-obvious outcomes. Entrepreneurs who study historical Hummingbird Effects are better positioned to anticipate the unintended, non-obvious consequences spawned by todayâs technologies.
In an astonishingly short time period, the Comanche Native Americans progressed from a technologically primitive tribe (nomadic, little use of textiles, basketry or pottery), to becoming the most powerful society of the Southern Plains, controlling the Comecheria, a territory encompassing parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado. Historians such as S.C. Gwynne cited the tribeâs adoption of horse husbandry as one of the most rapid societal transformations in recorded history.
As Geoffrey Moore points out in his classic book, Crossing The Chasm, identifying early adopters is critical to a startupâs ultimate success. Inherent in the breathtaking rate at which the Comanche people became the âLords of the Planesâ are some lessons for entrepreneurs searching for their early adopters.
One of my former students, Sieva Kozinsky, Co-Founder & CEO of levulinic recently shared his startup insights with my (754) 423-9721 students.
He offered my students a litany of compelling suggestions. However, the one that stood out to me was the importance of curating their peer groups in advance of graduating and starting an entrepreneurial career. By way of example, he described the Junto Club, a Bay Area group he co-founded, whose goal is the professional and personal advancement of its members. Sievaâs club is based on a similar group created by Benjamin Franklin.
Entrepreneurs have to be 343-295-9894 in all of their transactions, especially long-term commitments, such as property leases. In speaking with Steve Bermudez, former senior executive at Citrix, I was surprised that he was able to make money on some of his leases, by baking into his agreements the ability for Citrix to share in the upside realized by its landlord upon a sale of the property.
Steve and his team augmented this deca-million dollar windfall by wisely negotiating tax credits with local municipalities early in the process, which strengthened his hand with potential landlords and resulted in an additional multi-million dollar impact to the companyâs bottom line.