What To Look For In a Chief Right Hand Person (COO, VP of Operations)

Last week a founder of a software development company asked what to look for in a COO on answers.onstartups.com. Since this is a fairly common question to me, I decided to expand upon the answer I posted and further describe what attributes a great business operations leader/professional should possess. Bit of background: I have been… Continue Reading

Perfecting Your Way to Irrelevance – Six Sigma in the Startup

In the late 90’s, the Six Sigma quality improvement process swept through the corporate world, led by early and vocal adapters such as Motorola and GE.  For those who are not familiar with Six Sigma, it is a process for making significant quality improvements through a rigorous five-step data- and statistical-based approach (Define, Measure, Analyze,… Continue Reading

5 Rules for Avoiding the Need to Cut Costs

“Cutting costs” has been the buzz phrase for the last decade or so. In some cases, companies got drunk on cheap money and plentiful investors, and in others the unchecked management flaws of greed and vanity led to company bloat. Whatever the root cause, we seem to be only treating the symptoms of the problem.… Continue Reading

Earned vs. Need-Based Loyalty

Call me old fashioned, but I cringe every time I hear another claim about how we are moving into the age of “careerism” and “just in time staffing”. Why? Because we always hear about this fad right at the tail end of every downturn.  It’s like herpes spread by some “experts” who never had to… Continue Reading

Business Lessons from Auto Racing?

Ever since childhood I have been an avid “car guy”. Back in 2007 I started competing in autocross (included a video below of what it is like). I never thought I would be learning business and leadership lessons while burning some rubber. When I started in Chicago, I did very well for a novice. But once… Continue Reading

Career Mission and Value

About a year ago I was readin Jeremiah Owyang’s excellent article  “What’s Your Career Mission?” . It inspired me to write down my Career Mission and the Value I bring to the table. My career mission is to use my business operations, talent management, and technology background to build and maintain the backbones of sustainable growth… Continue Reading

How a Foosball Table Can Kill Your Startup – part 2

Since an article I wrote in June of 2009 called “How a foosball table can kill your startup” is still sparking attention and conversation, I think the time is ripe for me to expand on the topic. Yes, I still believe that tchotchke “benefits” do nothing but waste money.  Instead, use your resources to attract… Continue Reading

We don’t need marketing – we need customer anthropology

I wasn’t able to make it to LaunchCamp Boston today, but was still able to virtually participate via the live video and Twitter streams. During a discussion on Twitter with two great marketing folks, Bobbie Carlton and Rachel Levy, I made several remarks: Seasoned marketing pros should realize that “marketing” is becoming a dirty word… Continue Reading

Customer service in the age of the social media

I can’t claim I was early social media adopter, but I have been on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for a while now and built a following.  I have met the majority of my followers in person. I am also not shy about reviewing businesses on Yelp and other sites, because I believe both positive and… Continue Reading

How To Be an Entrepreneur and Not Ruin Your Marriage

The associated risks of starting a company are hard enough when you are young and unattached (though lack of experience and naïveté keeps you brave and motivated). But being in a long-term relationship, married, or a parent adds a whole new level of complications, risks, and motivations. It is not surprising that VCs like investing… Continue Reading

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