Difference between “My CEO” and “Our CEO”

Being in operations, I’m usually the right-hand-man for the CEO (and CFO), and have worked with some fantastic ones and a few who should have let someone else pilot the company. Not everyone is cut out to be a CEO and nowhere is this as evident and crucial as in startups. A good CEO can… Continue Reading

How a Foosball Table Can Kill Your Startup

Back when I was working in Chicago at a late stage startup, I used to have great conversations with the president of the company about our various approaches to managing businesses. We shared war stories, ramblings about taxation in US and EU, and the software developers’ versions of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. But one thing… Continue Reading

Why Not Let Your Customers Tell You How to Sell?

A problem we’ve all seen too often is when a product or service is dreamed up, and no one wants to buy it. Most of us can list four or five examples of this right away. These duds should have been abandoned before too much time and money was invested. What are the two major… Continue Reading

How to hire and KEEP overqualified people

I read a Wall Street Journal article today, titled The New Résumé: Dumb and Dumber – Job Seekers Play Down Their Credentials to Avoid Looking Overqualified,” that really struck a nerve with me. This issue is not exclusive to Baby Boomer and reaches all the way into Generation X. We talk about how it is hard… Continue Reading

Should we glorify the failure of entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurship is what keeps this country afloat even in these bad economic times. It is a known fact that small businesses create more jobs than the big boys. Entrepreneurship has also jump-started the economies of countries that escaped the oppression of murderous regimes. People striking out on their own create value, jobs, and wealth for… Continue Reading

Move Your Company Forward By Being Wrong… Often!

This article is a follow-up to my earlier commentary about small scale business experiments entitled “What can startups learn from MythBusters”. Since I am a happily married man, soon to celebrate another wedding anniversary, I am comfortable with being wrong. And according to my highly-educated wife, being wrong often is something I do well. What… Continue Reading

How To Create a Non-Disclosure Agreement People Can Understand

Like many of you in the startup world, I have read and signed my share of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). I have reviewed, edited, and sent hundreds of them in my career, but I am yet to come across one that really serves anyone but the lawyers who charged dearly to write it. So, why don’t… Continue Reading

What I’ve Learned About Business Leadership From Competing In Autosports

As some of you may already know, I am an avid “car guy” and starting my third season of autocross competitions (an auto sport, for those not familiar I have included a video below of what it is like). I did well in the races when I lived in Chicago, but encountered much more skilled… Continue Reading

Disaster Recovery Planning and Business Continuity For Startups and Emerging Companies

As we watch the news and pandemonium the media is creating about the swine flu today, it should remind entrepreneurs that disaster planning is no joke. Of all the entrepreneurs I have asked about disaster preparedness in the last couple of years, 9 out of 10 said they were not worried and did not have… Continue Reading

How do I get my boss to respond to my e-mails? Guide to communicating with executives.

One of the most common complaints I hear from people is that their leaders do not respond quickly enough to their emails, which makes them feel like they are not getting enough guidance. Yes, it does take two to tango, but many times the blame is squarely on the sender of the message. I have… Continue Reading

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