April Fools hindsight: Sidd Finch sets the bar, 22 years going

April 2nd, 2008
I saw a few good April Fools pranks floating around the net. Josh Kopelman's UNfunded Michael Arrington's $25 million suit against Facebook Jason Busch's departure to the analyst world Sports Illustrated set the standard over 20 years ago with their story about Sidd Finch He's a pitcher, part yogi and part recluse. Impressively liberated from our opulent life-style, Sidd's deciding about yoga -- and his future in baseball Google generally does a good job, but no one has matched Sidd Finch.

It's not just for Engineers: Outsource and Open Source with Artists

March 30th, 2008
I am an engineer at heart. I like to solve problems. I know how to sell, because I have studied and practiced sales with an engineering mindset. So, I am not a great salesperson, but I get by. If you are an engineer that is starting a business, you have to learn to sell. However, I would not recommend you try and stretch too far on the marketing and creative side. I am not an artist or visually creative, so I look for help or formulas and shortcuts. For example: It is very important to have a professional appearance and powerful messaging for your business and your product. Here are two good tips that can help. 1. OUTSOURCE. You will likely need a good logo/image to represent your product or business. Some people are really good at this. You are probably not one of them. You can waste countless hours trying to create something that presents the image you are looking for. Or, you can spend $100 to $200 and have a lot of different people create a logo or image for you and pick the best one. A friend of mine turned me on to this service (I am sure there are others). 99 Designs 10 years ago, we paid $1,000+ for a good logo and a lot more for Version 2.0 (post funding). This service is great and fills a real void. 2. OPEN SOURCE. Don't forget my prior post about delivering powerful presentations One of the key points is to use pictures more than words. However, a big challenge is in FINDING THE PICTURES. I have tried using google image search in the past, however, Seth's Godin has a great tip about searching and using "open source" pictures from Flickr. 10 years ago, we used crappy powerpoint art packages that cost hundreds of dollars. Now we get to leverage artists from around the world, for free. To me, this is what the networked economy is all about. Cost effective outsourcing to specialists. Better, cheaper and faster.

Investing in relationships for long-term payoffs

March 30th, 2008
Guy Kawasaki wrote a great blog about building relationships called "The Art of Schmoozing". The title is interesting, but misleading. His key point: find ways to help people and people will help you. There was an interesting article in Inc. Magazine a few years back called "The 10 Secrets of a Master Networker". This article has some great tips and approaches to execute on your ideas and expand the possibilities of your relationship building potential. However, there is so much information that it might lead you to forget the cardinal rule. Help people and people will help you. Don't forget it.

Thank you Seth Godin.

March 6th, 2008
seth's head Seth is brilliant. He is a prolific blogger and consistently writes thought-provoking posts and points us to other people's great posts. This morning I woke up and he gave me two gems. This one he wrote reminded me to: 1. Not rely on their being one silver bullet marketing or sales tactic. 2. Don't project my own personal preferences onto the rest of the market. He also pointed us to the concept of 1,000 great fans, written by Kevin Kelly. Kevin offers a formula that can help artists/artisans/craftspeople transform their passion into a career.

Working with assholes and stupid people

February 6th, 2008

We hear it all the time:

"The people are more important than the product",

"I'd rather invest in an A-team with a B-opportunity, than a "B-team with an A-opportunity"

It's all true and here is one of my favorite quotes on the topic:

"You hope you don't hire anybody who is stupid, but if you do, pray that they don't have a lot of energy."

Roberto Goizueta, Former CEO of Coca-Cola, who passed away in October 1997

On a related note, here is a great post on the goal of many companies to implement a "No Assholes" policy.