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Showing posts from June, 2012

Book Review - The ART of the START

Recently, I have been assisting a start-up in preparation for raising Venture Capital.At the recommendation of a friend, I bought The ART of the START The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawasaki.Mr. Kawasaki is a venture-capitalist.Prior to becoming a VC, Mr. Kawasaki worked at Apple.
Mr. Kawasaki set as his goal for the book to help entrepreneurs and others starting enterprises reduce the preparatory time and move straight into development.(Prep time including visiting with various experts to collect ideas, learn potential problems that can be avoided, etc.)
Mr. Kawasaki writes with style, verve and an appealing since of humor.
He starts with a summary of five things that each new effort should include.One of the intriguing concepts is to avoid developing a mission statement, but instead develop a very short mantra.Having been in some very unproductive, long, painful, meetings where mission statements were being hatched, I can appreciate the reco…

Book Review: Graceful by Seth Godin

Seth Godin is a publishing machine.He deserves credit for (to use Tom Peter’s term) re-imagining publishing.I’m not aware of anyone else close to his skills at channel- linking: Kindle books, hardcover books, free books, blogs, Twitter.And most recently with Kickstarter.Very inventive indeed.

Graceful follows the style of many of his books, that is, very short chapters, each making a single point to support and develop the theme of the book.

One of George Gilder’s recommendations in the early days of the Internet and the PC explosion was to determine which resources are scarce and which are abundant.Then design to exploit the abundant resource.Mr. Godin updates that concept with gracefulness being in short supply, along with leadership.In his view, in the new economy is based on abundance.I would label that a network effect.From his chapter on Abundance and scarcity: “If I benefit when everyone knows my idea, then the more people I give the idea to, the better off we all are”.

Mr. Godin’…

Partagas Coronas Senior

English: Box of Partagas Coronas Deutsch: Kiste Partagas Coronas (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Courtesy of friend Eduardo Fertman, I enjoyed a delecious cigar from famed cigar house Partagas.
It was a Coronas Senior.  First, I'll admit to being a fan of Partagas.  In the great cigar boom, it seemed to me that they maintained their quality standards, even as new entrants bid up tobacco prices, and in some cases purchased entire crops, limiting the availability of tobacco to older, longstanding firms.
The Coronas Senior makes my short list of cigars that I'll continue to purchase.  A new favorite!
Thanks Eduardo!

Related articlesCigar Aficionado: Best Cigars of 2011

Dear Mr. Bernanke:

Dear Mr. Bernanke: I hate to be critical of Fed policy.Really.Because the fiscal policies of both the current and prior administrations, and eleven consecutive years of totally feckless behavior by Congress, has done more than tie one hand behind the Fed’s back; it’s tied both hands, shackled a leg and blindfolded it.

But the time has come for the Fed to face its egregiously destructive policies and change them. Deflation was a threat.In some ways it still is.Housing went from a bubble to decline to free fall.Millions of jobs have been lost, fueling deflation.Your response was to attempt to create inflation and thereby resurrect housing.Reasonable theory.The supply chain for housing is gigantic; if it were to be restored millions of jobs would return: not just sheetrock hangers, cabinet installers, plumbing contractors, roofers, electricians, tile layers, carpet layers, carpenters, HVAC installers, landscapers and window installers, but also factory workers in plants that make insulation…

Review: Take the Lead

Take the Lead by Betsy Myers with John David Mann, is her treatise on leadership.The byline is “Motivate, Inspire and Bring Out the Best in Yourself and Everyone Around You”.
Ms. Myers has an underlying concept: that there is a need for a new kind of leadership.Changing times, the Internet, the mobility of society has erased the prior, up the organization ladder method of leadership development.Her statement: “The emerging need is not simply for a better leadership but a new kind of leadership…” (Italics are hers).

The book takes the reader through the experiences that gave her a point of view on leadership.Those experiences, while varied, are heavily weighted to public service.That includes stints in the Clinton administration, working in the Obama campaign and at the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard.All of these led to contact with famous and successful people, whether cabinet level or contributors to Harvard or political campaigns.Not a bad group to use to develop leadership m…

The New Conservative Spokesman

Chuck Woolery is emerging as the new conservative spokesman. Humorists, edgy writers and comedians have long been influential in shaping the trend of thought.  Mark Twain, H.L. Menken from prior generations.  Carl Hiaasen and preservation in FL.  A Dennis Miller rant. The impact of Saturday Night Live skits.
But I didn't expect a former game show host.  However, I'll admit I support every single thing in this video.

Review: Escape Velocity by Geoffrey Moore

Geoffrey Moore is a very successful author and has also started multiple consulting and speaking businesses.He is also a partner in a venture capital firm.Mr. Moore writes extensively about strategy and marketing, particularly in technology markets.

In Escape Velocity Free Your Company’s Future from the Pull of the Past Mr. Moore sets up circumstances in which businesses struggle with a transition from existing products and services to the products and services that will replace them.

I have two quick observations: first, this book is clearly about business-to-business marketing.If you are in the B2B space, there are some lessons here, but this book clearly is not aimed at you.Second, since Mr. Moore is involved with tech companies, his examples are almost exclusively tech examples.Not so narrow as not to be interesting, but perhaps limited for readers who are in, say, insurance or construction.
Moore’s theme is that there is a hierarchy of strategy, which he labels powers.(It is my int…