Archive | March, 2009

Thinking strategically, part two: Core competencies and competitive advantage

Because I don’t like typing things twice, for this second installment on thinking strategically on business, I offer up a great discussion core competencies and competitive advantage from our book, Shoestring Venture: The Startup Bible. It, I think, hits just the right pitchfor entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and small businesses — in other words, for the rest [...]

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Another great review!

We are really honored that Kelly Watson, who runs Women Wise Marketing, has posted a great review on our book, Shoestring Venture: The Startup Bible. You can read the review here. Money quote: I was overwhelmed, at first, by the sheer size of the book. But then I realized that Shoestring Venture isn’t a book [...]

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The Biz Roundup March 31

Google gets into the venture capital game. GoogleMoney? GoogleCapital? GoogleAngel? Though committing only to invest $100m in its first year as a venture capital investor, Google executives made clear in an interview with the Financial Times that the internet group had its sights set on joining the top ranks of the valley’s close-knit financial world, [...]

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Forget social marketing and new media, publish a MAGAZINE!!!!

Just when you thought old media was dead, Hewlett-Packard rolls out an on-demand magazine printing service that makes it possible to cheaply print small-run magazines. I’m talking four-color, full-bleed, decent weight glossy paper magazines as good as anything you see in a bookstore (provided you have a good designer) for TWENTY CENTS PER PAGE. A [...]

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The Biz Roundup March 30

Here’s another radical socialist idea from Obama: treat the automakers as if they were businesses and expect them to behave as such. How far to the left can this administration go? Therefore, [Obama] said, he is offering GM and Chrysler “a limited period of time to work with creditors, unions and other stakeholders to fundamentally [...]

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Cloud computing for startups

A large part of Shoestring Venture: The Startup Bible deals with exploiting cloud computing resources (like Web-based software) at incredibly low cost. In fact, we have an entire guide to cloud computing on the factory line even as I sepak. The recession, it turns out, is making cloud computing the cheap technology of choice for [...]

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Common sense about search engine optimization

In my last post, I include a quote about “hope” from Thucydides’ Melian Debate. But since I really couldn’t pop it out from memory (I could a couple decades ago — in the original Greek, no less!), I googled it for a translation. There, to my surprise, sitting in the number one position of almost [...]

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The Biz Roundup March 28-29

We have met the bottom and this is it (or not). April will mark the 17th month of the recession that began in December 2007, making it the lengthiest downturn of the post-Depression era. For the most part, forecasters don’t see U.S. economic growth turning positive until early autumn, and even then, expect the unemployment [...]

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Reserve currency versus global currency

Michelle Bachmann, Congresswoman from Minnesota’s sixth district, has introduced panicked legislation outlawing the establishment of a “global currency.” The legislation was inspired by China’s overture to establish a single reserve currency and, quite possibly, make that standard, universal global reserve currency some other currency rather than American dollars. Timothy Geithner limpidly announced that the U.S. [...]

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Every dumb thing I know about the economy, I got from the television

If, like me, you followed Jon Stewart’s recent defeathering, skewering, and roasting of bulbous blabbermouth, Jim Cramer, with unrepentant delight, then I’m sure you would just love to see Stewart tongue-lash a few more of these cable television tunaheads. Starting with Chris Hansen, who’s graduated from lusting after teen girls to lusting after bankers. As [...]

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Posted in economy, happenings, seriously dumb2 Comments

The Biz Roundup March 27 (The tweet-length Twitter edition)

What do you mean, make money? You mean, like, profits? Oh, crap! Crap! I knew we forgot something! In the span of a week, Twitter has transformed from a company that has seemed in no hurry to make money to one that is willing to at least experiment on a business model. On Monday, the [...]

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Michael Josephson on workplace accountability

Perhaps it’s because I’m hard at work on a book on character as a competetitive advantage; or perhaps it’s because, as a believer in outsourcing, that employees are more trouble than their worth (not really . . . that’s why I just finished a book called The Million Dollar Employee, which is being hatcheted by [...]

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Have you been duped by the Real Age Quiz?

If you’re one of the millions who have fallen for Real Age — or any one of the many data-trolling “apps” on Facebook and MySpace, then you absolutely must read this eye-opening piece in today’s New York Times. Now, I come with a long and fruitful background in database marketing and I’ve actually consulted with [...]

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How not to budget, Republican-style

This is not a political blog, but politics teaches us some profound business lessons and, besides which, we have a whip-smart author cooking up a book in the Shoestring Venture series on the subject of shoestring and bootstrap venture budgeting. This morning, the House Republicans released their budget alternative and, in their infinite wisdom, decided [...]

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The Biz Roundup March 26

Last week: Geithner the Goat. This week: Geithner the Bold. Next week: Geithner Blood-Axe. The Obama administration wants to force a wide range of large financial institutions to hold more capital as part of a sweeping regulatory overhaul that Tim Geithner, US Treasury secretary, yesterday called the “new rules of the game”. . . . [...]

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In the “I wish I thought of that” department

Beer-steamed hot dogs. Not your everyday sidewalk Polish or brat. I have always said and will say again that entrepreneurship is about reaching any one of several dreams — only one of which is getting rich. But if this haute-restrauteur-turned-hotdog vendor ever decides to franchise this idea, well, he’s got more than his share of [...]

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Customer-centric or vision-centric? Is crowdsourcing overhyped?

I am a dyed-in-the-wool customer service evangelist, but I have always resisted the crowdsourcing idea. Taken too far, crowdsourcing is miles worse than designing by committee, especially since the crowdsourcing committee includes any maroon who happens through your door. In response to Facebook’s recent user interface changes — and then their prompt backpedalling — Michael [...]

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The Biz Roundup March 25

AIG is the gift that just keeps giving, isn’t it? Jake DeSantis, a manager in AIG’s Financial Products unit, said AIG “accelerated by three months [the payment of] more than a quarter” of the $165m of retention bonuses due to the division’s employees. “That action signified to us your support and was hardly something that [...]

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Thinking strategically, part one: the “lottery” strategy

We are smack in the middle of a strategy book for our Shoestring Venture series, so watch this space over the next few months. In the meantime, we’re offering up these blog tidbits on thinking strategically. No, we’re not going to quote Sun Tzu or any of that other sociopathic “it’s a war out there” [...]

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The Biz Roundup March 24

Now that’s what I’m talking about. The U.S. government needs to be able to take over and wind down a broad range of economically important non-bank financial institutions, top economic officials told Congress Tuesday, though who will get that authority was left as an open question. . . . “If a federal agency had had [...]

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