Category Archives: Technology

Learn To Audit Yourself, Just Do You

I’ve been following @GaryVee for awhile now. Great guy. Lot of energy. A great role model in some respects and not in others. A wonderful “virtual mentor”.

I just watched a video of him talking to a group of students at a USC entrepreneur class. He started of by saying that he believes 100%, with no hedge, that you can’t teach someone to be an entrepreneur.

His best piece of advice…

Audit Who You Are

Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can be something that you can’t. Be you. Just do you. Bet on your strengths. Don’t worry at all about your weaknesses.

He goes on to talk about how he had a huge advantage because he was born in Belarus and was poor growing up in the U.S. He had it rough and he honestly believes most people are just too soft to compete with him. This is an honest truth we all need to accept.

Nothing more important then starting right now. Yesterday is always the best day to start.

True entrepreneurs work 16 hour days. True entrepreneurs go and get it done. True entrepreneurs execute the idea. True entrepreneurs hire out their weaknesses.

At the end of the day you just need to do you. Know yourself. What are your strengths? Ask yourself that every day. Be brutally honest. What are your strengths? Don’t just think about what they are. Write them down. Then stare at the page and ask yourself again. Ask your friends, family, colleagues what your strengths are. Maybe you are missing some strength cause it is so easy for you to do it, but that same strength is hard and doesn’t come naturally to a lot of other people. Maybe you are blind to it. Maybe you wrote something down that you think is a strength but most people would see it as a weakness.

Keep doing that. Think, Write, Get Feedback, Meditate, Repeat.

Don’t underestimate speed. Speed is a huge competitive advantage. Speed goes along with the idea of starting yesterday. Stay ahead of the game.

All that matters is the attention graph. All platforms will be media companies. Be a thought leader. Not a thought follower. Be on top of everything. Out work everyone. Don’t call yourself an expert. Just be the expert.

Your grandmother is on facebook now. What is next. Look at what companies Facebook is buying… Instagram, Snapchat, stay ahead of the game…

Fastest growth on Instagram is 40-50 year old women taking #selfies. No joke.

Keep asking, what is next, and be there…

Learning to Program: Getting Started

This has been a big goal of mine for a long time. I have put it off and put it off. I even tried to go back to college to get an IT degree and got talked into pursuing an MBA instead. As of right now, I still don’t know if that was the right choice or not.

In any case, I found three very good resources to get started in my self-taught course in programming…

1. Learn to Program by Chris Pine
2. Codecademy
3. W3Schools

I am sure more will pop up along the way. As usual, with other projects going on I am sure I will make slow progress here, but it is still one of the higher priorities for learning new things in my life.

The World Doesn’t Need More Entrepreneurs?

I just read this article on Slate by Esther Dyson called Not Everyone Can Be Bill Gates

It is sub-titled “The world doesn’t need more entrepreneurs. It needs more people for entrepreneurs to hire.”

This didn’t sit well with me. Kind of like how a 3 day old bean burrito doesn’t sit well with me.

After I read the article I realized where she was trying to go with this, but I think she is completely oblivious to anything that could be called a “start-up” outside the tech industry.

Her argument is that why start a new business when you will have trouble getting qualified people to help you run it? Good point Esther… In fact, why should we start a business at all?

Maybe to add some value back to society?

Maybe to hire people who wouldn’t otherwise get hired elsewhere?

Maybe because we have a product or service that doesn’t require a “high tech” education or experience?

Maybe because the business model makes sense, and won’t require a lot of start up capital to get cash flow positive?

Or maybe people are simply tired of working for big corporations who count them as a number and lay them off at will?

Maybe because they want to work for a smaller yet more sustainable business that is going to see them as a valuable person where they won’t get laid off?

Come on Esther, I think I could do this all day!

Now I will be the first one to tell you that small businesses have a lot of problems that larger businesses or even start-ups don’t have. In a word, capital. But I have news for you, not every entrepreneur wants to start a “high tech” company.

A recent NY Times article reported that “Once a Dynamo, The Tech Sector Is Slow to Hire”

If you want employees then check out where people are most hired…

Here is the BLS listing of the jobs that employ the most people… Occupational Employment Statistics

Now if I wanted to start a business where I was guaranteed to find the labor I needed it would potentially be in one of these categories…

1. A retail store
2. A restaurant
3. A clinic
4. A janitorial service
5. A bookkeeping or accounting service
6. A tutoring service
7. A truck driving company

Now of course all these businesses will have problems of their own, but please don’t say the world doesn’t need more entrepreneurs. Don’t assume a smaller local or regional company can’t service my needs better then a worldwide conglomerate. And please don’t assume your one little sector of the economy, no matter how hot it is, is the only place that start-ups are happening.

So yes, if you are an entrepreneur please go start your business! The world does need you!

More Businesses Should Innovate Like China

This may offend some people, but I don’t know how important intellectual property is these days. Or even if it ever was that important…

You invent a product, design, process, etc. and spend a lot of time and money getting it patented. Then you make a few bucks on it, and if it is even remotely successful, you have to spend a whole lot more time and money to protect your patent.

Meanwhile, people who make and market a slightly different product are making a killing without all the extra costs. They are producing it faster and cheaper then you ever could. It’s the continuing story of business everywhere… “Inventors make the product, Distributors make the the profit.” Just think of Amazon or Ebay…

This story is really playing out in China…

I just read an article over @ Sovereign Man entitled “Can Your IPhone Do This?“. It talks about how China continues to take technology and make it better….

Direct Quote: “This is a central theme among Asia’s technology developers. They start with a basic idea (like supercomputers, military aircraft, or mobile phones), analyze what the foreign companies are doing well, figure out how to make it better, and eliminate any dependency on western suppliers.”

Some of the best products are made from people who don’t care about gaining a patent and maximizing the profit they can ring out of it. Think Open Office, the free option that replaces Microsoft Office…

If you have a business that innovates you should definitely be watching the news on China and take some pointers from them. Whether you like it or not, the profits will flow to those who keep producing. Not those who rest on their laurels…