Category: Entrepreneurs

Shout Out to The Skimm

The Skimm FoundersDanielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin are the founders of The Skimm. Skimm is now two years old and their subscriber base continues to explode!

The two met while studying abroad and both had a passion for news. They started working in the corporate environment, as producers for NBC News.They started talking about doing their own thing and the rest is history!! Read more »

Marijuana Will Be the Single Best Investment Idea?

Todd Harrison believes that Marijuana will be the single best investment idea of the decade.

But while the public has watched recreational marijuana take off in Colorado this year, how can they profit from it as an investment theme?

Harrison believes it will be driven by the broader legalization of marijuana, inspired by states’ need for tax revenue. He points to expectations that legal marijuana use is expected to generate $134 million in tax revenue for the upcoming fiscal year in Colorado, the first state to allow recreational marijuana. That’s  nothing to sneeze at, and Harrison calls the state the “litmus test” for broader legalization. Harrison also cites the expected decline in crime rates and  prison populations as powerful incentives to decriminalize  marijuana. Read more »

Attention Minority Contractors

Have you been certified by the government as a minority owned company? Since Federal projects have to have a certain percentage awarded to minority contractors; this can be a very lucrative opportunity.

For the past two years my company has been looking into this and offering guidance to minority owned companies. Here is a classic example. Read more »

Bootstrapping Your Business

Kudos to Ali Brown! Hope you had a chance to see her last night on Secret Millionaire, she was great and very generous. Isn’t that the whole point of being an entrepreneur-Having the ability to share your success with others?

One of her recent blog posts is called 7 Ideas for Bootstrapping Your Business. She says:

I see many of them get carried away with the “image” of entrepreneurship. They want the big team, the latest software, new computers, a pretty office and the like right off the bat.

Great article and the only thing I can add to the above statment is Amen! Just dig in a make it happen!!

Whose Concept Was It, Anyway?

I saw a great article in the New York Times by Amy Wallace. The article is titled Whose Concept Was It, Anyway?  This is such a typical start-up story. It goes something like this:

Last month’s Prototype column about a company that makes reusable dry-cleaning bags-began: “Man or woman, every one on us has experienced the frustration that drove Rick Siegel to become an inventor”

The day it appeared, with a picture of Mr Siegel, his wife, Jennie Nogrosh, and their product, the Green Garmento, I heard from another Los Angeles inventor, Jane Wyler. She was plenty frustrated with Mr. Siegel.

It turns out that Ms. Wyler, whose company is called Reuseniks, met Mr. Siegel in 2008 when he and his wife approached her at a trade show. The couple told Ms. Wyler that they were blown away by her reusable dry-cleaning bag, the clothesnik. After buying two, they asked to meet to discuss investing in her company. Ms. Wyler opted not to team with them….and you know what happened next, right?

If you are an entrepreneur please read the entire article very carefully you will learn the merits of having folks sign a non compete agreement, some folks have different ethics than you may and most importantly; patent or no patent, market saturation is king!!

This particular product has no patent and perhaps Mr. Siegel was not completely honest with the author but he was able to get some massive publicity. In the end, the market will decide who has the superior product but there are great lessons to be learned by all of you budding entrepreneurs. Thanks for a great article Amy!

Advice to Entrepreneurs-Fail Cheaply

I met Steve Shapiro, the business innovation speaker, last month when I was speaking at the Boston Chapter of NSA. As fate would have it Steve Spoke at our chapter here in Denver, Colorado on Friday. His presentation was great and the audience loved it! Steve normally speaks on Innovation and how to keep your business ahead of the curve. He did share some of those ideas with us but his main focus on Friday was: The costly mistakes he had made in his speaking career-and how we could avoid them!

One of my favorite take a ways was-Fail Cheaply! Steve encouraged all of us to test our brilliant ideas a little piece at a time before committing all of your time and dollars into a great idea that only you love 😉 Steve held the audience captive with his solid suggestions and great case studies.

After our program he held a bonus session on his infamous Personality Poker. What a great tool for discovering your innovation personality! It was great to see how we perceive ourselves and how other perceive us as well. Thanks for sharing this with us Steve.

Our program was a complete success and I highly recommend you bring in Steve Shapiro to speak to your assocaition or company on innovation.

J.K. Rowling at Harvard University

J.K. Rowling extolled the crucial importance of imagination during a speech Thursday at Harvard University’s spring commencement, saying, “We do not need magic to transform our world.”

The Harry Potter author also stressed the benefit of failure, recalling the humiliations of her time in poverty before her career took off with her string of novels about a bespectacled boy wizard.

Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation,” Rowling said. “In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity; it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.”

Great advice for all small business owners and would be entrepreneurs!

Read the entire USA Today article.

Annita Roddick

Annita Roddick 1942-2007, founder of the Body Shop passed away yesterday. Thanks to Michelle Miller for a great quote of Roddick’s:

“If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.”
Great attitude and very inspirational for anyone trying to find their way. I’ve been watching The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch lately. It’s incredible the perseverance and tenacity some of his guests bring to the program. A great watch for entrepreneurs trying to find their niche!