January, 2011Archive for

Revenue Sharing Loans

Revenue Sharing Loans Wonderful way to borrow One of the founders of the non-profit kiva.org, the crowdsourcing microlending site, Jessica Jackley has built on the idea and Kiva's experience to establish a wonderful site for venture founders: profounder.com. What's wonderful is that loans are made from your network who are inspired by your pitch to back your new startup business. But rather than having to give away equity or get saddled with regular interest payment on a loan, the investo...

Small Biz Profits Growth 2010

US Small Biz Profits Growth 2010 Vermont Top State According to Inc. Magazine's Small Business Blog, the US State where small business profits were growing the fastest in 2010, was the State of Vermont. This is very interesting, given that Vermont is only rated 37th out of 50 in the CNBC Top States for Business rankings for 2010. Source: Inc. Magazine Forbes magazine placed Vermont 45th in their Best States for Business rankings in 2010. In the Tax Foundation's 2011 State Business ...

Are you a social architect?

Live into business As a young manager, I remember lots of talk about work-home life balance. I even had a commission to write a book called The Natural Manager about 40 years ago. It never got written, but I have always believed that there was no reason why work life and home life had to be in opposition. When I was a student at Besançon in eastern France back in 1958, I visited Le Corbusier's  Notre Dame du Haut at Ronchamp that had been built four years earlier. This amazing hilltop pilg...

Peak and Path

Peak and Path Keeping your eye on the peak, while watching the path is a nice skill for leaders, followers and entrepreneurs. If you aim to start a business, there is every need to do just that. Dream of profits, but monitor your cash flow. Top managers have a hard time balancing command and control systems, while at the same time being social architects to enable the performance they dream about. Good social architects create the means through which the ends can be achieved. It is a...

Edgewalkers Go Out-preneuring

Edgewalkers Go Out-preneuring What's an edgewalker? Judi Neal says they are people "who walk between worlds and have the ability to build bridges between different world views. They have a strong spiritual life and also very grounded and effective in the evryday world. They have five qualities of being: self-awareness passion integrity vision playfulness. Why would such people go out-preneuring. What's out-preneuring? Out-preneurs are those employees who want to create thei...

Futureworks–In-preneuring from P&G

Futureworks–an example of In-preneuring While they are far from alone in the field of sponsoring what I call In-preneuring, Procter & Gamble have gone to some lengths to organize the process through what they call Futureworks. They invite others to bring them innovations in areas that connect with P&G brands for co-development. Futureworks creates, incubates, and scales tranformational new business models, new categories, and service experiences with consumer-driven, disruptive mar...

Random Acts of Kindness

Trendwatching for All Startups Before, during and after you start a business, watching trends of all kinds, not least those in the consumer field is a vital, though not necessarily time consuming activity. Without watching, you may miss the boat, or caught with your panties down - so it could be embarrassing–or worse! There are many ways to trendwatch, apart from simply keeping your eyes and ears open. One I use is trendwatching.com: an independent and opinionated trend firm, scanning t...

Create Your Business Model

It's not too late. Now is the moment to create your business model. Maybe the reason for the existence of the business you want to start is no longer valid. There is a better mouse trap–even than your own invention. Or, worse there is after all, no need to kill mice in the first place. Of course you have your business plan, whether on the back of an envelope or bound into a 50-page document with charts and tables. But will it work? Will they believe it? Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigne...

Creating Shared Value

When Michael Porter, strategy guru known for his five forces of competitive advantage comes to the view that creating shared value (CSV) is the key to the survival of business, I pay attention. When you think about it, the concept is not only ethical and about doing the right thing, it is also a very sustainable business strategy. Porter's article, written with Mark Kramer, appeared in the Jan-Feb 2011 issue of HBR and deserves to be read by any thinking entrepreneur or manager. Selfish compe...