Welcome to this week’s edition of carnival of entrepreneurship! I am delighted to act as your host. It was a bit of a challenge sorting through all the submissions and choosing just seven. I tried to include a diversity of topics and authors so that entrepreneurs of all different backgrounds would find some value. Here goes:
John Brothers of PicoBusiness presents So you want to join a startup John describes what he has learned from nine years working in a startup environment. I think it gives great insight into what life is like inside a technology startup if you are considering launching one yourself. Explaining one of the points of be prepared to do just about everything, he shares "In my time at the various startups I’ve worked at, I’ve loaded and unloaded trucks (as a product manager), emptied trash (as a CTO), bought coffee and whiteboard markers (as a chief architect). I’ve chased down thieving employees, fixed servers by candelight, slept on the floor in my office, hand-built whiteboard stands, and personally couriered rackmount Linux servers from Atlanta to Washington DC, carrying an awkward 40+ pound box through the airport. And I’ve gotten off easy!"
Jack Yoest of Small Business Trends Radio presents Selling a Book? Start with Radio. He describes ten specific steps for getting your book picked up by the radio media. I like the clear way he lays out the process, and the level of detail under each step. Sample advice: "Memorize your 8 second sound bites. Big books should be broken down into sound bites made simple and memorable for citations. The broader the audience, the simpler the message…And when speaking to a large, large audience, simple sells. 800 pound gorillas write in 800 word articles and speak in 8 second sound bites"
Matt Inglot presents The Top 5 Points a Venture Capitalist Wants to Hear that he gleaned from attending a seminar in Waterloo, Canada put on by Infusion Angels. He shared the value he got from the conference, and summarized the main points in his own words. I encourage you to read it even if you are not seeking venture capital, as Matt says "as an entrepreneur, you should be hitting every point in your planning even if you don’t intend to seek venture capital, as these are key criteria for an idea that has strong chances of success."
Becky McCray of Small Business Survival presents Sell More by Layering. Becky is a small business owner in a small town in Oaklahoma, and writes for this audience. I like her straightforward and clear explanations that are very helpful for entrepreneurs just learning about selling their products or services. She explains "layering is the process of giving info in small chunks. Rather than overwhelm a prospect with the whole story and every detail, break it into bite-sized pieces."
Yaro Starak of Small Business Branding presents How to Throw Away $500. If you are just beginning to market a product in an untested market, you will appreciate these lessons learned from an experiment gone bad. He shares "What I did learn was that spending large sums of money on marketing promotions like these was not the way to go. With no prior testing, I had no knowledge of what to expect. My intentions were good and I thought I had made a smart choice figuring out where my target market was. It turns out I was wrong."
Dave Free of Seeds of Growth presents Innovation 101 where he shares a humorous story of what he learned about the process of innovation while trying to sand drywall mud with his sons. The lead picture is worth the visit! Like Dave, I often learn alot about business and leadership while doing everyday things. From his experience, he outlines six key principles that "if applied, will deliver breakthrough innovations."
For the final, and admittedly favorite, post of the week, Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You to be Rich presents 8 Stupid Frat-Boy Business Ideas. Ramit is a sharp tack graduate from Stanford that has a hilarious critique of business ideas hatched in college that never should see the light of day. He says "A stupid frat-boy business idea is an idea that sounds attractive on the surface, but ignores the graveyard of failures before it. It’s usually hatched when a few guys get together, drink a lot, and end up talking about stuff that "should" exist. Sometimes the discussion gets entrepreneurial and they talk about a few ideas, which one of the guys will pursue the next day (when everyone else forgets about it)." I feel hopeful about the next generation of entrepreneurs reading Ramit’s insights.