Currently Reading

  • The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About ItThe E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • Blue Ocean Strategy: How To Create Uncontested Market Space And Make The Competition IrrelevantBlue Ocean Strategy: How To Create Uncontested Market Space And Make The Competition Irrelevant
  • The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the WorldThe Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World
  • Entrepreneurship, Reminders and Legal Aid

    Entrepreneurship Blogger: I just found a new entrepreneurship resource that I need to share.  Mark Suster writes Both Sides of The Table as an entrepreneur turned VC.  His writing is clear and he writes about things that all entrepreneurs need to read. I think I have “starred” his posts 4 or 5 times in the last several weeks as clear thinking about topics I care about.

    Some examples:

    Reminders: Do you sometimes send an email request out to someone and then forget about the fact that you are expecting something in return?  Then a deadline passes and you say, “Where in the heck is that response from so and so?”.  There is a simple new tool out there for free that will help you.  It is called FollowUpThen.  To use it is simple. Just add an email address in the form xdays@followupthen.com to your cc: or bcc: list and the site will send a nicely formatted email after that time period has passed.  If you add it to the cc: list, then if the recipient doesn’t reply all with the answer to your request, FollowUpThen will send both you and the recipient the reminder email.  If you add it to the bcc: list, the reminder will be sent only to the originator of the email.  The xdays can be any number of days, weeks, months, years or hours. The tool seems to me to be an elegant solution to a common problem.

    Legal Aid: If there is one thing in this world that I love is a business success story.  There are a lot of things that make me crazy, but one of them is lawyers who go the extra mile to make tons of money at someone else’s expense, damn the particular merits of a case.  The latest Chicago entrepreneurial success story is Groupon. If you have never heard about them, they create a deal a day for each city that they are in (now up to well over 50 cities).  If a minimum number of people sign up for the deal, it is a go.  The deals are usually pretty great — normally 50% or more off of some service.  Each day you get this little present in your email box describing the deal — a manicure, massage, dinner, auto show tickets or Cubs rooftop box are just some examples.  I have used their service and absolutely love it.  Its free to sign up and just choose each day whether a specific deal will work for you.  Their customer service policies are unbelievable. If you have a problem, normally they will just refund your purchase price, but they have been known to work with their vendors to make alternative dates available or accept expired certificates.  Nothing but good things.

    So, what’s the problem?  Well, a local law firm just filed a class action lawsuit claiming that Groupon systematically deceives their customers. Best retort I have seen in a while — Groupon is declaring a class action lawsuit against itself.  Let them know if and how you were deceived and they will make it right.  If only there were some procedural way to have a law firm punished, if found to be bringing frivolous  lawsuits.  This one certainly sounds frivolous to me.

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