The 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 Irrelevant
The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World
I was reminded recently that I haven’t done a links column is a while, so here goes for a few good reads:
- Seth Godin writes about funding for a business. The typical methods are debt (loan) or equity (stock). He proposes a third way that might make some funding sources happy. I am intrigued.
- Dustin Curtis writes about the science of entrepreneurship. This article was fun to read, but take a look at the rest of the articles on his blogazine. He is a talented User Experience designer and each article is beautiful and thoughtful. Also to be read are the two articles about American Airlines and their user experience. By the way, American Airlines fired the AA designer who wrote to Dustin.
- Fun logic test here: Are you a cognitive miser?
- For entrepreneurs out there who are having problems with marketing, here are over 100 marketing questions that will help you get started thinking about how to market your company (or yourself).
We need to take a break from all that Health Care stuff and I thought some fun links might be “just the ticket” as Jon Lovitz might say.
I can’t believe how Al Franken
created this hand drawn map
Fun: For trivia buffs, here is a tough quiz, using circular logic.
Politics: Another Sanctity of Marriage act for California? Maybe.
I haven’t done a good listing of links lately, so here you go…
Fun: Gotta love this picture…
Video: Regular readers know that I love Seth Godin. If you have never heard him speak, take an opportunity to view this video of a speech he gave last year to a software developer’s conference.
Management: Netflix, a company that I admire for a lot of really great things, has posted a slide deck of how their corporate culture works. It is long (128 slides), but it reads quickly. It is a must read for any entrepreneur trying to establish a coherent and successful culture.
Time: I read this article a couple of weeks back and it keeps coming back to me with a simplicity of the content and yet the relevance. Paul Graham writes about Maker’s Schedule and Manager’s Schedule.
Fun: Spend 2 minutes and watch this great stop action film, done as a senior project by a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Chutzpah: Wow! I haven’t posted a chutzpah link before today, but I had to post this. For those of you who are unsure about the meaning of chutzpah, according to dictionary.com it is unmitigated effrontery or impudence; gall.
Technology: I consider myself pretty competent around a spreadsheet. I knew about half of these double-click wonders for Excel. On this page there are also links to a few other pages with Excel shortcut magic.
Economics: Wonder how the local governments are going to handle the reduction in tax income? Some places have it figured out… If you haven’t gotten the ticket yet, it seems you will.
Big Picture: I am reading a very interesting book, The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News, in Politics, and in Life, by Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot. The idea is that we need to have some sense of numbers before we can make rational decisions. The book is broken up into chapters like Count, Size and Average. In each, the authors try to show how a little thinking can help us understand what we read and how people can use numbers to confuse. On a related point, the Freakonomics blog today talks about why it may be better for us to move to an SUV rather than a Prius. How could this be? Well, it has to do with our understanding (or lack thereof) of the most common statistic related to fuel economy, miles per gallon.
Fun: There is this group called Improv Everywhere. They stage fun, surprising scenes. For the past 8 years, they have staged the No Pants Subway Ride, where their teams (in 22 cities this year, with over 1200 participants in New York alone) get on the subway wearing only their undies. No harm, no fuss, just bringing fun to the world. Their latest escapade was to provide a wedding reception to a couple who had just been married by a judge in New York City. What a great gift. The world needs more Improv.
Entrepreneurship: Think the inner city can’t be a place to start a new business? Think again. Given that there is a whole lot more real estate out there available, albeit some with bank branches and auto dealerships. Smart entrepreneurs are going to be looking for ways to make a business around these sites.
Strategy: Another Seth Godin gem. Knowing how to ask is more important than the ask itself.
Behavior: Dan Ariely, author of the terrific book Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, spoke at a recent EG conference. EG is an offshoot of the TED conference. Dan’s topic was about how we make decisions. Besides the usual visual games, he discusses some of the reasons that we make decisions and how options that have absolutely no value often distract us in our decision-making process. Marketers are using this information today to get you to move on their buying process. In fact, as Dan describes, it could be a matter of life and death in a medical setting.
Fun: I was one of the unnamed friends at Kristin’s turkey (and other assorted goodies) fry-off last weekend. Pictures and recipes are included in her blog. I admit that I was unsure about the whole deep frying bit, but man, these treats were wonderful.
DePaul: Thursday was a long day and thus no blog post. DePaul University’s Coleman Entrepreneurship Center had their gala event and gave out several awards. Congrats to Chris Campbell of Lakeshore Branding and Greenwerks, Jen Moran of Greenola and Ben Meader of CareerHook. Also congratulations are in order to my friend Bruce Leech of evolve who was named the Coleman Foundation Catalyst Award Recipient.
Business Strategy: Tim Ferriss talks about a book by his friend, Alan Webber, called Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths for Winning at Business Without Losing Your Self. In the article, he has an excerpt of the book, RULE #24 – If you want to change the game, change the economics of how the game is played. After reading this, I need to read the entire book.
Behind the Scenes: We all remember the heroism of Captain Chesley Sullenberger in the saving of US Air Flight 1594 on the Hudson River. What we have never seen until now are the pictures of the plane as it was recovered from the chilly waters of the Hudson. Photographer Stephen Mallon was there and photographed the scenes for Wired.
Fun: A fun new toy to play with, but one that has significant potential to be a solid research tool is Wolfram|Alpha. Gina Trapani played with it and wrote a multi-faceted review.
Big Picture: Malcolm Gladwell writes in The New Yorker about how David can beat Goliath. In many cases, it is thinking outside the box and not falling to conventional wisdom.
New Inventions: From the pages of Harry Potter, along comes an invention that we can all see merit in (or not) – the cloak of invisibility.
Behavior: Have you ever wanted to understand how a con-man was able to work his magic? Read a lesson in How to Cheat from The Economist.
A little bit of a light day today due to other commitments. Tomorrow will be more of the same.
Entrepreneurship: Wow, two articles on start-ups versus corporate America. First, SAMBA Blog posits that “It takes a lot more work to build a small company than it takes to build a big company.” Read their rationale. By the way, I agree with them. Second, Micah talks about the differences between start-ups and corporations relative to failure.
Fun: Did you ever want to see President Obama’s Facebook status for the first 100 days? Somehow, Slate got an unauthorized look and shares it.
Big Picture: Imagine that your financial records were being held by your financial planner (and if you had more than one, each in a separate system) that you were not allowed to view. You trusted your financial planners, but if you asked questions of them, they would reply “Now, who is the financial planner here?”. If you ever did get to see your records and noticed an error, you could not find anyone who was responsible for fixing it. Doesn’t sound like my financial planner, thank god. But change the subject to your relationship with your physician and you aren’t so surprised anymore. Well, you may be surprised about how your medical records are actually kept. In his excellent blog, e-Patient Dave talks about his adventures in Electronic Medical Records and what we can do to make things better. Attention, open source software folks, we may need your help soon.
Economy: What is your take on these 12 iconic brands that 24/7 Wall Street believes will disappear in the next 12 months?
Fun: I thought I knew how to make a baby, but as usual, I didn’t have all the steps down right, at least according to this video.