Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year's Eve.
Looking back,
looking forward.

A time to assess and a time to plan.

My prayers and best wishes for those folks hammered by natural disasters this past year. My same thoughts for all those who lost loved ones recently, and to those who continue to endure hardships.

I'm most grateful for my family. I'm grateful for all the continuing laughter as everyone dances through their individual journeys.

My own personal stuff is not what these posts are about, but rather, these posts are supposed to be about your journey into your own enterprise life. Be it a startup, an emerging enterprise or an existing organization in search of some passion.

I will take a personal moment at the end of this year to thank The National Society of Professional Engineers. They awarded our small band of rebels their Small Business New Product of the Year Award for the entire US for 2005.

To anyone who has been through the process, they will know there is typically very little recognition involved.

You pull an idea up out of the muck and mire. You bleed over the thing long before it ever hits three dimensions. When there's patents involved, you fight through all that.

If you're in an ongoing enterprise and you're doing new product development work simultaneously, it's a bit like taking a slow walk across the close end of a busy golf driving range.

And then you've got to make the thing work. Hopefully, better than any other solution before it. Then do it again, and again, and again.

Some past recipients of the Professional Engineers New Product awards include the Boeing 777 and the Mercedes M Class.

The number of people in our small band that was awarded this honor in 2005 wouldn't make up a full crew in a Boeing 777. Our entire R&D budget for this new product award couldn't have bought a used Mercedes.

And yet, the world turns toward sustainable enterprise by little and by little.

The Professional Engineers of the United States saw fit to reward design simplicity and effectiveness this year. They picked a product we designed to work unfailingly in industrial environments most people don't even want to walk past. Importantly, I think, they honored the work of a few very dedicated, highly focused individuals working to make the campground a little better.

What we did was not what Boeing or Mercedes does. None of us will do that as start ups or emerging enterprises, for a while anyway. However, with just a few people, and a lot of hard work, we helped recycle millions of gallons of oil that used to be lost as wastewater and cut soot in the air big time, at least around our customer's plants.

Individuals and small groups can come together and make a difference. I almost wrote, "can still come together", but that's directly opposite of what I mean. It's now much easier than ever before in human history for individuals and small groups to find one another and to make a difference.

If you're looking to make a difference in your own life, you should start taking steps in the coming year to set up your own enterprise, or to smarten up your emerging enterprise. Do it by yourself, or do it with partners. While this partnering process used to be limited to family and friends, you've now got one hell of a lot of new next door neighbors on the internet.

Small, smart enterprise groups have never been easier to start or more needed by the rest of us. You can do it.

2005 brought in some nice recognition. I look forward to taking a great story into 2006.

C'mon along.

God bless and Happy New Year friends.

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