Saturday, July 21, 2007

Visual illusions

Let's see, how are we going to dress this up as entrepreneurial research, and not as something to do when you need to get your head out of your work for a bit?

I know. How's this for a thesis: entrepreneurship is something people stare at, wonder about, analyze, pontificate on, and get rhapsodic over. Yet it's my belief that we all see something different in the subject.

Ms. Kim Komando, The Digital Goddess posted a great 'site of the day' that I want to pass on for no other reason than it's... oh yeah, a great research site for entrepreneurship.

Professor Michael Bach, an optical scientist from the University of Freiburg has put up examples of 72 different visual illusions, with the capability of changing the speed of the components to prove to yourself that, oh yeah, you're doing research.

This is really cool!

Dr. Bach's visual illusion examples

Kim Komando, America's digital goddess. Kim has a very good radio show and newsletters you can locate from her site.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Entrepreneurial happiness? Get more out of life 5 different ways.

I read (and recommend) a blog called LifeHacker. Their posts for 5/26/07 included a link to Though the author probably didn't intend it, I thought there was a good entrepreneurship spin in this piece.

Get more out of life 5 different ways

1. Live Below Your Means

2. Put Your Money to Work

3. Educate Yourself (Rick's note - entrepreneurship education is all over the place)

4. Develop Lasting Personal Relationships

5. Work Towards a Dream You’re Passionate About (Rick's note 2 - a good working definition of entrepreneurship)

Taken from 5 - (Rick note: A slow motion, small scale, DYI start up fits this perfectly. I recommend starting with a not-open-for-commerce-yet web site to roll out your dream and your emerging enterprise):

"Even if your life isn’t perfect, you can always build towards a goal you’re passionate about. If you aren’t building towards something, you’re probably stagnating. When this happens to me I start to feel like a victim trapped by my own life. The best way to reverse this is working towards a goal. We can’t control everything about our lives, but working towards a goal gives us something positive to focus on and lays the foundation for future success. No matter what your passion is, get out there and start doing something. As Lao Tzu said, even a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step."

Read the source post

Visit the always helpful LifeHacker

Friday, July 13, 2007

5 Reasons to Create Your First Start Up

The title of this piece is a blog title written by Chris Campbell. This was written in Nov. 2006 by Chris who co-founded Wufoo, which is a very nice new web based form that I've just started using. ("The best thing to happen to forms since the submit button" - I wholeheartedly agree!)

Chris hits on some real trouble spots possible in some types of start ups. Although I believe Chris is a young man, he speaks with experience and describes these pitfalls well.

This kind of talk will likely scare off many of my boomer pals but Chris Campbell's piece is not talking about boomer micro start ups.

It's geared toward small tech startups

Here is some from Chris Campbell piece linked below...

"The moral of the story is that now is a great time to begin your first startup because there is usually a lot to learn before your first real success. The act of starting a business will help to solidify your ideas, weed out bad co-founders and give you a feel for the time commitment required."

Here's Chris' list:

1) It Prepares You for How Much Work Is Involved

2) It’ll Teach You What to Look for in a Cofounder

3) It’ll Show You How Flexible Your Ideas Need to Be

4) It’ll Teach You the Importance of Passion

5) It’ll Show You How Little You Know About Money

Read the details. It's short and worth it.

The Wufoo blog piece

Check out this cool Wufoo site

I'm also a big fan of the venture folks behind them and one of their principals Paul Graham. Check out Y-Combinator

Friday, July 06, 2007

Why women live longer than men

I've made arrangements with one of the really great schools in the Wisconsin Technical College System to begin teaching a series of courses online to train new entrepreneurs.

I'm very excited about these courses. I've been writing and refining them over the last several years. Six courses will be available, starting this fall, to anyone in the U.S. with an internet connection and a telephone line, through Waukesha County Technical College. (The courses will cover these 6 topics... Intro to Entrepreneurship, Business Planning, Organizing, Managing, Marketing and Preparing/Executing for Micro Enterprises). I will post more info as it becomes available.

So two things crossed as I was preparing to take these courses public.

The first involved the course on creating sustainable business plans. I'm researching and writing about smart ways to encourage new entrepreneurs to think through the commercial details of their new enterprises. It's interesting work and I really love the way this course is turning out.

What crossed this in the background was a periodic purge of old saved stuff in my eMail folders. A little gem fell out called 'Why women live longer than men'. It's in a PDF with no attribution that I can find. I pass along the images in the link below. The photo above represents the idea pretty well.

Sustainable business plans encompass research to keep you from trouble and guide you toward your goals. The photos in this PDF exemplify the opposite path.

When I write the marketing course, I'm going to be encouraging new entrepreneurs to identify their ideal target customer.

After seeing this fun little PDF, I'm beginning to think I would answer that for myself by choosing women entrepreneurs first.


Download the top 10 photos of why women live longer than men.

This is a single PDF file of about 468 worthwhile KBs. If anyone knows the origin of this, please let me know and I'll credit it here.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The world needs you now

I was doing some research for a new client and came across a wonderful piece in Ode Magazine.

It was not written in support of small scale entrepreneurship, but I think its message comes through loud and clear in support of people considering their own start up enterprises.

Jurriaan Kamp, the Ode Editor wrote the piece, titled, "What the world needs now!"

Here are some excerpts from the July/August 2007 issue that I found to be empowering in support of people wanting to make a small difference through their work.

"'Science won't change the world. People will'" declares Ervin Laszlo, founder of The Club of Budapest, an international gathering of visionary scholars and artists. 'There is no single scientific recipe for positive change. We don't need scientific breakthroughs. We already have the tools we need for change. We don't need change in science. We need change in attitude'."

Mr. Laszlo is a renowned scholar and a philosopher of science. He is not taking the Luddite path here. He is imploring all of us to wake up and smell the possibilities for meaningful, positive change.

The article finishes with this: "Despite formidable challenges facing humanity, Laszlo remains optimistic, 'More and more people are starting to live differently and change their priorities. They experience the miracle of life instead of fighting for survival, wealth and power. It's a choice anyone can make. And each such choice will change the world'."

Many people around the world are taking it upon themselves to form new, small organizations to solve problems small and large in their neighborhoods, their countries and across the wide world. These can be commercial enterprises or non-profits. The problems can be as mundane as fixing some recurring everyday problem in the lives of people in their community to setting up big picture fixes they can contribute to.

The point here is that, well, as the article title states, what the world needs now!

wiki Ervin Laszlo

Ode magazine And now for the good news... Thanks Mr. Kamp.