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Showing posts from October, 2013

Duh, Use Your Tangible Value Prop

One of the biggest, greatest lessons I’ve learned while doing a startup is one that isn’t shocking.  In fact, before I say it I’m going to go ahead and say it’s going to sound stupid.  You’re sometimes told this in consulting projects, read it in some books, but it’s just the very experience of doing a startup and smack-your-face-duh moment when you really appreciate this. So here goes… when you’re offering any product or service, you have to make a TANGIBLE value proposition.  People and companies largely respond to one thing: net profit.  This means there are two big levers – raise my revenue or lower my costs. 
Yeah… sounds simple and stupid, right?  But if you were me, you may think that there may be a grand idea you have that can save time or can “boost performance” or something like that.  Rarely do people really understand in these terms.  You’ll find those who can understand that building a stronger athlete with ancillary benefits like accountability and the like, but most peo…

If you can't do it right the first time, hope you still have time to do it a second time

John Wooden, legendary UCLA coach who won 10 NCAA championships in a 12-year period including seven in a row once, said one of the most resounding things I've ever heard:
"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"I think I've heard a variation of this from somewhere that goes on, "If you don't have time to do it right the first time, you must have time to do it a second time."

I looked up local entrepreneur-turned Atlanta hero, celebrity, and savior (for startups and entrepreneurs, at least) David Cummings on his blog for any tidbits of sage advice.  I searched for "features" and found a few, and really appreciated one particular post -- "Consider Future Manual Labor When Adding New Features".

In essence, Cummings talked about realizing the ramifications of building new features, especially when considering the manual labor downstream.  Pushing for features to go out the door quickly for testing…

Our New Tech Doesn't Empower English-as-Secondary Language Businesses

Today, I went to Lee's Bakery for bánh mì sandwiches for lunch.  It was crazy good.  You should go get yourself the bbq pork bánh mì   They also have chicken and other meats if that's your deal.  



I was standing in line waiting to pay, and I was just watching the cashier ring people up, and watching the servers take orders scribbling on their little pads, frantically going back and forth between the tables and the kitchen.  I was thinking about how technology has invaded so many parts of our lives where in so many other shops, you see business starting to adopt tablet-oriented point-of-sale (POS) systems.  In all the English as a Secondary Language businesses (I'm dubbing them "E2L"), why is the rate of adoption so much lower compared to their English-dominant counterparts?

Some general thoughts:

POS systems such as those mobilized by Square or Stripe and apps like Shopkeep help small businesses by eliminating much of the hassles of the earlier cash registers includ…

What consulting has taught me about weight lifting, and vice versa

Since I left business school at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School for my MBA, I’ve taken on the scary move of working full-time on the startup I co-founded with friends, Body Boss Fitness.  In a couple months of full-time startup-ship without the funds to really pay me (or anyone) a salary yet, I got all scared, and dipped my feet back into consulting part-time.  It’s been a few months doing this to put some money in my pocket, and I’ve taken on now two different consulting projects.  All the while, I also push Body Boss including traveling for sales and marketing and writing up blog posts like I just did here at Starbucks in Brookhaven on a Sunday.
I do enjoy supply chain consulting for sure… but I’m going to dip back out of consulting and give Body Boss my undivided attention for a long while.  If I say it out loud and put it on a blog post, I’ll have to stick to my word, right?  Well, all this experience has also brought out this strange affinity for writing my thoughts, a…