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Showing posts from April, 2015

Does the Challenge of the HOW or the WHAT of an Idea Motivate You?

I was talking to an intellectual yesterday about an idea of his. He’s an entrepreneur in the marketing realm, and wants to get a technology idea off the ground. He’s also an author and PhD with a wide breadth of exciting experiences; hence the “intellectual”.
So we were talking about his idea, and it’s in the realm of politics. I know diddly squat about politics. I’m sitting there and understanding what he’s proposing conceptually, and at the end, he asked me to get back to him if I’m interested in taking on the project in some capacity, but also, if I’m not passionate about it or the subject at all, then no worries.
That little bit made me think about if I need to know or “care” about politics, or if there was another drive that would motivate me to take this on. It made me think of what I’m passionate about, what challenges I find rewarding, and to some extent, what am I scared of – the domain of an idea or building the idea.
Throughout our talk, I was leaning on my experience bu…

The Finance of Startups: For Dummies (Part 6)

So last month’s installment of Finance of Startups, I covered “par value” after encountering the term in Etsy’s S-1. In it, recall that par value is the price at which a security is issued and redeemed at. Well, par value really leads into a much longer conversation around a particular security called Bonds.
In gist, Bonds are similar to loans or “IOUs” (read: debt) whereby you, as an investor, lends money to a company, government, other institution with the promise of paying you back with interest. So in this case, par value is the amount the bond is issued at, and multiplied against the number of bonds issued, equivalent to the money lent. To understand bonds, we’ve got to explore a few concepts of bonds including: Maturity dateCoupon ratePremium vs. Discount I’m happy for you, and Imma let you finish, but first… let’s recap par value So “par value” actually arose from recently looking at Etsy’s Form S-1 as they’re seeking an IPO. So I’m going to dive into par value, especially in…

This Bathroom Door: Where User Experience Does NOT Match Design

I don’t have a thought-provoking post today, but instead, I’m going to share a few pictures I took of the door to the men’s bathroom at Atlanta Tech Village back in January. Why? Because in the spirit of entrepreneurship, 1) I think these pictures are great representations of user experience not matching its intended design and 2) lean startup methodology for a short-term resolution.
So the first picture here is of the door leading to the bathroom on the first floor. Looks pretty simple and straight forward, right? Except, it’s not.
You see, design-wise, this simple entrance and exit would normally mean you turn this little doodad:
Yes, a door knob. Except, when you go to turn it, it doesn’t turn. So, it’s pretty common to see people walk up to the door, attempt to turn it, find it “locked”, and either wait for someone inside to open (thinking someone's inside), or leave altogether.
Upon closer inspection, the door jam is stuffed with paper. Instead, this door is meant to be push…

Have You Met… 7 Tips for Introductions?

Barney Stinson from CBS’s “How I Met Your Mother” makes introductions look easy. And in actuality, you’d think introductions and referrals should be extremely simple, but unfortunately, they can be utterly complicated. I’ve always valued relationships believing that success can be attributed to the people who put us in position to “win”. In the professional world, leveraging relationships is “networking”, and the greatest networkers are less about who they connect with as much as who they connect to who.
I’m going with the assumption that by reading this you already understand the opportunities networking and connecting affords. But a few examples anyways: Connecting to others can open doors to the right customers you’ve had your eyes on for months.Connecting to the organizer and chairperson of a tradeshow may get you introduced and in-the-know of everyone else attending the tradeshow. They are, after all, the common point.Connecting with your old college buddy’s company’s Vice Presid…

At 51.5 Years Old, Alicia’s Learning Programming to End Domestic Violence

At 51.5 years old, you wouldn't expect Alicia Carr to be an avid iOS programmer -- I chuckled when she included the "half". She's a mother to three children and an energetic grandmother to seven grandchildren. She looks way too young to have so many grandchildren. Even as she's busy running around taking care of everyone, in her waking hours, she's buried in her MacBook coding away iOS apps.
Alicia sparked up a conversation with me at Starbucks yesterday out of the blue. She saw my Windows PC pulled up with my MacBook right next to it. It was obvious the moment she asked me, "What do you do?" that she was up to something of her own, and it wouldn't take much time for her to spill the beans on her current passion and idea -- The Purple Pocketbook.
Over the course of the next 30 minutes, Alicia shared more of her story, her aspirations, her family, and her goals of the Purple Pocketbook, and given her passions in app development, I was intrigued to …