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Showing posts from November, 2016

Starting with A Small Plastic Piece, The Effect of One Ever-lasting Brand

Recently, I played with my 3-year-old niece with a toy that I even had growing up, and it’s as great as it’s ever been. I remember when I started playing with the toy when I was closer to 8 or 10 years old. So to watch my niece play with it at such a young age was fascinating. This toy has been around for ages. It's got a strong following with collectors, movie goers, theme park visitors, and more. That toy? Legos.
I want to take a moment and appreciate Legos. The company, The Lego Group, started manufacturing the plastic toys back in 1949. The company and its original form as wooden toys started in 1932 by Ole Kirk Christiansen. Per Brand Finance, Legos is the most powerful brand in the world today.
These simple interconnecting blocks and mini-figurines captivated my niece. I, in turn, was captivated watching her play with them. Here’s what I noticed: Builds observant and analytical skills. My niece studied a flash card of a model dog to assemble. Perhaps I’m not giving her or yo…

Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for…

I wanted to wait to publish this week's post, so it coincided with Thanksgiving. It's a proper time to give thanks to those around me. Also, it's a good time to reflect/ appreciate experiences to shape my entrepreneurial journey.
Since Thanksgiving last year, I've done many things: Published Postmortem of a Failed Startup: Lessons for Success.Joined an early-stage startup.Spoke at many events.Started 100 Strangers, 100 Days. Those seem pretty "professional-related", but that's also what has shaped much of my life. Accomplishing any of those has required the support of many others. Accomplishing any of those has also forced me to appreciate time alone and personal-growth. These have included:
Read six books with subjects ranging from sales to leadership to personal development.Upped my yoga game, practicing at a legit yoga studio.Maintained good strength and development in the gym. So before I go into a reflective post best saved for the end of the year, my…

Children, Life, Priorities in Startups

I had a lunch with an entrepreneur recently talking about his experiences in startups in growth-mode and those in early-stage (pre-product-market fit). The most interesting wrinkle in our talk was having a young child while at these startups. I’m at the age where many people around me are having multiple kids. So, as I look around at possible co-founders, I must consider their personal lives – priorities.
My friend shared how having a young child meant he was much more cognizant of the time he spent working on the business. As one of the co-founders of his current company and having been a part of several successful (and some unsuccessful) ventures in the past, he’s building into the company’s culture strong balance.
He is also a lot more cognizant of his time. He focuses on efforts that will materially move the needle for the company. That can mean delaying certain bug fixes or existing customer complaints. His focus now reduces the number of “experimental” efforts without strong i…

Book Review: Predictable Revenue

Just finished reading/ listening to Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross. It’s been referred to as the sales Bible by several sales pros. Just so happened I never read it till now.
The book is written by former sales leader Aaron Ross as he helped implement the structure and strategies to scale Salesforce.com’s sales model.
My take-aways: The importance of structure. This is probably the most highlighted point of the book spanning everything from organization to cadence to sales cycle and reporting. Ross frequently harps on using a sales force automation platform – not a surprise.Value/ Customer first, and pretty much always. Ross highlights the importance of enabling the customer to talk about their business first… just about never talk about your product. Instead, integrate your product/ service in how it can resolve specific challenges of the customer.Customer Success is perhaps the most important facet of the sales process. Executives and boards almost always focus on new customers …

Investing In Things Like Conferences, Bring the Energy

Last week, my company sponsored a conference for sales force productivity. As I went into it, I remembered running booths with Body Boss… Evolution to Kick @$$ ConferencesMy New Year's Resolution: To Kill It at Conferences and Clinics
I forgot how much fun (and tiring) it was to work a conference, and how important it was for those working the booths and sessions to actively participate. Walking around many of the booths, many people sat behind their booths. Some, even, working on their laptops. Not very engaging.
Perhaps because my company is a startup that I was determined to get as many conversations and leads as possible. Sinking the investment that we did meant we needed a strong return. I felt that my company’s investment was my investment.
As attendees entered and exited sessions, and walked by our booth, I was right there in the middle of everyone engaging with just about everyone. One piece of schwag we gave out at the conference was a green “squishy” stress ball. I must’…