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Market research results can help an entrepreneur change company behavior. To that end, this author recommends a ten-step plan for tapping the power of focus groups to conduct research that is immediately actionable.
As the Chief Strategy Officer, Tien Tzuo brings to Salesforce.com over 16 years of experience in the enterprise software industry. Since he joined the company in 1999, Tzuo has been responsible for setting the vision,
strategy, direction and design of Salesforce.com's award winning product line, including overseeing the launch of Salesforce, Supportforce, Customforce, Sforce, and Wireless Edition. In 2004, Tzuo was named CMO of the Year Finalist by the
CMO Council and BusinessWeek Magazine. Tzuo came to salesforce.com from CrossWorlds Software, where he spearheaded CrossWorlds product, marketing and sales push into the Telecommunications vertical worldwide. Prior to CrossWorlds, Tzuo
spent over six years at Oracle Corporation in a variety of sales and professional services roles. Mr. Tzuo holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University and a master's in business administration from the
Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Regularly reviewing your business plan ensures that you meet the needs of a growing enterprise. This allows you to identify key growth areas that you want to target.
Entrepreneurship is flourishing on campuses around the country. In classrooms and through co-curricular programs and competitions, students on diverse campuses, at universities large and small, representing disciplines across the spectrum, have the opportunity to understand the role of entrepreneurship in the economy, explore innovation, test their own ideas, and learn what they need to know to be entrepreneurs.
When I read Meg Hirshberg's book "For Better or for Work: A Survival Guide for Entrepreneurs and Their Families" I knew instantly that I wanted Meg to join our slate of Founders School experts. The goal of Founders School is to provide entrepreneurs with crucial skills and knowledge, and to do so with an eye to topics that are important but rarely discussed in typical entrepreneurship education programs. The subject of Meg's book is just such a topic. We all know that entrepreneurs have to juggle a variety of considerations when founding a company: team building, assessment of product/market fit, intellectual property, and how to get that first important customer. What many entrepreneurs and, more importantly, their families, know is that there's a juggle on the family side of the equation as well, but it's one that many entrepreneurs may be reluctant to talk about.
Candace Fleming’s résumé boasts a double major in industrial engineering and English from Stanford, an M.B.A. from Harvard, a management position at Hewlett-Packard and experience as president of a small software company.
But when she was raising money for Crimson Hexagon, a start-up company she co-founded in 2007, she recalls one venture capitalist telling her that it didn’t matter that she didn’t have business cards, because all they would say was “Mom.”
Another potential backer, reports Claire Cain Miller in The New York Times, invited her for a weekend yachting excursion by showing her a picture of himself on the boat — without clothes. When a third financier discovered that her husband was also a biking enthusiast, she says, he spent more time asking if riding affected her husband’s reproductive capabilities than he did focusing on her business plan. Ultimately, none of the 30 venture firms she pitched financed her company. She finally raised $1.8 million in March 2008 from angel investors including Golden Seeds, a fund that emphasizes investing in start-ups led by women.
While every state continues to experience the impacts of the economic downturn and resulting recession, it will be many years before we understand the full nature and causes of the financial crisis. But it appears that one of the contributing factors to both the crisis and the anemic nature of the recovery has been the weakened position of the U.S. economy in global markets. This relatively untold story of the recession and recovery is, in fact, perhaps one of the major developments in the U.S. economy, one that will have significant impacts on state economies for decades into the future—particularly if the nation continues to ignore the issue.
A culture of fun and respect for customers and employees pervades this family-owned furniture business that has been sold to legendary investor Warren E. Buffett, writes the author. Culture is what can't be taken away, even after a company is sold, as both the author and his brother are still actively involved, he notes.
Entrepreneurs confronting the unhappy task of having to downsize when business conditions change need to execute in a way that preserves the dignity of, and, ultimately, the relationship with, the employees, says an entrepreneur who laid off her entire staff in the wake of the dot-com crash. Downsizing well involves throwing away the rulebook and dealing with people on a personal level, she writes.
Instagram Co-Founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger challenge many of the myths surrounding startups and the lives of entrepreneurs. Both former Mayfield Fellows with the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, Systrom and Krieger share their first-hand experiences of the entrepreneurial process, including identifying good problems to solve and the value in building simple solutions and minimum viable products. Systrom and Krieger also discuss aspects of their co-founder working relationship and their efforts to maintain a balance between work and life.
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