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"No business plan survives first contact with customers," Steve Blank says. What? Isn't the point of planning that you maximize the likelihood of success in the marketplace? Well yes, but perhaps not the kind of planning you might be thinking about. A business plan conceived on paper, powered by a great idea or invention, enhanced by research on the size of the market and a customer profile, has great potential. But it also has a crucial flaw.
It’s a cancer immunologist’s dream to discover a safe and effective way to coax the body’s own immune system into waging war against invading cancer cells. Building a startup company around that finding, though, is definitely not every scientist’s forte. For Gary W. Wood, making the leap from laboratory to C-suite seemed like the next logical step.
With 1 Million Cups, as with any startup, our tendency is to put our best foot forward. We spend a lot of time talking about all of the great successes that we've had over the past year--and there have been many. But one of the things that makes our program special is that sense of having a safe space to share what you haven't done well and what you're struggling with on a day-to-day basis.
Last spring, Athena Alliance, along with support from the Kauffman Foundation OECD, The Conference Board, and US National Academies, put together an inspiring conference on the role of intangible assets— information, workforce skills and know-how, effective management and marketing, business models, relations with suppliers and customers, software and databases, and intellectual property— in job creation and economic growth.
When considering the optimal number of founders for any new entrepreneurial adventure, the calculus extends well beyond simple formulas seemingly supported by observations of startup cohorts within specific industries. Famous technology twosomes that come to mind include David Packard and William Hewlett of Hewlett-Packard, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple, Paul Allen and Bill Gates of Microsoft, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google. In these examples, it is widely observed that these buddy teams complemented each other well in the early formative years of their companies.
For years, Dave Felker created equipment for one of the world's leading golf companies, Calloway Golf. There he designed golf balls and clubs for the game's best golfers. Then, Dave left Calloway. Throwing the USGA rules out the window and using the laws of physics instead, Dave created the Polara golf ball, which would help correct an average golfer's hook or slice.
Kansas City will soon receive internet connectivity that will be one hundred times faster than anywhere else in the world. What should they do with it?
Business owners could learn a lot about disaster readiness from Waffle House. Yes, Waffle House.
One of the questions I get asked the most is some version of "what do you think of crowdfunding?" I usually answer with some noncommittal answer about how it is going to be important, but no really knows how it will impact the trajectory and success of startup companies. After all, the notion of banding together through social media to fund the development of a prototype, documentary film or art project has been going on for many years now.
See who made eMed's 6 to follow in entrepreneurship this week.
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