How Risk-Averse Entrepreneurs Succeed

Timothy Ferriss

Learning  relearning how to start a business is something we all need to remind ourselves about from time to time. You only fail when you think you get “it”.

Here’s a video that Timothy Ferriss put on his blog. An interview with another entrepreneur (Noah Kagan of App Sumo). But not just an interview these two go back and forth on how to start a new venture, what questions to ask, how to test early as possible, how to call your own bullshit, and how to begin with the customer.

They even take an audience member and help him create a business. Literally, he pivots during the interview and they actually begin taking orders for this “new product” on air. Ridiculous!

Watch it…

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Are Newspapers Dying?

WhoKilledTheNewspaper-The Economist

Are Newspapers Dying?

Warren Buffet doesn’t seem to think so, buying up some 60 odd papers in the past two years. He’s not alone either, other billionaires as of late have been splurging on traditional print media companies like Takeru Kobayashi at a hotdog eating contest.

So the obvious question is, why?

Buffett thinks it has to do with a monopoly on local news. People will always need their news, off or online. As long as local Newspapers can focus on the local news he think they’ll be just fine.

Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos’ just purchased the Washington Post for $250 million. From Fastcompany: “Observers were surprised when the Amazon Chief purchased the prestigious-and ailing-Washington institution, but history shows that sometimes buying a media property is like buying a boat.”

So now rich people to show off, instead of buying a yacht, mansion or real estate, they’re buying newspapers.

The Boston Globe was sold to John Henry, owner of the Boston Redsox for $70 million. If you think that’s a lot, to put it into perspective, the New York Times Co. purchased the Boston Globe in 1993 for $1.1 billion. The return on that investment is breathtakingly horrible.

And a little closer to home, the Leaderpost, as of May 14th along with many other of Post Media’s entities have gone  subscription fee after you’ve read your 10th article for free. I’d be curious to see the numbers of people subscribing to the online Leaderpost, again, I don’t necessarily think the Leaderpost is in trouble. People need their news. And people want to trust the source for their local news. I can see the Leaderpost online entity being a very value online publication for little ol booming Regina. As Warren Buffett says, “as long as they stick to delivering local news that readers can’t find anywhere else.”

It’s going to be a rocky road ahead for the Leaderpost, Washington Post, and Boston Globe, Google is set to make more revenue than the entire U.S. print industry combined.

Google Rakes In More Ad Dollars than All Print Media

Image Source: Google Rakes In More Ad Dollars Than U.S. Print Media

Looking at this graph it’s hard not to think Newspapers could be dying faster than we think, that’s trusting that this graph is 100% true as well. ;)

What do you think? Will Newspapers disappear? How would you go about saving them?

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The Riskiest Thing We Can Do

From Mitch Joel’s new book CTRL ALT DELETE he uses this quote from Seth Godin. I love it. Being more average isn’t going to get you anywhere. Being like everyone else won’t work. You must be different.

Seth-Godin-Quote-You-don't-win-by-being-more-average-than-other-people-in-your-industry

“You don’t win by being more average than other people in your industry.
You don’t win by being more compliant than your fellow co-workers.
Being more obedient at what you do every day is not going to make you more indispensable.
What makes someone indispensable is that they do something that other people can’t do.
We go to work every day trying to not do that. We go to work trying to be just like everyone else, because that feels safe. In today’s economy, and for the foreseeable future, that’s the riskiest thing we can do.”

For more quotes check out this post here:

17 Lessons (Quotes) on Strategy, Leadership, and Advertising
Best Business & Marketing Quotes of 2012
11 Facts You Need To Know About Your Brain

 

 

 

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6 Parables of Business Strategy

beautiful women

I found these a while back, I didn’t write them but they are gems of business advice.

Parable 1:
A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings. The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbor.
Before she says a word, Bob says, “I’ll give you $800 to drop that towel.” After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.

The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs. When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, “Who was that?”
“It was Bob the next door neighbor,” she replies.
“Great!” the husband says, “did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?”

Moral of the story :

If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

Parable 2:
A priest offered a Nun a lift. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg. The priest nearly had an accident. After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg.

The nun said, “Father, remember Psalm 129?” The priest removed his hand. But, changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again. The nun once again said, “Father, remember Psalm 129?” The priest apologized “Sorry sister but the flesh is weak” Arriving at the convent, the nun sighed heavily and went on her way. On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129 It said, “Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.”

Moral of the story:

If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.

Parable 3:
A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out.
The Genie says, “I’ll give each of you just one wish.”
“Me first! Me first!” says the admin clerk. “I want to be in the Bahamas , driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.”Puff! She’s gone.
“Me next! Me next!” says the sales rep. “I want to be in Hawaii , relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.”

Puff! He’s gone.

“OK, you’re up,” the Genie says to the manager. The manager says, “I want those two back in the office after lunch.”

Moral of the story:

Always let your boss have the first say.

Parable 4:
An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him,

Can I also sit like you and do nothing?”
The eagle answered: “Sure , why not.”
So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story:

To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high > >> up.

Parable 5:
A turkey was chatting with a bull. “I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree,” sighed the turkey, “but I haven’t got the
energy.”
“Well, why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings?” replied the bull. “They’re packed with nutrients.”
The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree.
He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

Moral of the story:

Bull might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there.

Parable 6:
A little bird was flying south for the Winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying
there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to
realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.

A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Morals of the story:

(1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.
(2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.
(3) And when you’re in deep , it’s best to keep your mouth shut!

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How Many Security Guards Did Your High School Have?

This American Life LogoI was listening to a This American Life podcast when a special came on about Harper High School in Chicago, Illinois. Last year 27 students were shot at Harper High School. A startling statistic. This American Life asked to put three journalists in Harper for five months, an entire semester, the school agreed.

This two-part series is two hours of heart-wrenching stories and a sick realization of what some people go through daily. You should listen to these stories, it’ll give you perspective and an absolute appreciation for where we live.

With 16 security guards for 550 approximate students Harper High School is still understaffed when it comes to security. How many security guards did your high school have?

Everyone in this neighborhood is in a gang. You can’t avoid it. Whatever street you live on signifies what gang you’re affiliated with. If you don’t want to have any part of the gang interaction you have to stay in. Literally. They talked to one boy who hadn’t left his house at night for several years. Could you imagine going through high school without leaving your house at night?

By the sounds of it, This American Life picked the worst high school in the United States to do a story on but that’s hardly the case. The end of part two is a chilling realization of what high school is for some kids. You must listen to the end.

harper high schoolGive it a listen, you won’t regret it.

Part One Harper High School

Part Two Harper High School

Photo Credit: This American Life

 

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How To Think Like a Superhero by Robin Sharma

How to think like a superhero

 

I found this video that Robin Sharma had Tweeted the other day. It really is worth your time to watch. It’s called How To Think Like A Superhero.

Robin Sharma wrote one of my favorite books The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and the best selling The Leader Who Had no Title.

In the video he talk about thinking like a superhero. His thesis is that super successful people, CEOs, celebrities etc. aren’t more special than you or me but that they have a far superior work ethic than the average person. He says at one point that these successful people he’s interviewed and worked with can accomplish in a day what most people do in a month.

The secret to success is that there is no secret to success, there’s no way around it, you have to work hard at it. But if you do work hard, and focus on a goal, you will accomplish it.

You should pick up some Shwarma and sit down and read some Robin Sharma.

(Photo credit: http://fullmetalcynic.wordpress.com/2008/01/17/when-real-life-becomes-a-superhero-action-movie/)

 

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