Growthink Blog

Words That Work


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Words That Work is an interesting new book by Dr. Frank Luntz. The premise of the book is that the way words are used can influence and motivate the way people connect thought and emotion, and thus influence them to take desired actions. These principles can be used for new and emerging ventures to attract customers, investors, partners, and to better manage employees.
In the book, Dr. Luntz discusses ten rules of words:


Flat Daddies


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Flat Daddies is undoubtedly a cool new company.

Flat Daddies are full-size printed posters of parents who are serving overseas in the military. Flat Daddies (or Flat Mommies) are free to children who are directly affected by the military deployment of a parent. Others can purchase them for $49.50.

The free Flat Daddies are supported by donations from individuals, companies and organizations, and anyone can donate money on their website at http://www.flatdaddies.com/.


New Ventures Need to be Flexible


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I recently read an excellent blog entry called Failing Cheaper, which discussed, among other things, the flexibility required by new ventures and the decreased amount of capital it now takes to launch a venture.

The entry begins by pointing out that some prominent recent ventures started out doing very different things. For instance, PayPal started out as a service to beam money through Palm Pilots. Likewise YouTube was originally a video dating site.


Untapped Sources of Capital


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Recently I attended an iBreakfast event in New York City. The featured speaker was Roger Aguinaldo, an M&A expert from M&A Advisors. Roger posed a question to the audience regarding the best sources of capital for a startup.

People shouted out their answers. Venture capitalists. Friends and Family. Angel investors. Banks. Etc. Etc.

While Roger wrote all of these answers on the board, he said that each of these answers weren't in his top three places to get initial investments.


Using Investment Capital to Repay A Founder's Contributions


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A question recently came up regarding whether a founder can re-pay themselves for some of their initial investments in their business once an outside investment is achieved.


Angel Investment Market Grows By 10% In 2006


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According to the 2006 Angel Market Analysis released yesterday by the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire, in 2006, the angel investor market experienced steady growth. Total angel investments reached $25.6 billion, which represents an increase of 10.8 percent over 2005. According to the study, 51,000 entrepreneurial ventures received angel funding in 2006, a 3 percent increase from 2005.


Introduction to Social Media Optimization


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In the 1989 movie "Field of Dreams," a corn farmer hears voices telling him to build a baseball field. The voices say, "If you build it, they will come."

Unfortunately in the world of startups and technology, often people build it, but no one comes. The missing element for these ventures is effective marketing. If no one knows about your great invention, website, or product/service, no one will use it or buy it.


Car Parking Equals Entrepreneurial Opportunity


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I recently wrote a post entitled Smugness Equals Entrepreneurial Opportunity that suggested that a business that acts smugly or arrogantly should be sending a welcome message to entrepreneurs to steal their customers from them.


Effective Meeting Strategies


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If you manage a new or growing venture, chances are that you spend a lot of your time in meetings. Among others, meetings are critical to strategize new opportunities, assess different ways to accomplish tasks, set and update goals, and to ensure that all team members are aligned.

However, since ventures must focus the majority of their time and efforts on executing opportunities, there is a significant risk for them to spend too much time in meetings strategizing. This article provides some tips to keep meetings effective.


Smugness Equals Entrepreneurial Opportunity


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Several years ago I attended a lecture given by a former Procter & Gamble executive. In his speech, he mentioned that a significant portion of households pre-wash dishes before putting them in the dishwashers. (I just found a 2002 Arthur D. Little, Inc. report that said that 15% of households pre-wash their dishes.) The executive smugly commented about how this was great for P&G -- they made money both from the sale of dishwasher detergent and dishwashing soap.


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