Effective Meeting Strategies


 

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.

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Smugness Equals Entrepreneurial Opportunity


 

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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Staying Home From School


 

My son wanted to stay home from school the other day. He wasn't really sick; just wanted to stay home.

I asked him what he was going to do if he stayed home. The list went on and on -- watch this DVD, watch this show on Tivo, play this video game, etc.

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Creating Zealots


 

I recently reviewed the book "PRIMAL BRANDING: Create Zealots for Your Brand, Your Company, and Your Future" by Patrick Hanlon and wanted to share my thoughts on it with you.

It's truly awesome. Here's the scoop. Hanlon worked in advertising for many years for Fortune 500 clients. A few years ago, he asked himself the question: What is it that gets consumers to bond with brands like Google, Apple, Mini Cooper, Coke, Disney, Starbucks and Nike and not others?

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Sell the Sizzle and Not the Steak in 2007


 

There’s an old saying in marketing, “Sell the Sizzle, Not the Steak.” What
this means is that marketers need to promote the benefits of a product or
service and not the features. For instance, people buy a drill to make a hole
or they buy a light bulb to provide light.

When selling these products, it is often better to promote how easily the
product provides the benefits rather than offer a comprehensive list of the
product’s features (which many consumers may not even understand).

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Conducting Informal Market Research By Asking the Right People


 

Market research is critical to entrepreneurial success. It is absolutely crucial to understand customer needs in order to successfully launch a new product. Likewise, market research must be conducted on the industry, competitors, etc., in order to flourish.

However, formal market research studies are not always critical. Rather, by asking people who can offer good estimates of customer wants and needs, ventures can answer many questions more quickly and inexpensively.

Consider the following queries and suggestions:

Query: What types of toys will sell well this holiday season?

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Equity Compensation for Startup Employees


 

A question that is often asked by entrepreneurs and emerging businesses is how much equity to give key employees and new hires.

While there is no correct answer to this question, there are guidelines and key criteria to consider. The key criteria are 1) other compensation and 2) the risk profile of the venture.

Other Compensation: Equity compensation is one component of an employee's total compensation. Other components include base salary, bonuses, benefits, etc. For each position and geographic market there are standard compensation rates.

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Second Life Business Planning Competition


 

Advertisers often say that people need seven or eight exposures to a new product in order to really take notice. This is approximately the number of times I heard about Second Life before I decided to give it a try.

Second Life is a 3-D virtual world built and owned by its residents. Second Life launched to the public in 2003, and has grown dramatically since then. Currently, the site has nearly 1.7 million members/inhabitants worldwide.

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Entrepreneurship and Overstating Fear of Loss


 

Great article in the Washington Post today by Shankar Vedantam entitled "The Pain is Never as Bad as We Fear." Basic premise is that studies have shown that human beings greatly over-estimate the pain they think they will feel regarding a prospective future loss. For example, when it comes to money, people are much more able to emotionally "connect" with the pain of a hypothetical loss of a sum of money than they are to to connect with the pleasure/joy associated with a hypothetical gain.

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Going Dual Screen


 

About three months ago, I went dual screen. That is, I switched from a single computer monitor to a dual screen monitor.

I had read that a dual screen monitor can increase productivity by 50%. While I don't believe this statistic, the dual screen monitor definitely saves me 10 - 15 minutes/day.

The dual screen is really helpful if I want to comment on website, for instance. I'm able to have my email open in one window and my Internet browser in the other, so I don't need to constantly toggle back and forth between screens.

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