Growthink Blog

Who's the Tiger Woods of Your Industry?


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Tiger Woods is arguably the most skilled golfer to ever live. However, his physical abilities alone are not what make him great.

Nike -- one of the companies that sponsor Woods -- once sent Tiger five brand new drivers. The company asked Tiger to test out the drivers and give his feedback.

After practicing with each of the clubs, Woods told Nike that he liked “the heaviest one.” The news came as a shock to Nike. Why? Because all of the clubs weighed exactly the same.

Or so Nike thought. After re-examining each of the clubs, Nike employees were surprised to learn that one of the clubs outweighed the others by just a couple grams -- or approximately the weight of two dollar bills. (Source: Esquire)

Nike had a team of engineers and the best equipment in the world. What they needed was Tiger Woods’ intuition. Tiger Woods understands golf as well as anyone on the planet, so his intuition is an invaluable resource to Nike.

The lesson here is that every field has its own Tiger Woods, and when that person shares their insight, well, you might want to listen.

 


Analysis Paralysis


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Does anyone do "early-stage investing" anymore? When we present deals to "early-stage" investors, we find their criteria to be more in line with the milestones of more established companies, and it sometimes seems like early stage is a non-entity.

I was encouraged by the news of Battelle Ventures and Allied Minds Inc., posted in The Deal here. The author mentions how both firms operate under unique structures which allow them to do true early stage investing in "pre-seed" technologies sourced straight out of research institutions and universities. Battelle only has one LP, the Battelle Memorial Institute, while Allied Minds raises money from shareholders in exchange for future equity with no specified time horizon. Perhaps these "special" circumstances allow them to take on more "risky" investments without having to answer to large numbers of LP's.

It makes me wonder if the traditional VC model actually works. What if traditional VC's could take the handcuffs off and get dirty with raw technologies and mad-scientists out of some futuristic research lab? What sort of companies would we start to see hit the marketplace and how frequent? What about timing issues and market relevancy?

"The greater the level of involvement and business expertise focused on early stage innovation, the more and higher quality of innovation we will see coming out in the marketplace" - Lesa Mitchell- VP for advancing innovation, Kauffman Foundation.

Amen.


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/.


Staying Home From School


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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.


What is Blik?


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A few months ago I bought some Blik for our conference room.

So, what is Blik? Blik surface graphics are oversized, geometric decals that allow anyone to quickly and easily create custom wallscapes in no time. The decals are self- adhesive and removable, so your blank walls have no excuse to be bare.

We went with the multi-colored dancers pictured to the left.


Hallowpreneurs


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It's always fun to mix the word "entrepreneur" with another word to focus on entrepreneurship in that area. As today is Halloween, I decided to see if I could write an article on Hallowpreneurs, or entrepreneurs focusing on Halloween.

I assumed that in today's society, where new ideas, products and services are constantly being conceived, that someone would be making advancements in Halloween costumes, events, candies, etc.


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