Creating products that people love is hard.
It’s the most successful, unsuccessful product.
It was brought to market in circa 2001 as the Segway PT–short for personal transporter.
The launch had much fanfare, with the legendary Steve Jobs saying it could be as important as the PC.
But it never really took off.
(Steve Jobs later rescinded that accolade and replaced it with, “it sucks.”)
These days you might see one rolling through the Dallas airport ridden by security or on the streets of a Scandinavian country, moving tourists through the…
Imagine you are a Painted Reed Frog in the Okavango Delta in Botswana.
It’s a beautiful sunny day, and you are serenely sitting on a lily pad in a pond.
You’re not alone. There are a few of you enjoying what the Delta has to offer.
For the fun of it, a boy from the local village tosses a small pebble into the water
sending a tiny ripple among you and your neighbors.
You barely notice it, continuing to enjoy the scene hoping for a bite soon.
The boy is having fun now and tosses a larger stone into the…
It happens rather quickly.
Your new investors sign a shareholder’s agreement, a subscription agreement, and a corporate charter. Usually, you create a new class of (preferred) shares. You receive a notification from your bank that the wires from investors have cleared. Your lawyers file the company’s new corporate charter, and a new board of directors is named.
And, just like that, you’ve closed your series Seed/A/B/C/+, and you are now (officially) the CEO.
I often hear from founders and first-time CEOs that as soon as they take in outside capital, they feel lost.
“What am I supposed to do now,”…
Managers love to reward hyper-specialization. But is it better to hire for general problem-solving abilities?
My wife and I hosted our first book club. It was nothing fancy, just some pizza, wine, and one fascinating book: Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, by David Epstein.
In it, Epstein makes the case that hyper-specialization — something instilled in all of us since grade school — might be overrated. Instead, he believes we should encourage range.
Through vivid examples and research, he illustrates that some of the greatest minds (CEOs, scientists, business people, and athletes) have achieved their success through…
In healthy funding markets, it is easy to raise money.
(Even during a pandemic.)
At times, in the right market climate, venture capital will come your way in truckloads.
But, it is easy to fall into the trap of using a recent round of funding as a measure of success.
As CEOs, we spend so much time fundraising, it is always a relief when the money hits the corporate bank account, and we can return to running the company.
And, when we get back to the office, all we see is growth opportunities waiting to make use of this fresh…
Last summer I watched a shocking video.
(We all did.)
It made me pause.
It reminded me of a 400-year-old virus that has caused countless deaths.
That virus is called Hate.
It was the glimpse of the first vaccine jab against this virus.
The vaccine is called Hope.
We can all smile and let out a sigh of relief as we witness the miracle of humanity.
I know George is smiling too. 🙂
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In 1984 John McEnroe suffered a devastating defeat in the French Open. His opponent was Ivan Lendl, aka “The Terminator.” Lendl got the name from his killer forehand that used a powerful topspin to dominate his opponents.
McEnroe knew about Lendl’s reputation, so he deliberately focused on countering it using proximity to the net. This worked well for the first two sets. He was able to intercept Lendl’s cross-court passing shots with ease.
But, by the third set, everything changed.
Lendl started using lobs to push McEnroe backward, giving him room again to execute his cross-court shots and gain points…
I started running again.
I haven’t done it seriously since high school, where I ran cross country for a brief period.
My friend Steve, a long-time runner, heard the news about losing one of my dearest friends. He called me one day to offer his support while I was grieving.
After I poured my heart out about how this loss affected me, he offered his kind words of consolement. He then did something unexpected.
“John, my friend, here is what I suggest you do…Start running,” he said.
“Yes. Trust me. Get yourself some new running shoes and start slow…
A group of young entrepreneurs starts a company.
The group of five contains one White man, one Black man, two Latin American men, and one Chinese American man.
A few years later, a large public company gives them an offer they can’t refuse.
Four out of five of them are immigrants to the US. They made it!
The American dream realized…
Half of the team moves to the Bay Area to join the executive management team of the acquirer. The black man’s first mission is to integrate his product into the new parent company’s global sales machinery. So, he arranges…