09 December 2009

How useless it is to be worried

One of my team mates asked me today if I was nervous/worried about the board meeting tomorrow. My answer was "no". She didn't ask why, but here is my logic:

I am worried all my work time about how to increase performance, except during board meetings.

Because during board meetings I can't do much about performance. BEFORE and AFTER it, then I am always worried about performance. I can only do it when I am outside of the board room, working in the trenches. During board meetings I only accept what we did or did not accomplish, no reason to be worried about it - it's purely the result of our work and some amount of luck or lack of luck.

08 December 2009

What makes for a great entrepreneur?

It's probably a number of things, and a passion for what you're trying to do is certainly one of them. Oftentimes these folks have experienced a problem firsthand and they're consumed with solving it. And they refuse to quit.

A lot of the great founders and entrepreneurs I've worked with are micromanaging, detail-oriented, paranoid people. They want to know everything, and they care about everything. Interestingly, most of my companies have a key executive who never graduated from college, and probably two of my six CEOs never went to college. And the CTO at another company, the star at that company, did not go to college.

See the rest of the interview with Larry Cheng on What Makes a Great Entrepreneur.

03 December 2009

Why my bachelor thesis was about viral marketing? Because of Seth Godin

Get a review copy of my new book
by Seth Godin

There used to be one hundred people who mattered.

That's true in a lot of industries, but particularly in books.

One hundred people who could make a book a hit. These were key buyers at bookstores, reviewers and editors at newspapers, the person who booked time at Oprah or the Today Show.

So publishers courted these people. If the one hundred loved it, the book launched as a hit. Of course the 100 all get free copies. Lots of free copies.

Today, of course, those one hundred people matter a lot less. And who matters more? You.

You, because you have a network. You blog. You tweet. You talk things up at meetings or recommend things to friends.

And there are a lot more than a hundred of you.

One solution is to give everyone a free copy. Publishers and authors could do this and try to make money doing something else. Another solution is to let the best of this group, the most committed, the most interested... let them stand up and identify themselves.

So, that's what we're experimenting with on Linchpin. For a select group of motivated readers, I want to send you a copy of Linchpin (at my expense) three weeks before anyone else can buy one. My US publisher is not sending free review copies to magazines (the few that are left), newspaper editors, TV shows, any of the usual media suspects. Instead, we're allowing people like you to raise their hands and, if they like the book, asking them to tell the world about it in January.

How to choose? I can't afford to buy a book for everyone, so I needed to come up with a filter. Here it is: The first 3,000 people who make a donation to the Acumen Fund (at least $30) get one at my expense. The money you pay goes directly to Acumen, you get the fun of making a donation and get a tax deduction before the end of the year, and I figure out which of my readers most want a copy of my book.

If you're excited about getting a first look, I hope you'll check out this page for all the details. And thanks for your support, every day. It means a lot to me.

Please hurry, since once they're gone, I probably won't be able to offer any more.

Readers outside of North America should click here please.

[UPDATE: After 9 hours we've sold half of the reserved books and raised more than $70,000 for Acumen. Thanks guys.]

That's why we call him a marketing guru. Well, I would call him in fact a viral marketing shaman, but that's just a personal joke.

02 December 2009

"Never look at the trombones. You will only encourage them!"

On the previous post the maestro has a quote that is the root of my decision: "Never look at the trombones. You will only encourage them!"

What a leadership lesson.