News & Views

January 23, 2018

Getting at the Real Why

A strong core motivation, is always present with great entrepreneurs, but rarely with entrepreneurs who muddle through. Uncovering and understanding those deeper motives is the first step toward succeeding as an entrepreneur or discovering that you are not cut out for its punishing demands—the personal sacrifices, inevitable setbacks, relentless work, crushing time pressure, financial uncertainty, and sleepless nights faced by 99 percent of entrepreneurs. You need to know whether your motivations are strong enough to carry you through an experience that can certainly be exhilarating, but also exhausting, calling on your deepest reserves of personal strength.

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January 23, 2018

The Truth About Entrepreneurship

It’s time we told the truth about entrepreneurship. A lot depends on it. Over $530 billion, yes billion, is spent on launching startups every year. Most of that money comes directly out of the entrepreneurs’ pockets, or from the equity in their houses, or from debt. Much of it also comes from gifts, loans, or investments from friends and family. Only 10 to 20% of this money, depending upon the year and the state of frenzy in venture investing, comes from complete strangers and professional investors. Most of this money is wasted by ill-prepared entrepreneurs who have virtually no chance of success. And it will continue to be wasted, along with the time and effort that many hard working people put into these doomed enterprises, unless we can introduce them early on to the truth about what it takes to create and sustain a new business.

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January 22, 2018

Weathering Crises in a Young Company

If you’re the chief executive of a young company, you will at some point almost certainly face an existential crisis that threatens to take your business under. I know I did during my time as the CEO of iSuppli, an electronics market information company I founded in 1999. Over the ensuing four years, a series of crises brought the company to the brink of extinction—crises that typify the threats young companies often face. How our company weathered those storms provide some useful lessons in company preservation, including these three.

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August 14, 2017

Princeton Kauffman Conference 2017

The Princeton Kauffman Conference 2017, created by Derek Lidow, recently concluded. This event brought together anthropologists, sociologists, and entrepreneurship researchers with funding agencies to discuss how best to stimulate and support new research to collect and analyze detailed observations and information on how start-up teams react to and implement new firms in real time.

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February 14, 2017

A Better Way to Set Strategic Priorities

Smart leaders understand that their job requires them to identify trade-offs, choosing what not to do as much as what to do. Grading the importance of various initiatives in an environment of finite resources is a primary test of leadership.

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