The Most Powerful Gift An Entrepreneur Can Give

A version of this article previously appeared in Forbes.

Researcher Robert Cialdini has studied the elements that comprise a powerful gift. From a scientific standpoint, the “power” of a gift is measured by the extent it triggers the reciprocity principle of persuasion. The greater the desire of the recipient to “repay” the gift, the greater its power. However, gifts have another source of power, the impact they have on the giver.

If your goal is to give a memorable business gift to your boss, customers, employees and other valued stakeholders, be prepared to put in some effort. Mr. Cialdini has concluded that the most effective gifts are: significant, unexpected, personalized and unconditional.

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Who’s In Your Club For Your Mutual Improvement?

A version of this article previously appeared in Forbes.

One of my former students, Sieva Kozinsky, Co-Founder & CEO of StudySoup recently shared his startup insights with my UC Santa Barbara students.

He offered my students a litany of compelling suggestions. However, the one that stood out to me was the importance of curating their peer groups in advance of graduating and starting an entrepreneurial career. By way of example, he described the Junto Club, a Bay Area group he co-founded, whose goal is the professional and personal advancement of its members. Sieva’s club is based on a similar group created by Benjamin Franklin.

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Follow John’s Startup Oriented Twitter Stream!


Follow John’s Startup Oriented Twitter Stream. He promises to never Tweet about sunsets, kittens or awesome burritos.

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