Startup Children – How To Parent An Entrepreneur (Part I)

Note: This is part I of a five part series. Access the second installment HERE, part III HERE, part IV HERE and part V HERE.

Stone SoupI recently answered the question “What are good ways to raise your children to be entrepreneurs?” on Quora. My response was brief and straightforward, which is common of popular Quora answers (as discussed in How To Write An Effective Quora Answer). Although my answer was off-the-cuff, the question caused me to consider the issue of raising entrepreneurial children in greater depth, which led me to write this series.

I am not a parenting expert and I do not profess to have all the answers. I believe that you cannot teach someone to be an entrepreneur, but that you can teach entrepreneurs. Thus, my goal is to highlight a few books, games and other activities parents can share with their children. If your offspring are entrepreneurially inclined, these activities might nudge them in the direction of a lifetime of startups. If your child is not an entrepreneurial Bank Robber, no worries; the world needs ATM Operators too. Continue reading “Startup Children – How To Parent An Entrepreneur (Part I)”

Interview: Jason Lehmbeck, Co-Founder and CEO of DataPop

Jason LehmbeckMessenger: Jason Lehmbeck, Co-Founder and CEO of DataPop, former VP of Emerging Ad Products at Overture Services and Yahoo!

Value Prop Twitter Style: DataPop simplifies the lives of marketers and gives them the tools they need to build ads that people love to click on

You can watch the video below or on YouTube here:

What follows is a summary which paraphrases Jason’s responses. For his exact quotes, watch the video.

Continue reading “Interview: Jason Lehmbeck, Co-Founder and CEO of DataPop”

Why You Should Hire A Gaggle Of Interns At Your Startup

The Office Team“If I had to, I could clean out my desk in five minutes… and nobody would ever know I’d ever been here. And I’d forget too.”
Ryan Howard, the fictional Intern on the TV comedy, The Office

Michael Scott, the fictional head of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton office, hires an Intern for all the wrong reasons. Driven by low self-esteem, the hapless Mr. Scott is seeking a junior person who will adore him and act upon his whims.

Unfortunately for Mr. Scott, he hires Ryan, a smart, ambitious and disrespectful young man who is the catalyst of endless subterfuge which further undermines the office’s abysmal corporate culture.  Continue reading “Why You Should Hire A Gaggle Of Interns At Your Startup”

Avoid Getting Grin Screwed By Properly Qualifying Your Prospects

In Don’t Be A Grin F**ker, Mark Suster describes a concept that the two of us have discussed at various Board meetings. Startups often expend significant resources attempting to coax a relationship out of someone who smiles and says all the right things, yet whose inactions are inconsistent with their alleged intentions.

Entrepreneurs who are self aware and have the Whole Package are less prone to being successfully grin screwed. However, even the most enlightened entrepreneur can unknowingly waste valuable time and energy pursuing non-qualified prospects. Thus, developing an ability to identify Grin F☺☺kers is a startup skill worth cultivating. Continue reading “Avoid Getting Grin Screwed By Properly Qualifying Your Prospects”

Interview: Clark Benson, Founder & CEO of

Value Prop Twitter Style: “Ranker is a social site/platform for ranking anything, powered by semantic technology that aggregates opinions into ‘wisdom of crowds’ rankings”

Clark Benson is the Founder and CEO of Prior to Ranker, Clark founded four other successful companies, including eCrush, which he sold to the Hearst Corporation in 2007.

Ranker helps Internet users find the most appropriate answers to questions that benefit from the wisdom of crowds. It does this by providing simple tools which facilitate crowed sourced lists. Such lists are constantly evaluated and refined by the millions of users who visit each month, resulting in a repository of objective, unbiased consumer rankings.

Ranker Quote

Continue reading “Interview: Clark Benson, Founder & CEO of”

Putting “Trade” Back Into Tradeshows

Epsteins MonksEntrepreneurs win by changing the Rules of the Game, rather than by trying to best Big Dumb Companies (BDCs) at their own game.

Seth Epstein, Founder and CEO of SocialStay and former Founder of FUEL, understands the power of changing the rules. Early in his career, he devised a clever strategy for making a splash at the Broadcast Design Association tradeshow, one of the most significant gatherings in the motion graphics industry.

While hundreds of BDCs each spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attempting to fool the market as to their relevance by investing in garish tradeshow booth monstrosities, Seth played by his own rules.

While he understood that some of his competitors’ booths were impressive, he also realized that most would not generate enough sales to recoup their booth’s cost. With an investment of less than $10,000, FUEL became the talk of the show and generated enough hype to land several new clients. Continue reading “Putting “Trade” Back Into Tradeshows”

Interview: Isaac Garcia of Central Desktop

Article first published as Isaac Garcia – Taking Down Microsoft on Technorati.

Central Desktop Logo

Messenger: Isaac Garcia, Co-Founder and CEO of Central Desktop, former Co-Founder of Upgradebase.

Central Desktop was founded in 2005 to provide an easy-to-use, SaaS collaboration solution to the SMB market. The company initially focused on self-serve users who purchased the solution online, competing with the likes of Basecamp and GoPlan. However, over the past several years, Central Desktop’s collaboration software has increased in functionality such that it is now a credible competitor to Microsoft’s SharePoint.

In the interview below, Co-Founder and CEO of Central Desktop, former Co-Founder of Upgradebase, discusses this transition and what it feels like to be in Microsoft’s crosshairs.

Isaac Garcia Quote

You can watch the video below or watch it on YouTube by clicking here:

What follows is a summary which paraphrases the interviewee’s responses. For exact quotes, watch the video.

Value Prop Twitter Style:  Central Desktop is: “a cloud-based social collaboration platform for businesses.”

Continue reading “Interview: Isaac Garcia of Central Desktop”

Why A Cellular Carrier Did Not Buy Skype

Epic FailThe recent purchase of Skype by Microsoft for $8.5 billion caused me to recall an awkward meeting I had in 2005 with a particularly clueless group of cellular executives. Their utter stupidity is a bit disheartening, but highly instructional.

Witnessing The Idiot’s Dilemma

I recently had lunch with a good friend with whom I have a shared experience. Although we did not work at the same company (I was at CallWave and my friend was at SIPphone), during the mid 2000s, we both had the misfortune of attempting to entice cellular carriers to adopt the unique features enabled by VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) technology.

Some of these capabilities are finally entering the market, primarily introduced by non-telecom entrants like Google and Apple, such as: visual voicemail, screening voicemail messages and immediately connecting you to callers with whom you wish to speak, and displaying caller ID on your television. Cool stuff for circa 2005, unless you were an idiot working for a cellular carrier. Continue reading “Why A Cellular Carrier Did Not Buy Skype”