Pulp Facts – Entrepreneurial Press Releases Should Generate Revenue

Pulp“When I looked up from the menu, I was staring into the eyes of a man who had been dead for three years.”

– Opening sentence from “Time of Terror” by Louis L’Amour

“When Speeke came at last to water, he was two days beyond death.”

– Opening sentence from That Man From the Bitter Sands by Louis L’Amour

Successful pulp fiction writers like Louis L’Amour had to grab their readers with their first sentence. They did not have the luxury of hoping readers would warm up to their stories after a few pages. Most pulp fiction fans flipped through the magazines before buying them and purchased the stories that grabbed them by their shirt collars and compelled them to read more.

Your startup’s press releases must be as compelling as pulp fiction. If the reader is not engaged at the outset, it is unlikely they will take the time to read the remainder of your release.

Continue reading “Pulp Facts – Entrepreneurial Press Releases Should Generate Revenue”

Humble Pride –Steadfast Resolve Is Vital To A Startup’s Success

Honest BrittIn the Western movie The Magnificent Seven, the protagonists are escorted out of the town they were hired to defend, unarmed and under gunpoint. Once they are a few miles out of town, their gun belts are tossed on the ground and the banditos who defeated them ride away.

The group’s leader, Chris, played by Yul Brynner, surveys his defeated men, trying to assess his team’s morale. With no preamble, James Coburn’s character, Honest Britt, jumps from his horse and straps on his gun belt while saying, “Nobody throws me my own guns and says, ‘Run.’ Nobody.”

Honest makes it clear that he is going back to town, with or without the rest of the group. Several of the other riders dismount and silently strap on their gun belts as well, indicating their intention to join Honest.

However, Harry, the Magnificent Seven gunslinger with the most overtly mercenary intentions, derides the group for their willingness to ride to their deaths. He attempts to enlist the support of his friend, Lee, by trying to convince him to abandon the team’s objective.

Harry (angrily): “You’re crazy, all of you.”

Chris (calmly): “Ride on Harry, it’s alright.”

Harry: “Come on Lee.”

Chris to Lee: “You don’t owe anything to anybody.”

Lee (after a long pause): “Except to myself.”

Harry then rides off alone. The remaining riders turn their mounts toward town, despite the risks they face.

Continue reading “Humble Pride –Steadfast Resolve Is Vital To A Startup’s Success”

Pressure – The Mother Of An Entrepreneur’s Motivation

Mystery Singer One evening, early in 1972, a young itinerant truck driver living in a small Pennsylvania farmhouse was told by his wife that she was pregnant.

That evening, in a fit of desperation, he wrote one of the best selling songs of the 1970s. By the end of the week, he had written several new songs, which were included on the two Top Ten albums he released the following year.

Pressure is good. Every system needs it to properly perform; airplanes, bloodstreams and the earth’s atmosphere. Just as it spurred the young musician, it is also a vital ingredient in a startup’s success.

Continue reading “Pressure – The Mother Of An Entrepreneur’s Motivation”

Max Brand – Entrepreneurs’ Branding Maxims

1Frederick Schiller Faust is a nobody. His face evokes no recognition; his name conjures no associations, nor do eighteen of his nineteen pseudonyms. However, one of his aliases elicits widespread recognition.

Nearly 65 years after Frederick’s death on the front lines during World War II, his celebrated penname remains an enduring brand that invokes a spirit of adventure and escape.

Frederick and his publishers fostered his renowned nom de plume into a vibrant and meaningful brand. Many of the maxims utilized to create that lasting brand can be applied to your startup.

Continue reading “Max Brand – Entrepreneurs’ Branding Maxims”

Time Wounds All Heels – The Importance Of Honesty To Successful Serial Entrepreneurs

Standing on the courthouse steps, moments after receiving his permanent residency Green Card, John Lennon was asked if he harbored a grudge against the Nixon Administration for tapping his phone, putting him under surveillance and mounting a multi-year attempt to deport him. Without missing a beat, John smiled and said, “Time wounds all heels.”

Given the manner in which history has depicted Nixon and his Administration, truer words were never spoken.

Continue reading “Time Wounds All Heels – The Importance Of Honesty To Successful Serial Entrepreneurs”

PR Passion – Why Startups Should Never Outsource Public Relations

ProposalYou have been planning to ask your long-time girlfriend to marry you for months and the big day has finally arrived. In order to reduce your risk of failure, you ask your roommate, who has proposed to several women previously, to pop the question on your behalf.

Sound crazy? This is the approach many startups take when they communicate their story to the market. Rather than directly explaining their value proposition with all the passion and heartfelt stridency that only an entrepreneur can deliver, they outsource this communication to a Public Relations (PR) firm. PR agencies are expensive versions of Cyrano de Bergerac. Their best attempts to woo the media will never equal your ability to sing your own praises.

Startup PR does not stand for “Public Relations.” Rather, it translates into “Passionate Relationships” and passion cannot be outsourced.

Continue reading “PR Passion – Why Startups Should Never Outsource Public Relations”

Corporate Creed – Values, Desires, Purpose and Talents Are the Basis of a Startup’s Corporate Culture

Michael DouglasNo doubt about it, most Hollywood screenwriters disdain entrepreneurs. The negative depiction of entrepreneurs arguably reached its nadir in the film Wall Street. In one scene, Michael Douglas’s character proclaims, “Greed is good. Greed is right. Greed works.” He goes on to rationalize why it is OK to screw everyone on your way to the top.

The Hollywood screenwriters were close. The words they should have put in Michael Douglas’s mouth are, “Creed is good. Creed is right. Creed works.” The best antidote to greed is a strong Corporate Creed. Your adVenture’s Corporate Creed should be established early and be well understood by all of your employees, as it is the foundation of your corporate culture and ultimately your success.

Continue reading “Corporate Creed – Values, Desires, Purpose and Talents Are the Basis of a Startup’s Corporate Culture”

Conventional Wisdom Isn’t –Why Going Against The Grain Is Often To An Entrepreneur’s Advantage

conv.JPG“Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

Lewis Carroll

Entrepreneurs often must take counter-intuitive, contrarian positions in order to succeed. One of the first steps required to move out of The Herd is to see the world from a slightly different vantage point. This often requires rejecting what is conveniently termed: “Conventional Wisdom.”
Continue reading “Conventional Wisdom Isn’t –Why Going Against The Grain Is Often To An Entrepreneur’s Advantage”

How To Give A Horrendous Investor Pitch

horrible.JPGInvestors are way overrated. Who needs them?As a proud dropout from the Founderitis Ten-Step Recovery Program, you realize that you are far better off without investors meddling in your business. However, other members of your Core Team are pressuring you to seek outside funding. No problem.

If you follow the tips outlined in this entry, you will be guaranteed to suffer absolutely no dilution, as there is zero chance that any reasonable investor will be compelled to purchase any of your equity. With a bit of effort, your pitch will cause the audience to walk away with no empathy for you, a vague, disinterested understanding of your adVenture’s value proposition and absolutely no desire to fork over their dough into your sweaty hands.

Bootstrapping may limit your adVenture’s ultimate chance of success, but at least you will never have to deal with pesky institutional investors.

Pop Quiz: What are the top five phobias?

Continue reading “How To Give A Horrendous Investor Pitch”

Competing From the Fringe

competition.JPGThe joys of competition.

Let’s face it. Life would be pretty boring without the Darwinian struggle for survival. Without external forces pushing organisms to adapt in order to ensure their continued survival, you would be swimming in a primordial goop, along with the other single-cell creatures, rather than reading this enlightening article. Continue reading “Competing From the Fringe”