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From one of the greatest business visionaries:

Business Leadership

"Each Wal-Mart store should reflect the values of its customers and support the vision they hold for their community." "Capital isn't scarce; vision is."

On Managing:

"High expectations are the key to everything." "Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish." "Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They're absolutely free and worth a fortune." "We're all working together; that's the secret."


"I had to pick myself up and get on with it, do it all over again, only even better this time."

Thinking Outside the Freakin' Box

"There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else." "I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they've been." "There's a lot more business out there in small town America than I ever dreamed of." "We let folks know we're interested in them and that they're vital to us. Cause they are." "The key to success is to get out into the store and listen to what the associates have to say."
Posted on May 29

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If you're looking outside for a CEO to lead your company, peep this: Hiring a CEO is welcoming a stepfather to lead your household. The stepfather has grandiose ambitions to lead your life, but because of ingrained cultural differences, it usually never works out. It's extremely difficult to assimilate two cultures, two backgrounds, two differing value systems, etc., etc., etc. The better person to put in charge is almost always someone from inside the company, because s/he understands the company's culture, direction, and specific ideas to improve the company. You'll thank us. We promise.

What if I'm a small company?

If you're small, recruit someone who has worked with your company in a significant capacity.
Posted on May 28

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No matter how innovative, no matter how good you think it is, no matter how many people say they'll buy it, no matter how much research you've put into it, no matter how unique the idea -- chances are -- that product will fail. One word: Segway. (Blah!) If you rejoice at the concept that any product will fail no matter how innovative, you'll tackle your next product with a much wiser perspective. Coming into any product knowing that it has a high chance at failure, you'll approach it this way:
  • You won't spend as much cash on R&D
  • You won't milk your company on funding and marketing it
  • You won't delay the product until it's "perfect," wasting time and resources
  • You'll save tremendous time by releasing your products early
  • You'll get quick customer response to the validity of your product
  • You'll learn quickly about delivering successful products
And most importantly, you'll have money left over if the product fails. Chances are, it will -- but, by delivering more products, you'll increase your chances of succeeding.

What if I'm trying to build the next-gen-revolution product?

You could use all your eggs, but we wouldn't recommend it. Instead, take small steps. There has to be one, small, thing that won't consume all your cash, and will ignite that spark to your next-gen-revolution product. Think Facebook and its financially manageable Harvard-students-first audience, or Google with its initial Stanford student population, or HP and its initially small technology solutions for Disney.

Keep your eggs in check

The key, as we said, is not to use all your eggs. You will fail, and you'll need more eggs if that ever happens (and it will). Small steps ignite revolutions. You can't reach the top of Mount Everest by taking one giant leap.
Posted on May 27

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Where's the Longhorn? Wait, where's the Vista? "Oh, it was delayed until December 2006." $^@^^^@%^@. Really? "No, now they're saying January 2007." Good gosh. Sucks. " might be delaying it even further, now." $^@%^@^^@^! Geek-talk aside, Microsoft proves building complex products is never a good idea. You'll not only anger your customers, but you'll also drain your resources, drain employee morale, hurt your partners, spoil your other innovations, and shrink your profits quicker than Nicole Richie before her fan-tabulous wedding. Short, small products, with quick deadlines, are, and will forever be, best.
Posted on May 26

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More product choices kill your profits. It's a crime we see 9 out of 10 businesses doing. It's criminal.

Common wisdom is wrong

The common wisdom goes: "The more product choices you have, the greater chances you'll have at increasing buyers." Of course, this is justified by the following: "A product may fit one person, but wouldn't fit somebody else; therefore, we will build another product such that it fits every-single-frickin-person-that-inhabits-our-world." Too bad. Companies are losing profits faster than Michael Jackson getting another face-lift. More importantly, customers are receiving less perceived value because the less superior products are distracting them from the gems.

More products choices kill profits. It's in the study.

Columbia University's Sheena S. Iyengar and Stanford's Mark R. Lepper studied the difference between exposing customers to a 6-chocolate counter and a 30-chocolate counter:
In the choice conditions, participants chose and sampled a Godiva chocolate from a selection of either 6 or 30 varieties of chocolate; in the no-choice conditions, participants were assigned a chocolate to sample from a selection of 6 or 30. At the time of choice, participants reported enjoying the process of choosing a chocolate more from a display of 30 than from a display of 6. Subsequently, however, participants in the extensive-choice condition proved least satisfied with and most regretful about their sampled chocolates, whereas participants in the limited-choice condition proved most satisfied with and least regretful about the chocolates they sampled. No-choice participants lay in the middle.
Makes sense: the more product choices you have, the more you'll have to reject. It's the whole psychological factor: you've made a decision, but you could very well be wrong with the many other choices that you rejected.

The California Burger Joint Study

There's a fine burger establishment by us that could very well rival California's favorite, In-and-Out. The meat's juicy, the breads are toasted, the cheese deliciously melted, and it's cheap. The problem: too many other items on the menu to distract newcomers from the main product. Instead of getting that, people are buying salad. Salad. That's why no one knows about that secret palace of ours. In-and-out, on the other hand, has essentially one product: its cheeseburger. You could, of course, get it without cheese, or get it with two patties. Yes, they do have more options that you could style your burgers, but hide them from the general public (e.g. Animal style, 4x4, etc.). Yet, they do that for a reason: to not distract newbies & general people from their gem. It's simple sweet, and boosts customer confidence and value because the joint guides the customer to an easy, single, let's-not-think-of-what-to-reject product. Meanwhile, it doesn't lose out on its more dedicated fan-base with a secret menu. Genius.

"What do I do now?"

Look at your product portfolio. Cut it in half. Then again. Then once more. Now, slowly but surely, watch your profits rise as you increase customer value and customer confidence. If you don't see it rising, contact us. We'll make sure to help you increase your profits, personally. Word.
Posted on May 26

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If you've been browsing the site on-site (and not just reading this on your RSS feed readers, you lazy bums! - we kid, we kid), we've got-sta new man-stra:
helping your business change the freakin' world. no bulls^!t theory included. smile!

Why the Happy Face

We incorporated the smiley face because, without it, you'd just think we're angry lunatics, with missing dogs and no loving mothers. We're really not angry (at least, we hope we're not), so happy face there is.

Made Real, For You (or something similarly cheesy)

But we digress: we stand by all of our articles. Call us on any article, and we'll gladly back-up our writings with real studies. Not the theoretical-crapola so prevalent in the blogging-magazine-pseudo-journal business world.

But Why?

Our highly, seriously weird, but ambitious goal is to help you and your business change the world. We believe businesses will have, by far, the most impact on society. We're all gearing up for a revolution of sorts. We couldn't look at ourselves in the mirror if we presented you with crap. Word.
Posted on May 25

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Others use it to find which countries search the most for porn; we, feeling a little more dull, use it to find markets that love business web tools. Google Trends works as a great tool to search markets interested in your products. It's also an essential business tool to study the markets' growing interests, which of course, will help you plan for and build your future customer products.

How Google Trends Works

The beauty in Google Trends resembles Google's other products: its simplicity. Enter keywords, separate multiple ones with commas, and see what keywords the world is searching (i.e. what they want, need, love, desire, hate, despise, don't care, et al). You'll then be presented with graphs that depict trends about the popularity of your keywords. viz2.png We don't recommend you use the tool as the basis for your marketing research (See: How to Really Do Market Research). That is, don't spend your entire chunk of cash into something just because Google Trends tell you it's a mega-growing-interest product. Chances are, it's just a fad--and in most cases, it's just a fad. Instead, use Google Trends to find and brainstorm potential ideas or products you could offer your customers. Word to your mother.
Posted on May 24

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The world loves what others think. We say: crap. Motivate yourself by your inner ambitions, not by external influences. Says University of St. Gallen's Heike Bruch and London Business School's Sumantra Ghoshal:
Perhaps the biggest difference between purposeful managers and the other types is the way they approach work. Other managers feel constrained by outside forces: their bosses, their peers, their salaries, their job descriptions. They take all those factors into account when they're deciding what's feasible and what isn't. In other words, they work from the outside in. Purposeful managers do the opposite. They decide first what they must achieve and then work to manage the external environment -- tapping into resources, building networks, honing skills, broadening their influence -- so that, in the end, they meet their goals. A sense of personal volition -- the refusal to let other people or organizational constraints set the agenda -- is perhaps the subtlest and most important distinction between this group of managers and all the rest.
Posted on May 23

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We were at first concerned about conflict of future interest, but we figure if it's good for you, and helps improve your business, why not? We love you all. (We really do.) So, we've started a new category to help you on your entrepreneurial pursuit -- the oh-so-elegantly entitled: Biz Tools! With that said, let's recommend our first product: 43 Things.

What is 43 Things?

43 Things is a site/web-application that promotes achieving your selected goals. Each goal is based around a community that wants to achieve the same desires (e.g. stop smoking, learn Ruby on Rails, start a business, etc.). Unlike your typical MySpace groupie, 43 Things community members actually want to achieve something. Sign-in, write down your goals, and share your progress with others. Simple. There's an amazingly active business group, filled with like-minded individuals who are seeking the same goals as you are. Why does this help you? Easy.


One, if you write your goals down, you boost your chances of achieving them. This is what psychological guru Robert Cialdini calls the "commitment" factor: That is, you're more likely to follow-up on what you say you will do.


Two, if you write your goals down, and are encouraged by others to achieve them, you boost your chances even more of achieving them. We're all products of our environment, to different degrees of course, but still are. There's a reason why your parents wanted you to hang with the bookworms. (Don't worry, we know you turned out well in any case.)


Three, if there's an active community around your intended goal, the peer influence (for the good, this time!) will increase your odds even greater of achieving your goal. Psychological whiz-man Cialdini calls it the "social proof" effect. We do things based on who else is doing them. So, there you have it. That's why we love the psychology behind the idea of 43 Things. And hey, don't be surprised if we come out with something similar. Hint. Hint. Just kidding. (At least we hope so.)
Posted on May 23

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We're all so busy, it seems. Or, at least we think so. If we had 55 hours in a day, entrepreneurs wouldn't work the "typical" 80-hour work weeks, but they'd spend a chunk of the 55-hour days working. The capitalistic culture promotes busyness, but oftentimes, we're simply busy for busyness sake. If you set apart some quiet "think time" time for yourself, say an hour starting at 7 a.m., you'll (as contradictory as it may sound) be a lot more productive. You'll recoup your energy, focus yourself more effectively, and tackle the day with a clear sense of direction.
Posted on May 22

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