October 30, 2011

Questions for a new entrepreneur - Seth Godin

A few things came up over coffee the other day. His idea is good, his funding is solid, there are many choices. Some of the questions that don't usually get asked:

Are you aware of your cash flow? The thing about a fish in the stream is that it doesn't care if the water is six inches deep or a foot deep. As long as it never (ever) goes to zero, it's fine. What's your zero point? What are you doing to ensure you get to keep swimming?
Are you trying to build profit or equity? A business that builds a brand, a footprint, a standard and an audience might end up being worth millions (witness Tumblr, which has many millions of value but zero profitabilty). On the other hand, a business with no exit value at all might spin off plenty of profit (consider the local doctor's office). It would be great if you could simultaneously maximize both the value of your company and the profit it produces (in the short run), but that's unlikely.
What's your role? Do you want to be a freelancer, an entrepreneur or a business owner? A business owner is the boss, but it's a job, a place that is stable and profitable. An entrepreneur is an artist of sorts, throwing herself into impossible situations and seeking out problems that require heart and guts to solve. Both are fine, but choose.
Are you trying to build a team? Some business owners want to minimize cost and hassle. Others are trying to forge a culture, to train and connect and lead.
Which kind of risk is okay with you? There's financial risk, emotional risk and brand risk (among others). Are you willing to put your chips on the table daily? How about your personal reputation?
And finally, and most important, why? Why are you doing this at all?
* No reason for context of this pictures. It is just random.

Seth Godin´s Daily Message

The paradox of expectations

Low expectations are often a self-fulfilling prophecy. We insulate ourselves from failure, don't try as hard, brace for the worst and often get it.
High expectations, on the other hand, will inevitably lead to disappointment. Keep raising what you expect and sooner or later (probably sooner) it's not going to happen. And we know that a good outcome that's less than the great one we hoped for actually feels like failure.
Perhaps it's worth considering no expectations. Intense effort followed by an acceptance of what you get in return. It doesn't make good TV, but it's a discipline that can turn you into a professional.

October 29, 2011

Woody Allen singing at Carlyle in New York

Real Life Version of Simpsons

I did not know Lisa was red-headed!
I liked the fact that Simpsons are ugly in real life, but I bet there were better actors to represent them!

October 9, 2011

My last five girlfriends

I am slow lately, coach potato, if you will. Watching lots of movies. And this English movie is a good (silly romantic style) one: My last five girlfriends! I loved the theme park metaphor to relationships in life.

After yet another failed relationship, 30-something Duncan (Brendan Patricks) decides to quiz his last five girlfriends to find out what went wrong in order to figure out how to find love. With advice from bizarre sources and intense flights of fancy, finally Duncan realises that love is a battleground where only the fittest can survive.

Duncan's suicidal note:

What you've collectively done to me is quite an achievement. Four years ago, I was happy to believe in a very simple concept. You might have heard of it, it's called LOVE. But thanks to the five of you, I now know that love is a lie, a myth specifically concocted to bring me as much pain and misery as possible. Wendy: were you ever really that interested in me, or was I merely a holiday while you and him went through a dull patch? Olive: almost everything I told you was a lie. Sorry about that. Rhona: who'd you think I was? If I was that wrong for you, then you really should have paid more attention at the start. Natalie: okay, so I know I've had enough of this one, but did you really want ME, or just someone? And Gemma: what should I say to you? I suppose I should forgive you. 
This is a suicide note, after all. Okay, I forgive you. But I don't want that to make you feel any better... I'm sure you'll all find someone. You might even think you're in love, but don't kid yourselves: we're all just playing out scenes we've seen in films, the only difference is that our stories have depressing endings. When real people walk towards a sunset, no music swells, no credits roll - they just get to the end of the beach, have a row, and walk back to the car. And that's depressing! In fact after reading this, you might feel your only option is to join me! And that's the one thing I wouldn't blame you for. Bye then: Duncan. 

October 1, 2011

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