Acquired Wisdom

Forty-five Years of Trying to Get it Right

It’s Not About You

I just finished a book by an award-winning financial journalist and anthropology Ph.D., Gillian Tett, called Anthro-Vision. In the book, Tett presents a radical strategy for success, understanding behavior by studying consumers, markets, and organizations through an anthropological lens. Anthropology is studying human nature, getting into other people’s minds to understand different cultures, and appraising […]

Never Eat Alone

Never Eat Alone is the title of a book written by Keith Ferrazzi. In it, he lays out specific steps and the mindset to reach out to thousands of friends, colleagues, and associates he has helped and who have helped him. Ferrazzi maintains that what separates successful people from others is how they use the […]

What is Corporate Culture

When I Googled “what is corporate culture,”the first response was, “Corporate culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires.” […]

The 10/20/30 Rule in Making Presentations

Over the years, I have made dozens and dozens of presentations to raise money; sell a product or service; or an idea. Investors and business managers listen to dozens of entrepreneurs and salespersons pitching their company or product. Most of these pitches are crap: sixty slides about a “patent-pending,” “first-mover advantage,” “superior features and benefits,” […]

The Answer to Business Success is 34

In the radio series and first novel, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a group of hyper-intelligent beings specially built a supercomputer called Deep Thought to answer life’s ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything. Deep Thought computed and checked the answer, which turned out to be 42. The problem was no one could […]

Never be Late…

I came across this story a while ago: A priest was being honored at his retirement dinner after 25 years in the parish. A leading local politician and member of the Congregation was chosen to make the presentation and give a little speech at the dinner. He was delayed, so the priest decided to say […]

Rethink Your Business in Changing Times

Today’s environment is forcing businesses to evolve more quickly than ever before. The electronic era has spawned companies that do not consist of bricks and mortar, but organizations that merely identify opportunities and coordinate resources to get results. The pandemic has forced entrepreneurs to pivot their businesses to survive. Most companies struggle to reorientate themselves […]

Ideas Are a Dime a Dozen

When I was running the Innovations Project, I had the opportunity to speak to various business groups, inventors, and economic development organizations. My opening line in my presentation was, “Ideas are a dime a dozen – people who put them into action are worth millions.” At Innovations, we looked at thousands of inventions, product ideas, […]

Learning When to Hold ’em and When to Fold ’em

Emotion is a funny thing when it comes to business. Emotion can drive an entrepreneur to overcome tremendous obstacles and succeed, and it can cause bone-headed decisions leading to failure. Generally speaking, business decisions are much better when made without emotion. Successfully playing poker is an excellent example of decision-making without emotion. Winning or losing […]

Market Focused Planning

When I was with the International Centre for Agriculture Technology and Science, we coined a phrase with the help of Dr. Roger Moore called Market-Focused Planning. This term applied to a thought process we developed to guide strategic planning away from self-centered navel-gazing to focusing on how our most significant strengths would be perceived by […]