Competitive Edge
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Competitive Edge
Creating your Unique Value Proposition to gain your Competitive Edge.
Curated by Marc Kneepkens
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How Working at an Unknown Startup can be better than Working at a Popular One

How Working at an Unknown Startup can be better than Working at a Popular One | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

How Working at an Unknown Startup can be better than Working at a Popular One.

Our culture mythologizes startups and the people who work at them. As a guy who works at a tech startup in the computer vision space, I appreciate the heroic narrative—some people get so excited when I tell them about my job—but I also think correctives to some of the misconceptions are overdue.

I’ll start with three: Read more:

 http://fortune.com/2017/03/11/startup-misconceptions-entrepreneurs-work-life-balance/

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

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Via TechinBiz
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#Startup sounds exciting. Here are some insights.

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How putting life first can increase the odds your startup succeeds.

Our approach to building a life-giving, profit-generating engine.

By Matt Munson on www.gettingclear.io

 

Faced with my father’s impending death, holed up in a diner escaping the freezing rain in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I’m forced to reflect on what’s enabled me to be here. And how grateful I am. The key to the creativity your company requires is the freedom to sometimes walk away. If you want to build a machine where each employee makes their maximum impact, you must counter-intuitively build a place where each employee, including yourself, is entirely dispensable. Sometimes life gets in the way. And you must enable it to do so.

Read more: https://gettingreal.io/how-putting-life-first-can-increase-the-odds-your-startup-succeeds-386129690d41#.kl989r455

 

 

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Choices popping up along the way of building your startup. Sometimes you can't ignore them. Making the right decision can also be best for your startup.

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New Leaders Should Always Do This First

New Leaders Should Always Do This First | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

CEO John Ryan's guidelines for first-time leaders.

Back when I was a 23-year-old, newly minted pilot, the Navy put me in charge of my first flight squadron division. It was a role that called for leading a team of about 40 highly trained aviation technicians. Like any first-time leader, I was thrilled with this opportunity and could hardly wait to greet them with an inspiring talk.
While I prepared this speech, which would surely rival anything from John F. Kennedy, the leader of this team of technicians – whose rank was chief petty officer -- stopped by for a visit. 

“Lieutenant Ryan,” said this man, who was 14 years older than me, with nearly 20 years in the Navy, “the guys have heard good things about you as a person and a pilot. They’re excited to work with you.” 

“Me, too,” I told him, already a little curious about what the chief might want to convey. 

“I want you to get off to a good start, so if you don't mind,” he said, “could you tell me what you’re planning to tell them?” 

Now, a little off balance, I tried to explain, rather inarticulately, what I had in mind. 

The chief petty officer listened and then offered some sage advice. “You’ll be our third boss in five years,” he said, “so I can tell you what they would like to hear and, even more importantly, see." Read more: click image or title.

 

 

Growthink teaches how to FUND,build, grow, and sell a great business: http://bit.ly/2hn5ROb

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

“Rather than the typical client/vendor relationship I'm used to, Growthink has been more like a strategic partner and trusted advisor. Not only did they provide me with a dynamic business plan but they have given me invaluable advice and feedback along the way. They have exceeded my expectations in every way possible during this exciting but uncertain time of starting & ultimately growing my business.”

Jerry D. Erickson

President/CEO

FryBrid Cars

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent advice for new #leaders.

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What’s the Second Job of a Startup CEO?

What’s the Second Job of a Startup CEO? | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
When startup CEOs start to scale their companies, they need to redefine themselves and their roles or risk stunting the potential of their startups.

Successful startups go through three broad phases as they scale, and a startup CEO’s job changes dramatically in each phase. A CEO’s first job is to build a product users love; the second job is to build a company to maximize the opportunity that the product has surfaced; and the third is to harvest the profits of the core business to invest in transformative new product ideas. This blog post describes how to become a great Phase 2 CEO by focusing on the highest leverage tasks that only the CEO can accomplish. As YC’s Continuity team, we’ve seen many Phase 1 CEOs transition successfully into Phase 2, and some who have not. The future of your startup depends on which kind you are. Read more: click image or title.

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

A #startup is not just a bid idea or one great product. Successful startups require a whole lot more from their #CEO's.

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3 Lesson I Learned After Being Fired From My Own Company

3 Lesson I Learned After Being Fired From My Own Company | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

On June 13th, 2011 I founded a company that would change the trajectory of my professional life forever. I called it Sevenly. A play on the words “seven” and “heavenly”. A for-profit clothing company where each week we would partner with a new charity and for every item we sold, we donated $7.00.

The company grew quickly. From zero to 22 employees and just over $1 million in our first year. Then to 40 employees and $3.5 million in 2013, and finally almost 50 employees and nearly $6 million in annual revenue by 2014.

The company was hot. People were talking. Investors were interested. Articles, interviews, and keynote speeches were requested. And almost $4 million was donated to charities across the globe.

But in November of 2013, the dagger of change aimed to destroy us. Facebook made their first major News Feed algorithm adjustment and it altered everything. Read more: click image or title.


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Lessons in humility and maturity.

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jugglerplay's comment, June 21, 2016 1:14 AM

Its splendid :)
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So You Want to be a CEO — Hone These Traits First

So You Want to be a CEO — Hone These Traits First | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Even if you’re several years away from even being considered for a CEO seat, it’s never too early to hone the key traits you’ll need to demonstrate to keep you in the running. Here are 6 tips that can help keep you on the right track. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


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Do you have what it takes?

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Beware the pitfalls of Silicon Valley

Beware the pitfalls of Silicon Valley | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

A recent article in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung titled “Will Facebook Enslave Us?” captures a sentiment prevalent among companies around the world: admiration for Silicon Valley — albeit, with a dash of fear.

International media outlets eagerly cover disruption developing in labs up and down the San Francisco peninsula. Boards of directors are spending hours debating how to react to the next wave from Silicon Valley. Today’s common conclusion is an old one: If you can’t beat them, join them. But for many, that is easier said than done.

The obstacles to joining forces

Many global business leaders want to experience Silicon Valley firsthand to understand what makes this hotbed of technology so unique, to uncover its secret recipe and to tap into potential collaboration opportunities. Read more: click image or title.

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

How to find your way in #SiliconValley and find the right way to cooperate. 

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Six Steps To Transform Your Company Culture

Company culture can’t be rigid and unadaptable, or the company will fail. An outstanding company culture requires outstanding leadership, and changing the company culture requires leaders who recognize the real need for change, and who aren’t afraid of it. Outstanding leadership demonstrates maturity: conviction, diligence, focus, optimism, and the ability to handle uncertainty.

Leaders are able and willing to make positive changes to corporate culture to evolve with the times.

Immature leadership, by contrast, does not bode well for strong corporate culture. Lack of leadership skills, illegal or unethical behavior, or character flaws are common to immature or ineffective leaders. Character and honor are between difficult to impossible to recover once compromised, and the executive leader falls from grace from a particularly dangerous height.

Assuming your company has strong, mature leadership, transforming your company’s culture takes six critical steps. Read more: click image or title.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

And here are some tips on how to build that #CompanyCulture.



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PARKJH's curator insight, February 10, 2016 4:23 PM

6 points intéressants pour la culture d'entreprise

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What It’s Like to Be Owned by Berkshire Hathaway

What It’s Like to Be Owned by Berkshire Hathaway | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

According to CEOs who know.

Warren Buffett is rightfully admired for his investment record as chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, which has outperformed the S&P 500 Index by more than 10% annually during his 50-year tenure.

Much less attention is paid, however, to the manner in which Buffett manages the company itself. This is somewhat surprising, given that his management system is very different from those of other publicly traded companies.

Berkshire Hathaway is known for its extreme decentralization. The company’s more than 80 operating subsidiaries have complete independence and minimal oversight from headquarters, which requires little else besides regular financial statements and the return of excess cash that is not needed to sustain and grow the business. The company does not ask for budgets, financial forecasts, or strategy documents. It has no central marketing, procurement, sales, HR, IT, or legal department. It does not even have a General Counsel. This is for a corporation greater in size than General Electric, General Motors, IBM, or Chevron.

How exactly does such a structure work, given that it defies almost every major tenet taught in business school regarding management and governance?

We surveyed the CEOs of Berkshire Hathaway operating subsidiaries — almost all of whom report directly to Buffett — during the summer of 2015 to learn what it is like to manage a business for him. They represent a diverse mix of insurance and noninsurance subsidiaries of various sizes. We found the following three things: Read more: click on image or title.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km



Via Enzo Calamo
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

These principles can be applied in any business. Managers need enough freedom to excel. There is always something to learn from Buffett.

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5 less-than-flattering traits that can make startup founders great

5 less-than-flattering traits that can make startup founders great | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
The best startup founders may need patience, resilience, perspective, and zen to run their businesses. But they also need some less flattering characteristics they may not want to admit to.

It’s 2015. Have you founded your startup yet? If not, it may be time to join the club. With 50 technology startups launching each day in Beijing alone, it’s clear that it’s past time to jump on the bandwagon. Accelerators, incubators, and VC funds splash around so much cash that it’s no longer worth counting the number of tech startups with million-dollar valuations. Indeed, as of this writing, 100 unicorns have received billion-dollar valuations.

With all that capital floating around, you might be feeling confident about that bulletproof idea you had. You know, the one for an app that irons your dress shirts for you? You can name-check your all-star forefathers — Jobs, Musk, Armstrong — and you’ve flipped through Art Of The Start. You’re ready. Right?

Wrong. There’s a reason 90 percent of startups fail. So before you start mapping The Iron Fist’s path from beta to billions, let’s take a step back. Having spent nearly 20 years working for a variety of startup founders, interacting with many more in the community, and serving as one myself, I’m constantly disappointed with a lot of the startup founder advice out there. Of course, any successful founder needs to be a savvy leader, an able communicator, a nimble problem solver, and a really really smart person. To run any business, you need patience, resilience, perspective, zen — the list goes on.

But what about the less obvious — and to some, less flattering — traits that make up the remainder of the startup founder DNA? Startup founders tend to be culled from the outliers, the obsessives, the oddballs. Those who find success manage to take what would otherwise be a shortcoming — the inability to sit still, workaholism, pigheadedness — and with a strong vision, mold it into something constructive. Let’s take a look at five of the least-touted traits found in some of the best-performing startup founders. Read more: click image or title.





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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Founders need a lot of qualities. They are tough and sometimes relentless characters. This article highlights some unusual traits.

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As a startup CEO, how do you decide whether to keep pushing on with a new startup or throw in the towel? - Quora

As a startup CEO, how do you decide whether to keep pushing on with a new startup or throw in the towel? - Quora | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Jason M. Lemkin, Co-founder/CEO EchoSign, acq'd by Ado... (more)
460 upvotes by Marc Bodnick (Co-Founder, Elevation Partners), David S. Rose (Founded six startups, two angel groups, three f... (more) ), Leo Widrich, (more)
Never, ever, ever, never quit if you can get to 10 paying customers (that aren't your friends, relatives, ex-bosses).

Ever.

Until the last nickel is gone, until they shut off the power (and even then, you can go to Starbucks).

Ever.

Because ... no one needs Yet Another Paid Product.  No one.

If you got 10 paying customers ... you can get 100.  You will get 100.  At some point.  If you don't quit.

And if you get 100 ... 1000 isn't impossible.  There are 6,000,000 businesses in the U.S. alone.

Break it up into 10x chunks.  One order of magnitude growth.

Quit if you never get 10 paying customers within 6, 12, 24, 200 months of launch, and have no ideas about how to tilt to get to 10.

But ... product-market fit for paid SaaS products is just so much rarer, and harder, than people realize.

Don't quit if you have 10 customers.

Find a way.   Push through. Read more answers: click image or title.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Never give up fighting. Find a way.

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Mentors Are The Secret Weapons Of Successful Startups | TechCrunch

Mentors Are The Secret Weapons Of Successful Startups  |  TechCrunch | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/Y1Xg

“I’ve probably revised this investor pitch deck 200 times,” a founder told me recently. She’d met with more than 50 potential investors before closing a seed round last month. This might sound excessive to some, but her experience is not unusual.

Entrepreneurs often spend hundreds of hours raising funds from angel and venture capital investors. While these activities are clearly important, analysis of new data on startups suggests that founders should also dedicate significant time to something that many people overlook: recruiting great mentors. This simple strategy can increase a company’s odds of success more than almost anything else.

Discovering the secrets of the best founders

Our team studied thousands of tech businesses last year. We looked specifically at companies in New York City’s tech sector, which was the fastest-growing tech sector from 2003-2013 and is now the second largest tech hub in the world. The goal of this research was to investigate how local tech firms had become so successful.

Our analysts combined data from CrunchBase, AngelList and LinkedIn, and interviewed nearly 700 founders. (In total, New York tech founders dedicated more than a month of time to this project.) These sources enabled us to create the world’s largest database of a single entrepreneurship community.

We found that a number of characteristics that are often highlighted as predictors of success for startups – such as starting a company while in college – don’t actually make much of a difference. While these conclusions on traditional startup myths were interesting, we uncovered several other intriguing findings by examining the habits of the best firms and founders. Read more here: http://snip.ly/Y1Xg




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With Growthink on your side, you are in a win-win situation. They placed themselves in my situation and analyzed my business as if it were their own business. I could never recommend any firm but Growthink to provide business planning services at this level of quality. 
 Prem K. Kapani, CEO

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Mentors are a major advantage in the start up world. They can lead the way or facilitate specialized aspects of your business. They can open doors, and much more.

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9 Easy-To-Steal Habits Of The Super Successful

9 Easy-To-Steal Habits Of The Super Successful | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Wouldn't it be great if success was simple?

But it isn't.

There's no one-size-fits-all answer for success in work and life, but we will do our best to steer you in the right direction.

Here's a list of helpful habits of some highly successful—and wildly productive—people to get your started.

Read more here: http://www.fastcompany.com/3014736/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/9-easy-to-steal-habits-of-the-super-successful


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Growthink helped me with two business plans. I liked working with Anna Vitale because she was a professional yet personable and that gave me a sense of trust. Keep up the good work.”


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Five Signs You're Successful -- Whether You Know It Or Not

Five Signs You're Successful -- Whether You Know It Or Not | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Do you have to have a lofty job title and a big salary to be successful? No way! Here are five signs you're successful right now, whether you've got a great job, an average job or not job at all!

For years we clung to an outdated definition of career success.

In the old definition of success, successful people were people who had "big" jobs and earned tons of money.

You could tell the successful people apart from everybody else by their clothes, their cars, their houses and other material things.

Now we know better. Read more: click image or title.

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Growthink teaches how to FUND, build, grow, and sell a great business: http://bit.ly/2hn5ROb


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

How do you define success? In terms of money, accomplishments, or what you are doing right now?

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The 21 hottest women-founded startups to watch in 2017

The 21 hottest women-founded startups to watch in 2017 | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
These women-run companies are about to do big things this year.

There has never been a better time to be a woman in the startup world.

There's no denying we have a long way to go. After all, venture capital firms are made up ofmostly men, and some continue to suggest that women aren't cut out for the tech world at all. And way more VC money is offered to male founders than women.

But more and more women are building multimillion-dollar startups, and venture firms like Forerunner Ventures, BBG Ventures, and Female Founders Fund all focus on companies founded by women.

It's paying off. 2016 saw female founders launch innovative companies and raise millions to help them grow, while startups in their second or third year of life began gaining ground.

And 2017 will likely be even bigger. Here are some of the most exciting women-run companies to keep an eye on in the coming year.

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Wow! Great creativity in the #startup world. #Women approach startups differently.

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10 Simple Things That Teams Expect From Their Leader

10 Simple Things That Teams Expect From Their Leader | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

To build a great team, do these 10 simple things.

I remember the first time I became a leader, I called a meeting with my team and said, "Here are my expectations of you." When I finished, I asked if there were any questions, and one of the team raised his hand and said: "Do you know what are our expectations of you?" As this was my first leadership role, the question took me by surprise -- and to be honest, I didn't, as I had only ever thought about leadership from the perspective of the leader. It was understanding their perspective and what was expected of me that allowed me to improve my leadership.

Here are 10 things teams expect from their leader. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

Growthink teaches how to FUND,build, grow, and sell a great business: http://bit.ly/2hn5ROb

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

“Rather than the typical client/vendor relationship I'm used to, Growthink has been more like a strategic partner and trusted advisor. Not only did they provide me with a dynamic business plan but they have given me invaluable advice and feedback along the way. They have exceeded my expectations in every way possible during this exciting but uncertain time of starting & ultimately growing my business.”

Jerry D. Erickson

President/CEO

FryBrid Cars


Via TechinBiz
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

What do YOU expect from a leader?

 

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JASON CAVNESS's curator insight, December 26, 2016 11:58 AM
10 Simple Things That Teams Expect From Their Leader
donhornsby's curator insight, December 27, 2016 10:21 AM
Leaders who meet all 10 of these expectations will have built a loyal, committed team that they can rely upon, a team that is engaged and will do its best to be successful.
 
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3 key business lessons from Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg

3 key business lessons from Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

The 32-year-old billionaire shares his secrets on how to turn start-ups and breakthrough ideas into thriving businesses.

About 10 years ago, in room H33 of Harvard University's Kirkland House, one 19-year-old launched "thefacebook.com." Today that 19-year-old is 32 years old and sits at the helm of a $340 billion social networking empire.

 

Facebook's ability to give every private citizen a public identity revolutionized the way we share our lives and raise awareness about our ideas. It created a breeding ground for entrepreneurs like Evan Spiegel, the Snapchat founder and CEO, who is worth upward of $2.1 billion at the young age of 26.

From Zuckerberg we learned that goals deemed unachievable — like bringing back the nostalgia of Pokemon in an app that shattered the social sphere — thrive within the tech ecosystem. Today the Apple App Store, home to many of these popular platforms, grows by more than 1,000 apps every day, according to the International Business Times.

So what's the by-product of all this noise? A community of new age entrepreneurs who are rapidly swiping left or right and filtering photos to grow their business. But before they began hashtagging, many of these self-made social media mogul's were just trying to learn the tools of the trade from leaders like Zuckerberg, who turned Silicon Valley and everything that came out of it on its head. Here are three relevant tips he gives to all new age entrepreneurs looking to disturb this racket even further: Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Dave...I downloaded your business plan template...It is great!!!...My tax consultants say your plan is amazing. Thanks Dave!!!


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Excellent, he even writes one of these on all of the inner walls of the

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How to Increase Productivity By Working Fewer Hours

How to Increase Productivity By Working Fewer Hours | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

This CEO cut his employees' workday down to only 5 hours. The result: Happier workers and soaring profits.

You may be paying your employees for an eight-hour day, but the truth is most of them are doing about two-three hours of real work, and just taking all day to do it. Stephan Aarstol, co-founder and CEO of Tower Paddle Boards, says a ton of time is squandered throughout the day and even that productivity is faked to avoid the risk of getting fired. 

In response to these facts, Aarstol cut his employees' workday to just five hours. The catch? With increased pressure to perform, employees had to teach themselves to be highly productive. If they couldn't do it they would be fired, but his team met the challenge--and loved it. "With our five-hour workday, we've created a workweek better than most people's vacation weeks," says Aarstol. "Our workers have moved into a world of abundance, not scarcity, because we've massively shifted their quality of life by giving them the only scarce thing left... their time."

Aarstol outlines the specifics in his book, The Five-Hour Workday. By using the five-hour workday, the company was able to become one of the fastest growing in the nation. Here's a preview of the theory he suggests in our recent interview. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


Via ventureLAB
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This #CEO challenges you to try this in your company. Will your #profits go up?

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Thoughts on building weatherproof companies — Software Is Eating the World

Thoughts on building weatherproof companies - Software Is Eating the World - Medium

The best founder/CEOs want to build long-lasting, strong companies. But this isn’t just a want, it’s necessary— especially today as companies stay private longer.

CEOs who expect their companies to be acquired as a “quick exit” aren’t going to have it easy. It’s especially hard for those CEOs and advisors who never had to learn how to build a full-fledged, well-governed company — with sustainable sales, marketing, HR, legal, customer support, accounting, and finance — without losing their sense of urgency. They “simply” needed to build a winning product, merge with a larger company, and then let others take care of the rest.

This is both tough and good news for today’s founders/CEOs.

The good news: You have a bigger opportunity than ever before to build a long-lasting, fundamentally important technology company.

The tough news: To do so, you must grow — personally and professionally — to a higher level than you might have experienced in your life before. Doing so means committing to building a company that can go “all the way” on its own.

Below, I share some things I learned on my own journey here. When I ran SuccessFactors, we used to say “we’re building the company like Lambeau Field” (Lambeau Field stadium in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is the home field of the NFL Green Bay Packers, who under their coach Vince Lombardi were known for their winning streak and ability to grab crucial wins even in the worst snow, because their team was built to handle tough weather conditions).

When you are building for long term — as opposed to a quick exit — it becomes obvious very quickly that you’ll have to make very different decisions, on every level from hiring and culture to how you treat sales and customers. You need to test every decision that’s obviously meant for immediate results with “will it also strengthen us in the long term?”

 Successful companies are bought, not sold

Even if your company does end up getting acquired, building your company well is the best you can do for the price you get. When we negotiated selling SuccessFactors for 11X revenues (which at the time was the highest multiple on sales in a decade), if we didn’t like where the value or discussions were going, we knew we could just stop negotiations and keep on building the company. And we weren’t bluffing, which you cannot fake. Because good companies are bought … not sold.

Just as a dog can smell fear, any experienced M&A team can smell a mile off if you want to sell your company, and consequently the price goes down. If you are not selling, and you have the power to stay independent because you are well-built and can handle “bad weather”, you can hold out longer than the acquirer, and the price of your company goes up to what you know it’s worth.

So how do you build such scale, without shortcuts? To start, there are at least five areas I believe a founder must focus on:

Read more: click image or title.

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Extensive article and great advice for would-be #startup

#success story #founders.

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The Surprising Way Meditation Made This CEO A Better Boss

The Surprising Way Meditation Made This CEO A Better Boss | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

If you can't clear your schedule, you better clear your mind.

Tom Werner can rarely clear his schedule. Instead, he clears his mind.

“When you’re the CEO, you’re always thinking about the next thing,” the chief executive of solar energy titan SunPower said in a recent interview with The Huffington Post. “I have an interview for X time, then I’m going to that meeting, then I have that dinner tonight, and then tomorrow I’ve got…”

He said just 10 minutes of mindful meditation every night helps him stay present and subdue distracting thoughts or emotions that prevent him from paying attention during each of his obligations in a given day. That, he said, makes a huge difference in how he leads the San Jose-based company’s roughly 6,300 employees. Read more: click image or tittle.



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Via Enzo Calamo
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Meditation makes a huge difference, especially when working stressful jobs. Make your life more pleasant, and yourself too for other people.

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5 Tips to Build an Award-Winning Company Culture and Multi-Million Dollar Business

5 Tips to Build an Award-Winning Company Culture and Multi-Million Dollar Business | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
With wide-ranging accolades, Seth and Noah Goodman of Northstar Recycling know a thing or two about building a great business by investing in culture.

When brothers Seth and Noah Goodman started Northstar Recycling five years ago as a spin-off from a family business that was started in 1896, they wanted to make an impact. Not only were they looking to help the environment with their solutions to help companies with large manufacturing and distribution centers recycle more and landfill less, but they wanted to make an impact on their employees’ lives.

With accolades ranging from one of the 100 Best Workplaces for Women to Fortune’s list of  50 Best Workplaces for Camaraderie as well as achieving multi-millions of dollars in sales, these brothers know a thing or two about building a great business by investing in culture. 

Below are five of Seth and Noah Goodman’s top suggestions for building an award-winning company culture. Read more: click image or title.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#CompanyCulture is a big name and a fancy word. However, creating a place where you and your co-workers or #employees spend most of their time is extremely important.

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This Is What Happens 6 Months After Ceo Raises the Minimum Wage at His Company to $70,000

The CEO's decision earned him praise and ridicule form across the business community.

Last year, Seattle-based Gravity Payments’ CEO Dan Price established a $70,000-a-year minimum wage at his company. The announcement earned him attention from Hollywood reality-TV producers, requests to study his radical experiment from Harvard Business School, and Rush Limbaugh branded him a socialist. So now that it’s been over six months, how did his experiment turn out? Read more: click title.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Very creative idea. This #CEO made some serious changes.

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Nine Tips For A Successful Startup On Foreign Soil

Nine Tips For A Successful Startup On Foreign Soil | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
What advice do those who are experts on creating startups on foreign soil give? Listen to what a venture capitalist in Latin America, a professor at Stanford, an executive at Spotify in Asia, and others have to say.

Growing and scaling a startup, whether it’s in an exciting new market or a competitive and saturated one, may not be as straightforward as you’d like — especially if you want to launch in a foreign country. From inadvertently designing offensive logos, to failing to protect your intellectual property or simply being unable to penetrate your target market, a lot can go wrong. It takes some savvy business skills to ensure you don’t return home with your tail between your legs.

What advice do those who are experts on creating startups on foreign soil give? Read more: click on title or image.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Wise advice from someone who has been there and done it. Joshua Steimle is a CEO and has offices in Hong Kong and the US.

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What I Learned Building A Startup like Dogster, Inc.

What I Learned Building A Startup like Dogster, Inc. | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

This just won’t work in paragraph form as nothing in a startup happens in a linear manner. It’s all happening at once, and the realization of any learnings come to you in no particular time frame after that.

In startup land, if you build a sustainable profitable business that is not growing greater than 50% a year, everyone will respect you individually, but few will respect the actual profitable, sustainable business. Seek their respect at your own risk.

If doing what you love (in my case making Internet products that help people connect) allows you to make a business out of it, you’ll end up hating what you created because all you get to do is manage a very complex, challenging business.

Once I created a successful service and business out of nothing I became a lot more scared of blowing it than anything else, when really I should have just been content that I had succeeded at each previous step. It’s important to yell out loud “I did it!” to no one in particular when you realize you achieved what what once a goal.

If you do not prioritize friends, family, loved ones, pets, plants, hobbies while working on a start-up they will decay and extinguish. All you will be left with is a startup. Read more: click image or title.






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"I loved working with Growthink. The staff are passionate about their work and committed to what they do in a way that can only be achieved when you love what you do. They helped keep us on track to achieve our planning goals. I am looking forward to continued success working with everyone from Growthink in the future."
- Venus Williams, Professional Tennis Player and CEO, V Starr Interiors


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Welcome to #startup land. This article is written in the style that startups are managed: pretty much everything at the same time. It gives an impression as to what being part of a startup is like.

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54 Mistakes of a Startup CEO

54 Mistakes of a Startup CEO | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Here's a running list of my mistakes at CB Insights. They span all facets of building a company – everything from HR to culture to product to sales to operations to admin.

We’re having a pretty great year at CB Insights – revenue is up, the team is growing and we’re executing at a high level.

But things weren’t always good.

We’ve had lean times and made many, many mistakes. Most were the result of things I did (or didn’t do) and I’ve been keeping a list of my screw-ups as a reminder to myself.

With that in mind, and as the new year approaches, I thought I’d share my list more publicly as a reminder to myself and as a public way for the team to keep me honest. For other entrepreneurs, I hope this list is useful, provides a laugh, or lets you see that you’re not the only one.

As you’ll see, my screw-ups span all facets of building a company – everything from HR to culture to product to sales to operations to admin. I am what you might call “multi-talented.”

So here they are in no particular order, bucketed by category.  You’ll notice that some of these screw-ups sorta contradict each other. Yup – building a company is messy. Read more: https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/startup-ceo-screwups/





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Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels


Via ukituki, Business Credit
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

And mistakes we'll make. This CEO kept track of them and made a great list. Good stuff to learn from and shorten the learning curve.

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