How do you know when to jump off the cliff?

One of my favorite entrepreneurial quotes is by Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn.  Reid wrote:  “The entrepreneurial journey starts with jumping off a cliff and assembling an airplane on the way down.” This perfectly captures the essence of the fear, leap of faith, commitment and urgency that surrounds the entrepreneurial journey!  But it doesn’t answer the big question…

Observe Trends When Scaling Up Good Ideas

When I co-founded Mobile Automation in 1997 we had developed an idea (and some technology) to allow IT Administrators to send large files to mobile employees with laptops when they were away from the corporate office. Back then, high speed Internet access outside of your office ethernet connection was very rare and the few employees…

Why we need to unplug for 30 minutes

Last week, the homework assignment for one of my entrepreneurship classes was for each student to think about and write down what the value of the Internet is to them. The purpose of this assignment was to teach the students the difference between describing how they use something and its true value.  As entrepreneurs, we often…

Chance Favors the Connected Mind

Great progress has been made in developing processes and tools to help entrepreneurs take an idea and search for the right business model and turn it into a new venture. Not a lot, however, has been done to develop processes around taking an interesting idea and evolving it into something truly amazing and disruptive. Imposible?…

Testing Ideas with Customers

I’ve sat through approximately 50 pitches in the last 2-3 weeks and many times I hear a common example of how the teams have tested their ideas with customers… “We went out and showed our prototype to a bunch of people and everyone we showed it to said yes, they would buy it!”. The problem…

Why Neo is an Entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur, you look at life through a different lens.  Instead of seeing the world as it is, you tend to start seeing the world as it “should be” or “could be”. Instead of taking things on face value you tend to stop and question how they came into being and why and who did…

Chicago’s Entrepreneurial Spirit is Burning Bright

Today ends a 3-day fast paced visit to Chicago for myself and many UM entrepreneurial students who came here to engage the Chicago entrepreneurial network. On Sunday, I was thrilled to see so many wolverines participating in Chicago’s Startup Weekend event.  This 50+ hour event is a great way to build energy in a community…