entrepreneur.com – 7 Damaging Myths About Customer Engagement to Promptly Discard

Lightning_in_Arlington7 Damaging Myths About Customer Engagement to Promptly Discard
by Patrick Proctor
published April 10, 2014

My comments are in italic in between each point

  1. All customers are the same.
    Yes, this is a myth.
  2. The customer is always right.
    This is a point not well understood. They get it partially right. I’ll write about this one day.
  3. No news is good news.
    Another tricky point.
  4. Apologies are a sign of weakness or worse — admitting fault.
    Well written
  5. Customers don’t care about the reasons.
    Reasons and excuses are two different things.
  6. They won’t come back.
    Customer always come back, but will you still be in business when the do.
  7. Consumers don’t care about a company’s culture, social and environmental actions.
    This is a bit New-Age-ish.

John Maxwell: The 5 Levels of Leadership

John_Maxwell_5LevelsJohn Maxwell: The 5 Levels of Leadership – (27:24)
  1. The Position – Rights – They must. (~0:40)
  2. The Permission – Relationships – They want to. They like you, you like them. (~6:25)
    * listen, observe, learn & serve
  3. The Production – Results – You produce; they produce. The result produces momentum. (~11:30)
    * quickly mentions his book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
    * LAW: We attract who we are, not who we want.
  4. The People Development – (16:55)
    * recurit well, position well, equip well
    * five (5) step equiping process – (22:00)
    # i do it
    # i do it, you’re with me
    # you do it, i’m with you
    # you do it, you just do it
    # you do it, and somebody is with you
  5. The Pinacle – Respect (23:55)
    * a learning on going process


My Startup Rules

Even after 20+ startups, large monetary success remains elusive. However, three (3) startups did well enough.

The first startup we tried – made money, but it made more money for the person we sold it to. It was a while before another made money. It did not make a profit like the first, but we did get funding — about $500k in total. The third startup did well, but required too much inventory. We made money and never looked for funding – but we learn a lot about business.

While running the third startup, I worked at a grocery store selling hamburger (for 7+ years). My boss said for the entire company I, “got the most complements, and the most complaints.” For the later, he said it appeared I “did not know when to shutup and listen”.

Come run rain or shine, these rules have always severed me well with all startups.

  1. Don’t Panic.
    The most famous incident that I can recall was when a “fake virus” was being circulated in email. The fake virus said it would melt your CPU, and that the first thing you should do is email everyone you know.
    Needless to say, this was really a *virus* of social engineering. As for startups, this should be expected. If you are successful, someone will try this. They will do this by panicing unknowning people in the organization. If you show moments of panic, it’s very likely the rest of the organization will panic also. If you remain calm at all times, when this happens people will instinctively remain calm – as they know this is what is expected.
  2. Communicate What’s Important
    Just like panics can happen when you are not there, other important good things things happen when you are not there. For instance, if an important client has some sort of requirement, it important others in the organization realize this — so the entire organization moves in concert.
    Whether you set flags, breakers, or just pin a notice to the bulletin board – important information must get to all personel; especially when the organization is large. Again, if you do this as a matter of business, the organization knows this is what is expected.
  3. Circulate Information
    If this does not seem important, because you are communicating very well – you are wrong.
    Just as before, you are leading and setting the example. If one day you declare, so-and-so must know, so I don’t need to repeat this., others will make the same assumption about their circulation of information.

Circulate & Communicate

The radio show, To the Best of Our Knowledge, has a great episode.

They are nothing more than “winged sperm carrying missiles”. – E.O. Wilson

Hive Mind

On the idea, these segments relays the ideas, and the results or outcomes.

  • honey bees – individuals act via their own investigation. They are independent actors.
  • swarm intelligence – side effect is they act in concert. Examples are given in human physcology.

In the third segment, Jaron Lenier makes several good points.

  • Do not follow “pack mentality”, as in dog pack.
  • Do not put in place a “pecking order”, as this create resentment.

40,000 VHS Tapes Going to Archive.org


Marion Stokes recorded 140,000 VHS tapes of history

Most people would see this as a quaint story, perhaps something that belongs with Jean Moos of CNN. But an entrepreneur should see money. No doubt this woman’s accomplishment is a bit nutty, but she’ll be remembered in the same vein as Rosa Parks. STORY BELOW.

Is recording TV around the clock for decades a symptom of mental illness or an invaluable contribution to history? Depends on what happens to the tapes. In the case of Marion Stokes, a woman who left behind 40,000 VHS tapes when she passed away in 2012, the answer is the latter.

Someone in San Francisco is digitizing 40,000 homemade VHS tapes


The Incredible Story Of Marion Stokes, Who Single-Handedly Taped 35 Years Of TV News – From 1977 to 2012, she recorded 140,000 VHS tapes worth of history


theverge.com – Everpix: Out of the Picture

Pops to StartupOver.com

Picture credit: startupover.com

(Corrections made on May 26, 2014 – 1:00am)

This is an easy story.

It’s everything a VC wants to see.

  • A young team with previous startup success
  • A hot market segment – digital photographs
  • Critical acclaim from the segment press
  • Incredibly good features – that users raved about
  • Early acquisition attention from larger better-funded startups
  • $1.8 million in Seed Capital
  • An 18 month runway after funding
  • Double the conversion rate (12.4% vs 6%) of the industry average
  • 50+% user retention

What went wrong?

  • Too much time on technical details
  • Not enough user signups (55,000 users/8,600 paid)
  • Expensive infrastructure – $35,000/month for AWS

I also want to add, I ran into these guys at some event. They were a bit snooty. I could have been the moment.

I’m also adding – as one of the members said, “It succeeded in every possible way, except for the only way that matters.”

Out of the picture: why the world’s best photo startup is going out of business
Nov. 5, 2013
How A $35,000 Bill From Amazon Helped Put A Startup Out Of Business
Nov. 5, 2013
Everpix_CEO_Pierre_LatourThe Everpix Story – w/ former CEO Pierre Latour – (Video: 56+minutes)
Tue Jan, 28 2014
NOTE: In this video, it appears Pierre is still in self-denial.

Facebook Phone – An HTC “First” drags down Execs


This story is from a blog that I update occasionally.

This is a story about how betting on Facebook ended careers. In case you missed this one, HTC decide to build a “First” Facebook phone. They got AT&T to sell it. They offered special pricing… READ ABOUT IT

HTC “First” drags down HTC Executives and Facebook Cache’
The CNET story includes:

That departure continues an unsettling trend for HTC. Chief product officer Kouji Kodera, who led HTC’s general product strategy, left last week, according to The Verge. Vice president of global communications Jason Gordon recently exited the company after a seven-year stint. Other outgoing executives include global retail marketing manager Rebecca Rowland, digital marketing director John Starkweather, and product strategy manager Eric Lin.

Don’t use these words

Kai Ryssdal (of American Public Radio program Marketplace) always seems to have juicy stuff in his Final Note. Keep_right_Portugal_20100107This was on Monday past.

GM doesn’t want employees using these words in memos