Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

Interesting artifacts found on October 30, 2013:

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I live and die by my RSS reader (Google Reader), as a quick look at the stats reveals that I’ve read over 65,000 articles in the last three years alone. That means that I come across a large amount of very good content that I would love to share. You may have noticed that I often have a “Daily Digest” post, which is simply a pipe from my Delicious links into here. With future “Good Links” posts, I will also add a short commentary about the links to provide context. And so today let’s start it off with social media, economics, and the interplay between the two.

Link #1: How Social Commerce Really Works and Why

This GigaOM post highlights a fantastic slide deck, also embedded here, that talks about how many purchasing decisions must move to follow the social network model in order to be more successful. It’s long (121 slides) and starts slowly at first, but get into the second half and you’ll find a lot of interesting material.

Also in the post is mention of the Google engineer Paul Adams and his two presentations, “The Real Life Social Network” and “How Your Customers’ Social Circles Influence What They Buy, What They Do and Where They Go.” With the recent release of Google+, does that all sound a little familiar?

All in all, a great read, especially the slide deck, as it turns traditional marketing a little on its head, and gives good ideas about how to truly be influential in people’s decision making process.

Link #2: The Next Internet Opportunity is in Social Upheaval

Another GigaOM article, this one discusses a talk by Fred Wilson on how he believes that the Internet is on the verge of participating in or facilitating great societal revolutions, much like the 60s or the anti-war revolutions of previous decades. However, the thrust is how entrepreneurs can capitalize on this, and how thinking will need to change in order to profit from it.

I believe that this viewpoint is unfortunate, in that societal upheavals and changes produce long-term effects, but this talk is focused on very short-term results. Too much of our modern day economy is driven by short-term ambitions, and is therefore being driven it into the ground. Why don’t entrepreneurs look to build sustainable, long-term, growth-oriented businesses anymore? So few benefit from “the exit” or “the pivot,” when so much more social change could really be enacted by large businesses aimed at providing wealth to a large group of individuals. Capitalism has succeeded for the past several hundred years primarily because of its ability to enlarge the pie for all, not just a portion for a few. If we truly want to capitalize on social upheavals, then focus on long-term strategies that affect the greatest number of individuals. Make the pie bigger for everyone.

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I use Google Reader extensively, and star articles that I want to dive into but don’t have the time to read in the immediate. However, some articles stay on my starred list long after I’ve read them once, twice, or even several times. I thought I’d share just a few that have been sitting in my starred list for up to months now, and that others might find interesting as well.

  • 1.0 Is the Loneliest Number – Great piece by Matt Mullenweg of WordPress fame, talking about the importance of getting a “version 1” of any product out, even if it is imperfect or not entirely feature-rich. “…If you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long.”
  • Stop Designing Aesthetics, Start Designing Emotions – A breath of fresh air reminding me that design is not just about bevels, drop shadows, and beautiful gradients, but about the idea and feeling behind whatever you are trying to communicate. I need to take this into account more often.
  • 5 Ways to Sell Your Expertise Online – I will come back to this one someday, but perhaps you will find it a boon sooner than I.
  • Comic Sans Will Make You Smarter – &ldquop;Blasphemy!” I thought when I first read the headline. And blasphemy I still continued to call throughout the article. However, the logic makes sense, and (luckily) it does not apply only to Comic Sans. Interesting how humans work.
  • Consumption: How Inspiration Killed, Then Ate, Creativity – The introductory paragraph does a fine job of explaining this absolutely fantastic and perceptive short article:

    “For creatives, the definition of the word “inspiration” has lost its meaning. It’s no longer a spark of intuition to solve the uniqueness in a problem, but a search for the current and complacent solutions created by others.”

  • The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web – A little gem discussing typographic rules and recommendations, mostly drawn from the definitive book, “The Elements of Typographic Style.”

Enjoy, and feel free to share any other good finds you may have come across recently.

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Born in the Greek port of Kalamata, Apostolopoulos immigrated to Canada in 1969 with a suitcase, $50, and very little English. His first job was cutting up chickens in the back of a Toronto KFC. After a stint as a janitor, his entrepreneurial nature kicked in and he began soliciting his own janitorial clients, hiring former co-workers to help with the abundance of work. In 1978 he founded Olympic Plastics, a small factory making plastic bags, and soon was dallying in real estate; one of his first deals was the purchase of an empty parcel beside a General Motors plant that seemed poised to expand. He bought it with a partner for $1 million in 1988—and sold it to GM within a year for $3 million. His worldwide empire is now worth $800 million.

That is what the American Dream is: making it based on sheer determination. The enormous wealth at the end of the rainbow is not requisite, but providing for one’s self and family is beautiful. Excerpted from “Dome Sweet Dome” in BusinessWeek (Aug 2-8, 2010).

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