WeMontage – From Crazy Idea to Startup Success


“Man, I am almost out of money. I’m considering taking a seasonal job at the Banana Republic to make ends meet.” These were the words of James Oliver Jr., founder of WeMontage, back in November of 2012. He struggled at the time to get his new startup off the ground. Developers were behind again and he had invested all of his own money. And Neenah, WI isn’t exactly a bastion … [Read more...]

The Most Overlooked Benefit of Crowd Funding Sites

crowd funding

Crowd funding is all the rage amongst entrepreneurs and innovators because of the obvious benefit of getting funding. But there is another benefit that is often overlooked – eyeballs. Not just any eyeballs, but the eyeballs of those who really matter. Kickstarter Helping Serve Up More Sushi A friend of mine, Brice Leconte, recently completed a successful campaign and raised … [Read more...]

Why the Bank is not Your Friend


In my book “Presidents, Pilots and Entrepreneurs,” I dedicate an entire chapter to the subject of startups and banks. I even share a word for word debate I had with an impatient bank manager I nicknamed “The Hammer.” And it’s not a pretty picture. Trust me folks. Stay the hell away from banks. Yes, conventional wisdom says your banker should be one of your closest … [Read more...]

Relationships – The First and Last Responsibility of Any Business


An experience this past week drove home the importance of fostering meaningful relationships in business. Even if you sell lots of widgets to satisfied customers, something will eventually go wrong. Perhaps the wrong order, a damaged shipment or an over charge. The outcome of such mis-haps have more to do with the strength and quality of the relationship than anything … [Read more...]

How Much Pain is Required for Entrepreneurial Success?

photo credit: Silvia Sala

There was a program available on Netflix instant streaming called Global Business People. Each episode profiled three individuals, mostly entrepreneurs and some top executives, who had reached the top of their industry or craft. For several weeks, I studied those profiled and an interesting pattern emerged. Not only is pain a prerequisite for entrepreneurial success, but … [Read more...]

Revolution 2.0 – In Support of Aspiring Entrepreneurs


We live in a society that gives lip service to entrepreneurship and small business. Whenever I hear pundits and talking heads praising small business and the "job creators," I roll my eyes. If you are an entrepreneur, you are pretty much on your own. Too often, you feel no one can truly understand you and your challenges except other entrepreneurs. This is why I love the … [Read more...]

What’s Luck Got to do With It?


In a recent post by my buddy @jamesoliverjr, founder of WeMontage, he asked if successful entrepreneurs are just lucky. He concluded success boils down to luck, and he is not alone. From a distance, some success stories defy logic, but a consistent pattern emerges upon closer examination. This is true for a number of successful entrepreneurs and peak performers of all … [Read more...]

A New Entrepreneur Needs Your Advice

Sunset suicide

How many hesitate starting a business for fear of losing everything? Statistics indicate the odds are not in favor of new startups, with the failure rate as high as 70%. So, why bother at all? To answer this question, let us look at a real life example - a close friend of mine who recently decided to launch his own venture. Meet Kevin the Engineer Kevin is a gifted … [Read more...]

Learning the Wrong Lessons from Famous Innovators

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Henry Ford went bankrupt in his first attempt to create the automobile. Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times in his quest to create a light bulb. Steve Jobs suffered an embarrassing and very public ouster from the company he founded. These men risked their reputations and their wealth in pursuit of big visions. If you think I am gearing you up for a pep talk, think … [Read more...]