Entrepreneurship rises when big companies fall

There are many ways that live “corporate whales” can cultivate entrepreneurship ecosystems.

When a whale dies, the 30-100 ton body — or “whale fall” — slowly, silently sinks to the ocean bottom where it becomes the wellspring of a complex new microcosm of seabed flora and fauna that can thrive for well over half a century. These new ecosystems with their hundreds of species from flesh-eating sharks to sulphur-metabolizing worms also include “innovative start-ups” — previously undiscovered new sea animals that have naturally selected to flourish in the unique ecosystem.

 

 

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What corporate offices can learn from coworking spaces

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Corporate offices are going to become coworking offices in the future.

If you are a fan of coworking and are going to the SXSW this year in Austin, you might want to arrive a few days early to hit the Global Coworking Unconference Conference (formerly known as the Coworking Unconference) being held in Austin on March 8. The all-day event is geared toward owners and there will be a range of panels on starting and running a space. But at least one discussion might be of interest not only to coworking entrepreneurs but also to forward-thinking managers as well.

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Privatizing Libraries

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Expanding our thinking about the notion of
corporate-run community libraries

Futurist Thomas Frey:  Consider the following scenario. Two years from now in November, you find yourself walking into a voting booth to decide on the fate of your local library. The issue you will be deciding affects you directly because it has to do with the management of your local library. You will be voting on one of four choices for the operational management of your library. The choices you have to pick from include Microsoft, Google, Apple, or your current city-run operation.

 

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The End of Modern Management and Corporate Bureaucracy

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1950’s office pool

Business guru Peter Drucker called management “the most important innovation of the 20th century.” It was well-justified praise. Techniques for running large corporations, pioneered by men like Alfred Sloan of General Motors and refined at a bevy of elite business schools, helped fuel a century of unprecedented global prosperity.

 

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A Disturbance In The (Burger) Force

burger chain dominance chart

Channeling a Star Wars metaphor, Stephen Van Worley imagined a McDonald’s empire in black with pockets of rebellion within by its seven largest competitors:

By far, the largest pocket of resistance is Sonic Drive-In’s south-central stronghold: more than 900 restaurants packed into the state of Texas alone. Sheer density is the key to victory!

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Absurd ideas create success – But first, you may have to retrain your brain

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“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” — Albert Einstein

I think we can all agree that Albert Einstein was a pretty smart guy and came up with some great ideas and concepts, but his quote above is also great advice to all of us in business. It’s a quote that I have printed on my business card and something I embrace in creating new companies and products.

 

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Startup Junkie Underground Discusses Customer Roles in Product Development

Startup Junkie Underground

July’s Startup Junkie Underground saw Jim Mooney, founder and CEO of References-Online, telling the story of his business and the influence his customers have had on its development. According to Mooney, he has been able to turn “one good idea” into a successful business employing over 20 people without ever taking on outside financing. With a background in business-to-business sales, Mooney knew firsthand the difficulties in connecting a prospective customer with a reference customer. The task was especially difficult for new companies that might have relatively few customers, as even a customer willing to provide a reference may tire of the process after a few calls. Mooney’s idea was to create recorded references that were easy to access but with less marketing spin than “the glowing testimonials found on the corporate website.” References-Online’s initial product were audio recordings of interviews with reference customers, all conducted by a third party and available online. The interviews were split into short segments of about a minute in length by topic to allow prospective customers easy access to the information (Mooney notes that in seven years no prospect has ever hit the “play all button”), and also allows companies to track what information was of interest to the prospect and tailor future messaging accordingly.

 

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Radaroo: Finding Love In 140 Characters Or Less On Twitter

Radaroo: Finding A Date In 140 Characters Or Less On Twitter

 Radaroo Twitter Dating Service

As Twitter helps businesses and people communicate in 140 characters or less, brevity in communication is changing businesses marketing strategies and replacing long, drawn out corporate communications. As Twitter transforms the business world, could it also change the business of online dating, with online matchmaking profiles in 140 characters or less?

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