Watching his mom get her chemotherapy treatment one day, Brian Fies began drawing her and realized that her journey through metastatic lung cancer was to be documented, with her help, in the way he knew how—as a graphic novel. Mom’s Cancer, as one reviewer put it, leaves readers “shocked by the level of honesty that was put into the work. This is not a story that sugar-coats the emotions and thoughts of the storyteller, they’re all there for the reader to experience. This is brave, compelling storytelling…”
Several decades ago, before I got interested in starting businesses, I met a friend who went from being penniless to becoming quite wealthy in a breathtakingly short amount of time. I asked him what the secret of getting rich was.
As an entrepreneur that’s right in the middle of bootstrapping my own business together, I’ve got a bit of experience and I’m learning more and more every day. I thought it might be interesting to share some tips and some of the lessons I’ve learned so far.
With more and more people jumping on the business blogging bandwagon, it’s getting to the point that there is far more out there than you could ever hope to read on a regular basis. To help you filter that infoglut down to a more manageable level, here is my list of the ten most practical blogs for entrepreneurs.
His picks are:
- Small Business Trends
- Just for Small Business
- Duct Tape Marketing
- Home Office Voice
- Sacred Cow Dung
- The Entrepreneurial Mind
- Escape Velocity
- Business Opportunities Weblog
Now, back to the regular infoglut.
Well, this was 1986. And it was right at the time when personal computers were starting to get fairly powerful.
I’d been used to using all sorts of separate programs–and custom software–for things I wanted to do. But I had the idea that perhaps I could make one really general computational system that I could just use forever.
And that lots of other people would find useful too.
Well, that was what launched me on building Mathematica. I was pretty definite and determined about it.
And I knew I needed to start a company.
There’s a lot to be said for careful planning and cautious review when starting a small business. But there’s another side to the story, say some entrepreneurs, and that’s following up a good opportunity and seizing it.
I have always been known for making very quick decisions. I seldom spend a prolonged amount of time agonizing or pouring through voluminous amounts of information. Quite often after being apprised of the salient information relevant to any business decision — I usually know what to do.
Cisco Systems, the San Jose, Calif.-based router maker, has made a billion dollar bet on India. With that one giant poker chip, the company has shifted the focus from India as outsourcer to India as an innovator. It is also a realization that India is a big market, perhaps not as big as China, but equally lucrative in the long run. The company plans to triple its staffing, start a $100 million venture fund and at the same time fund a $10 million rural broadband project. Rest of the money is going towards a R&D center.
I decided to try a little experiment. I went through a couple of weeks of local periodicals and I picked out people that were featured in articles and I send them each a handwritten congratulations note. I said something to the effect – “I saw the article on your business in XYZ Magazine. Congratulations on your success. I’d love to speak with you some time to hear the story of how you got to where you are.” I sent twenty of these notes.
The talk about the future received its name about a year and a half ago and like a stray dog recently adopted, the people can’t stop saying its name—hoping to both own it and save it at the same time. The idea, christened by an editor/publisher/developer named Dale Dougherty, came out during an O’reilly conference planning session—clever and inspiring. If you know anything about math, then you might understand what I mean when I say that it was like a vector, describing both magnitude and direction. In the name there was hope. There was promise. There was a path. The fate of the interaction between the work of the titans (Amazon , Ebay, Google, Yahoo) and the work of the people (you, me, and every other promising developer and entrepreneur)—this was the talk about the future. This was supposed to be Web 2.0.