Like many seasoned entrepreneurs, Oprah Winfrey views failure as “another stepping stone to greatness.” For her, it has been, and then some. In 1977, decades before she became a billionaire media mogul, she was fired from her job as a reporter at Baltimore’s WJZ-TV. Her boss said she was “unfit for television news.” She was […]
Starting a business is tough. Everyone knows this. And, I’ve learnt it the hard way. I’ve built a fair number of products and even successfully brought five of them to market. “Five products” might sound like a lot at first, but it’s actually nothing compared to the number of products and ideas I’ve dismissed.
Ghanaian Bright Simons is one of the continent’s more successful social entrepreneurs. In 2007 he founded the mPedigree Network, a company that uses mobile and web technology to combat the sale of counterfeit products in Africa, most notably fake medicines that result in hundreds of deaths each year.
Here’s the simple truth of business: Without customers to buy your products, you’re not going to make any money. Almost every decision you make—what you sell, how much you sell it for, where you’re located, who you hire—is made with the intention of bringing in the maximum number of customers to your store, and to […]
Contrary to what some may say, growing a business isn’t a blood sport. It’s not about killing the competition or winning at all costs. The fact is, successful competitors tend to meet on a more common ground, sometimes collaborating one day and bidding against each other the next.
With consumers’ attention spans and loyalties shifting increasingly often, it’s vital to adapt your product range to attract their interest and loyalty. Don’t change for change’s sake though – any innovation needs to achieve a balance between understanding what your clients (and their clients) want, and producing it for a cost and sale price that […]
The Milestones table is one of the most important in your business plan. It sets the plan into practical, concrete terms, with real budgets, deadlines, and management responsibilities. It helps you focus as you are writing your business plan, and then, the Milestones table and plan-vs.-actual management analysis helps you implement your plan as you […]
Before sitting down to do your SWOT analysis, it’s a good idea to go off-site, away from ringing phones and other distractions. Some experts recommend hiring a facilitator to help you consider all the angles. Others say you can get the same effect by soliciting the perspective of customers, suppliers or other crucial contacts outside […]
In theory, choosing a domain name is simple. If it is memorable, pronounceable, short, clever, easily spelled and suggests the nature of the commerce on your website, you’ve got yourself a winner. But even if your choice is brilliant from a marketing standpoint, it may be worse than foolish from a legal perspective. Your name […]
One of my biggest challenges at Palo Alto Software is figuring out which ideas to pursue and which ideas to put on the back burner. I have the luxury of working with a bunch of really smart people, so new ideas for things that we could do come up all the time. From potential partnerships […]