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January 2013 Blog Posts (31)

Startup Blotto: Business Strategy for Startups and Growing Businesses

In military and game theory, there is a strategic game called Colonel Blotto. The concept is based on the simple strategy of allocating military resources at the appropriate points on the battlefront to win the war when your competition outnumbers you in total size. These game scenarios can be applied even when you have more troops than the opponent and hold the advantage.

If your have more troops than the opponent, and you’re competing on three market fronts, then you must allocate…


Added by Damir Perge on January 31, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments

Espressopreneur: The Confusion Between Value and Price

"Don’t confuse value with price. When a customer buys a product, he does so because that product has a certain value to him. The cost is up, so you raise your price. It cannot be done. If you raise your price but the value remains the same, you will quickly lose your customer. " — Sayings of Taiichi Ohno, Kanban: Just-In-Time At Toyota.

My Commentary: I love Taiichi Ohno. He is one of the greatest business minds in history. I studied him…


Added by Damir Perge on January 31, 2013 at 5:00am — No Comments

The #5 Secret to Raising Money for Your Startup or Growing Business

Secret to Raising Money for a Startup It’s nice to discover, after writing about something, especially when it comes to raising capital — that other entrepreneurs have done it the same way you did.

In my book, Entrepreneur Myths: The Startup Reality, I discuss the process of…


Added by Damir Perge on January 30, 2013 at 10:30am — No Comments

Espressopreneur: 29,996 Entrepreneur and Startup Opportunities

"Irving Biederman, a psychologist who studies visual perception, estimates that there are probably ‘30,000 readily discriminable objects for the adult.’ Whatever the exact number, it is clear that difficulties of everyday life are amplified by the sheer profusion of items." — Donald A. Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

If you’re an entrepreneur looking for an opportunity to create a product, business or market revolution, there's no need to…


Added by Damir Perge on January 30, 2013 at 5:00am — No Comments

Espressopreneur: The Importance of Extraordinary Speed in Business

"What is of the greatest importance in war is extraordinary speed; one cannot afford to neglect opportunity." — Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Chapter 1, Estimates, Verse 26

I see the same pattern in launching startups and products: it is often not the best strategy or even the best tactics that win the marketing war. It's the speed of execution. So if you're trying to launch a startup or new…


Added by Damir Perge on January 29, 2013 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Startupmentals: Burn and Pillage on the Startup Battlefront

When you enter the battlefront, whether it’s a real war or marketing war, you must have the entrepreneur mentality of burn and pillage. There is nothing sacred in terms of how you plan to penetrate the markets — should the market response change — even if you spent months preparing for the marketing launch.

When you launch your startup or new product, if the customers you are trying to win the hearts of don’t understand your value proposition instantly — you must adapt and…


Added by Damir Perge on January 29, 2013 at 11:30am — No Comments

Espressopreneur: The Trigger Effect of Innovation

"Every innovation acts as a trigger of change, the plough is the first major man-made trigger in history, ultimately responsible for almost every innovation that followed. And the plough came as a result of change in the weather." — James Burke, Connections

I love this quote from James Burke. From an entrepreneur and investor perspective, it makes you realize that continuous changes in the marketplace, any marketplace, bring new opportunities…


Added by Damir Perge on January 28, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Startupmentals: The Positive Side of the Entrepreneur Psychological Spectrum

I know this is extremely obvious but when you’re in the startup launch mode, you have to think positive every second of the day. Like I said — I know this is obvious but are you doing it?

Of course, it is extremely easy to think positive when you have the momentum in the marketplace. Yeah — it’s easy to think you’re the master of your market universe when things are going great for your startup and you’re on top of the hill.

But when you’re launching a startup, you have to have…


Added by Damir Perge on January 27, 2013 at 11:00am — No Comments

Startupmentals: Winning the Battle vs. Winning the War

If you study and analyze startups or military wars, the concept of temporary advantage or disadvantage vs. winning the war becomes diluted in the minds of entrepreneurs and military strategists. Startups, growing company entrepreneurs, and military generals confuse the two at times. I’ve even seen this as a venture capitalist with my portfolio companies.

Temporary Advantage: When a startup, growing company or a military operation wins the first battle or a series of battles and…


Added by Damir Perge on January 26, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

The Infinite Loop of Business Strategy and Tactics

When you’re a Commandopreneur, the first thing you learn is that strategy and tactics are an infinite and vicious circle of continuous feedback and amplification. When you’re launching companies or new products, it is important you have the mind of a commando. You must be capable of changing your strategy, tactics or both according to the circumstances of the marketing battlefront.

We just did that instantly with one of our startups — we tweaked the strategy and tactics into a…


Added by Damir Perge on January 26, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments

The Psychology of the Commandopreneur Mind

I went to see my daughter to see how she’s doing. I guess it’s something every father does before he goes to any war. In my case, the war is launching a startup in stealth mode. She knew it was going to happen any day because she saw my entrepreneur mind mentally prepare for it. I hadn’t told her the exact day because, when you’re in the stealth mode, the only person that should know the beginning of the war is your internal team. You can’t endanger your family with “you’re on a need to know…


Added by Damir Perge on January 24, 2013 at 11:00pm — No Comments

Big Data, Small Package

In the past three days, think about how many times you’ve looked at the screen of your mobile device or tablet.

So how can companies and consumers benefit?

Mobile users are increasingly able to have large swaths of information available at their fingertips. Using data retrieved from user-habits, companies can better predict the needs of consumers. Imagine having your email automatically sorted into business categories, ranking by priority, and attaching that end-of-the…


Added by Joshua John on January 24, 2013 at 11:00am — No Comments

The Dangers of “Product and Idea Creep” in Your Business

I am not talking about feature creep. I'm talking about companies that have more products in their lineup than they even know. Of course, I am exaggerating... only a little. I've seen companies with so many variations of SKU’s; that even long tail[1] business principle don’t work. Most of the SKU’s[2] are not selling. They just sit in the warehouse and collect dust on the inventory shelves.

In other columns, I discuss two…


Added by Damir Perge on January 23, 2013 at 11:00pm — No Comments

Startupmentals: Startup Lessons Learned from “Be like Nike and Just Do It”

nike startup just do it entrepreneurdex damir perge Procrastination is a huge enemy of any entrepreneur mind. I hate to admit it, but I've been there myself, not only as an entrepreneur but also as a venture capitalist. From a VC perspective, I have at times procrastinated on making the startup investment decision — when I should have simply said “yes" or "no” to the entrepreneur.



Added by Damir Perge on January 22, 2013 at 6:30pm — No Comments

The Psychology Behind a Failed Startup Mind

I see it a lot — entrepreneurs don’t like to talk about their startup failures. It becomes even more evident when an entrepreneur pitches me for money.

“Have you ever failed?” I ask entrepreneurs during the investment pitch. There's typically a long silence, followed by a hesitant response.

“Ugh … yeah.”

How each entrepreneur answers my failure question tells me something about the psychology of their entrepreneur mind. I have never met a successful entrepreneur that…


Added by Damir Perge on January 21, 2013 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

Focus on Your Strengths to Improve Profits and Revenue

The conventional response to today’s lackluster economy is to focus on cutting business costs. That’s good advice up to a point, but eventually paring down becomes counter productive. Once you are done, you are still stalled in the same economic doldrums.

Rather than restricting your strategy to cost-cutting, try playing to your strengths. What product, service, or other customer benefit do you offer that goes beyond the norm? Think about ways to build upon and expand that benefit,…


Added by Mike Daley on January 21, 2013 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

Startupmentals: When Making a Sale, Don’t Get Too Personal

I can’t make up this entrepreneur story even if I tried. Some years ago, I was involved in a business sales transaction that was beyond strange. It was a large commodity deal. In order to close this deal, three of us, semi-quasi business partners (for this particular transaction), drove an hour to the meeting. It was a sight to see. All of us were wearing our business suits, driving in a huge Bubba-like truck that one of the partners owned. I even wore my Armani suit, that’s how big of a…


Added by Damir Perge on January 20, 2013 at 12:00am — No Comments

The Frugality of the Entrepreneur Mind

My father, Chichi, was a champion of Yugoslavia in weightlifting. Pound for pound, he was the strongest man I've ever met — and he never did any illegal drugs. Because I was a soccer player, I never did any weightlifting in my youth because I believed it would alter my playing style. Despite not being a weightlifter, genetics played a part when it comes to “moving stuff.” For whatever reason, I have the ability to move extremely heavy furniture — even my father, when he was alive, would get…


Added by Damir Perge on January 17, 2013 at 5:30pm — 2 Comments

Entrepreneur Myths: The Perfect Startup or Product Launch

I changed my mind about the market launch of one of the startups we are accelerating. I thought about pushing the launch date slightly because I wanted to launch it perfectly. Despite my experience of being an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I almost fell into the trap of delaying the launch. It happens to every entrepreneur. You focus on launching that perfect launch. I guess we all, deep down in our entrepreneur subconscious mind, are looking for that perfect storm.

The perfect…


Added by Damir Perge on January 16, 2013 at 9:00am — No Comments

Launching Startups and Products at the Speed of Speedy Gonzales, Bugs Bunny and Road Runner

When I was a kid growing up in Yugoslavia, we only had two TV channels. That’s right — only two! Every night, the news would come on at 8:00, and I dreaded that because I knew the 10 minutes of cartoons they showed before the news were over. Of course, the cartoons were from America, which is ironic since Yugoslavia was a communist country back then.

I loved watching Bugs Bunny, Roadrunner and Speedy Gonzales. I love those animated characters because they all have…


Added by Damir Perge on January 15, 2013 at 1:00pm — No Comments

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