September, 2023

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Are you meeting your customer’s expectations?

Berkonomics

First customers are critical. Greatly exceed expectations at all costs. There is so much history behind this insight, and so many stories that illustrate this point. Your first customers for any product or service form your reference base, the important group of allies that your marketing and salespeople rely upon when attempting to create buzz and make a mass market for a new product.

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SURF, SAND, and SECURITY!

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, October 5, 2023 -- SURF, SAND, and SECURITY! Join us at the ISSA-LA Information Security Summit XIII. Ride the wave of knowledge and shore up your defenses at the 13th Annual Information Security Summit, hosted by ISSA-LA. This premier event is a beacon for Southern California's infosec community, drawing a captivating lineup of world-class experts and distinguished leaders from intelligence, law enforcement, corporate, legal, accounting, finance, security, technology, and cyber sector

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5 Keys To The Culture Change Required For Innovation

Startup Professionals Musings

Based on my years of experience as a business executive and consultant, I am convinced that most companies gradually lose their ability to be creative as they mature, and over time are overcome by new competitors and market changes. Only a few have found the leadership to continually innovate in the face of change, and the rest are still looking for the recipe or secret.

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From Pitch Competitor to Judge – The Startup Journey of Alfonso Arana Co-founder & CTO of SocialTrader.AI

Startup San Diego

When 2020 hit, the Startup San Diego team had to make a pivotal decision to completely adapt San Diego Startup Week to a month-long virtual program while still delivering the same workshops, panels, and pitch competitions for the startup community, that year, San Diego Startup Month was born. We met Alfonso Arana, who at that […] The post From Pitch Competitor to Judge – The Startup Journey of Alfonso Arana Co-founder & CTO of SocialTrader.AI appeared first on Startup San Diego.

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Can You Ask for Office Rent Relief? How to Manage Your Lease During COVID-19

Office leases are one of companies’ largest expenses, and if your whole team is working from home with no clear end in sight, you may be wondering what to do about your lease.

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The Top 20 Symptoms of a Weak Development Team

TechEmpower

When speaking with founders and CEOs, we often hear concerns like this: My project manager is losing confidence in the development team. The PMs are seeing late deliveries and bugs that suggest the devs just aren’t capable enough. I think that poor communication and differing team cultures might be part of the problem, but how can I know for sure? It’s a good question.

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Have you found your “teacher customer?”

Berkonomics

Your customers know what they want more than you do. Find one to teach you. This week’s insight came from personal experience and from a good friend who advanced the notion of the “teacher-customer” years ago. I internalized this phrase, recalling the many times I had partnered with customers to design new feature-functionality into my hotel computer system back when such systems were brand new to the industry.

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Is your product ready for your market?

Berkonomics

You might be here: You have a great new product or service that you and your associates love. Early adopters should climb all over each other for a look. But are you HERE? But what have you done to test the concept against the realities of the marketplace? Have you developed a prototype, alternate pricing schemes, even a PowerPoint mockup to show to potential buyers?

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Insider Insights: Ask Me Anything with Jay Goss and Chris Bostick

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, September 28, 2023 -- Insider Insights: Ask Me Anything with Jay Goss and Chris Bostick. Hosted by The Alliance for SoCal Innovation. This event series is for founders looking to level up their fundraising game and gain insights from investors and experts who can help SoCal founders prepare for fundraising. This month, ask your questions about raising capital to leading healthcare investors Jay Goss at Wavemaker Three-Sixty Health and Chris Bostick at OCV Partners.

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Face to Face With investors

SoCal Tech Calendar

Wednesday, September 27, 2023 -- Face to Face with Investors Get ready to meet investors up close at "Face to Face with Investors". Special: Maximize Your Startup's Valuation with Actionable Advice. Tech Coast Angels.

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AI and Analytics Discussion and Connecting

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, September 21, 2023 -- AI and Analytics Discussion and Connecting. The WITI AI/Analytics Community invites you to a thought-provoking panel discussion on the applications and potential of Generative AI on September 21st from 12:00 PM PT - 1:00 PM PT on Zoom. Industry veterans Grant Bodley, Kiran Sreewastav, and Dr. Aditi Banerjee will delve into how this pioneering technology continues to reinvent industries, redefine roles, and provide solutions, followed by networking in breakout room

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8 Keys To Turning Your Company Into One That Matters

Startup Professionals Musings

More than ever before, people want to buy from, work for, and invest in companies that matter. Whether you are an entrepreneur starting a new business, or a corporate executive seeking to revitalize a mature business, the challenge is the same – to become the obvious choice within the hearts and minds of your customers, your employees, and your chosen communities.

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9 Strategies For Implementing An Innovative Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Whether you are a business professional in a big company, or an entrepreneur with a startup, innovation is a key strategy. Many people believe that new ideas are the critical element of innovation, but in my experience as a mentor and investor, long-term business success is more about implementation than ideas. Everyone has ideas, but only a few can make them happen.

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9 Keys To Overcoming The Fear Of Change In Business

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the biggest challenges in any business, large or small, is overcoming the natural human preference for status quo , or fear of change. It means that most team members and executives alike have a natural tendency to prefer killing innovations rather than implementing them. Even customers, while they all want the next big thing, want it to happen with minimal new learning.

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8 Tactics To Highlight Your Startup For Early Funding

Startup Professionals Musings

Many first-time entrepreneurs find themselves unable to bootstrap their startups, and also unable to find early funding at the venture capital level or even with angel investors. Their only recourse is that first tier of investors, fondly called Friends, Family and Fools. These are the only people likely to believe in newbies, with only minimal product evidence or business experience.

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7 Strategies To Win With The Power Of ‘We-Commerce’

Startup Professionals Musings

In the last few years I have seen a popular business model emerging which embodies a greater focus on social and environmental responsibility, and a new requirement for trust and sharing, as well as customer and community collaboration. Companies like Airbnb, Uber, Zappos, and Whole Foods are setting the example, and leading the way in profitability and purpose.

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6 Strategies For Establishing A Vibrant Business Team

Startup Professionals Musings

Creating the right company culture must be a top priority of every entrepreneur and business leader. Simply speaking, culture-driven businesses put their people first, and people make the business, rather than the other way around. Today’s business mantra must be “Take care of your people and they will take care of your customers.” Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done.

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6 Steps To Providing Exceptional Customer Experiences

Startup Professionals Musings

Having the best solution is a good start these days, but a solution alone is no longer enough to keep customer attention and loyalty. They expect to be surprised and delighted as well by their pre-purchase experience and post-purchase interactions. The most memorable businesses, like Starbucks and Apple, no longer sell products, they sell ‘experiences’ with a product at the center.

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8 New Business Keys To Success For Real Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

In my view, starting a new business has never been easier, and according to reports from the Kauffman Foundation , the numbers are here to show it. The rate of new entrepreneurs increased between 2013 and 2021, from 280 to 360 out of 100,000 of the adult population. They helped create over 5 million new businesses in 2022, a forty percent increase over the previous year.

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6 User-Centered Design Guidelines To Thrill Customers

Startup Professionals Musings

Today’s customers demand more than a good product; they expect a great customer experience. A few companies are leading the way, including Apple with their iPad and iPhone, offering irresistible stores with friendly experts, elegant packaging, and customer service that never ends. People love Apple’s whole customer experience, and willingly pay a premium for the product.

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8 Strategies For Remaining Cool And Collected At Work

Startup Professionals Musings

Unfortunately, many of the business professionals I meet these days in my mentoring and consulting activities feel perennially stressed and out of control, versus calm and satisfied with their position. They realize that their productivity is suffering, as well as their health, but they don’t know what to do about it. In my experience, it’s all about work-life balance and enjoying the role.

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8 Tactics To Make Service Your Competitive Advantage

Startup Professionals Musings

Most leaders agree that poor customer service is a business killer today, in terms of lost customers, reduced profits, and low morale. Yet the average perception of customer experience has not improved. Young entrepreneurs and startups, in particular, often remain naively unfocused, despite their passion, of what it takes to provide the high-quality service expected.

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7 Strategies To Improve Your Thruput In Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

In business, the only thing that counts is results, not how hard people work or how many hours they put in. Have you noticed in your startup or around your office that some people are always at work and busy, but others seems to consistently get more done? Studies of software teams, for example, show differences as great as ten to one in productivity between working team members.

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6 Lifestyle Aspirations For Starting Your New Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

Being an entrepreneur seems to be one of the most popular lifestyle aspirations these days. According to most definitions, anyone who starts a business is an entrepreneur , but most people don’t realize there are many startup types out there, and picking the wrong one can be just as disastrous as being stuck in a cubicle at work, or doing things with no interest and no skills.

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8 Keys To Maximizing Your New Venture Stock Net Worth

Startup Professionals Musings

When an entrepreneur first incorporates a business, they may find themselves the proud owner of 10 million shares of common stock, commonly called founder’s shares. It’s disconcerting for most to realize that these shares are initially worth nothing, and the challenge is to get that value up as quickly as possible, without losing it just as quickly to investors, lazy partners, and taxation.

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8 Habits You Need To Cultivate For Maximum Efficiency

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur and most professionals wish there were more hours in a day to get their work done. These days, with all the new technology, including smartphones and social media, many are convinced that multi-tasking is the answer. Yet there is more and more evidence that jumping tasks on every alert for a new email, text, or phone call actually decreases overall productivity.

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8 Personal Objectives That Should Drive A New Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

As a business advisor, I meet many business professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs who are anxious to be their own boss , or have an innovative idea to start or acquire a new business. I have to tell each of you that starting and growing a new business is a long hard road , but can be very exciting and satisfying if you find the right match, and do your homework before you start.

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8 Perspectives On Innovation That You Should Discount

Startup Professionals Musings

Starting an entrepreneurial business, or maintaining the competitiveness of a mature business, requires innovation. Yet everyone I know seems to have a different perspective on what constitutes real innovation, and why is seems to happen so rarely. Another challenge is to debunk some of the common myths that seem prevent many from even assuming they can innovate.

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8 Ways To Relate To Peers That Can Make Or Break You

Startup Professionals Musings

Most entrepreneurs, and members of any small team, naively assume that the key to their success is hard work, dedication, and long hours in the business. In reality, their effectiveness is usually more related to how well they develop their work relationships with peers and business leaders. First they need to decipher correctly every relationship as a workship, friendship, or foe.

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5 Priorities Before You Bypass Professional Investors

Startup Professionals Musings

As an advisor to many entrepreneurs, I still hear frequently the irrational exuberance that crowdfunding is the quick alternative for startups that are passed over by overly demanding angels or venture capital investors. In reality, crowdfunding has become a major startup funding vehicle, expected to reach $3.62 billion globally by 2030, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

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5 Keys To A Team That Balances Results With Learning

Startup Professionals Musings

No matter how hard you work as a business leader or entrepreneur, you can’t sustain consistent results without an equally hardworking team, each with a learning mindset. In fact, in my experience as an executive and a mentor to entrepreneurs, sustainable results require a balance between hard work and learning , for you and your team members. Therein lies the challenge.

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8 Business Realities Every Entrepreneur Needs To Know

Startup Professionals Musings

How many entrepreneurs do you know that “almost” made it big? Startups are very risky, and most fail. Yet entrepreneurship is one of the fastest growing trends in business today. Surveys show that entrepreneurs are among the happiest people in the world, despite the challenges. Yet it would pay real dividends to know at the start what separates the “also-rans” from the winners.