Start Up Blog

Design Idea

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on June 3, 2010

What is the shortest path from the front door  to a smile. It doesn’t matter if we play in the web space, retail or have a factory… Once we map that out, we have defined our core utility.

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The Jesus moment

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on May 28, 2010

One thing we need to build into our startups is the Jesus moment. We have to have one.

Startup blog definition:

Jesus moment: One thing which makes our people come back another time.

it’s got to be so compelling, that can’t refuse to check us out again. it’s not usually a whole bunch of things, rather a single thing we do better which makes us worthy. It’s why they’ll switch to us. it’s what we are focused on.

Brand which have the Jesus moment built it, invariably do better and live longer. It may not be there when we launch, but it must be what we are striving for.

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Originality is for artists

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on March 30, 2010

There are no prizes for originality in business. There is no shame in copying others, sorry – idea borrowing. So many aspiring entrepreneurs say they are just waiting for a great idea. The original idea for them to launch a startup under. I was once this person too. And I was so very wrong. I learned the hard way by losing half a million in venture funding that originality is over rated. I’m convinced highly original ideas increase our probability of financial failure.

The startup blog view is this: originality is for artists.


Let me explain. People want change they can cope with, and so the business world (consumers) are most likely to reward incremental improvements. Ideas which people can cope with. Ideas that are easy to spread because the audience has a reference point. Something to switch to, a substitute. Yes, radical products and services can be a success, but they are so rare (especially with low and self funded businesses) that it is tactically foolish to chase them. We ought leave that to large corporations, and heavily VC backed startups.

It comes back to our objective – do we want to run a business, or be original? It’s rare to achieve both, so make the choice early and know whether you are an artist or an entrepreneur.

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Quote from Warren Buffett

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on September 1, 2009

Here’s a quote for Warren Buffett - who has been consistently among the few richest people in the world for the past 20 years or so.

“To invest successfully over a lifetime does not require a stratospheric IQ, unusual insights, or inside information. What’s needed is sound intellectual framework for making decisions and to keep emotions from eroding that framework.”

buffett-cartoon

Firstly let’s define investing as something which we we see as worth putting a consistent effort into to achieve a long term result.

So it is fair to say we invest in many things such as family, health, finances and business ideas. The key interpretation from the above quote is that it’s not about being an intellectual guru, rather our success will be a function of having a robust framework to work towards. That this information is available to everyone, and if we have to the discipline to stick to it our investments will yield results far beyond our expectation.

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Digital project list

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on January 22, 2009

To do lists matter. In fact they matter a lot. The problem I find with always long to do lists is the that urgent always takes place of the important. And occasionally important projects fall off the agenda. They do this because they seem to live on the bottom of the ‘to do’ list.

This is why we must have a digital version of our to do list. Even if we are a pen an paper kind of person. As I am, which can be seen here, here and here.

The beauty of the digital to do list is the footprint lasts for ever. The important, but not urgent  items on the bottom of the list don’t need to be carried over with the pen. So they wont get lost in transition.

A good way to do it is to have a digital project list and an actual to do list for the day – that is, the items which you will certainly finish today. Remember, we can always add another item if we blow our own minds and finish all our tasks early.

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