Worshiping Genius


“Italy worships Genius, but has not yet figured out how to create a culture of entrepreneurship”. This was an interesting statement made by the Executive Director of the Italian Angels for Growth, Lorenzo Fanchini at last week’s semi-final of the European Venture Contest (EEVC) held in Turin. Italy is a...

“If you are so smart… why are you not rich?”


“If you are so smart, why are you not rich?” I saw this written on a T-shirt the other day at a gathering of entrepreneurs. It was a blatant challenge and it made me stop and think. In looking back on my 20 years as an entrepreneur, have I failed...

A Crisis is a Terrible thing to Waste (Part 2) – Smoke Signals


When I was a boy I loved to watch “Cowboy and Indian” programs on television. The plots were always the same. They usually started with a group of settlers – who were traveling in their covered wagons towards some dream of a better life in a faraway place. Then would...

Meetings with Remarkable Men


I saw a strange French movie in 1979 that made a big impact on me. It was called Meetings with Remarkable Men and told the story of G.Gurdjieff, a philosopher who traveled through Central Asia in order to discover spirituality through dance, music, near-encounters with death and by meeting remarkable...

A Crisis is a Terrible Thing to Waste (Part 1)


My own company is in a crisis right now… a real crisis with tough decisions to make, sleepless nights to endure and an impending sense of doom that is like a nasty hangover.  A bit of bad luck, bad timing, some strategic mistakes and a global financial crisis have all...

Expose yourself and show your heart


Exposing yourself may get you arrested, but for a small business it is critical. Too many startups fail to clearly communicate who they are – I mean who they REALLY are. Today I held a speech for approx. 250 small business leaders from an association in Norway called Growth Companies...

Throw away 1000 years of history


When I arrived in Trento, Italy on Thursday the first thing I noticed were the city walls. Since the medieval times they have kept out invaders from the north and conquerors from the south. When you are reminded of your ancient past each day, perhaps it makes it harder to...

Entrepreneurs are Losers


A few weeks ago I was standing in line at the store behind two boys. They were probably 13, maybe 14 years old and these guys were really cool. They wore low-rider pants that constantly tried to slide down to their knees, big T-shirts advertising their favorite vampire heavy metal...

Pitch Your Baby


I have a friend who just had his first child. He’s over the moon about this baby and OK, all his friends are happy for him too, but he sends out constant emails with photos, short video clips, frequent little stories about first baby steps. There are facebook pages and...