Gulp.... my first attempt at blogging. A little scary for some reason, but there is so much out there to share about entrepreneurship and how to nurture it, so.... let's get busy!
"My main man, Thomas"
The Thomas Register was once described as the "Victoria's Secret Catalog for Industrial Purchasers" - it used to comprise a huge set of hardcover volumes that contained information on a dizzying array of products and components -almost anything you needed to build stuff. (Extensive use of Thomas helped save my sorry entrepreneurial behind!) Alas, the hard-cover days are gone but Thomas lives on in cyberspace.
I strongly recommend going to www.thomasnet.com and playing around with it. It's great for competitive intelligence work - who is in a particular space (or claims to be?) Trying to find info about an obscure product-market niche? While it's a way to find suppliers, obviously you can use tot to ID customers.
While at the site - sign up for their e-newsletter. Each month or so, they send you an e- letter with links to short articles, mostly focused on a specific topic. The one that arrived today looks at procurement. Sometime the topic is a business function (even creativity!) and sometimes the topic is an industry (like CAD/CAM).
They also link to more general news of interest. Usually, those are pretty bland but this one had a nice synopsis of recent work from Harvard that says:
"Don't motivate your employees!" rather...
"Quit DE-motivating them!" LOL - it's not really anything we didn't know, but it drives home the essential point that as managers (and as entrepreneurs) our Job #1 is to facilitate what our employees do - we work for them. Anyway, here's the direct link for your reading pleasure: http://news.thomasnet.com/IMT/archives/2006/04/managing_motivating_employees_without_pompoms.html?WT.mc_t=nlimt&WT.mc_n=614I (and if click on the link containing 'Sirota', that will take you to the original (which has tons of links to other Harvard stuff).
(As an old Caltech guy, I gotta side with MIT over the Crimson most of the time, but this is a nice resource. Besides, MIT can always claim "Car Talk")
Anyway, drop me a note with any comments - maybe examples of how you are able to live up to the article prescriptions? I know it was NOT easy for me and I'm not sure all my students survived my following these principles in class, LOL.
EDIT: Of course, there's the OTHER "Thomas" - http://thomas.loc.gov - that's the info portal for the Library of Congress, a great way to look up info re government, especially legislation. Give it a whirl! (But only after you explore thomasnet.com , LOL)
Norris Krueger, Ph.D.