Friday, May 18, 2012

"Summer's Here & The Time is Right for.. "

"Summer's Here and The Time is Right for..
Entrepreneuring in the Streets?"
(and checking the links below)

Time to put the pedal down! (Me too!) Just saw yet another credible forecaster point out that the odds are still climbing for a return to recession. 

Ouch! BUT.... why not think about this as.. 
          An opportunity to reboot?
          To do what you WISHED you had done when the last recession kicked in? 
          Don't you wish you had seized the opportunity to start something?  
            (And if the economy doesn't crater.. all the better, eh?)

On Wednesday I judged at Idaho TechLaunch - what fun! [a big shout-out to Steph Cook of INL and... **] It was very eye-opening as to:
a) the need to amp the advice (correction... good advice) and mentoring; let's take advantage of our global world and connect with experts all over;
b) just how much more we could be doing. Many of you make fun of my excessive traveling, but as I go around the country and the world, I see so many things that we could steal, er, adapt that would cost no more than what we spend now.

"Doctor, Heal Thyself"
All this applies to me too. If ANY of you has thoughts on what I should be doing differently, I am all ears.  The most common suggestions I get are to: 
     1) Start doing some events. I prefer being Tom Hagen but if I have to be Don, so be it.
[more on that below]
     2) Start writing down what I'm learning. To do that, here are some drafts that reflect the state of the art of what we know (and crowdsourced from experts I know)--
Markers of a Truly Entrepreneurial Ecosystem ( -
          Once I get 'notes' from you, I will turn it in into a scorecard where people can rate their communities. (Wouldn't that be a fun dashboard so communities could brag about their progress??)

A Candidates' Guide to Growing Entrepreneurs ( - 
           I tried to write this in a more conversational mode but it focuses on what civic leaders most need to know about what it takes to grow entrepreneurs. Future variants (stay tuned!) include a Top Ten List ofthe 10 biggest myths and misconceptions about entrepreneurship and a Top Ten List of the ten dumbest (er, least smart) policy ideas we've seen that affect entrepreneurship. (I fear that the latter one will ruffle feathers.)

Speaking of ruffled feathers, let me repeat this link to where Idaho jobs come from and... well, READ it! ONE page, I promise! ;)  
[if not in Idaho, get thee to to do your own.. or hire EMSI in Moscow]

But there's GOOD News! The fourth doc is almost as short and recaps the three known robust predictors of entrepreneurial activity, how Idaho is doing, and what else we could do quickly and cheaply to support!

Even BETTER News
I've asked this before: Why the hell isn't Idaho the mecca for social / sustainable entrepreneurship? (And any community can ask that as well..) I was stunned at Idaho TechLaunch that nobody really knew the term (or how widespread -and powerful - it is) or about the megatrend around impact investing. My next blog post will address that - a bunch of people wanted insights into that world and I would be thrilled to turn you on to it. And...
Did You Know... the guy who runs the huge Dell Social Innovation Challenge visits Idaho regularly?
It is definitely time for a Social Entrepreneurship Weekend in Idaho... and in ALL of your communities! 

p.s. and if you scroll down, you will see some other things that we WILL be doing, such as the lean startup course.

        Have a great weekend - even if I gave you all that homework, LOL!

** and my fellow judges, the always-awesome Faisal Shah, John Fordemwalt, Tom Harrison and Steph C. I like smart people, I like 'git 'r dun' people but smart git'r dun folks? Priceless

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Blogger Kid in a Man's World said...

I can't say I've ever been to Idaho but it sounds like some great ideas are festering out there. Re: the entrepreneurial ecosystem... it's hard to find the human/social capital out there, since so many people who have a great idea feel tied to their current, "real-life" job. I wish there was more encouragement for people to start working toward their dream business, whether it be in business or in tech, as they also worked to provide for themselves, family, etc.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Derrick Jones said...

Well, I did the first part of the home work. No i did not read the Candidate's Guide. I studied it...thoroughly. This is not only good for candidates but for 'treps as well. I especially like how you define the true purpose of entrepreneurship--identifying and creating value for somebody. As obvious as this sounds, many who set out to start businesses miss this point. Too often the focus is on "how much can I make from this?" If we bring value and create a compelling experience, the rewards will come.

Also, the point about how entrepreneurs view risk. "If i do not act, I could miss out on this opportunity!" This is far different from how most approach risk. "If I do that I could lose everything!"

The issue of failure is a huge one also. We are convinced at a young age that failure is a bad thing. The result is that many people work hard "not to fail" and miss out on their best opportunities for growth.

Again, fantastic job. I've already started spreading this work to my own network on and offline. If it is okay with you, I would like to expand on some of these points on my own blog. I will certainly link back to your post and give you full credit. We have to spread these ideas as far and as wide as we can. The people need this information. @djoneslucid

10:05 AM  

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