In a recent post I explained the importance of timing in the shutdown of an unsuccessful business. The main point is that, especially in the context of a "fire sale," most tech startups and digital businesses don't have too many hard assets to offer, but if the entrepreneur doesn't wait too long, there is still plenty of potential value to be realized. Sometimes the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
If you love Springsteen songs for the lyrics like I do (not that there's anything wrong with the music) then you know what I mean when I say that there's a line or a poignant phrase from some Bruce song that seems perfect for just about any and every occasion. I can think of dozens of times - staring down into one abyss or facing up to another impending disaster-- when the Boss was the only solace I could find.
Visitors to 1871 are always surprised to see so many gray hairs zipping around the place. (No one here saunters - everyone's in a hurry.) That's because a significant portion of these older folks are our mentors and, while gray hair can be simply a sign of age and not necessarily of wisdom, that hasn't been our experience.
I used to feel bad for the guys in our IT department because they had the same career issue that the heads of Homeland Security have. As we all know, the terrorists and other scumbags only have to get it right one time and horrible things can happen. Yet our counter-terrorism teams and other law enforcement agencies have to try to be right every time and then, when nothing happens, no one bothers to thank them or offer recognition for their work.
Who would have thought that there would be some worthwhile words of wisdom coming from Glinda, the Good Witch, in Wicked? I saw Wicked again recently for the umpteenth time and I was struck by how relevant some of the lyrics from the song "Thank Goodness" were to the entrepreneurial mindset and to the ways many entrepreneurs behave.
It's not possible to read any new or old material about organizational behavior without coming across a screed or two on the general subject of how too many meetings simply represent a waste of time, energy and resources. I've taken a shot at it, too. (See How to Deal with Time Wasters) Such sessions rarely accomplish anything except maybe some pseudo-bonding.
Winter is on its way-- something we're more than familiar with in Chicago-- but I'm not just talking about the weather. It's becoming frostier and frostier for startups caught in the lukewarm limbo between ideas and invoices to get their early backers to up their bets, especially when it's not clear that they've found a viable business model and/or a way to stop the bleeding sooner rather than later.
There have been a lot of prescriptive articles about the critical--and often ignored or overlooked--need for succession planning in large companies, particularly at the highest management level. And I've seen the massive notebooks at some big businesses that detail the candidates and the replacement process for practically every member of the senior team.