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  • 1
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      string(55) "The Simplest Questions Can Be the Hardest for a Startup"
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      string(127) "

    Sometimes the simplest questions are the hardest to answer, yet they remain. Their answers can be the most insightful.

    " ["fulltext"]=> string(2224) "

    The importance and relevance were reinforced in a recent exchange with a startup founder. He indicated that he was struggling to gain traction, so I asked to know more about his idea in case I could help. 

    He sent me a three-page detailed description of how his idea, which would use blockchain technology, would improve the operation of the energy markets. Technically it was well written, but it was hard to extract the key proposition, and in fact, it was more about the technology than the business. I asked him if he could summarise the paper and it still lacked clarity. It was hard to see who would care about his idea.

    To provide more help in the quest to capture the real business that was hidden within his idea, I asked that he answer three questions:

    #1 Who will pay me for this idea/product/service?

    #2 What will they pay me for?

    #3 How will they pay me?

    The significance of this is that there is no business for the founder to build or investors to invest in without a revenue stream. It feels that too often a startup is a solution looking for a problem and the case is built from the bottom up, i.e. I can build/deliver XXX; therefore, I have a business. The three questions though turn the thinking around and start from what will a customer/client pay for.

    In this case, it helped him understand why he was having problems and provided some ideas about who he needed to approach/persuade if this was to be more than just a good idea.

    After the exchange, I reflected that this set of questions added clarity to a number of other conversations I am having in with founders and indeed should be one of the first indicators of whether I think I can provide real help.

    They also form part of the answer to a question I often see, “What exactly is a startup?”. I think that a startup is “the organisation and effort required to validate the opportunity to profitably generate the revenue stream(s) encapsulated in answer to these three questions:

    #1 Who will pay me for this idea/product/service?

    #2 What will they pay me for?

    #3 How will they pay me?” 

    Anyone agree/disagree?

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    The Simplest Questions Can Be the Hardest for a Startup

    Ian J Sutherland 
  • 2
    object(stdClass)#13399 (59) {
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      ["title"]=>
      string(18) "The Future of Work"
      ["alias"]=>
      string(18) "the-future-of-work"
      ["introtext"]=>
      string(144) "

    We live in uncertain times with facts, figures, rumors, and research all coming at us at a speed that belies our ability to take it in.

    " ["fulltext"]=> string(3675) "

    AI taking over jobs, massive layoffs in well-established businesses, and the failure of traditional businesses. Kodak, a DOW anchor for almost 75 years and was the fifth most valuable brand in the world in 1996. In 1975 Kodak invented digital imagery. In 2011, Kodak filed for bankruptcy. Traditional business models are vulnerable. What is the answer?

    The answer is, really, quite simple. Anything that can be turned into an algorithm will be automated. If that sounds scary, that’s because it is. The World Economic Forum estimates 900,000,000 jobs gone over the next ten years.

    It doesn’t need to be scary. There will be more work than ever before. However, there won’t be work for those who do jobs that can be automated. Automation is to inexpensive. The initial outlay is big, but after that, no sick leave, no night times, no weekends, no holidays – just 24/7 peak efficiency.

    How can you hope to compete? Simple. Look at what you are doing and begin to plan for automation. If the core of what you do can be automated, it will be automated. How do you get in front of the curve? Figure out what is going to be automated and what will be leftover as the drivers of that automation. There will always be things to do that can’t be automated. There will be massive amounts of money to be made doing what automation can’t.

    If you want to be at the forefront of success in the coming cyber-assisted world we are entering, prepare now. The primary skill that will be needed for whatever comes your way will be the ability to think.

    Brilliance isn’t born, it is learned. Using the principles underlying The Science of Learning I can help you and your key people figure out what you are lacking and help you prepare yourselves with the most powerful tool on the planet – the potential that lies within your thinking.

    I know that most of you know that you can already think. Welcome to the Kodak world. Do you really believe that there weren’t people at Kodak who were brilliant? There were, but there was no strategy to expand and empower that core of people to watch for trends and then position the company to strategically catch the new wind direction to sail out in front of the pack.

    Can you afford to not meet with me to see where you stand as far as your abilities as a leader and the abilities of your key people? In addition to expanding the abilities of your key people, we can sit down together and embrace a management structure that will empower those around without threatening your position as the captain of your ship.

    I know because I have done it. Taking a struggling academic department slated for closure and building into the 39th most prestigious and influential department in the world (only 15,000 others to compete with) in ten is a herculean task. Unfortunately, I became so involved in making it work and got carried away by what we built that I missed the chance to take the lead. I worked for the common good and was sidelined by a group who wanted control. They imposed a traditional structure and are plummeting through the rankings (180th last I looked) since I left.

    Can you afford not to have a talk with me? As one of my colleagues once wrote of me:

    Oh My Captain, My Captain

    I always wanted to say that about someone.

    I came here to make a difference to you and your firm. Request an advisor meeting with me here and let’s begin.

    Jesse

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    The Future of Work

    Jesse Martin
  • 3
    object(stdClass)#13402 (59) {
      ["id"]=>
      string(4) "5582"
      ["title"]=>
      string(81) "The Next Generation is Being Named: Try Generation T instead of Gen Alpha or Beta"
      ["alias"]=>
      string(80) "the-next-generation-is-being-named-try-generation-t-instead-of-gen-alpha-or-beta"
      ["introtext"]=>
      string(264) "

    There have been a series of articles, including one in the Atlantic, suggesting that a new generation is on the horizon.

    " ["fulltext"]=> string(4170) "

    Gen Z is being passed by a new generation, and the label ring ascribed to them is Generation Alpha. This happens when we define generations based on birth year.

    I have another name for this new generation but before turning to that, I want to point out the generation naming is risky business.

    We need to be cautious about homogenizing individuals, failing to recognize and acknowledge the myriad of difference within a generation — gender, ethnicity, race, culture, sociology-economic status, religion, home of origin among other variables. That said, the right definition — carefully crafted — has benefits in terms of more than marketing or political fodder; naming can be tied to framing — in all its meaning. In framing, we recognize and value and identify certain critical characteristics.

    It is for this reason that I have named a generation of students of all ages enrolled in school at all levels since 2001 through today and beyond (all ages of enrolled students from early childhood through adulthood).

    I have termed them Generation Trauma (Gen T for short) because this is a generation that has experienced outsized trauma that has been and is person caused and nature caused. It starts with 9/11 and those in school then may now be in post secondary education.

    We have had hurricanes and fires and school shootings and bombings; places of historic safety (Houses of Worship, marathons, movie theaters, outdoor concert venues for example) are the sites and places of vicious attacks.

    The enrolled students since 9/11 have experienced trauma — as have their families. And that trauma is carried into the educational system, often in invisible backpacks. And that trauma has impacted learning, psycho-social development and health/wellness now and into the future. This generation is not based on birth years: it is premised on their being in school during decades of trauma.

    My discussion of Gen T and the implications of that naming on education and our schools/colleges are explored in detail in my new book: Trauma Doesn’t Stop at the School Door.

    It is being released in June 2020 by Columbia Teachers College Press (and is now available for pre-order through the Press (with early ebook discounts) and Amazon).

    So, while we could have overlapping generations and often have, let’s not settle on Generation Alpha as the name for the current generation based on birth years; that is too facile a description and we need a broader more inclusive naming that encompasses what this generation has experienced while in school.

    Hang on Gen Alphers; Generation T may be a co-equal or better descriptor.

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    The Next Generation is Being Named: Try Generation T instead of Gen Alpha or Beta

    Karen Gross
  • 4
    object(stdClass)#13407 (59) {
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      ["title"]=>
      string(100) "Multi-Award-Winning Songwriter Boldly Kicks Off New LP with Brave Song about her Own Sexual Assault "
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    Singer/songwriter Natalie Jean calls for more compassion in her new LPWhere Do We Go From Here?which dropped on Valentine’s Day.

    " ["fulltext"]=> string(8076) "

    Haitian-American Jean envisioned her new concept record as an antidote to an increasingly divided world where love and charity are run over by narcissistic and selfish behavior.

    NatalieNewLP

     

    While her fifteen songs passionately deal with hot-button issues like immigration, racism, gun violence, Mother Nature and climate change and where we should go from here, Jean kicks off the record with an incredibly personal tune that will hopefully shock people to take action. Jean, who recently appeared at the Grammy Awards, explains, “My intimate song ‘I Told You No’ is about the moment after being raped. I thought this was very important as I wanted to convey the emotions I went through. So, it is very personal to me.”

    Honest and raw, this poignant song’s lyrics cut to the very bone of the horrifying fact that “the majority of rapes in the U.S. go unreported...and, sexual violence, and rape in particular, is considered the most under-reported violent crime.” Here are her lyrics:

    “I lay still/You left me battered and bruised/filled with dread/I am only hanging, I am only hanging by a thread, by a thread.”

    “Now, it’s a year later/And you’re still stuck, you’re stuck in my head/I look around every corner/I jump at every sound/I am so lost will I ever be found, will I ever be found.”

    Chorus: “I told you no/But you heard yes/I fought/I screamed/I shouted out loud/You said don’t move/But I told you no, I told you no, no, no, no, no…I told you no…I told you no…”

    “When I close my eyes/I see the flickering lights/It’s like I’m living in a bad dream/When I will be able to look in the mirror/And see the old me, I want to see the old me.”

    —Natalie Jean’s powerful lyrics from “I Told You No” from her new LP “Where Do We Go From Here?”

     

    Whoa! Ms. Jean knows the score, because she didn’t initially report her own rape, and, also like others, that wasn’t the first time she’d been sexually assaulted. Check out these awful statistics.

    • Over a 5-year period, an estimated 211,200 rapes and sexual assaults went unreported to police annually on average.
    • A National Violence Against Women Survey, based on a sample size of 8000, described the incidence of rape as 1 in 6 women.
    • A significant number of rapes reported to the police do not advance to prosecution...and, factoring in unreported rapes, about 5% of rapists will ever spend a day in jail.
    • For college students, 95% of rapes were not reported to law enforcement in 2000.
    • Only 26% of rapes were committed by a stranger to the victim.
    • Factoring in unreported rapes, about 5% of rapists will ever spend a day in jail.

    The scenario depicted in her “I Told You No” did indeed come from her College days but, as with other women who have kept quiet, there were previous instances in high school. Jean honestly says:

    “It was someone that I knew, but not very well. I never reported it. I was ashamed...I didn't think anyone would believe me...I was shocked...At that point in my life, I already had low self esteem. I always wanted people to like me. I questioned, whether I was deserving of this pain. I was already in a lot of pain myself. Growing up, I had a very loving family, but I never really loved myself. I thought I was ugly. Felt out of place. I was out with some friends on campus. Then, it was time to go home and I walked alone. The person grabbed me from behind. I was assaulted and the person ran off. I was able to see who it was. A week later, he apologized. I didn't even know what to say. But at that point, I could never be around him. Everyone knew him as this nice guy, but I knew different. So, I suffered through my pain. I was already a depressive and this just heightened my depression. There were many times, where I sought to end my life. But something allowed me to push through. I got into spirituality and had to learn to love myself. I am not a victim. Now, I am a lot stronger and speak my truth.”

    NataiieatGrammys

    With 5 previously released independent albums in different languages, Jean has earned over 70 various award nominations, including a 2019 Global Music Awards Medal and was a 2019 Josie Music Awards Winner. For this new album, Jean leaned on her own DNA—French, African, and Creole roots—and eclectic musical tastes. And, the record is full of pop and Americana/country, with some rock and some blues thrown in.

    But why did Jean choose the powerfully evocative “ I Told You No” to kick off the record?

    “I made it my first song, because I believed it to be impactful and the most shocking. I am a person who always seems to be happy and fighting the good fight. But I wanted people to be aware that there are people out there that have suffered. To not judge a book by its cover. I created this song, because I wanted others to feel what it is like to be assaulted. Some people think that it is the woman's fault—if they had just done something different or worn something different.”

    Jean offers some key suggestions:

    • Rape/sexual assault is something that YOU should definitely report
    • With this song, I want to let people know that they are not alone
    • Be assured that there are a lot of support systems out there (some listed below)
    • There are people out there that understand what YOU are going through

    She adds, “My overall goal is to get people to feel their own pain. And then, and this is challenging, to be more compassionate and understanding.”

    Drop in on Natalie Jean on her website, and on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube; and, check out her poignant new music on streaming music services, SoundCloud and Spotify. And, read a story on Natalie Jean’s new LP at Medium.

    For sexual assault help in the US, call 800.656.HOPE (4673) at the National Sexual Assault Hotline. For more info, check out the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network or RAINN. In the UK, Rape Crisis England & Wales is the umbrella body for a network of independent Rape Crisis Centres. All its member Centres provide specialist support and services for victims and survivors of sexual violence.

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    Multi-Award-Winning Songwriter Boldly Kicks Off New LP with Brave Song about her Own Sexual Assault

    Ashley Jude Collie
  • 5
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      ["title"]=>
      string(27) "Grind, Attitude & Gratitude"
      ["alias"]=>
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      string(173) "

    Last year has been a very interesting year. Not everything has gone to my plan, but everything has definitely gone to the universe's plan for me.

    " ["fulltext"]=> string(5542) "

    Here's a quick recap:

    I attended my 30th High School Reunion and reconnected with several friends I hadn't seen in person in 30 years.

    My mother got diagnosed with breast cancer...and beat it.

    I've watched my step-father be pulled further and further into the early stages of dementia...a veteran, ex-professor, and 290 bowler.

    I relocated back to LA to take a "dream job"...that I quit 5 weeks later in a well-deserved, foul-mouthed tirade (a first in my 27-year career) ending a relationship that should have ended years prior. (That "service heart" will make you a SUCKA. Be verrrrrry careful.)

    I fulfilled my dream of becoming a published author by releasing my first book...glorious imperfections and all.

    I turned down numerous 6-figure job offers and took a role that was $100,000/yr less than I was making previously as research for my next book about "right-sizing" and living your best life with less. (AS I SEE IT: Volume 2: LIFE releasing Fall 2020)

    I traveled to Australia and New Zealand twice and fulfilled my dream of attending the Australian Open and seeing Serena and Roger in Rod Laver Arena.

    I got the opportunity to speak at Amazon HQ and Microsoft HQ and finally tell the story of why everyone who has ever ordered from Amazon owes me a small debt of gratitude.

    I grew my private trīb to just under 100 EAs from 12 countries. Many of whom have gone on to start their own businesses, become EA advocates, and win awards as top EA of the year in their respective countries.

    EAs from my workshops around the world just breached the $2M mark in new compensation, raises, bonuses and promotions as a result of applying what they learned in MEGA U and trībU...one eclipsing all with a +$55K/yr salary adjustment.

    And I'm really looking forward to 2020 as I grow the visibility and reach of trīb + trībU, launch my passion project BounceBack, and finally resurrect my luxury candle line NIX+BOW and grow it into the lifestyle brand I've always wanted it to beI'm also moving to Bali for a couple of months this Summer to complete my second book and use it as a home base as I travel through Australasia fulfilling a number of speaking engagements already locked in.

    Life is crazy and unpredictable and fantastic at the same time. I've learned so many lessons this year, some the hard way, but all teaching me something new about myself and making me that much wiser, more resilient, and determined. I'm so grateful to have my mother still with me who is now a shining example (and advocate) of septuagenarian breast cancer ass-kicking badassery. I'm sad to see my step-father now struggling to complete even the simplest of tasks we all take for granted. I'm insanely proud of the people who've taken my workshops, applied what they learned and changed their and their family's lives for the better. I'm grateful to the Universe for showing me that sliver of light at the end of a really dark tunnel a couple of years ago that almost took my life. And for the first time in my adult life, I'm incredibly proud of myself for trusting my instincts, taking some pretty scary risks, falling a few times...but jumping right back up, dusting off, and diving back into the fight. I'm living a life that I've crafted that is right-sized for me, filled with amazing people and experiences, allows me to pay it forward, and create new, lasting memories every single day.

    It took me 50 years to get it right. So those of you who might be struggling or constantly bumping your head or speeding down a path that just doesn't feel right but you feel bound to out of obligation...it's okay. It's exactly what the Universe has planned. But understand that you still have a responsibility in crafting your destiny. Life happens for you, not to you. Get your perspective together. Your attitude has the most powerful effect on your success in everything you endeavor. Once you master your attitude your world will open up. And all of the struggles you used to see as barriers or inequities or adversities will merely be lessons and "training" for the life you've always wanted to live. It takes work. And constant adjustments and patience. #realtalk But there is a pretty sweet payday at the end, I promise you. And it has nothing to do with money.

    I wish the world for each of you in 2020. But it's time to focus on YOU...individually. Nothing frustrates me more than a "do-gooder" whose personal life is in complete shambles. You're impressing no one. We need to stop hiding behind good intentions and altruism designed to get "likes" and "shares" on the socials. Let 2020 be the year we truly focus on ourselves. Getting our fitness together. Seeking counseling to finally exorcise our demons. Paying off the debt that strangles us. Right-sizing our lives so that we can travel and experience new cultures. Be present with the ones who matter most. And living minimally but beautifully. And trib-ing up to make new friendships and create lasting memories with people instead of Tweeting, Instragramming, and Facebooking at them.

    Time to switch shit up. No better time than the present.

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    Grind, Attitude & Gratitude

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