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Powerful Lessons Learned in a Manufacturing Context

One of the most powerful learning experiences I had when I worked at the Mobil Chemical division of Mobil (now ExxonMobil) involved manufacturing operations strategy and what can happen when you get it wrong.  One of the products we produced was plastic grocery bags -- the “t-shirt bags” •••

How a 17-Year-Old Built a Multimillion-Dollar Business

I don't know about you, but I just love to hear stories about how successful entrepreneurs did it - the steps they took, the pitfalls that almost did them in and their lessons learned. This is a terrific story about a 17-year-old college freshman that built one of the world's largest •••

Cautions on Angel Investors

Angel investors are wealthy individuals that make individual venture investments in start-up companies.  They typically invest $25,000 to $250,000 and often are the intial venture funding source prior to a larger institutional round of $1 - 5 million or more. But not all angles are saviors, •••

How One Faithful Father Prepared His Son, Part I

I met a very sweet family last night with a bittersweet story.  Their husband/father had been called home a couple of years ago after a short two and a half month battle with cancer.  But even though the father left this earth, his legacy lives on in his wife and two •••

Start a Business Just to Learn

I was recently talking to our two interns about their next steps after their internship with New Venture Lab.  They are Godly young men in their early 20’s with some good work experiences and they are eager for the next phase of their lives.  In addition to working closely with me in a •••

Guest Blog: Overcoming Adversity

Our families and our households are often under pressure and attack from the outside world.  We are called by God to be a city on a hill, an example for all to see.  But in the early stages of building our “city”, when there are numerous vulnerabilities, we must often build with a •••

Industry Consolidation Patterns

Industry consolidation is the process when a few companies start buying up other companies in the same industry and the number of competitors in an industry shrink dramatically.  The main goal for the consolidators is to grab market share, cut costs, boost productivity and improve investment •••

Guest Blog: All About Patents

PATENT STRATEGIES FOR ENTREPRENEURS   BACKGROUND ON PATENTS   This analysis explores some recent globalization trends and historic changes in US patent law with special attention to possible impacts of these trends and changes upon independent inventors who may wish to consider getting •••

The Formula for Entrepreneurial Success

There are many ways to think about what determines an entrepreneur’s success and I must admit that until recently I had not structured my thinking on this as much as I could have. As a venture investor, I’ve made the same mistake as most venture investors in going mostly by “gut feel” on •••

Just Say No to Venture Capital

There is a constant stream of entrepreneurs that ask me to invest in their idea or ask me advice about how to raise venture capital for their business plan.  In many cases, they should just say no to venture capital. There are a lot of benefits to raising venture capital such as the ability •••

Character Traits of Entrepreneurial Leaders

As Christians we obviously need to make sure that we are right with God, that we have a heart for Him and that we stay in His will and His word.  But as we work to add virtue to faith, what character traits define an entrepreneurial leader? I like the article below because it defines character •••

Provisional Patent Applications

Intellectual property is an important way for entrepreneurs to protect the value of their creations, but before rushing into filing a provisional patent application, be sure to bone up on the patent process to you know what you are getting into. This is a good article that outlines the •••

Selling Your Invention

As discussed in previous Q&A posts, one viable option for the creative type is to sell your invention to someone else rather than try to manufacture it and take it to market.  Not only does this keep you in your sweet spot, but it is in keeping with my rule of never investing in •••

Which Business Entity is Right for You?

Business Week recently ran an excellent article on the different forms of legal business entities and the advantages of each... Room To Grow S corporations, C corps, LLCswading through the alphabet soup of incorporation options is one of your move important early business moves Your idea is •••

How Michael Dell Got Started and His Current Turn-Around

Stories about how an entrepreneur launched a business are always fun, but it is rare when an entrepreneur is as successful as Michael Dell, the founder and CEO of Dell Computer. I've always enjoyed following the Dell story, which took a personal turn for me when Dell invested several million •••

Painful Lessons Learned on My First Acquisition

I was recently looking at a business plan involving software that was several years old and was being repositioned to sell into a new market segment. While discussing the plan with our interns, I was immediately transported back in my memory to twelve years ago when I acquired a software company •••

Social Networking as a Web 2.0 Operating System

Facebook, currently the second largest social networking site, has recently made a strategic move into becoming a social networking operating system.  In doing so, they are affording application developers the opportunity to link their apps to Facebook and monetize (make money •••

From High School Dropout to Billionaire

There was an excellent profile of Ken Hendricks of Beloit, Wisconsin in a recent issue of Reader's Digest about how he went from a high school dropout and a roofer making $10,000 per year to building and running a 350-store roofing supply chain that has $3 billion in sales. Money isn't everything •••

What Young Women Are Looking For In a Husband

I am not an expert on marrying off my children (they are still young) and I am not an expert on courting, but I do have the opportunity to meet and visit with many like-minded young men and women and most of the conversations of those in their early 20's turn to marriage and the preparation for •••

Look for Customer Pain and Sub-Scale Processes

During a recent lunch with the New Venture Lab apprentices, one of them brought up an idea he was working on based on informal market research he had conducted by striking up conversations with members of his target industry. He was zeroing in on the process that the most frustrating part of the •••

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Family Works: Inspiring Profiles of Family Business - Volume One

Family Works: Inspirting Profiles of Family Business - Volume Two

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Startup Financial Model Website

The Startup Financial Model a detailed, multi-sheet, completely integrated, easy-to-configure Excel-based business plan model for those who are planning or running a startup or small business and want an excellent financial model to enhance their business plan and capital-raising efforts. This companion site of ours includes step-by-step video instructions and customers choose what price they pay.