Archive for March, 2013
Normally, I write about things around Entrepreneurship or sometimes even Politics, but this morning I listened to a podcast from April of 2009 that I had to share. It was one of the most poignant things that I have ever heard. It comes from Robert Krulwich of NPR’s RadioLab podcast. He talks about the stories of Noah and Abraham and I don’t think it matters what your faith is, you will find it thought provoking no matter what. And actually I think even if you are not a person of faith you will find it interesting.
Take a listen, it’s about 15 minutes.
Yesterday, I found out that an old colleague of mine is leaving Redbox. He wasn’t just any old person at Redbox, he was the founder. He saw the company that he created change an industry.
The way that he built Redbox was inspiring, he started out with one idea, listened to the customer and pivoted based on customer feedback. Over the last 11 years he has created what is arguably one of the two most important companies in the movie business (Netflix being the other). No they don’t make movies but they can MAKE a movie. If you can get into their machine your movie is made. Any where that he goes across America he is bound to run into one of his machines. I wonder how he feels when he sees that ubiquitous red box.
Now as he leaves the company I can’t imagine the emotion that he is feeling not only leaving the scores of people that he has worked with, but leaving his “baby”, the idea that became the industry.
Great Quote from Rene Lacerte founder of Bill.com on Mixergy.com. “You can’t do market research to find out what customers want. Customers don’t know what they want”
The interview captures the iterative process for a start up. Rene speaks very clearly about creating a “Push Cart” in a very challenging industry (software) where you wouldn’t think it was possible.
I love to hear stories about Entrepreneurs and their journey with their business. The best ones are the ones where the entrepreneur is honest and takes you through the process that they went through. Where the idea came from, how they researched it, how they got started and setbacks that came along the way.
I just listened to one such interview. Andrew Warner from Mixergy.com interviewed the founder of Gotham Dream Cars. It was a fantastic interview for any budding entrepreneur. I guarantee that everyone will get something out of it.
If you are wondering what to do during your Spring Break I recommend you go to iTunes and search for “Stanford Technology Ventures Skybox” and listen to the podcast.
I was just watching the head of the USPS interviewed about the plan to “Save the Post Office” on CNBC. With everything that they are trying to get approved (stopping Saturday delivery, closing locations, etc) he admitted that it isn’t enough to make the post office profitable. He stated that it’s all about Health Care costs but these are mandated by union contracts.
That’s the big problem with the government running something. There is no accountability to the bottom line. If this was a private enterprise instead of playing around the edges they would radically reform their “Cadillac Health Plan”, they would go to every other day delivery (M/W/F and T/T/S) and reduce their workforce considerably. But when you don’t have to go to investors or the market to explain how you are going to make a return on the investment you can paint around the edges and say “We are trying REAL hard.” and think that is enough.