Sleep never comes easy when you’re building the next great tech giant from scratch. Every idle moment gets overwhelmed with a flood of notions, fears, and phone calls. You know what I’m talking about. Those extra hours you squeeze out every day and all that risk you carry on your back are killers. Keep pushing and something’s gotta give—brain, body, business—one of them goes belly up for sure. What’s that I hear? That won’t happen, you say? Believe me, whenever you tough it out too long, your personality gets so severe that nobody can stand working with you. From time to time, a CEO has to refresh, rejuvenate, reboot. You know it and I know it, so listen up. Continue reading
Category Archives: Low Tech
Today’s business culture is more strongly creative and entrepreneurial than at any time in history, posing new organizational opportunities and challenges. That calls for a new way to think about and implement design management. This is the final installment of a four-part series introducing the Controlled Design Management Model. Using the language of the digital age, this model applies a radically different technique to managing the creative process. The history and theory was discussed in Parts 1 through 3. Now let’s set up a working model. Continue reading
Our business culture has evolved and attitudes have re-aligned. In sharp contrast to the past, creative employees have finally gained the acceptance and respect they deserve for the crucial role they play in organizational success. The business climate is faster-paced, than ever—rapidly changing, and multicultural. Staunchly individualistic leaders backed by a computer savvy workforce characterize our high tech companies, and increasingly, our entrepreneurial ventures. It is important to appreciate that sequential charts of managerial jargon are no longer well received. Such things impose uniformity, and uniformity is anathema to today’s creative workforce. Under these circumstances, it is extremely challenging to manage product design using yesterday’s managerial paradigms. Continue reading
In the early 2000s, after the internet bubble burst, it became abundantly clear that the US needed a new competitive edge. A product management philosophy took hold, called Lean—Lean Development, Lean Manufacturing, Lean Planning, Lean Sigma, Lean Start-up. 2 Lean is a management philosophy that considers any part of the enterprise, which does not directly add value to the final objective, as superfluous—be it product development, customer service, or for that matter, the entire enterprise. It examines all processes and eliminates the ones that do not add value to the end objective. Lean is an attempted departure from the traditional way of doing business. It found favor in the US and, to one extent or another, became a dominant model. This is the second installment of a four-part article about managing creative enterprises. Continue reading
Today’s business culture is more strongly creative and entrepreneurial than at any time in history, posing new organizational opportunities and challenges. That calls for a new way to think about and implement design management. Using the language of the digital age, this article introduces a new perspective, applying a radically different technique to the management of the creative process, and then demonstrates an intuitive working model that functions in any modern organization. This is the first installment of a four-part article. Continue reading
by Howard Tullman
Don’t fear the bots. They’ll free your company from unprofitable and tedious work. Yes, some jobs are going to be displaced. But the ones that are left and the new ones the bots will create will be more productive and way more interesting. Continue reading
How does a Type A find rest from the daily barrage of demands and decisions? Alternate activity, of course! Here’s my best pick for a quick weekend retreat. This is too much fun to keep to myself. Continue reading
.In Chicago, we enjoy something few high-tech centers can boast—easy access to a primal wilderness—a vast paradise, ancient and unspoiled—unique in the world and very special.
Whenever I’m in this place, I love the world just as I find it. Continue reading
Here’s a Chicago Area startup that brings pleasure, relaxation, and satisfaction to tired business people, gets them out in the open air, away from the pressures of the big city, and teaches them to smile again. Does that sound like a worthy goal?
I think so. Continue reading
Recently, Inc.com published an article about the best cities for early-stage companies. The premise: Chicago is the surprise winner.
Why would that be? San Francisco and New York are both beautiful, thriving cities that dramatically represent the diversity of American ideas. San Fran—younger, more venture-oriented, with beautiful natural vistas. New York—the classic, bustling private and public equity concrete jungle.
What do they have in common? It costs a kidney to pay rent for a closet. Continue reading
The world seems captivated by the growing number of unicorns – private companies theoretically worth more than $1 billion based on their latest round of funding. There are now more than 100 unicorns, led by Uber with a valuation of $66 billion. Continue reading
The funding environment for early stage startups has been shifting for some time, but as shifts accelerate, founders, executives, and investors should look to reassess their strategies to ensure that they remain optimal in a capital constrained environment. Q2 2016 saw the lowest rolling 12-month average deal flow for early stage investments since Q2 2013, this in spite of actual early stage dollars invested having increased by 127% over that period. Increasingly, early stage investors are looking to place fewer but more sizable bets on startups that are perceived as having the most promise. This can, and likely will, lead to a widening gulf between early stage startups that have a clear path to additional funding and those that may struggle to generate investor interest. Continue reading