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Entrepreneurship

An Open Letter to James Dyson

Dear James

I know that on the surface, this is a petty sob story. I bought one of your vacuums. After about two and a half years, it stopped working. I had a bad experience with customer service. They said to buy a new battery. I did, and it still doesn't work, and I'm reluctant to invest even more into this machine.

"Wah, wah, wah. Throw it out, buy a new one, get over it." says the voice in my head.

Yes, but ... there's more to this story.

Here's why this bothers me, and why I'm writing...

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Design for yourself

A lot of business advice will tell you to focus on the customer. I think that's misguided. The best way to design anything is to design it for yourself.

When you ask yourself, what product would I really love to use, you get access to another level of insight and wisdom. It's subtler. It opens up to new inspiration, new ideas, to creativity. Instead of asking other people, ask yourself. You will be able to come up with ideas that wouldn't surface from your customers in a million years. Apple...

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Translating bad service into business ideas

Whenever I encounter bad products or bad service, I can't help but think about how I would create something better.

Last week I was at Calamigos Guest Ranch in Malibu, a place that I love dearly. Yet, as great as that place is, it's clear there's a couple of weak points.

One is honoring agreements: Promise after promise was made and broken. Simple things like bringing a mini fridge, a rollaway bed, calling when the room's ready, picking up all of our stuff from the room when we were checking...

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Inspired Entrepreneur book

I'm working on a book that's going to lay out my approach to entrepreneurship and life. I've got a pretty solid structure, a solid outline, and a couple of solid chapters down. I figured I'd start sharing works in progress here, and get some movement going that way, instead of laboring away in secret for months and months.

It consists of two half. The first I've called "Pillars". It's like axioms in math. They're the philosophical or conceptual underpinnings behind everything. It's what my...

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QA: Should I start my business in my local language and market, or go with international and English?

Got this question from a customer, and thought I'd share the answer here.

This is my answer:

I'd say that if international and English is where your heart is at, go for it from the start. It's not much different from Danish. The main difference is, the market is much larger, and there's a ton more competition, so you have to have an even more tightly defined niche in order to stand out. Your people have to really know it's for them. After that, it's all the same. Figure out where your tribe...

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Check out my marketing course

I created a 10-step marketing course a while back. I'm always about focusing on the fundamentals that never change, rather than the latest wiz-bang shiny object.

The content of the course is super solid. The presentation could definitely be more sexy. We might do something about that. But I figured I might as well share it the way it is right now.

Sign up for it here

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How to translate a coaching program into an online course

A customer asked me about this, and I figured I'd share my answer here.

The question was:
With personal coaching you talk to each client and develop unique progress plans for each client. With an online course I feel I need to create a generic plan and pre-plan everything (write the whole course first) and I struggle with creating manageable to chunks of lectures... How much info in each lecture? How many learning points? How many modules?
Here's my answer:

How about, instead of trying to make...

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Nik: Another great software company destroyed by Google

I bought NIk's photo suite back in 2012, and I loved it. Amazing photo effects. Made some really cool photos using it. Okay, sometimes I overdid it, but that's only natural when you're just starting out.

Then Google bought them, to get a leg up in the photo manipulation department, and made the product free (I'd paid $340 for it).

And then they stopped updating and supporting the software. Abandoned.

This adds to the list of products that I loved and that Google have killed (and the owners...

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Let's reinvent banking... are you with me?

I went on a tweet storm earlier today while visiting a bank branch to open a savings account. I figured I'd take some time to flesh out my thoughts here.

The banking industry is obviously broken. Sure, it's not the only one, but I happened to visit a bank today, so it's top of mind.

We went to add a savings account alongside our business checking account, plus a savings account for personal, at Chase, as we've just switched from Wells Fargo to Chase. It took all of an hour to get that done....

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