Clutter

Business for Life not Life for Business

by Tim Berry

We talk about work-life balance, in general terms, but here’s one simple thought that should always be there in the background: Your business exists to make your life better. Not vice-versa. Don’t sacrifice your life to make your business better. I got a lot of play on Twitter recently with this simple idea. And this post... Read More »

Gambling Business

True Story: Startup Addict, Chronic Failure

by Tim Berry

I believe that developing your own business is ultimately a matter of doing the work, getting the store open, returning the phone calls. And I fear that too often people fall into the myth and mystique of the startup and end up doing just the opposite. They are always waiting, never working. This is the story of a... Read More »

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Paradox of Product Persistence

by Tim Berry

Paradox: On one hand, to keep a business healthy you have to be able to cut mediocre products. On the other hand, some successful products require sticking to them for a long time, stubbornly, to get either the product or the marketing right. Take a minute and think about it, and you’ll find examples of... Read More »

Unhappy Guy

True Story: My Worst-Ever Business Plan Consulting Engagement

by Tim Berry

In more than 30 years with business planning, my worst-ever business plan consulting engagement was for a startup that should have been funded but wasn’t. It was a good business plan. But the business plan process became the fatal flaw. A good plan, excellent team, good startup I learned this lesson while sitting in a series of meetings,... Read More »

Telephone Circa 1970

Future Shock Top 10 Backwards Look

by Tim Berry

Ah yes, the good old days. How quickly time passes. And I can’t help occasionally browsing through technology looking back. My youngest daughter is in her late twenties now. She can barely remember life before cellphones, and can’t remember life before personal computers or VCRs, because both of those were born before she was. I was... Read More »

Cash Mousetrap

Why Bootstrapping is Better

by Tim Berry

The normal startup process doesn’t go from idea to plan to funding by outside investors. Funding is the exception, not the rule. Most startups are bootstrapped. That means we start a business with what resources we have. We fund it from early sales, promises, savings, and maybe friends and family; not outside investors. We all... Read More »

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Involvement vs. Commitment and Planning as Management

by Tim Berry

In breakfast, the chicken is involved, the pig is committed. In the business planning process, commitment is essential. Plans need to be implemented, and implementation means commitment. There has to be accountability, and peer pressure. You have to follow up... Read More »

coffeefromistock

Understand The Essential ‘Why They Buy’

by Tim Berry

Close your eyes. Step away from the daily routine. Answer these questions. Why does anybody buy what you're selling? What do they get out of it? Do you fill a need? Do you offer identifiable benefits? Some 30 years ago... Read More »

Scott Cook eCorner

Video: Scott Cook: Savor Surprises in Business

by Tim Berry

Nice short video of Scott Cook giving a great example of how surprises come up in business. My Friday video for this week, from Stanford eCorner. He talks about discovering the value of doing simple bookkeeping for people who aren’t accountants and don’t care about debits and credits. As he tells how Intuit discovered the... Read More »

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10 Tips for Starting a Consulting Business

by Tim Berry

Are you thinking of starting a consulting business? Let’s say consulting, engineering, graphic design, SEO or marketing help, something you can do yourself? Here are some tips I’ve garnished from several decades of it. I took my business from high-end professional service to software products, but I’ve never stopped watching the service businesses, and I’m actively involved in... Read More »