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Startup Ideas Worth Building

by Tim Berry

(Note: I rarely do guest posts on this blog, but I ran into this answer on Quora and I am happy to post it here, as a long quote, with credit to its author. – Tim)  Noam Kaiser is a professional investment manager, alias venture capitalist, or VC. The question at Quora.com was: Do you... Read More »

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All Ideas are Brilliant Before They Are Executed.

by Tim Berry

“No battle plan ever survives first contact with the enemy.” – Helmuth von Moltke. Similarly, all business ideas are brilliant before they are executed.  Ideas have to run through an obstacle course of hard realities before they are really opportunities. Few ideas make it. Everybody has ideas, Millions of business ideas are floating around everywhere. Every problem anybody... Read More »

Causation-Correlation

Don’t Be Fooled By Mismanaged Data

by Tim Berry

Here’s another great example of why you don’t blindly trust research. This illustration comes from this Gizmodo post. Post author Jesus Diaz is not saying this means what it seems to say (see his conclusion below). But here you are with another example of how easy it is to get the wrong conclusions, especially when the research... Read More »

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Q&A: What Do I Include in a 1-Page Business Plan

by Tim Berry

I received this question overnight from my ask-me-a-question page: I am entering a competition that is asking for a one page business plan and I am having a hard time trying to determine what to put on it and what not to include. What information is absolutely required? To answer this well I’d need to... Read More »

win the competition

Q&A: Winning Business Plan for a Competition

by Tim Berry

How do you win a business plan competition? I’m glad you asked. I’m a frequent judge of these competitions so it’s in my interest to help you improve your chances by developing a better business plan, pitch presentation, summary, and elevator speech. Read More »

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Nobody is Going to Pay You For Your Ideas

by Tim Berry

Yesterday somebody posted an interesting comment on the bottom of my post ‘How to Sell an Idea to a Big Company.’ Sadly, that post explains to people why they can’t sell their ideas to big companies. Most of the 70-some comments there are from people who ignore what the post says and share how great... Read More »

experts speak half truths

When So-called Experts Say Don’t Do a Business Plan…

by Tim Berry

… don’t be confused. What they really mean is …  Don’t do a long static formal business plan. Do a lean, just-big-enough business plan. Deal with it as a constantly-renewing latest version, with a shelf life of a few weeks at most. Don’t fill it with excess supporting information. They won’t even look at a... Read More »

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Spot Quiz: What Percent of Small Business Owners Manage Cash Flow

by Tim Berry

I’m fascinated by the numbers Denise O’Berry turns up in her post Use Metrics To Manage Cash Flow – Small Business Expert Denise O’Berry. She quotes results of a survey sponsored by the American Institute of CPAs, which surveyed 500 owners of businesses averaging less than 10 employees and less than $2 million in revenues. According... Read More »

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Truth is a Believable Story

by Tim Berry

I grew up believing that facts, like research, numbers and percentages, told the truth. I believed in objective, verifiable truth, based on fact. I distinguished that from mystical religious truth, based on faith. I was a mainstream journalist for almost 10 years in the 1970s. Every professional journalist believed in objective verifiable truth based on... Read More »

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Interesting Chart on Age as People Marry

by Tim Berry

Every so often I stumble on interesting statistics and good simple business graphics that show them. That applies to this line chart of Median age at first marriage by sex: 1890-2010 published by Imgur at imgur.com, and developed by the U.S. Census: I’m intrigued with the way the marriage age dropped suddenly after the second... Read More »