The Crystal Ball and Chain

by Tim Berry

This is an answer to a question I get way too often. I call it the "Crystal Ball and Chain" problem. I've run into it several times as I've introduced the planning process into a new company or organization. People... Read More »

Do We All Undervalue Bootstrapping?

by Tim Berry

In business schools, in popular blogs, in business publications, and in general discussion of starting a business, we undervalue bootstrapping. We teach starting a business as if every new business requires sophisticated venture capital. I understand how this can be... Read More »

Planning Is Telling Stories and Making Them Come True

by Tim Berry

You could call this synchronicity. A few years ago I was reading Seth Godin’s All Marketers Are Liars at about the same time that I caught Harvey Cox talking about the power of stories as truth telling in all major religions. I paused to think about the importance of stories in so many different modes... Read More »

This is Your Brain on Stories

by Tim Berry

“The people we are coupled to [meaning talking to, sharing a story with] define who we are.  And our desire to be coupled to another brain is something very basic that starts at a very young age. “ Fascinating research here summarized by neuroscientist Uri Hasson, on how our brains become aligned when we hear the... Read More »

Headlines: Naked, Vicious, Brutal, and So Forth

by Tim Berry

I was 26 years old. Married, already a father, but still, so young, and so full of illusions. I still thought – although I was starting to wonder – journalism could be about changing the world for the better. And not at all ready to accept the truth as Matt Kenny presented it to me... Read More »

State Supreme Court Decides in Favor of Nasty Reviews

by Tim Berry

The Oregon Supreme Court just reaffirmed the legal protection of nasty reviews as free speech. Which reminds me of the ongoing opportunity and problem of reviews. Amazon.com reviews, Yelp reviews, Google, TripAdvisor, and all of them are a combination of powerful, important, and yet also full of problems. Users care and we generally love the... Read More »

My Dumb MBA Mistake

by Tim Berry

I’ve made a lot of mistakes. You can’t build a business from scratch without making mistakes. It’s an entire category on this blog, more than 150 posts. This dumb MBA mistake wasn’t my worst, but it’s one of the easiest to explain afterwards, and I hope one that might help others avoid making it too. There... Read More »

Business Plan Toolkit

How did Tim Berry grow Palo Alto software?

by Tim Berry

I was amused to check in with Quora this morning and find somebody had asked me to answer “How Did Tim Berry Grow Palo Alto Software?” Obviously that’s a question dear to my heart. So here’s what I answered, which seems fitting for this blog today. Slowly, carefully, bolstered by good product and reviews that... Read More »

Do Big Tech Companies Become Too Big Not to Fail?

by Tim Berry

I caught this one yesterday on Medium: Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast. It’s by Dare Obasanjo on Hacker Daily (great title, by the way). It’s a well-thought-out discussion of how Google and Facebook culture achieved a substantial shift of strategy in a way that others (Blockbuster facing Netflix, and Blackberry facing iPhone) couldn’t. Here’s the summary. “when... Read More »

Tim Berry mixergy interview

The Broken Spreadsheet That Birthed a Business

by Tim Berry

I thoroughly enjoyed doing this Mixergy Interview, published this week, about how I bootstrapped Palo Alto Software from zero to about $10 million annual revenues: It started one morning at 2 a.m., when I had to deliver a finished set of financials the next morning. It was 2 a.m. and I was tired and done with... Read More »