Which is Better: Great Product or Great Marketing?

by Tim Berry

Every once in a while the world gets a great product that’s so good that the marketing follows almost automatically. Mosaic was like that in 1994, Facebook 10 years later, and Twitter, sort of, as well. And of course they did have marketing, even early on, but they were driven by their products. Those are... Read More »


Displacement Principle in Startups and Small Business

by Tim Berry

It’s really pretty simple. Intuitive. I didn’t learn about it in business school; I learned about it while building and running a real business. I decided to call it the displacement principle. Displacement Principle: In the real world of small business, everything you do rules out something else you can’t do. My favorite metaphor is... Read More »


3 Things You Need to Remember About Profits

by Tim Berry

Are you a small business owner? Are you looking to start your own business? The politicians can misunderstand profits, and so can the general public, but you’d better not. Profits are good, not bad; but your business runs on cash, not just profits. 1. Profits are an accounting concept, not actual money. Yes, they lead... Read More »


The Lean Business Plan for Small Business Owners

by Tim Berry

“What? No, I don’t have a business plan. I’m not a startup.” Too bad so many small business owners think that way. A good lean business plan for small business owners ought to be a great tool for running a business. Set strategy, tactics to match, major milestones, metrics, tasks, responsibilities, and essential business numbers.... Read More »


Marketing Today: Sparing, Sharing, Caring

by Tim Berry

The principals of marketing don’t change. It’s still getting people to know, like, and trust you. But what works for marketing today has changed a lot, and continues to change, as technology levels the playing field and companies and people intermingle on even terms. Here’s what I see working: Sparing Winners are sparing their target... Read More »


What If You Answered Those Spam Emails?

by Tim Berry

In this TED talk, comedian James Veitch answers emails offering wealth in gold. It’s pretty funny, a nice 10-minute break for a Friday. I’m not happy with the ways this embeds on this blog, so if this doesn’t give you a good screen display in the resolution you want, then you might want to try... 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 »


Does Business Education Keep You in a Box?

by Tim Berry

Last week, I posted a rant about the stupid meme that pits entrepreneurship against education, as if young people are supposed to choose one or the other, but not both. I called it Young Entrepreneurs: They are Lying to You. But I like paradox, and I like uncertainty, and I also like to remember that... Read More »


11 Key Elements of a Good Business Plan

by Tim Berry

Somebody asked me what the key elements of a good business plan were, and I’m glad they did—it’s one of my favorite topics. It gives me a chance to review and revise another of the lists that I’ve done off and on for years (such as the one from yesterday, on common business plan mistakes). 1.... Read More »


10 Most Common Business Plan Mistakes, Updated for 2016

by Tim Berry

Over the weekend, a Quora user asked me to list common mistakes that people make when developing a business plan. I’ve done that post from time to time, and it seemed like a good time to do it again. Here’s my list of most common business plan mistakes for 2016: 1. Misunderstanding the business objective.... Read More »