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Think Big Act Small by Jason Jennings

August 10th, 2014

think big act small
When we are asked about great businesses, usually giant companies comes to mind. Companies with over thousands of employees and names that are so common that their products are known by its own company name.

Think Big, Act Small
however, brings the other brighter side of companies that chose to stay under the radar, and amazingly profitable as well as run exceptionally well.

Jason Jennings and his research team screened more than 100,000 Amer­ican companies to find nine that rarely end up on magazine covers, yet have increased revenues and profits by ten percent or more for ten consecutive years. Then they interviewed the leaders, workers, and customers of these quiet super­stars to find the secrets of their astoundingly consistent and profitable growth.

What they have in common is a culture—a community—based on a shockingly simple precept: Think big, but act small. It works for retailers like PETCO, Cabela’s, and O’Reilly Automotive, manufacturers like Medline Industries, service compa­nies like Sonic Drive-In, private educational companies like Strayer, industrial giants like Koch Enterprises, and software companies like SAS.

The book is organized into four sections, the first being a short introduction and definition of ‘Think Big’.

Section 2 is the primary section of the book, narrating interviews the author team had with each company’s founder or key persons. The building blocks are the concepts from each company to be highlighted, either thinking big or acting small.
Every company has common features but yet has a unique trait making each and every building block very interesting to read.

Section 3 allows the readers to categorize the quad matrix of Think x Act x Big x Small. With the quad, one can easily categorize companies based on their thinking (or direction, I would say) and actions (or the company culture). This section is not only good for an organization or owner to know itself, it is also beneficial for employee to know what kind of organization they are working in.

The book finally ends with the author justifying the selection of the nine companies that are thoroughly covered in the book and the challenges they had to overcome in getting these valuable insights from companies that deliberately choose to go low profile.

Section 1 Think Big

Section 2 The Building Blocks
1 Down to Earth
2 Keep Your Hands Dirty: SAS Institute
3 Make Short-Term Goals and Long-Term Horizons: Sonic Drive-In
4 Let Go: Cabela’s
5 Have Everyone Think and Act Like the Owner: Koch Industries
6 Invent New Businesses: Dot Foods
7 Create Win-Win Solutions: Medline Industries
8 Play Your Own Game: PETCO Animal Supplies
9 Build Communities: Strayer Education
10 Grow Future Leaders: O’Reilly Automotive

Section 3 The Quad: A Self-Evaluation and Ranking

Section 4 The Research: Eating an Elephant

Conclusion
This book is highly recommended if you are interested to know how some big business are run. These are big companies but run as a startup as well as with fundamentals that are strong, making them in the business for the long run.
It also helps one to identify the characteristics of any company based on their ‘thinking’ and ‘action’ to know if they are those that can grow and scale in the future.

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The Tech Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide by Bernd Schoner

June 22nd, 2014

You cannot really get any better advice on the world of technopreneur than a technology entrepreneur himself who has been there and done that.

The Tech Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide is a guide on how to boostrap your starup, lead it through tough times and making an exit (selling it) for a good price.

The author, Bernd Schoner is a graduate of the MIT Media Laboratory who cofounded ThingMagic, a tech startup focused on RFID. Ten years later the business was bought by Trimble Navigation, a multimillion dollar public technology company where he now serves as VP of Business Development. Over his ten years at ThingMagic Bernd learned all of the business lessons they don’t teach in engineering school.

In The Tech Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide, Bernd shares what he learned and what he wished he knew at the time. He explains the major phases in a technology company’s life cycle, helping entrepreneurs avoid common pitfalls and survive crises when they strike. He guides readers from the initial bootstrapping process through venture-capital financing and provides valuable advice on how to sell a technology company profitably–even in a challenging economic environment. Every chapter presents solutions to realworld issues that could otherwise have fatal consequences for a tech venture.

The chapters are organized into three major parts; Bootstrapping, Equity Funding and Exit.
Bootstrapping chapter provide readers some insights into starting a startup, if one is into entrepreneurship. Even with an interest or passion, a startup need important assets or resources, namely cofounders and key staff to bring about success for a startup. Early funding covers multiple options for a startup to obtain funds for further growth. The chapter also talks about getting legal resources to defend a startup as well as being an administrator of the organization.

Part 2 covers a lot of details into the option of further funding the tech company with shares and the hurdles in maintaining an equity based organization. Sound and valuable advices are given here as details are based on experience of ThingMagic in getting fundings.

The final part of the book has advices in helping entrepreneur with a startup exit, to get the best deal with the acquiring organization while maintaining the company’s operation without drastic changes having integrated into a larger organization. The best part of this chapter is its guide towards the right time for an exit.


Part 1

BOOTSTRAPPING
Should I or Should I not Venture Into Entrepreneurship?
Startup Assets
Cofounders
Early Funding
Administration
Compensation


Part 2

EQUITY FUNDING
Venture Deals
Raising a Down-Round
Right-Sizing


Part 3

EXIT
Startup Dynamics in Crisis
Exit Strategies
Corporate Life

Conclusion
If you are a budding technopreneur, or even contemplating to be one, this is one book you should not really miss.
Even better if your startup is in the US, as the examples in this book are primarily for US startups but I would say that any technology startup founders should be able to benefit from the content in this book.
There are many books that I would recommend, but only selected few has extremely high value.
This is one of them.

Books, business, Software, Technology , ,

1Malaysia EnTrepreneur (1MET) Bootcamp

February 17th, 2014


What is 1MET?

Quoted from the 1met.org website:

1Malaysia Entrepreneurship (1MeT) is one of the initiatives under the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) 9. NBOS is in fact an integral part of the Government’s drive in transforming Malaysia into a developed country focusing on social transformation agenda.

The National Strategic Unit (NSU) of Ministry of Finance (MoF) in partnership with selected training companies have embarked on another task of training aspiring entrepreneurs in 2014 with 1MET Bootcamp 2014.

1MET Bootcamp series has been running since 2013, to kickstart young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 40 around the country with the guidance on what makes an entrepreneur and good business models.

What is 1MET Bootcamp about?
How to develop the mindset of an entrepreneur.
How to identify opportunities.
How to describe, design, invent or change your business model.
Deadly mistakes everyone in business makes, yet often overlooks.

Who is the target audience?
Students
Start-ups
Ngos
Anyone Entrepreneurial-inclined

Before you start to wonder how much does it costs, let me tell you this is a free event provided by the government.
So if you think that the content suits you, quickly grab this chance to network with more entrepreneurs or aspiring ones or even find a cofounder for your next business/startup.
However, I do suggest that you keep in mind that you should be looking for partners instead of hires, because everyone attending would have wanted to be entrepreneurs themselves! 🙂

The 1MET Bootcamp for 2014 runs from Feb until early April in various locations nationwide, so check out the schedule and Register Now!

1MET Bootcamp 2014 by StartupMalaysia.org
Locations: Tawau, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Miri, Dungun, Kuala Terengganu, Ipoh, Penang & Kota Bharu

Location Date Day Time
Tawau, Sabah: Dewan Raflessia, Institut Pendidikan Guru Tawau, KM 36, Jalan Balung, Beg Berkunci No. 27, 91009 Tawau Sabah 9-Feb Sun 8AM – 5PM
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah: Dewan Masyarakat Kota Kinabalu, Jalan Balai Polis, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. 11-Feb Tue 8AM – 5PM
12-Feb Wed 8AM – 5PM
Kuching, Sarawak: Auditorium Berlian, Aras 1, Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri, Akademi Percukaian Malaysia Kuching, Jalan Tabuan, 93200 Kuching, Sarawak. 15-Feb Sat 8AM – 5PM
16-Feb Sun 8AM – 5PM
Miri, Sarawak: Dewan Suarah Miri, Jalan Merdu, 98000 Miri, Sarawak 18-Feb Tue 8AM – 5PM
Dungun, Terengganu: Dewan Bidara, UiTM Dungun, 23000 Dungun, Terengganu Darul Iman 28-Feb Fri 8AM – 5PM
1-Mar Sat 8AM – 5PM
Kuala Terengganu: Dewan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Terengganu 3-Mar Mon 8AM – 5PM
Ipoh, Perak: Dewan Bandaran Ipoh, Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh, Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab, 30000 Ipoh 6-Mar Thur 8AM – 5PM
Georgetown, Penang: Dewan Kuliah U, Bangunan G27, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Pulau Pinang 8-Mar Sat 8AM – 5PM
9-Mar Sun 8AM – 5PM
Kelantan: Rural Transformation Centre (RTC), Kota Bharu, Pejabat Pengurusan RTC Kelantan Bangunan RTC Kelantan Lot 3309 Batu 4 Lebuhraya Pasir Mas-Salor 15150 Kota Bharu, Kelantan 14-Mar Fri 8AM – 5PM
15-Mar Sat 8AM – 5PM

1MET Bootcamp 2014 by iTrain
Locations: Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Perlis & Kedah

Location Date Day Time
Kuala Lumpur: INTAN Bukit Kiara 15-Feb Sat 8AM – 5PM
16-Feb Sun 8AM – 5PM
Selangor: Dewan Jubli Perak Sultan Abdul Aziz – Ballroom, SUK Selangor 22-Feb Sat 8AM – 5PM
23-Feb Sun 8AM – 5PM
Melaka: UTEM Kampus Industri (Bersebelahan MiTC), Ayer Keroh, Melaka 8-Mar Sat 8AM – 5PM
9-Mar Sun 8AM – 5PM
Negeri Sembilan: Pusat Latihan FAMA, Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan 22-Mar Sat 8AM – 5PM
23-Mar Sun 8AM – 5PM
Perlis: Dewan Warisan Negeri, Kangar, Perlis 29-Mar Sat 8AM – 5PM
Kedah: Dewan Besar Tingkat 7, MBAS, Alor Setar, Kedah 5-Apr Sat 8AM – 5PM

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