Archive for December, 2005

Songs of the Year: Death Cab for Cutie: Soul Meets Body

Dec 30 2005 Published by under Media

The late Dec. discovery of this song almost precluded it from the list – I didn’t want to taint the list with songs that appeared late, made the list, and then quickly disappeared.

But the 32 play count on iTunes ensured me that it was a worthy addition.

I haven’t really listened to anything else by Death Cab for Cutie. Any recommendations?

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Songs of the Year: The National – Friend of Mine

Dec 29 2005 Published by under Media

I stumbled across The National the same day I discovered Clap Your Hands Say Yeah… yeah, I was in music heaven for a while.

The National – Friend of Mine is the next song on my top 10 of 2005.

Sad story: On Sept. 6th I decided to google The National to see if they were coming to Toronto anytime soon – I was dying to see them live. The great news was that the first result was for their show in T.O. The bad news was that the show was Sept. 3rd.

The horrible news? CYHSY opened for them.

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Songs of the Year: CYHSY – Is This Love?

Dec 22 2005 Published by under Media

Admittedly, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are not for everyone. However, this list is run by a ruthless dictator and I love them. Is This Love is gold. Pure gold. You’ll either love it or hate it. Check it out and let me know what you think.

I honestly don’t know who/what to compare them to. Check them out. Thank me if you like it. Let me know either way.

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Wild Guesses – Why Forecasting at all Times is Crucial

Dec 22 2005 Published by under Startup Strategy

Over time I want to dig into the points I made in my Less & More post. This one is about Wild Guesses.

“More Wild Guesses. Wild guesses become informed estimates. Informed estimates become reliable forecasts.” (From HBR May/June. No link available)

When you’re starting up, your guess is as good as mine (or my grandma’s). You can’t gauge sales because you haven’t shipped product. You can’t predict what the burn rate will be after you grow. You’re going to have a difficult time forecasting anything.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

Wild guesses put the stake in the ground. They give you a reference point and something to follow. In my post on Your Elevator Pitch, Ritz had a line in his comment that hit the idea on the head: “Fail Fast / Fix Faster”.

Make your Wild Guess. Change. Experience. Revisit. Learn. Fix.

Forecast.

You’re company is going to change, either positively or negatively. You’ll close 4 sales or you’ll miss shipping your product. You’ve lived through this event. You are now more experienced than either me or my grandma. You’re now prepared to make a more informed guess next time. However, you need to revisit your Wild Guess. You’ve experienced the change and gained some knowledge. Spend some time reflecting on your earlier Wild Guess and why you either didn’t hit it or why you surpassed it. After revisiting the guess you’ll have learned a lot. You’re now ready to make an informed estimate for the next forecast.

Informed Estimate. Change. Experience. Revisit. Learn. Fix. Forecast.

You’re going to fail with your early forecasts. So many people tell me this is the reason they don’t do them. They’re wrong. This is exactly the reason why you need to do the Wild Guesses.

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What’s Your Personal Elevator Pitch?

Dec 20 2005 Published by under Startup Strategy

My recent post and follow on discussion has me thinking of how crucial a clear elevator pitch is.

So crucial that I think individuals should have one. Seriously.

Think about it for a second. Everyone should be amazing at summing up, in 30 seconds, exactly who they are, what they do, and why you should care. Take 30 seconds and try to do this for yourself. I bet you fail miserably. Why do we fail? Partly because we’ve never given it any thought and partly because everyone doesn’t want to limit themselves to only 30 seconds on their favourite topic.

There is a huge benefit in having a grasp of how you want to communicate you. Do it clearly and do it effectively. It’s an elevator pitch – the most important one you’ll ever write.

(why does Your Elevator Pitch restrict submissions to businesses and not-for-profits? Why doesn’t Squidoo have a module called “elevator pitch”?)

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