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You Must Add Value

Value is hard to define. In an earlier post we discussed the differences between creation and iteration and saw that both added something to the market - creation brought a whole new product to market and iteration 

Add Value, Notre Dame ESTEEM 1 Year Masters Programbrought new ideas to those products. It's something that each company can bring to the market in their own way and many have different views of value even within the same industry. One cell phone maker might be so focused on call quality and thinks that if the phone doesn't have the highest call quality it doesn't matter how good it looks. Another cell phone maker might be interested solely in having the latest new technology or the highest level of design. Values are different but each are bringing something to the market that adds value to their customer, and each customer buys the product they think adds the most value to them. 

4 Tips on Fostering Culture


4tipsIn a recent post (Why Does Google has a Bowling Alley?) we discussed why it's important to the success of a company to have a good corporate culture now it is time to give a few tips on how to create that culture. While the task of creating a culture is something that should be different for every startup based on the culture of the employees, here are a few more universal tips on what goes into create culture.

Why Does Google Have a Bowling Alley?


Why Does Google Have a Bowling Alley :: Notre Dame 1 Year Masters Program ESTEEMThe startup community has been widely regarded as a "fun" place to work - from Threadless' warehouse parties with awesome bands and it's own brand of microbrew beer to Google's rooftop terraces and bowling alleys. So the question must be asked, why are they doing it, and how does it make them successful?

Having a Vision

Having a Vision, Notre Dame 1 Year Master Program ESTEEMThere are few things more annoying when starting a business than writing your vision statement. However, understanding where it is you're going, whether you write it down or not, might be one of the most important parts of running a company and being a leader. 

Iteration vs Creation

Iteration versus Creation : Notre Dame 1 Year Masters Degree ESTEEMSomeone invented the hammer millennia ago, but it looked much different than the tool we have today. Over time people found new ways to make the tool better, and today we may have a worse hammer than we will have millennia from now. It's small incremental changes in the repetition of making the hammer over and over that have lead to new small improvements - this is iteration. Each new small improvement is an iteration. We probably haven't seen the last iteration of the hammer yet. 

The Specialization Industry

Plato was one of the first who spoke of the division of labor saying, "How will our state supply these needs? It will need a farmer, a builder, and a weaver, and also, I think, a shoemaker and one or two others to provide for our bodily needs. So that the minimum state would consist of four or five men…." The division of labor is a method that caused incredible amounts of productivity, and was brought to a new level with Henry Ford's assembly line in the early 1900's. Ford's assembly lines, although first conceived by Adam Smith and first used by Eli Whitney, perfected detailed division of labor, where individual interchangeable parts, made from different companies, were brought together in the assembly line to produce one final product. It has since been seen as one of the most efficient processes in mass production. It is a method we still see today in many of careers even if we are not in the warehouses; instead of having one person who knows how to do accounting, IT and sales we have divided those skills - but are those divisions falling?

The Unicorn

The Unicorn - Notre Dame 1 Year Masters Program ESTEEMThere is a name, in the design world, for someone who has a great design aesthetic and has UX (user experience) or UI (user interface) skills. They call this person a "Unicorn". A mythical creature who has both skills, to the creative director, is almost unbelievable. Can the same be said in the business world? Does the tech person, with business chops exist, and, if so, can they be produced?

The Hard Parts of Collaboration

The buzzword in the early 2000's was "synergy" - when two things come together to create something that is greater than the sum of their individual efforts. It was used heavily and eventually became jargon that you only hear from the folks at the top of huge multinational corporations. They haven't heard that the word has been played out. Now the word is collaboration, which essentially means the same thing, and it is one of the biggest tools of success for any entrepreneur. 

Managing a Startup

Managing small startups are different than managing large corporations. Budgets are smaller, teams are smaller, employees tend to be stretched more than employees at large corporations. Here is a short list of items managers should remember when leading a startup.