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Category: Nuts & Bolts

First Impressions

June 30, 2014 by Jimmy Lewin and Akira Hirai

First Impressions

We recently came across a website called Visual-Signature. The founder, Zainab Gibrine, is an image consultant and corporate executive based in Dubai. The site is focused on how job seekers and others can use their image to “advance their professional and personal ambitions.” We thought there were some interesting lessons to be learned for our readers who are primarily entrepreneurs. Ms. Gibrine suggests that “appearance, nonverbal communication, and body language all play a role in your interactions with others.” Our frequent readers realize that we are not suggesting that you [Read More]

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Licensing May be the Best Business Model for You

March 20, 2014 by Jimmy Lewin and Akira Hirai

Intellectual Property Licensing Business Model

Let’s face it, not every inventor, scientist, or engineer is cut out to be a great businessperson. If that sounds like you, then you may be better off employing a licensing model rather than a traditional business model for commercializing your intellectual property. Licensing puts the burden of commercializing your IP on somebody else’s shoulders. You will recall that earlier this week, in The Operating Model Just Might be Best for You, we explained the advantages of the traditional (often referred to as ‘operating’) model and promised to follow up [Read More]

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The Operating Model Just Might be Best for You

March 18, 2014 by Jimmy Lewin and Akira Hirai

The Operating Business Model

In our last post, Your IP Gives You Two Business Model Choices, we touched upon the differences between a traditional operating business model and a licensing business model. In that post, we said that in the traditional model, the owner of the intellectual property commercializes a product that is created out of their Intellectual Property. Alternatively, a licensing model is used when the owner of the IP licenses the innovation to another party in return for royalties. The other party then owns the rights to commercialize the IP by manufacturing [Read More]

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Your IP Gives You Two Business Model Choices

March 14, 2014 by Jimmy Lewin and Akira Hirai

Two Business Model Choices for Intellectual Property

You may recall a popular piece from September 2012, Licensing Your Intellectual Property for Fun and Profit. The point of the article was to describe the potentially lucrative, yet often overlooked business model of licensing technology to an independent company rather than building a company around the technology yourself. This post is the first of three that will cover the licensing vs. operating decision in greater depth. Here in part one we will give an overview of the two business models that owners of IP have to commercialize their technologies. [Read More]

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The Founder’s Dictionary 2014: Updated Startup Trends and Terminology

March 10, 2014 by Akira Hirai

Startup Terms

If you have spent any time reading sites like TechCrunch, Hacker News, or just about any startup blog or small business website, you’ve probably noticed that the tech startup field has more jargon and industry-specific terminology than most. At times it seems like its own separate language, and it can be tough for even an experienced entrepreneur to keep up. On top of all this, the startup landscape is shifting all the time, with new business models and funding opportunities emerging regularly. Sure, there is Urban Dictionary for slang, and [Read More]

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Surprise! It Helps to Know What You Are Doing

January 30, 2014 by Jimmy Lewin and Akira Hirai

Entrepreneurs need to know what they are doing

Clients come to us frequently and tell us that they have a really good idea and they need a business plan so that they can get the idea funded and launch a successful enterprise. The idea is {state idea here}. In response, our first two questions are usually: Do you have knowledge of this industry? What is your background? As any experienced business person will tell you, a number of good things have to happen for an entrepreneur to fund, launch, and operate a successful business. The number of moving [Read More]

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The Worst States for Entrepreneurs

November 21, 2013 by Jimmy Lewin and Akira Hirai

What are the worst states for business?

Last March, we wrote a post called If You Could Pick Any Place for Your Business… The post talked about a feasibility study that we did for an international client to assist him in determining where in the U.S. he should establish his business. We discussed how we looked at a number of factors including what states appeared to be the most business-friendly. Business-friendly states seem to be universally defined as states that enjoy such things as a low cost of doing business, low state income taxes, high quality of [Read More]

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7 Reasons to Break Out of Stealth Mode

November 2, 2013 by Akira Hirai

Reasons to Break Out of Stealth Mode

The entrepreneurship community thrives on sharing ideas and prides itself on having a mentorship-friendly ethos. As new entrepreneurs get into the game, there is increased demand for established entrepreneurs to share their daily routines and explain how they accomplished specific goals. Alex Turnbull, founder of Groove, recently started a series of blog posts documenting the company’s  journey to $100,000 in revenue. Every post is packed with detailed revenue and membership figures, charts, survey results, and customer emails. Take a look at the comments section below each post and you’ll find [Read More]

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If You Could Pick Any Place for Your Business

March 8, 2013 by Jimmy Lewin and Akira Hirai

If You Could Pick Any Place for Your Business

We recently completed a feasibility study for a client who wished to immigrate to the United States to establish an import and distribution business. Part of our assignment was to help him decide on the best state to locate the business. We decided that the business should be established near a port and that there should be easy access to an interstate freeway. But what were the other determining factors that went into our recommendation? We decided that we needed to figure out which states were the most business-friendly and [Read More]

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Meetings Don’t Have to Suck

February 22, 2013 by Akira Hirai

Making Meetings More Productive

Love them or hate them, meetings are a cornerstone of the business world. Every day, we hold staff meetings, pitch meetings, and project meetings, all in the hopes of hammering out the solutions and deals we need to keep growing our business. But whether we’re sitting in a conference room around a fancy polished table or dialing in from our home office, we’ve all attended meetings that felt like a huge waste of time. There’s nothing like watching the hours slip away irretrievably as your fellow meeting participants struggle to [Read More]

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