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Category: Lessons Learned

Expert Interview Series: David Smooke of AMI

May 9, 2017 by Akira Hirai

David Smooke

David Smooke is the CEO of AMI, a blog network of 20,000+ contributors, 300,000+ subscribers, and 3,500,000 monthly pageviews. AMI’s top blogs are Hacker Noon, Fit Yourself Club, Athena Talks, ART plus marketing, P.S. I Love You, and Extra Newsfeed. We had a chance to talk with David and hear about his thoughts on business plans, his opinions regarding company presentations, and his advice for entrepreneurs. Cayenne Consulting: Tell us a bit about your background. Why made you decide to start creating new companies and websites?  David Smooke: I want [Read More]

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Expert Interview Series: Blaine Bertsch of

February 20, 2017 by Akira Hirai

Blaine Bertsch

Blaine Bertsch is a Co-Founder of Dryrun, where he oversees business operations and product design. We asked Blaine for his financial advice for small business owners. Here’s what he shared: Can you tell us about the mission behind Dryrun? What are some of the pain points you’re trying to help business owners solve? Dryrun help businesses bring clarity to the future of their finances. Many financial tools focus exclusively on past occurrences but the success of business rides on what is coming in the future. Dryrun’s unique, scenario-based approach combined [Read More]

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Expert Interview Series: Steven O Connell of RebelBio

January 29, 2017 by Akira Hirai

Steven O Connell

Steven O Connell is Associate Director and Programme Manager at RebelBio, the Global BioAccelerator Initiative powered by SOSV, a venture capital fund. We recently asked Steven for his insights on forming a biotech start-up from forming business plans to getting funding. Here’s what he shared: Can you tell us about your professional background? How did you become interested in helping biotech startups? I was always fascinated by biotechnology and how the costs to do interesting scientific research was falling rapidly. I learned about Moore’s Law and how the cost of [Read More]

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My Customer Experience Journey

September 29, 2016 by Shyam Jha

Shyam Jha - My Customer Experience Journey

By Shyam Jha, Principal Consultant My first job after college was as a field sales engineer at Schlumberger – an oil-field services firm. I learned what it meant to be the face of a company at a customer site. For customers like Shell, BP, and Exxon, the field engineers represented Schlumberger. We delivered a technical service, but it was the professional way in which it was delivered that made Schlumberger a leader in oil field services world-wide. Our core competitive advantage was the relentless focus on being the easiest firm [Read More]

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Six Tips for Older Entrepreneurs

February 25, 2015 by Akira Hirai

Mature Entrepreneurs

You’re over 50 and looking to embark on a new professional path. What better time than now to consider starting your own business? That suggestion may seem at odds with the stereotype of the entrepreneur as a young, bullish risk taker. But a confluence of events – a volatile stock market, a scramble to rebuild retirement portfolios, and a jittery employment environment – are fueling an entrepreneurship boom among more mature individuals. In fact, of all age groups, entrepreneurship growth was highest among 45- to 54-year-olds, according to a report [Read More]

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It’s a Trap! Nine Legal Quagmires for Entrepreneurs to Avoid

June 12, 2014 by Akira Hirai

Legal Traps and Mistakes

When JJ Abrams’ production company Bad Robot recently confirmed that filming for Star Wars Episode VII is officially underway, it got me thinking about the similarities between the wars fought in a galaxy far, far away, and the battles fought every day by the entrepreneurs in this solar system. Entrepreneurship, with all its risks and unknowns, can often feel like Luke Skywalker’s treacherous mission to destroy the Death Star in Star Wars IV. Experts continue to debate whether entrepreneurship can be taught, or whether it’s something more like the Force: [Read More]

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What Not to Say to Investors

December 4, 2013 by Akira Hirai

What Not to Say to Investors

The world is full of advice for what to say and how to pitch to investors, but what about what not to say? Rookie entrepreneurs are often far too eager to try to impress investors, and end up saying things that set off alarm bells. Over the course of my consulting career, I’ve written a lot of successful business plans and spoken with countless entrepreneurs. After listening to so many pitches, I have identified some phrases you should never use with investors, either in conversation or in writing: “All we [Read More]

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Entrepreneur Spotlight: Chalk Fitness

August 29, 2012 by Akira Hirai

lessons learned from chalk fitness

Cayenne Consulting interviewed David Pollitt and Brian Nick, co-founders of Chalk Fitness. Chalk Fitness is a new cross training concept focusing on personal attention, community, efficiency, results, and value. Their first location opened on January 1, 2012. In many ways, this flagship location is a laboratory for perfecting an operating model so that the concept can be replicated for national expansion. Cayenne’s Akira Hirai became a member several months ago. Impressed with Chalk’s operations and its plans for the future, he sat down with the founders for an in-depth interview [Read More]

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David Brooks is Right

August 27, 2012 by Jimmy Lewin

David Brooks is right

On Saturday, August 4, 2012 The Salt Lake Tribune published an opinion piece written by The New York Times’ David Brooks titled How Much of Your Success is Due to You? It is, of course, a response to a comment that President Barak Obama made in a political speech several weeks ago in which he commented that successful people owe their success, in part, to many external factors as well as their own talent and skills. In reading the article, we thought about our clients and visitors to this blog [Read More]

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Entrepreneur Spotlight: Russ Wilcox

June 18, 2012 by Akira Hirai

Russ Wilcox

Cayenne Consulting interviewed Russ Wilcox, Co-Founder & CEO of Transatomic Power, a next-generation nuclear reactor design company. The firm has developed the Waste-Annihilating Molten Salt Reactor, a 200MW reactor that converts high-level nuclear waste into electric power. Russ Wilcox was previously Co-founder and CEO of E Ink Corporation. Founded in 1997, E Ink commercialized electronic paper materials invented at the MIT Media Lab. E Ink conducted ground-breaking research, scaled up manufacturing in the United States, and shipped tens of millions of displays for the Amazon Kindle, SONY Reader, B&N Nook, [Read More]

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