This post is an ode to the normal folks out there. The ones who aren’t famous. This post is for you. (Unless you are famous and you’re reading this, in which case, OMG thank you. Please share so I can be famous, too. Oh… Sorry… Back to the saying how awesome normal people are.)
We’ve all had that part of us, at one point or another, that has yearned for fame and fortune. Whether you wanted to be a famous athlete, or a famous actor or an acclaimed writer or business mogul, there is that part of most everyone that wants the glory. It makes sense. …
There are lots of box thinkers. The box is so warm and cozy and safe, but big ideas can’t grow in a tiny box. So if you’ve got ambitions to do something great- whatever that may be- you’ve gotta leave the box. But how?
Creativity is key. If you aren’t already a creative person, you may think that’s it. You’re done. It’s not in the cards for you.
Humans (and possibly other living things… not sure) like to define themselves as one or two things and then live lives based on those notions of themselves. For example: “I’m the artsy, creative-type.” “I’m the numbers person.” “I’m the sexy, dummy.” What a waste, though. Stop underestimating yourself. You can be lots of things. Be all the things! …
I have seen culture happen in two ways: organically and forced. I don’t think either is inherently better than the other, but I do feel teams have to make a decision on which is better for their specific company.
While Lamp Post Group has a portfolio of companies employing 150+ people, there is a team of just 20 employees that works on the Lamp Post Group core team. This core team interacts with the portfolio companies in various ways, and then works together to keep this whole big machine moving.
Within this core team, we have a wide variety of personalities, including several pretty large personalities. Just looking at who I sit next to every day, I…
I know I’ve said it, and I’m pretty sure you’ve said some version of it. “I just feel stuck right now.” Well, snap out of it, dumb dumb! Unless you are literally on giant fly paper, that phrase doesn’t mean anything.
When I graduated from college, I was filled with optimism and big dreams. I was going to, without question, be on SNL and have at least 7 million dollars in the bank within 5 years. Obviously.
If you are an adult, you understand by now that things don’t happen that way in real life. Nope. Never. …
While every step of the startup process is important, hiring is importantly important. So to advise you on this step, we reached out to Steve Cox, CEO at Steam Logistics. He was also the Executive VP at Access America. So, we’ve worked with Steve for quite a while and have always valued him for his expert skills at hiring.
And now we are going to share his keys to hiring success with you! Here we go!
Perfect your interview process
According to Steve, “You know what you need, and you damn well better ensure that you are screening that at interview time.” At Steam, Steve is focused on finding the best sales candidates. “We hire type A animal salespeople.” To test those skills, he likes to ask the interviewee to sell the most absurd thing in the room. …
Another buzzword in the startup world: Iterating.
Let’s break this buzzword down.
As we mentioned in our Market Research blog post, the advantage startups have over large corporations is their ability to adjust quickly and effectively. This process of determining what changes need to made and implementing those changes is called iterating. Successful startups are expert iterators. So to help you learn how to become an expert iterator, we asked our own expert, Allan Davis, to share his wisdom.
As a partner at Access America Transport- arguably the most successful startup in Chattanooga history- and a founding partner at Lamp Post Group, Allan understands how this process should work. …
Often, aspiring entrepreneurs underestimate the significance of this step. They get excited about their idea and either stay in the easy bliss of the idea phase and never truly take action on their idea, or they jump into building and marketing a product that they have not actually tested in the market.
Big mistake. Huge.
Here are a few thoughts from our expert one the matter, Santosh Sankar, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Lamp Post Group.
To begin, Santosh’s advice is to leverage The Lean Startup– read it, understand it, internalize it.
“The “startup” is a grand experiment to validate your idea and find an economically sensible, scalable business model. Out the door, to keep your ducks in a row, I highly suggest filling out a Lean Canvas to map out the major aspects of a startup business model. Some Googling can reveal great videos and discussions around it’s use.” …
Write down all your ideas. ALL of them.
If you’ve got the entrepreneurial spirit, you’re probably an idea person. You are constantly coming up with possible business ideas. Some good. Some not so good. Some terrible. Some embarrassingly terrible. Oh gosh, remember that one?
It’s easy to ignore a bad one, once you realize that’s what it is. Especially if you’ve had one (or a few) failures under your belt. You may be tempted to be more cautious in your ideation. But let us urge you not to do that. Throw every idea you’ve got in that brain of yours onto the idea board. …
Maybe you want to work in tech. Maybe you want to be an entrepreneur. So your first thought is move to a big city- maybe Silicon Valley or New York City. Yeah?
Well, before you do that, we have a better idea. Move to Chattanooga.
Chattanooga, Tennessee. Just listen! Before you say “no”, check it. Chattanooga may not be as large as Silicon Valley or NYC, and it may not have quite the sex appeal. Although, I don’t know. Look at these sandals:
photo credit: http://theodysseyonline.com/uva/the-chacos-debate/41570
But it has arguably more important things going for it.
1) It’s effing gorgeous. …