Notes from Tue-Jul-19 Breakfast in Sunnyvale

Here are my notes from the Tuesday July 19 Bootstrapper Breakfast in Sunnyvale.

Bootstrapper Breakfast notes from Tue-Jul-19

The elevator to success is out of order; you will have to take the stairs.Q: I don’t want to be one of those people who is constantly having to hustle for business.
A: The elevator to success is out of order; you will have to take the stairs. (with apologies to Joe Girard).

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It’s OK to commit to an evaluation or exploration period of a few months in a new business: give yourself enough time to talk to 30 or 40 prospects and see if you can close some business before a deeper commitment, but don’t ask yourself every morning–or even every Monday morning–if you are on the right track. It will burn you out. Two other ways to look at this:

  • You can’t brake when your car is in the air. Once you place your bets and they spin the wheel you have to wait to see the results.
  • Once you plant your seed you have to water them and give them time, you cannot dig them up to see if they have sprouted or you will kill them.

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Before investing in automating a task make sure you can sell the result several times. It’s not useful to get good at something you can only sell infrequently.

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One way to think about market exploration is to look at the problem from your prospect’s perspective: how would they look for your product or service. Who do you find when you look at it that way?

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Excellent trademark search engine available on www.uspto.gov

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E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber is a good book for bootstrappers, it identifies three key roles or functions in a company

  • technician or expert who develops and refines a practice that constitutes a core competency of the business
  • manager who manages and orchestrates the set of practices needed for the business to succeed
  • entrepreneur who understands how to find opportunities for the business and scale it

See also “Entrepreneurial Focus: Right Layer, Right Problem, Right Time

+ + +

Just like the iron triangle of projects:

  • on budget,
  • on time,
  • good quality

you get to pick any two. There is the iron triangle of business models

  • fun,
  • educational,
  • lucrative

you can only pick two. Be careful of picking fun and educational because what you then have is a hobby: pick boring or grinding over losing money.

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Photo Credit: On Startups “The Elevator to Success Is Out of Order

Silicon Valley July/August 2016 Roundup

BB Channels: @bootstrappers | LinkedIn Group | Blog | Meetups: SV | SF | East Bay

A roundup of events for July/August 2016 for Bootstrappers Breakfast

Sunnyvale Bootstrapper Breakfast Tue-July-19 at 7:30am at Specialty’s 605 Tasman Drive 94089, Sunnyvale, CA across from light rail station. Order at counter, we are at the big table in the back

Mountain View Bootstrappers Breakfast Fri-July-22 9am on 2nd floor of Red Rock Coffee two blocks from Mountain View Train Station. Please arrive early enough to order at the downstairs counter so that we start at 9am upstairs in the Nook area.

“Yes, I’ve heard that Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before he invented the light bulb. However, he was a both genius and self-employed.”

Management Speak (@managerspeak)

San Francisco Bootstrapper Breakfast Wed-Aug-3 at 9am at Specialty’s on 1 Post St.

Palo Alto Bootstrapper Breakfast Fri-Aug-5 7:30am at Hobees

“It’s worth recognizing that there is no such thing as an overnight success. You will do well to cultivate the resources in yourself that bring you happiness outside of success or failure. The truth is, most of us discover where we are headed when we arrive. At that time, we turn around and say, yes, this is obviously where I was going all along. It’s a good idea to try to enjoy the scenery on the detours, because you’ll probably take a few.”

Bill Watterson in his May 20, 1990 graduation address at Kenyon College

Sunnyvale Bootstrapper Breakfast Tue-Aug-16 at 7:30am at Specialty’s 605 Tasman Drive 94089, Sunnyvale, CA across from light rail station. Order at counter, we are at the big table in the back. We have a featured attendee: David Saxby of SaxbyIoT, he will offer a short briefing on “8 things you should think about (a lot) before you start a company: lessons learned from founding six startups.” Dave will share lessons learned from Altera, Parallan, Scotts Valley Instruments, Storymail, Ultimate HD and starting up the PC Server Division at IBM as its first General Manager.

The Role of the Cofounder A Silicon Valley Cofounder Academy event at Founder Habitat, 2440 West El Camino Real, 5th Floor, Mountain View, CA A panel of speakers–Milan Saini of Founder Habitat, Van Jepson serial entrepreneur, Ed Ipser of IpserLab, and Sean Murphy of SKMurphy–address the practical considerations for how to evaluate and decide to join a startup as a co-founder or early employee.

“An important key to success is self-confidence.
An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”
Arthur Ashe

Mountain View Bootstrappers Breakfast Fri-Aug-26 9am on 2nd floor of Red Rock Coffee two blocks from Mountain View Train Station. Please arrive early enough to order at the downstairs counter so that we start at 9am upstairs in the Nook area.

East Bay is on taking the month of August off and returns in September.

East Bay Bootstrapper Breakfast Tue-Sep-13 9am at Rock Ridge Cafe, 5492 College Ave, Oakland, CA (2 blocks south of Rockridge BART station).

Startup Weekend Santa Clara, November 11 to 13 at Santa Clara University. I will be a mentor for the event and am delighted that the organizing committee has taken this line from the Startup Weekend Manifesto to hear “Startup Weekend aspires to be starting point for entrepreneurs who want to create meaningful and persistent firms” and outlined several goals for the event:

  • The event should live beyond the weekend.
  • Entrepreneurs should come away from the event with a new understanding of their potential impact and should learn new skills along the way.
  • Team building is essential and we should optimize for creating teams and building lasting relationships between attendees, coaches, organizers, sponsors, and judges.

The Bootstrapper Breakfast Is Looking for Entrepreneurs to Share Lessons Learned: If you know someone who would be a good featured attendee at a 2016 Bootstrapper Breakfast we are looking for folks willing to share lessons learned from their entrepreneurial journey.

We are fortunate to have CJ Lipe of Adminologist.com as our coordinator for South Bay Bootstrapper Breakfasts, she provides contract administrative support for startups and executives, she can be reached at 510-410-5285

Sean Murphy www.skmurphy.com 408-252-9676
15 Quotes on Negotiation and Lost Arts and Roads No Longer Taken

Silicon Valley July 2016 Roundup

BB Channels: @bootstrappers | LinkedIn Group | Blog | Meetups: SV | SF | East Bay

Steve Ganz, co-author of “Silicon Valley Speak” is our featured attendee at the June 24 Bootstrapper Breakfast in Mountain. He will be talking about “Practical Tips for Networking In Valley” and will also answer questions on his new book “Silicon Valley Speak: Deciphering The Jargon of Silicon Valley

A roundup of events for July 2016 for Bootstrappers Breakfast

Palo Alto Bootstrapper Breakfast Fri-Jul-1 7:30am at Hobees

San Francisco Bootstrapper Breakfast Wed-July-6 at 9am at Specialty’s on 1 Post St.

“Prepare to double: have a plan for what would happen if the business doubled. ‘More of the same’ is never the answer.”
Derek Sivers in “Anything You Want

East Bay Bootstrapper Breakfast Tue-Jul-12 9am at Rock Ridge Cafe, 5492 College Ave, Oakland, CA (2 blocks south of Rockridge BART station).

Sunnyvale Bootstrapper Breakfast Tue-July-19 at 7:30am at Specialty’s 605 Tasman Drive 94089, Sunnyvale, CA across from light rail station. Order at counter, we are at the big table in the back

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
Benjamin Franklin

Mountain View Bootstrappers Breakfast Fri-July-22 9am on 2nd floor of Red Rock Coffee two blocks from Mountain View Train Station. Please arrive early enough to order at the downstairs counter so that we start at 9am upstairs in the Nook area.

Looking for entrepreneurs to share lessons learned: If you know someone who would be a good featured attendee for 2016 we are looking for folks willing to share lessons learned from their entrepreneurial journey. Here are summaries of three recent talks:

We are fortunate to have CJ Lipe of Adminologist.com as our coordinator for South Bay Bootstrapper Breakfasts, she provides contract administrative support for startups and executives, she can be reached at 510-410-5285

Sean Murphy www.skmurphy.com
Be Wary of Attacking a Walled City”

Silicon Valley June 2016 Roundup

BB Channels: @bootstrappers | LinkedIn Group | Blog | Meetups: SV | SF | East Bay

A roundup of events for June 2016 for Bootstrappers Breakfast

“Self-employed people work where they live.
Entrepreneurs live where they work.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Palo Alto Bootstrapper Breakfast Fri-June-3 at 7:30am at Hobees we are in the back room.

Sunnyvale Bootstrapper Breakfast Tue-June-21 at 7:30am at Specialty’s 605 Tasman Drive 94089, Sunnyvale, CA across from light rail station. Order at counter, we are at the big table in the back

“Build a team with as diverse a group of curious minds as you can assemble. Avoid the tendency to create a team with copies of yourself. You’re not building a rowing team.”
from an interview with Jerry Weinberg

Mountain View Bootstrappers Breakfast Fri-June-24 9am on 2nd floor of Red Rock Coffee two blocks from Mountain View Train Station. Please arrive early enough to order at the downstairs counter so that we start at 9am upstairs in the Nook area. Steve Ganz, co-author of “Silicon Valley Speak” is our featured attendee, he will be talking about “Practical Tips for Networking In Valley” and will also answer questions on his new book “Silicon Valley Speak: Deciphering The Jargon of Silicon Valley

San Francisco Bootstrapper Breakfast Wed-July-6 at 9am at Specialty’s on 1 Post St.

Looking for entrepreneurs to share lessons learned: If you know someone who would be a good featured attendee for 2016 we are looking for folks willing to share lessons learned from their entrepreneurial journey.

We are fortunate to have CJ Lipe of Adminologist.com as our coordinator for South Bay Bootstrapper Breakfasts, she provides contract administrative support for startups and executives, she can be reached at 510-410-5285

Sean Murphy www.skmurphy.com
“Weinberg on Writing” Fieldstone Method Useful for Entrepreneurs

Silicon Valley May 2016 Roundup

BB Channels: @bootstrappers | LinkedIn Group | Blog | Meetups: SV | SF | East Bay

A roundup of events for May 2016 for Bootstrappers Breakfast

“Make every decision–whether to expand the business, raise money,
promote  someone–according to what’s best for your customers.” Derek Sivers

San Francisco Bootstrapper Breakfast Wed-May-4 at 9am at Specialty’s on 1 Post St.

Palo Alto Bootstrapper Breakfast Fri-May-6 at 7:30am at Hobees eMOBUS acquisition: how boostrappers close the deal. Featured  attendees: Moe Arnaiz, CEO of eMOBUS, and Mathieu Guilmineau, CTO of eMOBUS. They are going to share lessons learned bootstrapping eMOBUS through several evolutions in service model and technology infrastructure to a recent acquisition by Asentinel.

East Bay Bootstrapper Breakfast Tue-May-10 at 9am at Rockridge Cafe in Oakland

“Hindsight is 20/20, but only if you are looking back.” George Murray

Sunnyvale Bootstrapper Breakfast Tue-May 17 7:30am at Specialty’s  (New Venue) 605 Tasman Drive 94089, Sunnyvale, CA across from light rail station. Order at counter, we are at the big table in the back

Mountain View Bootstrappers Breakfast Fri-May-27 9am on 2nd floor of Red Rock Coffee two blocks from Mountain View Train Station. Please arrive early enough to order at the downstairs counter so that we start at 9am upstairs in the Nook area.

Looking for entrepreneurs to share lessons learned: If you know someone who would be a good featured attendee for 2016  we are looking for folks willing to share lessons learned from their entrepreneurial journey. Here are summaries of three recent talks:

We are fortunate to have CJ Lipe as our coordinator for South Bay Bootstrapper Breakfasts, she provides contract administrative support for startups and executives, she can be reached at 510-410-5285

Sean Murphy www.skmurphy.com 408-252-9676
See our March/April 2016 Newsletter on Lead Generation

Chad Leiker on Your First Commercial Lease

Chad S. Leiker is a Vice President at Kidder Mathews who dropped by our Mar-15-2016 Bootstrapper Breakfast in  Sunnyvale.  He joined Kidder Mathews in 2000 and and specializes in sales and leasing of office and R&D spaces throughout the Silicon Valley. I asked him if he would answer a few questions about how firms approach finding the right office space and signing their first lease and he was gracious enough to let me publish them on the blog Continue reading

Anne Cohen on Networking In Silicon Valley

Anne Cohen of Disability Health Access was our featured attendee at the Fri-Feb-26 Bootstrapper Breakfast in Mountain View, CA.  Here is our description from the event:

In a valley of innovators, where contacts are a commodity, how do you weave a network that doesn’t just launch your next company but builds a foundation for sustaining your future?  Anne Cohen who has carved out a niche in a field dominated by large corporations and government agencies.  Ms. Cohen founded Disability Health Access, LLC, in 2005, advising healthcare organizations on how to improve services for seniors and people with disabilities. She not only develops dynamic solutions for her clients but builds a web of relationships that furthers the mission of her clients, related associates and sustains her own professional and personal needs.
Some topics she will cover

  • How to develop a specialization in your field can make you unique
  • How to create opportunities to help you make connections
  • How to keep in touch and stay connected to people you’ve met
  • How to stand out in a Valley of networkers
  • How to build relationships if remembering names is not your skill?
  • How to take a long-range view and not get caught up in short-term tricks.

It was a great talk and Anne left brought the following handout to help provide context for some of her key points:

Make a Friend to Build a Business: Networking for Life

When times are tough,
a client will leave you,
but a friend won’t.

Anne Cohen, MPH
Disability and Health Policy Consultant,
Disability Health Access, LLC

In a valley of innovators, where contacts are a commodity how do you weave a network that doesn’t just launch your next company but builds a foundation for sustaining your future? Listen to a speaker who has carved a space in her field dominated by large corporations and government agencies. Ms. Cohen founded Disability Health Access, LLC, in 2005, advising healthcare organizations on how to improve services for seniors and people with disabilities. She not only develops dynamic solutions for her clients but also builds a web of relationships that furthers the mission of her clients, related associates and sustains her own professional and personal needs.

How developing a specialization in your field can make you unique

  • Sets you apart from the sea of experts
  • Turns your knowledge into a product that people will seek out to buy
  • Makes you the center of a network of resources

Standing out in a town of networkers

  • Be seen – frequent presence makes you memorable, missed when your gone and seen as a member of the “Network Family”
  • Never dismiss someone as unimportant; each person is the most fascinating person in the room. But know how to exit and keep moving gracefully
  • What makes you unique a hobby, a skill or something you wear at events shoes, shirt, jewelry, glasses?
  • Be the friendly connector; help make connections at an event without expecting anything in return.
  • Be trustworthy and invest your time, for example offer to provide assistance in planning, hosting, or provide goodies for an event.
    FOLLOW THROUGH WITH ALL PROMISES.
  • Never ever ask for a favor from someone you just met

Sustaining the interest of your connections

  • Treat your contacts as if they are part of your family, or close friends
  • Check in when you haven’t see the person or offer knowledge resources
  • If you lost contact reach out to rekindle the relationship
  • Mutual share happy accomplishments (fun, family, fascinating projects)
  • If they show an interest provide opportunity to join in the fun
  • Provide empathy for their challenges and offer to help
  • You want to be the one people go to when they need something

Can’t Remember Names or Dropping the Ball on Name Dropping

  • In the age of hyper information most people (especially as they age) lose this skill
  • Admit this is not your strength most people are relieved because they aren’t good at it either
  • Blame it on late nights of coding and up with baby (provide humor to defuse the awkward situation)
  • Focus on remembering the face in a crowd and possibly where you meet the person. Most of the time they will acknowledge they recognize you but won’t remember your name and will be forced to ask.
  • Company names “Who can remember any of these strange names. We need a dictionary with information including current status.”

Opportunities to make connections

  • Casual contact networks (networking events or industry mixers and personal passions.)
    • Build relationships through shared interests.
    • When your network is diverse, you’re more likely to know “connectors,” or those who can put you in touch with people you never would have met otherwise.
  • Knowledge networks (professional associations)
  • Strong contact networks (groups that meet frequently specifically to build professional relationships, like Bootstrappers, Women 2.0, National Association of Women Business Owners, BNI, http://womenwhotech.com/resources
  • Online networks (professional social media services, such as LinkedIn)

Some Local Favorites

  • Coffee shops and known hot spot locations
    • Red Rock Coffee in Mountain View
    • Coupa Cafe in Palo Alto
  • Meetup Groups interest areas (Find your passions not just your career)
  • VLAB – VLAB is the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the MIT Enterprise Forum, connecting entrepreneurs, industry experts, venture capitalists, private investors and technologists https://www.vlab.org/
  • Silicon Valley Leadership Groups Advocates on policy issues that support the goals of companies in Silicon Valley. http://svlg.org/
  • Computer History Museum Events http://www.computerhistory.org/events/upcoming/
  • Silicon Valley Business Journal Events Calendar http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/calendar

Silicon Valley January 2016 Event Roundup

BB Channels: @bootstrappers | LinkedIn Group | Blog | Meetups: SV | SF | East Bay

A roundup of events for January 2016 for Bootstrappers Breakfast

“We’re already being studied by the future.” George Murray

San Francisco Bootstrapper Breakfast Wed-Jan-6 at 9am at Specialty’s on Post St.

Palo Alto Bootstrapper Breakfast Fri-Jan-8 at 7:30am at Hobees
Featured Attendee: Dr. Alastair Hood, PhD CEO of Verdafero A frequent attendee at the Palo Alto breakfast, Dr. Hood will talk about lessons learned bootstrapping Verdafero.

East Bay Bootstrapper Breakfast Tue-Jan-12 at 9am at Rockridge Cafe in Oakland

“Without the resolve to act, reflection and research are only entertainments.”
Beston Jack Abrams

2016 Business Planning for Consultants Thu-Jan-14 at 6pm at Roundtable in Sunnyvale
Sean Murphy of SKMurphy, Inc. will facilitate a peer-to-peer discussion with other experienced PATCA consultants that will help you to look back at 2015 to gather lessons learned and apply them to you plans for 2016. Bring your 2016 plans–and 2015 lessons learned–and let’s get a jump-start on 2016. Cost is $10 includes pizza and drink.

“The key to eternal happiness is low overhead and no debt.”
Lynda Barry

SKMurphy Mastermind: Revenue Growth Planning For Your Business in 2016
9:30am Sat-Jan-16 Pacific Business Centers 1250 Oakmead, Suite 210, Sunnyvale, CA
Join us for the upcoming Open House. Bring your 2016 plans–and 2015 lessons learned–and let’s get a jump-start on 2016. This meetup will be most useful for entrepreneurs in technology or expertise enabled businesses.

Sunnyvale Bootstrapper Breakfast Tue-Jan-19 7:30am at Faz (New Venue)
Coco’s closed so this month is at Faz at 1108 North Mathilda Ave. Featured Attendee: George Thomas, CEO of Action Printer Repair A regular attendee, George has offered some share some lessons learned bootstrapping his business, or as he says “some things I did that worked out pretty well and some others that were mistakes.”

Mountain View Bootstrappers Breakfast Fri-Jan-22 9am on 2nd floor of Red Rock Coffee two blocks from Mountain View Train Station.

A heads up for a very interesting breakfast in February

Mountain View Bootstrappers Breakfast Fri-Feb-26 9am at Red Rock Coffee
Featured Attendee: Anne Cohen of Disability Health Access In a valley of innovators, where contacts are a commodity, how do you weave a network that doesn’t just launch your next company but builds a foundation for sustaining your future? Anne Cohen will explain how she carved out a niche in a field dominated by large corporations and government agencies.

Looking for entrepreneurs to share lessons learned: If you know someone who would be a good featured attendee for 2016 we are looking for folks willing to share lessons learned from their entrepreneurial journey. Here are summaries of two recent talks:

Sean Murphy www.skmurphy.com 408-252-9676
See our November 2015 Newsletter on Referrals

Money Saving Tips 2015

money saving tipsRecently, we had an interesting Bootstrappers Breakfast about money saving tips and expense tracking.  Tri Hoang, President at Alpha B Group, kicked off the discussion by sharing her “A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned:Expense Tracking Resources“.  A couple of key resources she sees used by many of her clients are:

Others resources around the table shared

Other money saving tips

  • Buying laytops on ebay
  • Review software subscription a couple of times a year
  • Kakak and booking.com for travel savings
  • Usually the best time to book is 6 week out for flights. Flights get more expensive as it gets closer to the date. Hotels are opposite, they become cheaper if demand is low.

Here is the handout from Tri’s briefing:

Expense Tracking – Alpha BExpense Tracking - Alpha B

Silicon Valley End of 2015 Event Wrap Up

Community Channels: @bootstrappers | LinkedIn Group | Blog | Meetups: SV | SF | East Bay

Warning: The End (of 2015) is Near

A roundup of events through the end of 2015 for Bootstrappers Breakfast

Thanksgiving Potluck Thu-Nov-26 2pm in San Jose: Don’t have family to visit on Thanksgiving? Join us for Thanksgiving dinner. Bring drinks or your favorite dish to share. We are supplying the turkey and some sides. Please RSVP if you plan to attend so we can get a final headcount. Plan on dropping by around 2pm.

San Francisco Bootstrapper Breakfast Wed-Dec-2 at 9am at Specialty’s on Post St.

Palo Alto Bootstrapper Breakfast Fri-Dec-4 at 7:30am at Hobees

East Bay Bootstrapper Breakfast Tue-Dec-8 at 9am at Rockridge Cafe in Oakland

Sunnyvale Bootstrapper Breakfast Tue-Dec-15 7:30am at Cocos.

Mountain View Bootstrappers Breakfast Fri-Dec-18 9am on 2nd floor of Red Rock Coffee two blocks from Mountain View Train Station. Note we are meeting a week early due to Christmas.

Special End of Year Breakfast in Sunnyvale Tue-Dec-29 9:00am at Cocos

“An optimist stays up to see the New Year in,
A pessimist stays up to make sure the old one leaves.”
Bill Vaughan

“Future: That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness is assured.” Ambrose Bierce “The Devil’s Dictionary”

San Francisco Bootstrapper Breakfast Wed-Jan-6 at 9am at Specialty’s on Post St.

Palo Alto Bootstrapper Breakfast is Fri-Jan-8 at Hobbees (slipped a week to avoid New Years)

Looking for 2016 speakers: If you know someone who would be a good speaker for 2016 we are looking for folks willing to share lessons learned from their entrepreneurial journey.

“You know you are in your element when you don’t know who will next walk through the door but you’re confident that whoever it is will be just fine.” George Murray

After 9 years of Bootstrapper Breakfasts I feel this way before the start of a new one. As the Shoveller would say, “We’ve got a blind date with destiny.”

Sean Murphy www.skmurphy.com 408-252-9676
See our October 2015 Newsletter on Customer Interviews