The “Paleo Diet” for Business Plans?

As some of you readers know, I’m not a huge fan of “doing the way we’ve always done it.”  I have nothing against tradition and proven methods, in fact I’m a big supporter of those ideas.  But doing something the “way we’ve always done it” because its the only way we know, because it’s the way we were taught, because it’s easier… well that just doesn’t’ fly for me.

Recently we started reviewing the “way we’ve always done it” in our business plan writing.  A graduate assistant help me do some research by examining the concepts of “lean entrepreneurship.”  While this methodology is getting some press right now, it’s not entirely new.  In fact, its really just embracing the realities of a startup (no money, no time, lots of passion) and validating practical methods for getting a new enterprise off the ground.  In an era of fad diets, this “lean” approach actually makes a lot of sense.  The process looks something like this: “ideation, innovation, iteration, launch, feedback, iteration, re-launch, feedback, iteration…”  You get the picture.  I’m very excited to see where these concepts go and how our students respond in their current projects.

For those of you interested in the “lean” methodology, here’s a great conference coming up this fall: The Lean Startup Conference

Hope to see you there!

ShuberX…the newest collaboration between TOMS and Uber!


Not to be outdone by the TIMS parody, TOMS has demonstrated that they can make fun of themselves too, and raise some money for real needs at the same time.  Take a look at ShuberX, the new “collaboration” from TOMS and Uber.

SamaUSA… Bringing solutions to the Central Valley

A fantastic organization that is using education to transform lives in the Central Valley of California… Helping people improve their financial condition.


Social Enterprise Conference 2014 @ Harvard


Kicking off a high-impact conference with FPU MBA students at #SECON2014. Two of our students were pictured as “The Faces of Social Enterprise.”

Not Your Father’s Business Plan…


I teach business at a local university.  We have some wonderful business programs, including the MBA program, for which I am the recently-appointed Program Director.  Like all good business schools, we ask our MBA students to work on a business plan as their final project.  It literally takes them months to complete.  They research mountains of data, create miles of spreadsheets and in the end, present a 30-50+ page document, complete with an appendix and works cited page that would make your APA instructor blush with excitement.  These tomes are reviewed by well-qualified experts, and vetted for accuracy, depth, computation and viability.  Once a number of edits and revisions have been made, and just prior to actually graduating, they fall across the finish line with an approved plan.  Mission accomplished!  Or is it…?

Read More…

Building the Better Mousetrap

Godin head-clickme2

Some words of wisdom from Seth Godin in an age of “lower prices…”


Will they switch for cheaper?

In fact, most people switch for better.

Without a doubt, there’s a slot in every market for the cheap enough, good enough alternative.

But rapid growth and long-term loyalty come from being better instead.

When your product or your service doesn’t measure up, the answer probably isn’t to lower your price or offer a refund to the disappointed customer. Instead, the alternative is to invest in making it better. So much better that people can’t help but talk about it—and so much better that they would truly miss it if it were gone.

Posted by Seth Godin on March 10, 2014

Another Major University Embraces Social Entrepreneurship…

( Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times / February 10, 2014 )
From left: Jessica Levine, program director, Adlai Wertman, founding director and professor of clinical entrepreneurship, Abby Fifer Mandell, executive director, stand outside Popovich Hall at USC Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. USC moves ahead with plans to start what it thinks will be the nation's first one year Master's program on social entrepreneurship based at a business school, teaching business savvy to those with social causes.,0,

An interesting article from the Los Angeles times about the new master’s program at the University of Southern California.  Add USC to the list of major universities embracing social entrepreneurship, including Harvard, Columbia, Stanford and Pepperdine…just to name a few.


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