Day: December 13, 2021

Good Books

The Patriarch. An incredible biography of Joseph Kennedy, who lived one of the most interesting lives in American history. It begins: “Had Joseph P. Kennedy not been the patriarch of America’s first family, his story would be worth telling. That he was only adds to its drama and historical significance.”

Crashing Through. A man is blinded as a baby, then regains full vision at age 46 after an experimental surgery. An amazing, counterintuitive, story about what it’s like to see the world for the first time as an adult.

The End is Always Near. Dan Carlin, one of the best historian storytellers, looks at periods in history when it seemed like the world was coming to an end – wars, famines, pandemics, and societal collapses.

American Moonshot. The best book I’ve read on the 1960s space race, telling the story of not just the scientists and engineers who made landing on the moon possible, but the anxiety of what would happen if the Soviets did it first and the political panic behind the scenes.

Tribe. A fascinating look at how and why people connect to tribes, and how it impacts our thinking and wellbeing.

Destiny of the Republic. The story of President James Garfield’s assassination, and how the doctors who tried to save him didn’t believe in germs, which is what probably killed him in the end.

The Science of Storytelling. The best story always wins, and I loved his book on why that is and how to (Read more...)

To a Caveman Very Few Things Are Resources

This post is by naval from Naval

There was a time when coal wasn’t a resource

Brett: There was a story on ITV in the U.K. talking about how much supposed waste Amazon produces, that Amazon was routinely destroying a whole bunch of products.

I thought, “Why are these people inserting their opinion into a business that they know absolutely nothing about?” Would they prefer Amazon to have the perfect knowledge of precisely how many products need to be made? In other words, an epistemologically impossible situation to be in. Or would they prefer that Amazon made insufficient products, so the people who wanted to purchase them weren’t actually able to get ahold of them?

What Amazon does, of course, is make slightly more than what they need. That’s what happens in any business. They make slightly more than what they need now and again.

Naval: I once had a venture capitalist argue to me that there were too many kinds of shoes and it was an example of how capitalism had failed because nobody needs this many kinds of sneakers.

My question to him was, “When did you know that there were too many shoes?” What’s the point in history where we decide there are too many shoes? Before we needed more shoes because we needed more stretchy shoes, we needed more durable shoes, we needed thicker soled shoes, we needed lighter shoes, we needed all kinds of amazing shoe innovations.

And then at some point, somebody decides, “Actually we have enough shoes. Now we need (Read more...)

8 Virtual Sales Techniques Your Team Should Be Mastering

This post is by Ayzia Vizcocho from Blog – Crunchbase

This article is part of the Crunchbase Community Contributor Series. The author is an expert in their field and a Crunchbase user. We are honored to feature and promote their contribution on the Crunchbase blog.

Please note that the author is not employed by Crunchbase and the opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect official views or opinions of Crunchbase, Inc.

If you’ve been working in sales for a while, you probably know the ins and outs of sales prospecting. However, you may still be wary of selling online. In recent years, we’ve all had to adapt to the sales digital transformation. While we may be getting back to normal after the pandemic, it looks like virtual sales will continue to prosper. 

To meet the new operational needs of a virtual workspace, sales teams have dramatically adapted their sales techniques, and for the better. Sales teams are now able to sell more efficiently and effectively — and to an even wider audience. 

The trick to virtual selling is to focus on top purchase decision factors and prioritize the discovery of buyer concerns, wants and needs. It is important to make sure that you show potential prospects how you can solve their problem. 

In this article, we will cover virtual strategies that will help optimize your virtual sales approach and set you up for success. Whether you are well-versed in virtual sales or are relatively new to the game, we’ll dive into all the techniques you need (Read more...)

What’s on my Spotify 2021 list?

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

While I was away, Spotify released its annual “Top Songs of the year” list. I quite appreciate this feature from Spotify. Music, at least for me, reflects one’s state of mind, and the list gives you a window into your inner self. My musical tastes were biased towards jazz, blues, and electronica in the past. However, this year, my top songs list is dominated by what one would call “ambient music.” 

An unusually large number of pianists feature on this list, along with the likes of Mary Lattimore and Roger Eno. My top artist of the year is a Japanese musician (saxophonist and pianist) Akira Uchida, and other favorites include Rose Riebl, Nils Frahm, and Brambles. Uchida has 114 listeners on Spotify, which is such a shame. 

Why ambient? And why these artists? And what do they say about the year that was? After a challenging 2020, I thought of 2021 as a year of contemplation, paring down and stripping down life, ambition, and outcomes to bare essentials. Just as in winter, you let a field lay fallow; this is all in preparation for whatever is the next chapter in life for me. 

This continuous elimination of excess — whether it is superfluous ideas, possessions, words, or choices is reflected in my photography and writing (which has become more private and inward-looking.) The musical choices of 2021 created the soundtrack for this contemplation and this discovery process. 

Many of the artists I preferred in 2021 are “minimalists” and allow (Read more...)

How To Leverage The Three E’s To Become A Better Marketing Leader

Original artwork by Katie Rhead

These are challenging times in the business world for business leaders, and CMOs (Chief Marketing Officers) are no exception. According to the latest Gartner CMO Spend Survey, the percentage of revenue allocated to marketing has fallen from 11.0% in 2020 to just 6.4% in 2021, the lowest proportion in the history of the survey.

More Than Spending Cuts — It gets worse. According to survey of 150 CEOs of the largest companies in the U.S. conducted by the marketing agency, Boathouse, 86% of CEOs believed their CMOs have the power to influence key decisions in the C-suite, but less than a third of the CEOs trust their CMOs to grow the business. Over half the CEOs thought their CMOs speak their own language rather than the language of business. Even more alarming, almost 40% believed their CMOs have the wrong skill set to effectively deal with a changing business environment.

It’s no wonder, then, that tenure of CMOs is the lowest it has been since 2009. According to Greg Welch at Spencer Stuart, the average tenure for a CMO has dropped to just over 3 years (compared to 6 ½ years for the average CEO). The revolving door to the marketing suite is spinning faster than ever which means the outlook for marketing leaders to play a leading role in building the business is under duress.

Collateral Damage — When a company fires a CMO, the damage inflected goes well beyond hurting the marketing leader. It hurts the entire company. (Read more...)

Platform Manager – Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation

As an initiative of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC) our team manages seed stage venture capital funds focused on supporting a thriving community of companies. We provide capital to companies at the earliest stages of their development, giving founders critical initial runway. We leverage our network of founders, investors, advisors, entrepreneur support organizations, universities, and enterprise partners to help our portfolio companies grow. We work in partnership with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and help lead venture development for the Commonwealth.

KSTC is a statewide independent and innovative non-profit and leader in developing and managing creative initiatives in education, entrepreneurship, and economic competitiveness.

Our History
For nearly twenty years, we’ve focused our work at KSTC on funding and investing in over 300 Kentucky-based companies, providing capital that helps founders achieve their big vision. However, there’s still work to do to shorten the path to capital access. We’ve learned that investors, ourselves included, must meet founders where they are and evolve with them. Funding needs to be more accessible so founders can move faster and build impactful businesses. We are reinforcing our platform and expanding our team so founders can engage with us directly, learn more, and apply for investment with as little friction as possible. We hope to provide founders more visibility into our process and shorten their path to find funding, allowing us to continue investing in their big ideas.

Our Portfolio
For our primary fund, Kentucky Enterprise Fund, we have invested $37.2M in 158 (Read more...)

Momentum Monday – Apple and McDonald’s Rule America As Inflation Rages

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

Good Monday morning everyone.

As a reminder, Marketsmith (by Investor’s Business Daily) is now a sponsor of the weekly show. All the charts you have been seeing in the videos and will continue to see are from Marketsmith. They are offering my readers a three week trial for $19.95. Click this link if you would like to try it out.

We have the worst inflation numbers since the early 1980’s but the S&P is at all-time highs. Microsoft, Apple and McDonald’s are carrying us higher for whatever reasons while ‘growth tech’ continues to get hammered. To further confuse me, Ford is at highs not seen since the horse and buggy were believed to be a better option than cars.

Consumer Staples hit 52 week highs last week because you know food and toilet paper are essential during inflation…

I will get right to this week’s episode of Momentum Monday. Ivanhoff an I do a wide tour of sectors and offer up some thoughts. You can watch/listen to this weeks episode here. I have embedded the video below:

Here are Ivanhoff’s thoughts:

The large caps are holding above their big gap from last Tuesday and acting relatively constructively. Both $QQQ and $SPY have consolidated near a potential pivot. Going above last week’s highs would be a buying signal. I would not trust those potential breakouts for anything more than a quick scalp because there is simply too much weakness among individual stocks.

In the meantime, the divergences continue. While (Read more...)