Tuesday, April 25, 2017

2-12-14 "How to start a new group." SBCC Meetup

About SBA and SCORE

Why the SBA and It’s SCORE Program Should Be Renamed.
by John S. Wren, MBA+

I’ve been interested in how businesses really start, especially the role of the Small Business Administration and it’s many offshoots, for decades.

I studied in the graduate business school at the University of Denver on-campus 1974-5. My research methods paper was a survey of the literature and an index to the advice available for people starting a small business. This was before Inc Magazine and before DU or, as far as I know any college, offered a class about startup or entrepreneurship.

 Where I learned the most about how small businesses start, aside from the 20+ years working with my father and his small business owner friends, was in my first job after graduate school. 

I had the very good fortune to be hired as Assistant-to-the-President of Outdoor Sports Industries by OSI’s founder and President Richard Olson. It was a chance to be the bosses son again.

One of the very best parts of  working with Mr. Olson (we met every week for breakfast to review the projects I was working on such as creating a newsletter for board members, the annual report and board meeting, creating a management training program for our top managers, etc.)  was the opportunity to meet and have conversations with people I’d probably never have had a chance to talk with otherwise and to learn some lessons from their direct experience.

Some of the people I got to learn from, aside from our own managers, especially the former owners of the small sporting goods companies OSI had purchased, included: former Governor of Colorado John Love, then President of Ideal Basic Industries, one of the top firms in the country at the time; Supreme Court Justice Byron White who played squash frequently with Mr. Olson;  Joe Coors;  Astronaut Wally Shira; and on and on.

It was a long list, and at the top of the list was Aksel Nielsen. He was a friend of Mr. Olson and Chancellor Maurice Mitchell who was on the OSI board with him.  Aksel Nielsen had been a close friend and financial adviser to President Dwight D. Eisenhower.[2]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aksel_Nielsen

Since working for OSI I’ve worked with hundreds of business founders as a consultant or as an employee, and that experience led me to start a workshop for people who wanted to start a new business in the early 90’s. Back then we called it The IDEA Association and it’s meetings were announced each week in the Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News, Westword, the Colorado Statesman, and the Denver Business Journal. 

 After meeting with a spiritual director at Sacred Heart Jesuit Retreat House in Sedalia, Colorado for years, I wrote a little booklet about startup. This is to me the key section:

The world needs your new business!

            To understand my system for starting your new business, it is necessary to first appreciate the nature of business in a capitalistic, free market economy.

            The world will always have government, big-business, and big-labor.

 Government for those things individuals cannot do for themselves. Big-business and big-labor because of certain efficiencies of scale. Unfortunately, the large scale of these three forms of bureaucratic operations leads to problems:

            1) Efficiency comes at the expense of intelligence and creativity. The large organization has a tendency to get better and better at doing what eventually is the wrong thing.

            2) Power corrupts. Governmental corruption is kept in check by our process of representative democracy. Big-business corruption is kept in check to the extent that the free market is allowed to operate. That is why big business hates competition.

            The worldview of the bureaucrat is necessarily different from that of the entrepreneur. The steps recommended here for starting a new business will not make sense to most bureaucrats.

            If you decide to work with a business mentor, it is important that you work with someone who subscribes to the following philosophy of business. This person almost always will be an independent business owner.

            Beware of seminars about how to start a new business; the most deadly advice for entrepreneurs comes from bureaucrats, public or private, active or retired.

From my little booklet on startup, “Daring Mighty Things— The Simplest Way to Start Your First (or Next) New Business” available on Amazon (click.) 

Tomorrow: Part II, Why the SBA and SCORE Should Be Renamed.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Today! Startup Show at noon MDT (11am P, 2pm E.)

Startup Show is now on Monday's at noon.

To be a guest on the show just click on
the link and join in!

Today's topic: business and politics, do
they mix? And what can we expect in the
2018 Colorado Caucus?

Willing to share your startup experience on a Startup Show
Special Edition? To schedule a date call 1-855-854-2554

Live! IDEA Cafe Chat on Twitter.

New! IDEA Cafe Chat at 10 a.m. MDT (9PDT) is now
only on Twitter #IDEACafeChat

Live chat at 10, you can post at any time.

Check it out:


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Join (it's free) to be in new printed membership directory.

You will notice a couple of changes on our Meetup site www.Meetup.com/Small-Biz-Chamber:

 1) all members will be required to answer the questions for members;

 2) we are now a private group, only members can see who is a member; 

3) members are called Companion, we are now calling the Small Business Chamber of Commerce the "Companionship of Humble Servants." 

More today on our new SBCC Twitter Chat on Twitter @IDEACafeChat or call me (720)495-4949.

John Wren, Founder
Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc
"What good may I do today?"

This life is short, just start!

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, March 24, 2017

Startup Show Topic: Socrates? Why Socratic Startup?

Startup Show, next week at WeWork in Denver!
To rsvp to be on the show with us next week see
http://Meetup.com/Small-Biz-Chamber or call (303)861-1447

New! Startup Weekend, starts today!

New Startup Weekend, flexible schedule, do over this weekend or one of the next few weekends. Starts today with optional:

IDEA Cafe Online Chat

Startup Show from Denver We Work

We will also talk about the new We Work grant program.

Join us live at We Work Denver, see http://www.WeWork.com 

Want 1 to 1 help starting a new career, a new project or campaign,
or a new business? Call the Startup Line anytime (303)861-1447

Friday, March 10, 2017

Today's IDEA Cafe Twitter Chat

Join us at 10 a.m. today or any morning Monday through Friday. Video starts Monday. Today go to Twitter @IDEACafeChat, post using #IDEACafeChat to be part of the conversation.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

On Women and Work. Intl Women's Day.

March 8, 2017, International Women’s Day

On Women and Work.
by John S. Wren

Denver— I have three adult daughters, lots of friends who are women, and before he passed on in 1979 my dad and I had frequent disagreements about his oppressive opinions about women and work, so I’m very glad this day has been set aside to reflect on the role of women. 

When I was President of Denver City Club we admitted our first woman to membership. This was back when the Denver Rotary, Lions Club, Optimists, and the rest of the service clubs were men only, and women had just begun to be admitted in other cities across the country.

Not long after admitting Doris Drury, my former economics prof at the University of Denver, Debbie, our first woman board member, was elected, and she was asked to be the program chair.

Valentines Day had always been celebrated by the club, and the program chair announced at a board meeting the speakers who had been invited and their topics: President of a Bank, Women in Business; CEO of a hospital, Women in Medicine; and President of a College, Women in Education.

I asked, “what about women as homemakers?” It seemed like a set-up to invite our wives, most of who worked as full-time homemakers, to celebrate Valentines Day with a program about professional women who worked outside the home. But the program went forward as announced.

After the three speakers had highlighted the vast accomplishments of professional women the floor was opened for questions and I asked the first:

“All three of you have talked about your outstanding careers and you have each also mentioned you are married and have children. My question is this, what has been sacrificed the most because of your limited time, your family or your work?”

Outrage was then displayed, shouts it was not a fair question, shaking of fingers at me, the moderator going to the microphone said, “you certainly don’t have to answer that!!!, other questions?”

One of the older men in the club stood and said, “I’d like to hear the question answered. That’s exactly the sort of question this club has always asked. It seems like a fair question to me.”

Pop and I had disagreed about mothers working outside the home. He thought it was being encouraged by big business because doubling the labor force and would cut wages in half.

“You wait,” pop said, “right now women want to work. It won’t be long before they will have to work because it will take two paychecks to support a family.” 

Turns out pop was right.

And as we look at the problems in the world today, the answer to my question to the City Club speakers is now clear: for most of us both work and the family have been sacrificed.

Monday, March 06, 2017

New! SBCC Twitter Chat. Can you hear us now?

Just started last week, started with a boom! Lots of traffic, all we need now are your comments on topic for the day. Check it out, then call me at (303)861-1447 if you'd like to co-host one day next week.

John Wren's Twitter Chat
Small Business Chamber of Commerce
Topic announced each morning on

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Today, who do you trust?

Why academics are losing relevance in society – and how to stop it

Andrew J. Hoffman, University of Michigan

A January 2015 Pew Research Center study found an alarming chasm between the views of scientists and the views of the public. Here is just a sampling:

87 percent of scientists accept that natural selection plays a role in evolution, 32 percent of the public agree; 88 percent of scientists think that genetically modified foods are safe to eat, 37 percent of the public agree; 87 percent of scientists think that climate change is mostly due to human activity, only 50 percent of the public agree.

This is a cause for concern. In our increasingly technological world, issues like nanotechnology, stem cell research, nuclear power, climate change, vaccines and autism, genetically modified organisms, gun control, health care and endocrine disruption require thoughtful and informed debate. But instead, these and other issues have often been caught up in the so-called culture wars.