Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fred Thompson should energize the GOP base, what's left of it, here in Denver. If you want to volunteer to help his campain, like I just did, go to

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Jared Polis (left) told us about how he started Pro Flowers at the Denver IDEA Cafe last Friday

He told us he did no market research and no formal planning before launching his business selling flowers directly from the grower to the consumer.

The new University of Colorado football coach Dan Hawkins (top pictures, the guy with hair) told our Denver Lions Club yesterday that he expects the Buffs to fare much better next year.
"Coaching became much more enjoyable to me over 20 years ago, and I started building winning teams, when I started focusing on what I can do for the players to make a positive contribution to their lives. It's not just about beating Nebraska and Colorado State. Although if we don't beat them next year you'll probably have a different speaker here with you!" He admires Ghandi and Mother Terresa, he thinks everyone involved in leadership and team building should read Phil Jackson's book Sacred Hoops.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

There is a new interview of Seth Godin talking about himself and his new book The Dip. Here are my notes of the highlights:

I don’t give answers, I just help people ask themselves good questions. I don’t do consulting, because I’m not sure I can get people to change, people have to change themselves. I do public speaking for a living, and I write books to promote the speaking.

The proof that I don’t know what I’m doing is that while I was writing my first book, two of my friends started Yahoo.

Idea Virus still available (just Google Idea Virus), has been downloaded over 2 million times, most downloaded ebook ever. Consumers prize novelty, they are willing to help it spread if they think their friends will like it too…

No one has ever written a book about quitting before, which is astonishing because there are millions of people quitting every day. The problem is that we often quit at the wrong time. In our Googalized world, there are benefits to being #1 that far exceed the cost of getting there. If you can’t commit to be #1, it is better not to start.

It is not a self-help book, I don’t tell people what to do. I encourage people to have a conversation with their team and with themselves.

My book tour is about buying 5 books, because I wrote the book for the person that might not buy it… If you are doing something that is frustrating you, if you’re stuck, that’s what this book is about. If you treat quitting as not an option, you are making a moral decision that hurts yourself.

Find a niche where you can be #1.

The dip is your friend, it gives you a chance to step through the dip when everyone else just quits… The art of the dip, is knowing when to do that… Measurable? Getting harder? Are you filled with panic? Then you probably shouldn’t be quitting.

I went through a book packager living off Spaghetti-Os for a year because I knew I was getting to the place where I could get a 6 figure advance. Most of the time I’ve quit at exactly the wrong time. A record company, another record company that never got started.

Punch line of the book is that it is really about mastery. Everyone tries hard.

There has never been a better time to have a small business, the number of opportunities today his huge. What is needed now is not a lot of cash, but creativity and know-how. The challenge is doing something that people will talk about.

Small doesn’t have to be about number of employees, it’s an attitude that you care about the customer, that you treat each one like an important person. That’s the big advantage of small business.

Communities build themselves, what you need to do is make it easy for that to happen. Communities don’t build or support commodities.

Best, as in best in the world, is not external, you can’t prove it. It’s a story and experience that the marketplace chooses to say is the best, the people in the world who need your answer.

Permission marketing is that you make a promise and you keep it. If through social networking people ask for you to give them information, great. But if you are just harvesting names, NO. If you would do it on a date, it’s ok to do it with online social networking.

For more about my book The Dip, see

I finished my next book last week, publishing being what it is. How am I able to write so many books? The secret is to write like you talk, that’s why blogs were invented!

Monday, May 21, 2007

((Please forward to anyone you know who is starting a new
business project, a new business, or a new campaign.
Thanks! John))

IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop
Help to do more Good Work!

For more details, see the full listing:

Jarid Polis will be with us this week to share
his Pro Flowers startup story.

When: Friday, May 25, 2007 at 2:00 PM
Where: Panera Bread Cafe13th & Grant Street Denver, CO 80201 303-830-7101
If you can't attend this week, RSVP "No" and you'll receive
an email invitation to future meetings.

Why is it that only one newspaper has written a story about Colorado HB1376, which will drive another nail in the coffin of the once-wonderful Colorado neighborhood caucus-assembly system for nominating to the primary ballot?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

More proof the vitamin suppliment craze of the last few decades is a con:

Prostate Cancer Study Focuses on Vitamins
May 16, 05:00 AM
By Liz Szabo, USA Today

Doctors are investigating a possible link between heavy multivitamin use and the most serious types of prostate cancer, according to an article in today's Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers followed 295,344 men. Men who reported taking multivitamins more than seven times a week had a slightly greater risk of advanced or fatal prostate tumors. If doctors followed 10,000 men for 10 years, there would be about 30 extra cases of advanced prostate cancer and seven or eight extra cases of fatal prostate cancer associated with heavy supplement use, says lead author Michael Leitzmann of the NCI.

Authors found no increase in the risk of early prostate tumors among heavy vitamin users. They also found no heightened risk among men who took only one vitamin a day, Leitzmann says. He stressed the study was not designed to prove that vitamins affect cancer risk. To prove that, scientists would have to randomly assign half of patients to take supplements and half of men to follow some other regimen.

Vitamin users should be cautious about taking more than the recommended daily allowance, he says.

Victoria Stevens of the American Cancer Society says the report confirms her 2005 study on vitamins and prostate cancer. A February study in The Journal of the American Medical Association found vitamins A and E and beta carotene pills have no health benefits and may increase the risk of death. "There certainly is no evidence in healthy, relatively well-nourished people that vitamins or antioxidants protect against chronic diseases," Stevens says.
(c) Copyright 2005 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Yes, that's me on the cover of this week's Colorado Statesman Newspaper, talking with my new friend Hugh Hewitt. Is there an iPod service that boils down the days talk radio shows, sort of like Readers Digest does for magazine articles? Or maybe something in writing, a Talk Radio Digest?

John sent an email to all of us on the Denver Socrates Meetup mailing list, wanted to discuss a book about religion. I objected, said the purpose of Socrates Cafe was for us to each seek truth by our own lights. Then Dmitri suggested a topic, everything came to a halt. There is something that happens in face to face conversation that is lost online. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone next Thursday. Want to join us? Details and RSVP at

This just in from Seth Godin, his interview about his new book The Dip:

When to Fold 'Em Wondering if you should cut your losses and move on?
By Carol Tice Entrepreneur Magazine - May 2007URL:

When the going gets tough, it's often smart to quit. That's the philosophy of Seth Godin, the marketing guru and bestselling business author whose irreverent ideas have transformed how businesses think about marketing and change. His new, brief book, The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick), discusses business slumps and how to power through them to greatness.

Entrepreneur: When they hit a trough, how can entrepreneurs tell if they should tough it out or quit?

Seth Godin: If you can't find a measure of your success, of whether you're closer to getting through the dip, you're probably doing the wrong project. For instance, if there's no sign of referral or repeat customers, you won't be better off a year from now.

I get a lot of e-mail from businesspeople who are stuck, and they fall into two camps: One is the guy in the supermarket who's always switching checkout lanes--every time he hits a dip, he abandons ship. The other has been working on the same thing for seven years and it's just not getting anywhere, but he doesn't stop. They're both just not hearing what's going on.

Entrepreneur: Why is it so important to kill off dead-end initiatives, even if they are bringing in some revenue?

Godin: Entrepreneurs don't have a lot of resources, so you can't stick with a product or venture that isn't going to pay off. Entrepreneurs cannot afford to be well-rounded. If you're running anything, from a restaurant to a consulting firm, it's best to be the best at one thing you do.

There's a place like this in San Francisco: Cafe Mozart. Nobody goes for the food. You go because it's the most charming place to get engaged. It is exceptional at one thing.

Being best in the world is worth more now than it's ever been before. When there are 2 million Google matches for a search, the number-one match gets 10,000 times as much traffic as number 40. The hard part is realizing what your exceptional thing is and switching to that.

Entrepreneur: Are there some situations in business where you can avoid the dip altogether?

Godin: You should look forward to the dip. The dip is the best thing that could happen to you--if you can get through it, you win, because others will give up. You want to find the dip, and you want it to be pronounced. Whereas if you pick a business like specialty imprinted pens, there's no dip, no barrier to entry. So there's no win.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Vol. I Number 1
May 4, 2007

In this issue:
Goodbye Wally Schirra.
Big Changes with IDEA Cafe.
Next Franklin Circles forming.
Socrates Cafe next week.
CoCaCoP-- It's back! Reregister.
New Denver Republican Meetup.

Walter "Wally" Schirra Jr.died Thursday at the age of 84. He was the was the only astronaut to fly in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. Schirra, far left, the other Mercury Seven astronauts and an operations worker, in white, stand in a NASA control center at Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Sept. 22, 1960. At the time of the photo, I was an 8th grader at the new Thomas Jefferson High School here in Denver. In about 1976 I met him at a party here in Denver.

The original astronauts were great heroes, especially to those of us who grew up with them. I had the good fortune to meet 2 of them personally, Wally and Jack Swigert who became an astronaut in April, 1966 and was a member of Apollo 13.

CoCaCoP-- We're back!
The Colorado Caucus Community of Practice is reforming after being dormant for over a year. Our purpose is to help people learn about our wonderful Colorado neighborhood caucus-assembly system for nominating to the primary ballot. The caucus is the first step in becoming a delegate to the national conventions that we'll be having in 2008, one right here in Denver. At our next meeting we'll hear a report from a student who has done research on our Colorado primary system. See the video "How would Ben Franklin Vote?" with Dennis Gallagher and RSVP at

Big Changes at IDEA Cafe
I've been leading IDEA Cafe meetings since 1996 or so. We met for years at the Koelbel Library in Littleton, and most recently at Panera Bread at 13th & Grant near the State Capitol here in Denver. At each meeting we invite people to share their startup experience and we brainstorm. Meetings are free and open to everyone who is starting something new, a project, campaign, business, or career. We became a group a couple of years ago, and we now meet weekly. We are making some big changes in the meeting format. If you'd be willing to share your startup experience, or if you want a boost as you get started, join us! We just ask that you bring your brain for the brainstorming! For more information see RSVP "No" if you want to get an invitation to next weeks meeting with when & where we will be meeting.

Denver Franklin Circle Now Forming
Have you seen the Ben Franklin exhibit that is here in Denver until May 20? Don't miss it! It features Ben's original Franklin Circle, what he called The Junto. I've been forming groups of people with similar learning objectives since 1995 here in Denver, let me know if you'd like more information about the groups I'm now forming. One will focus on the arts, especially music and the theatre, and the other on entrepreneurship and small business. For the details, email me at

Socrates Cafe Next Thursday
Chris Phillips who wrote the book Socrates Cafe which inspired the start of the first group in Denver asked me to stand up recently at the talk he gave at Tattered Cover LoDo recently. (The only media coverage of the event was the student paper at Regis University.) The next meeting of our monthly group is next Thursday, RSVP at, or join the group that meets each Friday, 6 p.m. at Panera Bread, 13th & Broadway here in Denver, no RSVP required.

The New Denver Republican Meetup
Some of us are making an effort to revive the GOP in Denver, even Democrats tell me it's bad for our Democratic-Republic to have one party rule like we now have in Denver. If you'd like to help, join us next Monday at the University of Denver Alumni House. RSVP "No" if you'd like an invitation to future meetings.

Other News

I wish I'd read Mark DeMoss's Little Red Book of Wisdom years ago, it's great! One of Mark's suggestions is to read a chapter of Proverbs each morning. He and I have traded emails a couple of times, I hope to get him here to Denver as a speaker soon. (Let me know if you'd be interested in being one of the sponsors, sponsorship will include a personal meeting with Mark at a small luncheon or a reception after his talk.)

Thanks to my good friend Nathan Pollock who recently gave a talk to the Denver South Optimist Club on his adventures in medicine and philosophy. It was by far the best talk we've heard all year, and we've had some great ones!

I was recently elected to the Board of the Denver Lions Club.

We are looking for my replacement as manager of 1311 York Street Club. Email me if you'd like more information at

I'm thinking of bundling all my learning groups, seminars, and online publications under the umbrella of Wren University. What do you think of the idea? Would it be too pretentious to put "College President" on my resume and business card?

Mary and I are experimenting with an online publication we are calling Denver When & Where. Please let us know if you have events we could help you promote.

Leaving York Street will give me more time for my consulting practice. I do business analysis, management services work, and training.

How may I help you?

de gustibus non est disputandum"
In matters of taste there is no disputing."
John S. Wren, MBA+
Grassroots Educator & Business Consultant.
Inspired action since 1979.
960 Grant Street, #727
Denver, CO 80203