Saturday, December 24, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Saturday, December 03, 2011
This is obviously true, and it's the reason that the families shown on TV, in movies and on the stage are unhappy; to write about a happy family is boring.
What occurred to me this week is that just the opposite is true for business starups: Unsuccessful startups are all alike; every successful startup is successful in it's own way.
One advocate of this is Wayne Rogers, who played Trapper John in the TV series M*A*S*H. A Princeton graduate and now successful business man, he writes in his new book Make Your Own Rules: "The entrepreneurial businessman (as opposed to the corporate businessman) must engage in a creative process, rather than an administrative process. The requirements for this are questioning the constraints of the system instead of blindly obeying them, not being restrained by the straightjacket of conventional experience, and thinking outside the box. The creative process as applied to business must be unencoumbered, and you should approach it by asking not only 'why?' but also, and more important, 'why not?' This leads to solutions that are not obvious or burdened by policy, tradition, and corporate regulation."
Friday, November 25, 2011
Life as we know it is constantly changing. I've been watching the PBS series on Nova about physics. String theory seems to keep coming up in discussions as a justification of one thing or another. Helps me to understand it is really just a philosophy, no real evidence for it.
Thanksgiving at Azura yesterday with my brother, son, and mother who is there for now was an experience. Mom didn't feel well enough to eat, so it was just the three of us for the meal.
If you're looking for a boost after the holiday, join us this afternoon for the Denver IDEA Cafe Startup Workshops. We have great speakers today and for the next couple of weeks. This is not intended to be an every week thing for anyone, just a boost when starting in a new direction.
Socrates Cafe Beginners Group at 4 p.m. each Friday after the Denver IDEA Cafe, same place, Panera Bread, 13th & Grant here in Denver. We pick a topic, whoever suggested the topic speaks to it, then two others are chosen by lot to speak for 3 minutes. Then we take turns asking each other questions before everyone making a brief final comment about the topic. It's a lot of fun if you enjoy a good discussion.
I'm experimenting with this blog. More and more all business posts will be on http://www.SmallBizChamber.org
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
I've just posted thoughts about entrepreneurship education from Socratic Arts, new Harvard Tech Meetup, idea for entrepreneur or startup poetry, and an upcoming TV show about the psychology behind why Israel is such a big source successful innovators, your comments very welcome at http://Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber
Would you volunteer to help start a monthly IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop for your local chamber of commerce? Let me know if you'd be interested after you check out http://www.SmallBizChamber.org and attend one of the Friday Denver IDEA Cafe sessions that I personally lead each week.
As you can see, I'm continuing to experiment with this blog, trying to find the most helpful way to communicate with you each week. Your feedback is always appreciated, even if the suggestions don't always lead to immediate change. Thanks for any thoughts you'd care to share here or via email to John@JohnWren.com
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Death Is Nothing At All
Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That we are still
Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way you always used
Put no difference into your tone
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!
Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918
We miss you, Pop.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
We are holding two special IDEA Cafes to help celebrate, see link on http://www.SmallBizChamber.org
Please share this with your Denver friends who have had a bump loosing a job or a bright idea, they might find the free meeting helpful.
Monday, November 07, 2011
It was a beautiful day here in Denver yesterday. It was a great day for a Sunday walk around Washington Park's Smith Lake.
The trees are beautiful, the snow storm we had earlier in the week didn't take the leaves off, so as you can see they were beautiful against the clear blue sky.
Another snow storm is expected tonight, but fair weather is expected again by Friday. If you don't like the weather here in Colorado just wait a day or two, unlike Kansas and Iowa where I've also lived. When storms set in there it just stays winter until the spring thaw. Tis a privilege to live in Colorado.
Dr. West, the neurosurgeon she connected with there in the hospital, comes very highly rated. He's treating her with a steroid injection she received today.
Growing older is not for sissies. When my kids were little and they would get a bump I'd say, "it's lucky you are tough. That's sure true for my mom right now.
These posts show up on Facebook. My friend Jane made a comment that made me wonder if this is maybe just a little bit too much about me. What do you think?
Are you and I Facebook friends yet? If not, send me an invitation, OK? My Facebook address is http://Facebook.com/John.S.Wren Do you use Facebook much? I've made it a habit to post there several times a day. Seems to me it helps me remember what happened for the day.
Would anyone be interested in starting a similar Socrates Cafe Beginners Group meeting at 5:30 p.m. at Trinity Church on Thursdays, right before the 7 p.m. meeting? I think it would be a good way to attract new members for that meeting, which may already be benefiting from our Friday group.
I lead the Denver IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop for the Small Business Chamber each Friday. We invite speakers to share their startup experience and we brainstorm.
The hope is that this will be a model group for local chambers across Colorado and beyond to start similar groups.
If we are successful, we will lower the unemployment rate! :) For more information about what we are doing, see http://www.SmallBizChamber.org. Let me know if you'd be willing to start a meeting once a month in cooperation with your local chamber. We also have a Facebook Page http://Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber
Your feedback about this style of blog post would be very much appreciated. Do you like the pictures? What do you think about mixing the personal info with the business stuff? If you like what I've done or if you hate it, your feedback would be very much appreciated. If you say something nice, I may quote you unless you prefer that I don't. Email me at John@JohnWren.com
If you are thinking about going back to graduate school to study entrepreneurship, the University of Denver would like your opinions about what you'd like in a program. Please take a few minutes and respond to the survey I link to in the poll below in the post I made over the weekend, where you can also see my suggestions for life-long learning:
Sunday, November 06, 2011
I just got this email from the University of Denver. They are gathering information from alumni and others about a new program on entrepreneurship they are considering:
We want your input on the MS of Entrepreneurship coming to Daniels!
On behalf of the management department at Daniels, I am conducting a survey (click here) on the potential of a Master of Science of Entrepreneurship being offered at Daniels starting Winter 2013.
Please take a second to take this super quick survey and help us get this program off the ground!
Every participant has the chance to win a $25 gift card to Starbucks by random drawing!!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Of course lots of very successful people do very well with little or no formal "higher" education. From Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Andrew Carnegie, many, many successful people have made it without a college degree. But none of them made it without LIFE LONG LEARNING. Today as never before school is optional, but life long learning is mandatory.
2. One way to get a learning boost when you need it most is to attend an IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop. For details, and more about the interesting speaker who we have with us this week see http://www.SmallBizChamber.org
3. Would you help us supercharge the Facebook Page for your new, free Small Business Chamber of Commerce? Please "Like" it if you haven't already and right now "Share" it with your friends. And please post links to interesting news and information about startup and small business. Thanks! See http://Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber
4. Do you want to connect with other Colorado businesses? Another way Robert Schwab, former editor of ColoradoBiz Magazine, Scott Rodgers, who has build websites for some of the leading radion and TV stations, and myself are trying to build the small business community across Colorado is with the new online Colorado Almanac and Small Business Directory, PioneerHQ.com (click here.) Before we officially launch in December, Sharon Russell and Peter Roberts are contacting local chambers across the state to let them know about our plans. Right now you can get a free listing for your business in our directory, click the above link and follow the directions on the site.
5. If you enjoy good discussion on important topics with a diverse group of interesting people, join us some Friday afternoon for the new Denver Socrates Cafe Beginners Group (click here.) It's at 4 p.m. right after the Denver IDEA Cafe at Panera Bread, 13th & Grant.
6. There are a couple of big chamber annual events here in the metro-Denver area this week, with the big snow storm being forecast it will be interesting to see how well they are attended. Here's an idea for next year: combine efforts!
7. I'm slowly changing the focus here on JohnWren.com, I'll be posting a letter like this here for you once a week or so, then emailing my many good friends to let them know what I've done and I'll also post a link on Facebook and Twitter. Your feedback is always welcome, especially when it is posted as a comment here on JohnWren.com
Contact me with your email or phone call if I may be of service to you or anyone you know.
This life is short, let's get started!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
I just emailed this release to my media list:
Monday, October 10, 2011
One big difference could be that the Occupy Wall Street is being orchestrated by the White House. If that turns out to be the case, I expect Pres. Obama will do a Lyndon Johnson and announce that he's decided to follow the advice of his hometown newspaper and not run for reelection.
Still, there is a spirt that the two movements share. Jimmy Carter told Charley Rose on his show recently that the spirit of the Tea Party is what got him elected as President.
Those who just want to just make noise will march with the various Occupy campers and their Tea Party counterparts. Those who want to make a real difference here in Colorado will start connecting with their neighbors getting ready for the 2012 Colorado Caucuses, for more about it and how you can get involved see http://www.COCaucus.org
Also in the Denver Post online this morning, a link to their business calendar which lists the Small Business Chamber of Commerce's Denver IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop. We have some very interesting speakers coming up in the next couple of weeks, hope you'll join us if you are starting in a new direction with your work.
Saturday, October 08, 2011
Hunter Lovins will be with us at the Denver IDEA Cafe next Friday (Oct 14). Should be a great meeting. Join us yourself if you are headed in a new direction with your work, starting a new career, a new project or campaign, or even starting a new business. And please let your friends know about it who are headed in a new direction, OK? It's free and open to everyone, we just ask that you bring your brain for the brainstorming.
This is the 100th anniversary of our wonderful Colorado Caucuses, the best chance for the common person to get elected to public office. Should be one of the most interesting yet. See why I say that, and get info about how you can participated at my new post on www.COCaucus.org
I'm going to see To Kill a Mocking Bird this afternoon at the DCPA with my daughter Regan. To see the details about the play, and to see what I think of the current problems with the Colorado Symphony, check out my www.DenverWhenWhere.com
A friend told me yesterday that this blog is too scattered, he finds in hard to engage because I cover too many things. What do you think? Was the last minute or so you spent here worth your time?
I'm going to post here briefly each day, only send out an email reminder to you once a week or so. If you want off the email list, just let me know when you next get one.
I hope you have a great weekend!
Friday, October 07, 2011
Occupy Wall Street protests are spreading across the United States. According to NewsMax and Rush Limbaugh, the movement is being encouraged by the Obama campaign.
My friend Robert Schwab sees the good in the movement. "Have at it kids. It's your time." I'm not so sure. Seems to me those who don't have jobs might be better off using their time in other ways, maybe starting a business in a garage, like Apple, HP, Walt Disney, and so many other businesses have been started in the past, documented in a great article I just posted on http://Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber
When I left Cornell College my sophomore year in 1967, I wrote a letter to the school paper explaining that one reason was the lack of intellectual freedom on the campus. When I suggested a demonstration to my fraternity on one of the day's hot topics they declined because of the fear of retribution from professors. Told of what had happened, my faculty advisor said, "That's the problem with small schools like this, no one gets pushed off the sidewalk."
My protest took the form of taking a full time job my last two years of college at a different school.
How would the world be different today if Steve Jobs had channeled his energy into political protests in 1976 rather than going to work in the garage where Apple was born?
Anyone who wants to protest by finding a good job fast or starting a new business is invited to join us this afternoon (Fri, Oct 7) or any Friday afternoon for the Small Business Chamber's Denver IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop. It's free and open to everyone, we just ask that you share your startup experience (we've all started something) and that you bring your brain for the brainstorming. For more see the link on the Small Business Chamber's Facebook Page, http://Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber
Please share this with your friends who might find a boost helpful at the end of a hard week. I'm going to stop by the Occupy Denver camp out in front of the Colorado Capitol at 1 p.m. to invite them to attend.
Thursday, October 06, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
|2305 S. Jackson Street, Denver, CO|
A couple of years after moving into the Jackson Street home, Dad built his final warehouse at 6265 E. Evans. The building still exists, but it has been converted to retails stores.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
|558 W 5th, Loveland CO|
Mom and I visited the house again yesterday, it's improved considerably over the last 62 years in part because it is now part of an historic district.
It's made me wonder what is the difference between starting a business today and what it was like then, in those pre-Small Business Adminstration days.
Dad had bought a new car right after WWII and "flipped" it, then used the profit to build a new house which they sold to use as capital for the new business they started here in Colorado.
Dad was working for West Texas Wholesale company in Amarillo, selling non-food items to grocery stores in the Panhandle. A visit to my Uncle Jerry and Aunt Lillian had created the thought that they could do the same thing here in Colorado on their own, since Derby Market, a store in Loveland, wasn't stocking toothpaste, Rite dye, and the other items that were carried by West Texas.
I'll be forever grateful dad never had the "help" of a SCORE or SBA councilor. I'm sure they would have told him he was crazy for thinking he could make it on his own.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
My life and that of my family has been much, much better because my dad took the risk to start a business. Preserving the opportunity to do this same thing for others has been my primary motivation for most of what I've done in my career.
Now I'm putting my efforts under the umberella of the Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc. to cooperate with local chambers of commerce across Colorado and possibly beyond to provide IDEA Cafe type startup workshops and Franklin Circle type peer advisory groups to their members.
If you'd like to know more about how I can help you get and IDEA Cafe and/or a Franklin Circle started, please give me a call. If you want to start a Franklin Circle with your friends and neighbors that is free to those who attend, I'll help you for free.
Don Mares is with us at the Small Business Chamber's Denver IDEA Cafe this Friday (Sept 2), for more see http://www.SBCcBlog.com
We are making progress with the new online Colorado Almanac & Small Business Directory http://PioneerHQ.com. Our mission is to help strengthen the small business community in Colorado, again in cooperation with local chambers of commerce, not in competition with them. Take a look, and please take a free listing for your business. (Take a look at our Small Business Chamber of Commerce listing while you are there, we are listed under "Non-Profits.)
A few of us met for the first time to discuss Chris Phillips's book Socrates Cafe and those meetings led to what we now call Denver Socrates Cafe. The original group still meets each Friday at Panera Bread, 13th & Grant, and there is now a 2nd group that meets each Thursday at Trinity Church, 19th & Broadway, both here in Denver. That first meeting was held the Friday after 9/11, so we are coming up on our 10th aniversary. More info and optional RSVP for the Thursday night meeting at http://meetup.com/Denver-Socrates-Cafe
Are you and I Facebook friends? I post something there nearly every day that I think my friends might find interesting. See http://Facebook.com/John.S.Wren and also http://Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Great group of people will be at Denver IDEA Cafe this Friday for our 2nd monthly "Reunion" with previous speakers and attendees encouraged to attend. If you want seat at the brainstorming table, be one of the first to RSVP, or just show up. 2 p.m., Friday (Aug 26), at Panera Bread, 13th & Grant here in Denver. Free, we just ask that you bring your brain for the brainstorming. Please share with any of your friends who might find the meeting helpful. More info and optional RSVP at http://meetup.com/Denver-IDEA-Cafe or call me at (303)861-1447.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Our goal is to eventually become the Colorado version of the Texas Almanac (click here.)
Take advantage of the publicity we expect this fall to help get the word out about what you are doing, by taking a free listing for your business. It only takes a few seconds, it will probably be the highest ROI investment of your time! And it will really help us as we get started. Thanks!
See more about what we are doing in these first days of the project and get your free listing, take a look now at PioneerHQ.com (click here.)