Tuesday, April 30, 2013

John Wren explains what's done, and why, at IDEA Cafe Startup Workshops, LOGOS exercise, sharing startup experience, and a brainstorming technique we are starting to call IDEASurfing. Also the history of Franklin Circle, and a free wiki that will help you start one with your friends.

Monday, April 29, 2013

On The Startup Show Today... What do you think? Call in to be on the show.

Today,  two great leaders, tips and insights for success in business and in life. Can you guess which two leaders? For hints, see posts below. :-)

Join us today (Mon, Apr 29) for The Startup Show. Today and each Monday from 4 to 5 p.m., heard around the world on http://TradioV.com  Originates from the Five Points Media Center, 2900 Welton here in Denver.

Also, as promised, we'll be airing samples of what Small Business Chamber members have said about themselves on our Facebook Page, you can check them all out at http://Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber 

More about the show on our Facebook Page, where we've been posting links to past shows, and where you can also post comments, see http://Facebook.com/SmallBizStartup (Starting today look here for a link to the tape of the live show after we go off the air.)

The Startup Show is brought to you be the Small Business Chamber of Commerce, "We help local chambers organize and facilitate IDEA Cafe Startup Workshops and Franklin Circle Peer Advisory Groups."  For more see http://www.SmallBizChamber.org or contact us at (303)861-1447 or John@SmallBizChamber.org  

Russell Dennis with the U.S. Veterans Chamber of Commerce will again be with us in the studio, along with a surprise guest or two. Join us! Call in to be on the show, 4 to 5 p.m. today on http://TradioV.com 

The World-Changing Margaret Thatcher

Not since Catherine the Great has there been a woman of such consequence.

Margaret Thatcher had more impact on the world than any woman ruler since Catherine the Great of Russia. Not only did she turn around—decisively—the British economy in the 1980s, she also saw her methods copied in more than 50 countries. "Thatcherism" was the most popular and successful way of running a country in the last quarter of the 20th century and into the 21st.
Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher at the White House in June 1982.
Her origins were humble. Born Oct. 13, 1925, she was the daughter of a grocer in the Lincolnshire town of Grantham. Alfred Roberts was no ordinary shopkeeper. He was prominent in local government and a man of decided economic and political views. Thatcher later claimed her views had been shaped by gurus like Karl Popper and Friedrich Hayek, but these were clearly the icing on a cake baked in her childhood by Councillor Roberts. This was a blend of Adam Smith and the Ten Commandments, the three most important elements being hard work, telling the truth, and paying bills on time.
Hard work took Miss Roberts, via a series of scholarships, to Grantham Girls' School, Somerville College, Oxford, and two degrees, in chemistry and law. She practiced in both professions, first as a research chemist, then as a barrister from 1954. By temperament she was always a scholarship girl, always avid to learn, and even when prime minister still carried in her capacious handbag a notebook in which she wrote down anything you told her that she thought memorable.

Related Video

Editorial page editor Paul Gigot on Margaret Thatcher’s legacy. Photo: AP
At the same time, she was intensely feminine, loved buying and wearing smart clothes, had the best head of hair in British politics and spent a fortune keeping it well dressed. At Oxford, punting on the Isis and Cherwell rivers, she could be frivolous and flirtatious, and all her life she tended to prefer handsome men to plain ones. Her husband, Denis Thatcher, whom she married in 1951 and by whom she had a son and daughter, was not exactly dashing but he was rich (oil industry), a capable businessman, a rock on which she could always lean in bad times, and a source of funny 19th-hole sayings.
Denis was amenable (or resigned) to her pursuing a political career, and in 1959 she was elected MP for Finchley, a London suburb. She was exceptionally lucky to secure this rock-solid Tory seat, so conveniently placed near Westminster and her home. She held the seat without trouble until her retirement 33 years later. Indeed, Thatcher was always accounted a lucky politician. Prime Minister Harold Macmillan soon (in 1961) gave her a junior office at Pensions, and when the Conservatives returned to power in 1970, she was fortunate to be allotted to the one seat in the cabinet reserved for a woman, secretary of state for education.
There she kept her nose clean and was lucky not to be involved in the financial and economic wreckage of the disastrous Ted Heath government. The 1970s marked the climax of Britain's postwar decline, in which "the English disease"—overweening trade-union power—was undermining the economy by strikes and inflationary wage settlements. The Boilermakers Union had already smashed the shipbuilding industry. The Amalgamated Engineers Union was crushing what was left of the car industry. The print unions were imposing growing censorship on the press. Not least, the miners union, under the Stalinist Arthur Scargill, had invented new picketing strategies that enabled them to paralyze the country wherever they chose.
Attempts at reform had led to the overthrow of the Harold Wilson Labour government in 1970, and an anti-union bill put through by Heath led to the destruction of his majority in 1974 and its replacement by another weak Wilson government that tipped the balance of power still further in the direction of the unions. The general view was that Britain was "ungovernable."
Among Tory backbenchers there was a growing feeling that Heath must go. Thatcher was one of his critics, and she encouraged the leader of her wing of the party, Keith Joseph, to stand against him. However, at the last moment Joseph's nerve failed him and he refused to run. It was in these circumstances that Thatcher, who had never seen herself as a leader, let alone prime minister, put herself forward. As a matter of courtesy, she went to Heath's office to tell him that she was putting up for his job. He did not even look up from his desk, where he was writing, merely saying: "You'll lose, you know"—a characteristic combination of bad manners and bad judgment. In fact she won handsomely, thereby beginning one of the great romantic adventures of modern British politics.
The date was 1975, and four more terrible years were to pass before Thatcher had the opportunity to achieve power and come to Britain's rescue. In the end, it was the unions themselves who put her into office by smashing up the James Callaghan Labour government in the winter of 1978-79—the so-called Winter of Discontent—enabling the Tories to win the election the following May with a comfortable majority.
Thatcher's long ministry of nearly a dozen years is often mistakenly described as ideological in tone. In fact Thatcherism was (and is) essentially pragmatic and empirical. She tackled the unions not by producing, like Heath, a single comprehensive statute but by a series of measures, each dealing with a particular abuse, such as aggressive picketing. At the same time she, and the police, prepared for trouble by a number of ingenious administrative changes allowing the country's different police forces to concentrate large and mobile columns wherever needed. Then she calmly waited, relying on the stupidity of the union leaders to fall into the trap, which they duly did.
She fought and won two pitched battles with the two strongest unions, the miners and the printers. In both cases, victory came at the cost of weeks of fighting and some loss of life. After the hard men had been vanquished, the other unions surrendered, and the new legislation was meekly accepted, no attempt being made to repeal or change it when Labour eventually returned to power. Britain was transformed from the most strike-ridden country in Europe to a place where industrial action is a rarity. The effect on the freedom of managers to run their businesses and introduce innovations was almost miraculous and has continued.
Thatcher reinforced this essential improvement by a revolutionary simplification of the tax system, reducing a score or more "bands" to two and lowering the top rates from 83% (earned income) and 98% (unearned) to the single band of 40%.
She also reduced Britain's huge and loss-making state-owned industries, nearly a third of the economy, to less than one-tenth, by her new policy of privatization—inviting the public to buy from the state industries, such as coal, steel, utilities and transport by bargain share offers. Hence loss-makers, funded from taxes, became themselves profit-making and so massive tax contributors.
This transformation was soon imitated all over the world. More important than all these specific changes, however, was the feeling Thatcher engendered that Britain was again a country where enterprise was welcomed and rewarded, where businesses small and large had the benign blessing of government, and where investors would make money.
As a result Britain was soon absorbing more than 50% of all inward investment in Europe, the British economy rose from the sixth to the fourth largest in the world, and its production per capita, having been half that of Germany's in the 1970s, became, by the early years of the 21st century, one-third higher.
The kind of services that Thatcher rendered Britain in peace were of a magnitude equal to Winston Churchill's in war. She also gave indications that she might make a notable wartime leader, too. When she first took over, her knowledge of foreign affairs was negligible. Equally, foreigners did not at first appreciate that a new and stronger hand was now in control in London. There were exceptions. Ronald Reagan, right from the start, liked what he heard of her. He indicated that he regarded her as a fellow spirit, even while still running for president, with rhetoric that was consonant with her activities.
Once Reagan was installed in the White House, the pair immediately reinvigorated the "special relationship." It was just as well. Some foreigners did not appreciate the force of what the Kremlin was beginning to call the Iron Lady. In 1982, the military dictatorship in Argentina, misled by the British Foreign Offices's apathetic responses to threats, took the hazardous step of invading and occupying the British Falkland Islands. This unprovoked act of aggression caught Thatcher unprepared, and for 36 hours she was nonplused and uncertain: The military and logistical objections to launching a combined-forces counterattack from 8,000 miles away were formidable.
But reassured by her service chiefs that, given resolution, the thing could be done, she made up her mind: It would be done, and thereafter her will to victory and her disregard of losses and risks never wavered. She was also assured by her friend Reagan that, short of sending forces, America would do all in its considerable power to help—a promise kept. Thus began one of the most notable campaigns in modern military and moral history, brought to a splendid conclusion by the unconditional surrender of all the Argentine forces on the islands, followed shortly by the collapse of the military dictatorship in Buenos Aires.
This spectacular success, combined with Thatcher's revival of the U.K. economy, enabled her to win a resounding electoral victory in 1983, followed by a third term in 1987. Thatcher never had any real difficulty in persuading the British electorate to back her, and it is likely that, given the chance, she would have won her fourth election in a row.
But it was a different matter with the Conservative Party, not for nothing once categorized by one of its leaders as the "stupid party." Some prominent Tories were never reconciled to her leadership. They included in particular the supporters of European federation, to which she was implacably opposed, their numbers swollen by grandees who had held high office under her but whom she had dumped without ceremony as ministerial failures. It was, too, a melancholy fact that she had become more imperious during her years of triumph and that power had corrupted her judgment.
This was made clear when she embarked on a fundamental reform of local-government finance. The reform itself was sensible, even noble, but its presentation was lamentable and its numerous opponents won the propaganda battle hands down. In the midst of this disaster, her Europhile opponents within her party devised a plot in 1990 to overthrow her by putting up one of their number (sacked from the cabinet for inefficiency) in the annual leadership election. Thatcher failed to win outright and was persuaded by friends to stand down. Thus ended one of the most remarkable careers in British political history.
Thatcher's strongest characteristic was her courage, both physical and moral. She displayed this again and again, notably when the IRA tried to murder her during the Tory Party Conference in 1984, and nearly succeeded, blowing up her hotel in the middle of the night. She insisted on opening the next morning's session right on time and in grand style. Immediately after courage came industry. She must have been the hardest-working prime minister in history, often working a 16-hour day and sitting up all night to write a speech. Her much-tried husband once complained, "You're not writing the Bible, you know."
She was not a feminist, despising the genre as "fashionable rot," though she once made a feminist remark. At a dreary public dinner of 500 male economists, having had to listen to nine speeches before being called herself, she began, with understandable irritation: "As the 10th speaker, and the only woman, I wish to say this: the cock may crow but it's the hen who lays the eggs."
Her political success once again demonstrates the importance of holding two or three simple ideas with fervor and tenacity, a virtue she shared with Ronald Reagan. One of these ideas was that the "evil empire" of communism could be and would be destroyed, and together with Reagan and Pope John Paul II she must be given the credit for doing it.
Among the British public she aroused fervent admiration and intense dislike in almost equal proportions, but in the world beyond she was recognized for what she was: a great, creative stateswoman who left the world a better and more prosperous place, and whose influence will reverberate well into the 21st century.
Mr. Johnson is a historian.
A version of this article appeared April 9, 2013, on page A15 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: The World-Changing Margaret Thatcher.

Margaret Thatcher, who was close to him before and after his 8 years as President, on what made Ronald Reagan a great leader in this video she made to be shown at his funeral, which she also attended.

"He loved America and what it stands for, freedom and opportunity for the common person... the American Dream... with the lever of American patriotism, he lifted the spirit of the world.. God bless America!"

"He said, Nancy came along and saved my soul."

"We have one advantage today he did not have, we have his example."

Saturday, April 27, 2013

I keep intending to post here each day. Maybe this is the day. I just posted this on my Facebook wall:

"My greatest influence has been the blues. And that's a literary influence, because I think the blues is the best literature that we as black Americans have... Blues is the bedrock of everything I do. All the characters in my plays, their ideas and their attitudes, the stance that they adopt in the world, are all ideas and attitudes that are expressed in the blues. If all this were to disappear off the face of the earth and some people two million unique years from now would dig out this civilization and come across some blues records, working as anthropologists, they would be able to piece together who these people were, what they thought about, what their ideas and attitudes toward pleasure and pain were, all of that. All the components of culture."

August Wilson, born on this date in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1945). He wrote the plays Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1982), set in the 1920s; Fences (1983), set in the 1950s and 1960s; and Joe Turner's Come and Gone (1984), set in 1911, African-American experiences throughout the 20th century, decade by decade. 

His final play in the 10-part Pittsburgh Cycle, Radio Golf, which is set in the 1990s, was produced in 2005, Wilson died of liver cancer six months after it opened. The Denver City Theater Company has presented them all, and has started through the cycle again, Fences last fall.

I was at the opening of the Denver Center's production of Radio Golf, March, 2009 There was a very interesting talk back with the director Israel Hicks. Last falls production of Fences was outstanding, the American dream teetering on the edge.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Startup help this week:

Call me any morning, Monday thru Friday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and let's talk about your business and how I can help you find your next great client. Call (303)861-1447

Listen to The Startup Show, 4 to 5 p.m. Monday. Call in with your questions.

Free Online IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop, more info and RSVP at http://Meetup.com/Small-Biz-Chamber 

Denver IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop, Friday, Tony's Market, 950 Broadway, free parking, Free. For more information and RSVP see link on http://Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber 

Post a video introduction of yourself and your business on the Small Business Chamber Facebook Page, use your smart phone to make a video of your elevator talk, then post it on http://Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber 

Want to start a peer advisory group? Google "How to Start a Franklin Circle," if you want help, contact John Wren (303)861-1447 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Monday thru Friday or by appointment.

Read Just Start, "Best book on startup ever written." John Wren http://Just-Start.com 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Join us for Faith Sharing 6 pm Saturdays

Denver Loyola Church, 5 pm Mass each Saturday, then our Faith Sharing group at 6 pm. Topic today, why did Jesus call himself the Good Shepard and not the Good Carpenter http://Meetup.com/Jesuit-Guide-Sharing-Groups

Friday, April 19, 2013

More and more ignorant politicians, professors, and people who just don't understand the history of America and what's lead to so much prosperity for so many are blaming the salesman for our current economic problems when just the opposite is true. If this was on the wall of every startup in America, business failure rate would be cut to nil. I just posted this on our Small Business Chamber of Commerce Facebook Page:

I Am A Salesman. I Built America.
Author Unknown

I am proud to be a salesman, because more than any other man, I and millions of others like me, built America.

The man who builds a better mouse trap — or a better anything— would starve to death if he waited for people to beat a pathway to his door. Regardless of how good or how needed the product or service might be, it has to be sold.

Eli Whitney was laughed at when he showed his cotton gin. Edison had to install his electric light free of charge in an office building before anyone would even look at it. The first sewing machine was smashed to pieces by a Boston mob. People scoffed at the idea of railroads. They thought that traveling even thirty miles an hour would stop the circulation of the blood! McCormick strived for 14 years to get people to use his reaper. Westinghouse was considered a fool for stating he could stop a train with wind. Morse had to plead before 10 Congresses before they would even look at his telegraph.

The public didn't go around demanding these things; they had to be sold!!

They needed thousands of salesmen, trailblazers and pioneers - people who could persuade with the same effectiveness as the inventor could invent. Salesmen took these inventions, sold the public on what these products could do, taught customers how to use them, and then taught businessmen how to make a profit from them.

As a salesman, I've done more to make America what it is today than any other person you know. I was just as vital in your great-great-grandfather's day as I am in yours, and I will be just as vital in your great-great-grandson's day. I have educated more people, created more jobs, taken more drudgery from the laborer's work, given more profits to businessmen, and have given more people a fuller and richer life than anyone in history. I've dragged prices down, pushed quality up, and made it possible for you to enjoy the comforts and luxuries of automobiles, radios, electric refrigerators, televisions, and air conditioned homes and buildings. I've healed the sick, given security to the aged, and put thousands of young men and women through college. I've made it possible for inventors to invent, for factories to hum, and for ships to sail the seven seas.

How much money you find in your pay envelope next week, and whether in the future you will enjoy the luxuries of prefabricated homes, stratospheric flying of airplanes, and new world of jet propulsion and atomic power, depends on me. The loaf of bread you bought today was on a baker's shelf because I made sure that a farmer's wheat got to a mill, that the mill made wheat into flour, and that the flour was delivered to your baker.

Without me, the wheels of industry would come to a grinding halt. And with that, jobs, marriages, politics and freedom of thought would be a thing of the past. I AM A SALESMAN and I'm proud and grateful that as such, I serve my family, my fellow man and my country.

From Zig Ziglar, The Secrets of Closing Sales.
Thanks Zig, RIP. We'll see you at the top!

John S Wren, MBA+
The Good Salesman.
"Have group-- Will travel."
Want more members or customers?
Call me.
"Fastest talker in the West."
Call first (303)861-1447, then John@JohnWren.com

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How can we not fall into arrogance when sharing the truth?

"God opposes the proud, even when they are right."


Still working on announcement. What shall we do? Hopefully tomorrow. Education across Colorado, using the power of self-directed, self-governing learning groups. Business. Civic participation. Should we also include sex education along these lines: http://www.catholic.com/profiles/matt-fradd

A few friends are having lunch with me tomorrow, I hope to have a media release to share with them before it's distributed to the media in the afternoon. If you might be willing to join us, please give me a call at (303)861-1447. If you get voice mail, leave a message and I'll get back to you for sure today (Wednesday) or first thing in the morning. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Big news? Preview Monday on The Startup Show.

By next Thursday we should finally be ready to announce our plans, what we are going to do next with ReferendumOrRecall.org

Get a preview Monday on The Startup Show. We'll bounce the idea off our guest Ken Wyble and announce to the world the top vote getters in our "favorite chamber" poll.

One way or the other, I hope to talk with you soon.

John S Wren
"Have meeting--Will travel."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Big news? Not yet.

Announcement now expected this Thursday, tomorrow, check here for preview which will be finalize at lunch tomorrow (Thursday), before we make a media release in the afternoon. Give me a call if you'd like to join me for lunch today or tomorrow to talk about our new direction.