Friday, November 15, 2013

The Startup Show ideA Action Friday

The Startup Show, today we'll talk about taking action, actually doing what you've decided to do.
We'll keep it short.

  SPECIAL EDITION The Startup Show Click
Stever Robbins talks with us about Internet lies, why he's stopping free work.

John Edgar Wren, Junior
February 10, 1924 to November 15, 1979

When pop was only 8 years old his dad died. In just about the last conversation we ever had, I asked pop why he never talked about his dad. "I resented him dying so young. My life would have been a lot better if he'd fought it a little harder." Pop's last words to mother: "Don't worry honey, we'll whip this."

Pop told me once he didn't want to give me his middle name Edgar because that would have made me a Junior, and his nickname growing up was Junior and he hated it. I imagine it stirred that resentment.

He and mom met at Amarillo High School. At one of their reunions dad answered the question "What is your proudest accomplishment" with the fact that he started a successful business, which mom didn't like.

He and mother moved to Colordo in 1949, I was 2 years old, my earliest memory was him calling me to the front yard there in Loveland to go to the warehouse with him. I worked for him full time my last two years in college, and we sold the business the summer of 1969, his friends who didn't see the fact that chain stores had changed distribution economics didn't make out nearly so well. That summer he changed his will to make me the executor and trustee of his estate if mother ever wasn't able to do it when he passed on. We had no idea he'd be gone only 10 short years later.

I grew up working each summer for dad, yard work and warehouse work. Driving to the warehouse was like going to a business training seminar. "Every morning you have to give yourself a pep talk." "Stay busy, there is always something to do." "Don't ever make jokes about money, employees never find them funny." "The price you sell for is based on what people are willing to pay, not what it cost you." "You can't sell from an empty wagon, always have plenty of inventory." "People don't care about how much you know until they know how much you care." "You wouldn't worry about what people think of you if you knew how little they did it." "The best is just barely good enough." "Whatever you do, be in business for yourself, even if it's just to have a pop corn stand." "Every home should have a Montgomery Wards catalog, when kids look through it they learn how to dream." "Every thing you see once started as someone's idea." "The definition of a living wage depends on whether you are getting it or paying it." "The profit in the wholesale business depends on how well you handle the merchandise that doesn't sell. (Bin-X)"

Dad fought cancer for several years. He was mistreated for prostate cancer, caused it unnecessarily to spread. The son of the doctor who treated him came to a meeting I'd organized one time and told me how grateful his family was we hadn't sued. Never entered my mind. Not much did those days, I was filled with grief, youngest daughter Allie was born 10 days after pop died, the pastor at our church who had been so helpful to me moved out of town, and a therapist I'd been seeing did the same thing. What I saw as the solution to my problems turned out to be the biggest of my problems.

Decades later I went to mother's 50th high school reunion with her. I was astonished at how popular she was, she'd been a cheer leader, home coming queen, voted most popular, was awarded a full scholarship to Colorado Women's College, then instead married dad when he was discharged from the Navy. At the reunion I finally understood why it made her so made that pop had thought of his business as his proudest accomplishment. How he ever got her to marry him, charismatic, hardworking, bright, but without owning a car, not even having a job, surely getting her to say yes was the most important sale he ever made. Mother took care of their home, me and my brothers, there is just no way he could have been as successful as he was without her help.

We miss you pop, but none of us who were with you those final years can ever say you didn't fight it as hard as you could. Thank you for all you did for all of us in your short life.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Startup Show ideA Action Thursday

The Startup Show today will focus on action, the fourth step of our IDEA business creativity model. I-Inspiration, D-Develop Alternatives, E-Evaluate Alternatives, and then this forth step, actually getting to work. We take four days to look at these each week, but may just take moments to go through them all when you are in the middle of a battle.

Tomorrow (Fri, Nov 15) 2:30 pm for our Denver IDEA Salon, open discussion group, and then at 4 p.m. our Denver IDEA Startup Cafe, both at Panera Bread, 13th and Grant. More info and optional RSVP on our Meetup site, see link on

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Startup Show idEa Evaluation Wednesday

Here's 5-minutes of startup experience and ideas you can count on right here on my live by 5 each day Monday thru Friday. Watch, then continue the conversation by posting your comment here or call me on The Startup Line (303)861-1447.

 Today's topic is Evaluation, how you decide whether to go forward or not? Johnny Cash said that in poker you have to "know when to hold em, know when to fold em, and when to run away." How do we decide in startup, especially when it's a big idea. Earlier today, SPECIAL EDITION The Startup Show talked with well known executive coach Stever Robbins about Internet Success Myths & How They Are Fleecing You, you can see it right below here on Stever is very interesting, funny, it's worth a few minutes of your time, take a look.

  (Click here) for Daring Mighty Things-- The Simplest Way to Start Your First (or Next) New Business by me. 99-cents in the Kindle edition, I'll give you $1 back if you don't find it helpful.

Best book on startup for the person who wants to get going now, Just Start, see

For the business adviser or teacher best book on startup is Amar Bhide's The Origin & Evolution of New Businesses.

SPECIAL EDITION The Startup Show talks with Stever Robbins: Internet Success Story Myths & How They Are Fleecing You.


In this SPECIAL EDITION The Startup Show host John Wren talks with Stever Robbins about his recent post on his Facebook Page announcing that he was no longer doing work for free. We called him and asked for this one last free interview, about why the new policy and Stever's views about Internet success stories:

Stever Robbins is a serial entrepreneur, having co-founded the early internet success story FTP Software, served as COO of Building Blocks Interactive, CEO of, and has been an initial team member of ten start-ups, including four IPOs and three acquisitions. He was project manager at Intuit, where he co-led the development of the award-winning Quicken VISA Card. He serves as business plan judge for the Harvard Business School business plan competition, the Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Awards, the William James Foundation social enterprise competition, and the Mass Challenge entrepreneurship competition.
His experience developing organizational leaders began as co-designer of Harvard Business School’s “Leadership and Learning” curriculum redesign, and has gone on to include being an advisor and mentor to senior managers in several high-growth companies.
His Get-It-Done-Guy podcast has spent weeks as #1 in the iTunes business category and has been downloaded more than 17.5 million times. He has been a repeat commentator on CNN-fn’s Entrepreneurs Only and hosted a regular segment on the nationally syndicated radio show Entrepreneurs, Living the American Dream. He is a featured expert in Harvard Business School Publishing’s Harvard Manage Mentor, as well as appearing as an expert in critical thinking and memory in Houghton-Mifflin’s forthcoming Skillbuilders series.
He has been interviewed in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, NBC Nightly News, The New York Times, ABC News Now, MSNBC, FOX News, BusinessWeek Online, and Investor’s Business Daily. He has written for Harvard Business Review, The Boston Business Journal and has had columns on, Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge, and the Quick and Dirty Tips network.
Stever holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program, a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP.

How to evaluate a big idea.

This afternoon on The Startup Show I'll be talking about how to evaluate a big idea. What do you do when you are the only one that can see the vision?

The Small Business Administration teaches that you should share your idea with a lot of people, if they don't think what you are doing is a good idea, change your idea. Steve Blank and Eric Rise say pretty much the same thing in that regard.

Is this how most big ideas got off the ground, there was a ground swell of popular support? Watch for the show live today on YouTube Live Broadcasts or Google+ Live Hangouts, or come back here to this site about 2:30 p.m. this afternoon, or any time after that for a link to the YouTube recording.

We'll also be talking about this at our Denver IDEA Salon this Friday, free and open to everyone. No RSVP required, but that saves a seat for you until the start of the meeting, more info at 

Research on principled entrepreneurship undertaken.

...the university will be able to add even more visiting positions and extend the length of the program geared toward exploring entrepreneurship.
“The vision for our school is to be truly person-centered. In pursuit of that goal it is imperative for us to conduct research oriented to the common good and to focus on understanding how business and economics become more effective when they are more humane," Abela added. "That’s the enterprise in which these visiting scholars will engage during their time with us."

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Startup Show
Today: Develop Alternatives Tuesday iDea

Join us Friday for IDEA Cafes & Salon, see, and let me know if you'd like help to start a new group in cooperation with your local chamber or other group.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Scott Case (Startup America, Priceline) Learn From Previous Founders

Learning from others who have done it. Best way in my experience, but Assistant-to.

Inspiration Monday

Live by 5 p.m. MST
The Startup Show
I = Inspiration Monday
D= Develop Alternatives Tuesday
E= Evaluate the Alternatives Wednesday
A = Act!
Friday we talk about the grassroots in business and politics.

Sponsored by the Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc
We help each other create a Good Living, cooperating with local
chambers of commerce and other groups.

Here's today's show:

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