Monday, December 29, 2014

Social Media for Startups

 Two books I am reading now, both talking about the Impact of social media on business.

I'll share some new ideas about startup, small business soon, stay tuned!

Watch for a post here in the next day or two, and I'm going to talk about new ideas for startup and social media this Friday (Jan 2), 10 am on The Startup Show. Watch it right here, mark your calendar, Friday, 1/2, 10 am If you miss it live, there will immediately (almost) be a link to a recording of the show right ere at 10:30 am.

If you have a "secret" about the use of social media during startup, post it here as a comment and I'll share on the show, or call me (303)861-1447 where you can also call if you'd like to be a guest on the show to share your startup experience some Friday.

More here on social media soon. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Apple ID problem for you too?

I've been trying to get an Apple ID/password for weeks.

Becoming a critical problem. I have 26 app updates I can't make, a couple of new apps I'd like to download but can't because of this problem.

Just had very, very bad experience with their service tech on chat.

Keep getting run around. Very well could be that I've done something stupid like set up two accounts with them, now they are tangled up.

But whatever caused the problem, doesn't seem to me it should be this hard to fix.

Anyone else having a problem? Looks like there might be a few of you, traffic has picked up on

Graph of Blogger page views

Monday, December 15, 2014

Never, never, never quit!

Losers pivot. Winners grind.

" Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.''

Winston Churchill, October 29, 1941 to the boys at Harrow School.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Starting? Great 2-minute talk by Amar Bhide.

Dr Bhide's book The Origin and Evolution of New Businesses was ground breaking in 1994, has been widely influential, admitted source of the Harvard Business Review Press "Just Start" although it was not cited. Here's a 2 minute summary of the revolutionary, contrarian  finding of the book: +Recover+Start+Grow+Flourish+ AGDM+: Amar Bhide on Innovation and Prosperity

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Let's talk...

Tomorrow (Fri, Dec 5) I'll be at Panera Bread, 13th & Grant, old guy with beard and red hat. Stop by and say hi, let's talk about how we can be helpful for each other and for others, ok? or call me any time (other than Friday afternoons0 (303)861-1447

Monday, November 24, 2014

Beyond Listening to God, a Relationship With Abba.

From Contemplative Outreach:

An 11th Step Prayer Practice for those in 12 Step Programs

1) Twenty minutes of Centering Prayer twice a day is recommended.

2) If you notice slight physical or emotional pain arising during the prayer, pay no attention and return ever so gently to the sacred word.

3) It is suggested that you join a weekly Centering Prayer Group or find others in recovery willing to meet on a regular basis, to support one another in this practice.

About 12 Step Outreach

The 12 Step Outreach program of Contemplative Outreach was established to offer Centering Prayer to people in all 12 Step fellowships as an 11th Step prayer/meditation practice. We help individuals and groups establish contemplative prayer practices through workshops, retreats and formation programs. Thomas Keating’s recent work, Divine Therapy and Addiction, reflects on the wisdom and the legacy of Alcoholics Anonymous and all 12- step programs. The practice of Centering Prayer has parallels with other spiritual traditions.

The Method of Centering Prayer ***

We are 12-step people who practice Centering Prayer as our 11th step practice and pass it on to others in 12-step recovery.

The purpose of 12-step outreach is to support one another in the process of spiritual transformation through Centering Prayer and our 12-step recovery programs.

Many people are already practicing Centering Prayer and find it very helpful in their recovery. 12-Step Outreach offers retreats and introductory workshops that teach this method in more depth.

“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we Understood God--The 11 Step.

You can find information about workshops and retreats offered by 12 Step Outreach at

For those who live by the 12 Steps found in AA, Al-Anon, SCA, OA, DA, NA, GA, and other programs, a Centering Prayer practice can be a key support system in the process of recovery and transformation. Centering Prayer can help deepen our application of the 12 Steps generally, and the 11th Step specifically, through daily immersion in prayer and meditation. We believe that, when applied as a daily supplement to the 12 Steps, Centering Prayer opens us to the deepest dimension of spirituality.

This pamphlet was put together to help those searching for emotional and spiritual sobriety. Centering Prayer is a method for doing the 11th Step to improve our conscious contact with our Higher Power. “Sought through prayer and meditation” deals with our own personal effort to communicate with a Higher Power. Many people in 12-Step programs have deepened their relationship with their Higher Power with the method of Centering Prayer. This is about you and your God “as you understand God.” It is not an attempt to change the instructions given in the Big Book but to support and supplement them.

The website keeps a list of 12 Step Centering Prayer Groups and 11th Step Meditation Meetings and you may find one in your area. We provide information for starting 11th Step Meetings in various formats that follow the traditions of our 12 Step program.

Thomas Keating, OCSO is one of the founders of Centering Prayer and Contemplative Outreach, a spiritual network that teaches Centering Prayer and provides a support system for those who practice it. He is the author of many books and recorded presentations on Contemplative Prayer. The practice of Centering Prayer, and the spiritual, historical and psychological basis of it, are described and elaborated in several of Thomas Keating’s works, including Open Mind, Open Heart and Invitation to Love

Centering Prayer and the 12-Steps.

From Contemplative Outreach:

A New Freedom

The Guidelines

Effects of Centering Prayer

Whether you have been in recovery for a long time or are just beginning, you probably have experienced a lot of frustrated feelings that didn’t just go away when you got abstinent or sober...problems with relationships, work, anxiety, depression, or feelings of emptiness. These feelings are natural for us no matter what our addiction and the amount of time in recovery we have. But we don’t have to let them rule our lives. The 11th Step offers us a solution!

1. Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within.

The positive effects of the prayer are experienced in daily life and not necessarily during the prayer period itself. During this prayer, avoid analyzing the experience, or having expectations such as: continuously repeating the sacred word; having no thoughts; achieving a spiritual experience. It is important not to judge the success of your prayer period. The only thing you can do wrong in this prayer is to get up and leave. You may find yourself getting in touch with feelings of pain, lust, or fear, even remembering feelings or events you forgot about long ago. There is no way to change or repair the damage of a lifetime EASILY or QUICKLY.

Through the simple method of Centering Prayer we can improve our relationship with the Ultimate Power of life. This is true whether we call that power God, Allah, Mother, another name or no name.

4. At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.

This type of prayer has been used over the centuries, but it is different from what we may think of as prayer. It is not the type of prayer we are used to, like praying for something we want. It is simply moving deep within ourselves, in silence, saying nothing, asking for nothing, just being and allowing our Higher Power to be with us.

1. The “sacred word” is sacred not because of its inherent meaning, but because of the meaning we give it as the expression of our intention and consent. Examples: Love, Let Go, Serenity, Peace, Silence, Faith, Trust, Gentle, etc.

Growth will happen when we practice Centering Prayer in the context of the 12 Steps.

For those who are working a recovery program, parallels can be found between the transformation that Centering Prayer brings and the process of growth facilitated as we work the 12 Steps.

2. “Sitting comfortably” means relatively comfortably so as not to encourage sleep during the time of prayer.

Develops in us a nonjudgmental attitude of ourselves and others

2. Sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly, and silently introduce the sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within.

3. When engaged with your thoughts*, return ever-so-gently to the sacred word.

*thoughts include body sensations, feelings, images, and reflections

Everyone moves at his or her own pace in Centering Prayer. Just doing the prayer and opening our self to the presence of our Higher Power in silence will encourage you to keep going.

3. By “returning ever-so-gently to the sacred word” a minimum of effort is indicated. This is the only activity we initiate during the time of Centering Prayer.

Emerging capacity to listen and serve others

Enhances our ability to “Let Go and Let God”

We grow in self knowledge which at times may be painful

Nurtures our ability to live in the present moment and just for today 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

JE Wren

Crest of the family of Sir
 Christopher Wren, who gave
the talk at the first meeting
of the Royal Academy. Are
we related? Very unlikely.
It was on this day November 15 that 35 years ago this evening that pop passed on, 10 years after selling his business to NMS Industries.

He'd been fighting cancer for years, but suddenly that summer of 1979 it took a turn for the worst. Much worse.

"Don't worry honey, we're going to whip this," were his last words to mom. She and I and the Smith's and Cearly's were standing around his bed when his breathing changed and then very suddenly stopped all together.

He'd worked hard for 55 years, 9 months, and 5 days. Too hard.

In one of my last talks with pop I asked him why he'd never told me anything about his father, who had died we were told when pop was only 9 years old. "I guess I always resented him. I was just a little guy when he died, and my life would have been a lot easier if he'd fought it a little harder.

John E. Wren in 1969.
Pop married the prettiest, most popular girl in his high school, built and sold a successful business, developed a small shopping center and always earned a good living for him self. He served on the board and then became president of the national trade association for his business (this picture taken for their 1969 annual directory.) He built a house in Amarillo just after WWII which they sold to raise money for the business he started in Colorado. He built a house in Aurora, Colorado, another in University Park, and another in Devonshire Heights. Just before he passed on he and mom built the condo we've just sold after mom passed on to join him September 20.

He had a lot of good  friends, several he'd stayed in touch with since high school. He loved his family, playing catch, going to school events, gardening, especially rose gardening, pheasant hunting, fishing from his boat on Lake Granby, God, his mother and sisters and their families, mom, and he especially loved this great country, the United States of America, where a poor boy from a small town could make something out of his life. He was proud that all 3 of his sons graduated from the University of Denver. He hated paying so much in  taxes, especially inventory tax.

He dreamed of buying an RV and traveling the country with mom, and also of starting a foundation to give a hand to others who, like him, had lost their father at a young age.

Today medicine has advanced and the prostrate cancer which finally spread and took him would most likely be treated for full recovery and he'd have had 30+ more years, who know what he would have accomplished.

May God bless and keep your soul and mom's, pop. Thanks for all the good memories.. I know you fought it as hard as you possibly could.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Are you starting?

If you are starting a new career, a new project or campaign, or a new business check out the Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc, (click here for website).

Since 1979 we've been helping people who are starting in a new direction with their work. Since 1727 if you go back to when Ben Franklin started what we consider our first meeting, what he and the others called the Junto, what we call today a Franklin Circle.

For more check out our website (above) or Facebook Page (click here) or Tweet us @IDEACafe .

At any of these you'll see a link to a sample of our online Friday morning The Startup Show, hope you'll mark your calendar and watch live then or visit anytime for a recording of the show.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Colorado's best networking opportunity.

Every two years neighbors gather across Colorado in 6000 or so small meetings to nominate to the primary election ballot. It's the best chance the common person to get his or her voice heard and to make a real difference. That's why so many of the rich and powerful hate the system.  Check it out:

Monday, November 03, 2014

DU Report Attacks Founder John Evans.

Gov. John Evans has always been admired in Colorado.

Newspaper reports about him while he was serving as our 2nd Governor were positive, as were those after he served in office.

Mt. Evans, viewed from Denver the most prominent front range mountain, Evans Avenue a major Denver street were named in his honor.

Now history is being rewritten.

This is part of an effort to destroy the concept of the exceptionalism of the United States, the attack on Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, so at least Evans is in good company.

Those who don't remember history may repeat it. But those who live in it are doomed.

As a graduate of the University of Denver, being part Indian myself (1/32 Cherokee), I hope those on the other side of the Sand Creek Battle, as it is called on the monument to Colorado Civil War Battles on the west side of the Colorado Capital, will be listened to when they respond to this report.

Let's make sure this is the beginning of another round of an intellectual battle and not a massacre where any difference of opinion is seen as being a hater.

John Evans was a Quaker who was the founder of two major universities that continue today. You'd think they would at least honor his memory and allow free, open debate about his life and times...

See link to DU report below on previous post.

New Gov John Evans Report Released by University of Denver

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New Adult ADHD Support Group in Denver

Those who "Like" our Facebook page will be invited to join a live, face to face group here in Denver that is forming. "Like" the page and you'll also get an invitation of the new Google+ Hangout group that may start in the next few weeks.

Questions? Call (303)861-1447

Sunday, October 19, 2014

New! 500% money back guarantee for 99-cent Kindle book on Amazon.

My little book on startup has helped many, many people since it was first published.

There is a good chance it will help you, too.

Here is a new special offer. First join our Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc. group. Mark your calendar and RSVP  to be with us online next Friday morning and/or next Friday afternoon here in Denver, or if not next Friday one Friday soon.

Then take just a minute to click on the image of the cover of my little book on the upper right corner of this page. Take a couple of hours and read it, then give me a call.

If you don't find the book and talking with me  helpful, I'll give you your money back five times over for the Kindle edition,  I'll mail you a $5 bill.

But do us both a favor and don't wait.

This life is very short, let's get started now!

Click on the book cover, read, then give me a call later today or tomorrow at (303)861-1447.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

University of Denver ok's Socrates Cafe

I just sent out this on Twitter:

We will be meeting in the beautiful new Anderson Learning Commons, where Penrose Library used to be. We'll gather in the lounge area in front of the coffee bar (closed Saturday evenings unfortunately, so you may want to make a stop at Pete's Cafe on the corner of Evans & University for a coffee to go before the meeting-- might buy you parking in one of their spaces, but be sure to ask) depending on how many are with us we'll go to a private study room.

When people attend an IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop with no idea what kind of work they want to do, I recommend they attend a session or two of Socrates Cafe or similar group. Sort of like those late night dorm discussions about the big questions of life. Free entertainment if nothing else. :-)

Hope you'll join us this Saturday or some Saturday soon. No RSVP required, walkins are welcome. But it's to your advantage to RSVP, we'll notify you if there is a sudden change in meeting place or cancellation. Click here, then the University of Denver Socrates Cafe.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Most important book since Wealth of Nations.

Edmund Phelps has just been given Princeton University's top prize.

Maybe this will help put the spotlight on his most recent book Mass Flouishing, what some have called the most
Important book in economics since Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations. 

It took Adam Smith's book about 8 years to become a best seller. We may not have 8 years.

Read here what Princeton has to say about Phelps, the go to Amazon or your favorite local book store or library, read Mass Flourishing, and start asking every political candidate what they make of it. 

Here is what Yale says: 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Entrepreneurial Thought and Action.

That's the slogan of Babson College, " Entrepreneurial Thought and Action."

Harvard Business Review Press published Babson's President's book a couple of years ago, "Just Do It!" Why didn't the book hit the best seller list?

Because of the brainwashing of the Small Business Administration, our tax-funded enterprise to snuff out the spirit of true entrepreneurs, and they've done a darn good job of it according to Nobel Economist Edmund Phelps's most recent book Mass Flourishing which documents the disappearance of U.S. get up and go, what he calls vitalism and dynamism, starting about 4 decades ago.

Amar Bhide first sound the alert on this back in 1994 with his Oxford University Press book The Origin & Evolution of New Businesses. I'll bet you've never heard of it either.

This should be an issue in the current political campaigns, but it's not. A campaign for 2016 Presidential election that took up this drum beat would do a lot of good for the country, might even lead to a victory. Stranger things have happened.

Instead Inc Magazine continues to publish articles from failures saying, 'gosh, I wish I'd planned more." Disgraceful.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Share your startup experience

Next Friday, October 17

New fall season!

The Startup Show with John Wren. 

+To be on the show to share your startup experience see instructions on

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Rule #11: Know when to walk away, know when to run.

John S Wren’s Rules for Family & Neighbors, Work & Citizenship.
DRAFT -- 10/7/14
1.       Recovery (body, mind, spirit) first: Thinking is a wonderful tool, a terrible master.
2.      Love (do HP’s will) God and love (help) my neighbors. Don’t love any rules or plan.
3.      Be hard on myself, watch for dishonesty, selfishness, self-centeredness, and fear.
4.      No resentments: Be gentle and forgiving of others, give them the benefit of the doubt.
5.      Examine/ 11th step 2x/ day: Pause, connect, be grateful, correct, ask for help.
6.      Simple plan: What does HP want me to be, what am I called to do next?
7.      Start now. Tomorrow morning start again. Persistence is actually repeated starts.
8.      Be a life-long learner: Watch one, do one, teach one, then write about it.
9.      PERMA Metrics 0 to 5: Positive, Engaged, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplished.
10  Don't have a group meeting when we can talk 1 to 1. Don't call when I can be there. Don't write when I can call. Don't post comment when I can write message.

 (Inspired by Investor Business Daily’s 10 Secrets to Success: 1) How you think is everything; 2) Decide upon your true dreams and goals; 3) Take action; 4) Never stop learning; 5) Be persistent and work hard; 6) Learn to analyze details; 7) Focus your time and money; 8) Don’t be afraid to innovate; be different; 9) Deal and communicate with people effectively; 10) Be honest and dependable; Take responsibility.)

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Spiritual Startup

Get started with the one day at a time way to get to your first customer in a new business or your first day on the job in a new career.

Resources for spiritual startup:

1. Put your own recovery first, practice your own program and/or religion.

2. Checkout 

3.  Attend an IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop in Denver or online, then start one in cooperation with your local chamber or other group.

4.  Read my little booklet on startup, on search for Wren Daring Mighty Things. Then call me and let's talk about your situation, what you want, and how I might help you. Of course there is never a surprise charge, there is no cost to you until/unless we've negotiated a firm price for my service.

When you are ready, call (no emails please) and leave me a complete message, take as much time as you need, I'll get back to you within 24 hours. Call (303)861-1447 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mom's obituary in the Denver Post and the
Amarillo paper today.

If you knew mom we hope you'll attend the celebration of her life with us here in Denver tomorrow (Mon, 9/29) and/or post a story about her on the link via the Denver Post and Olinger's.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Martha Jane (Janie Edwards) Wren

Jane Wren, 89, of Denver passed away on September 20, 2014. A memorial service, “Tutu’s Aloha” will be held at 11am on Monday, September 29, 2014 in the Chapel of Wellshire Presbyterian Church, 2999 S. Colorado Blvd. Denver, CO 80222 with the Rev. Dr. John Bell and Rev. Dr. Cynthia Cearley officiating, A private family burial will be at Crown Hill Cemetery.  Olinger Crown Hill Mortuary and Cemetery of Denver is in charge of arrangements. Hawaiian attire is optional. There will be a public viewing on the day before, Sunday 3:00pm to 5:00pm at Crown Hill Mortuary located at 7777 W 29th Ave, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.

Martha Jane “Janie” Edwards Wren was born in Cave Springs, Arkansas on July 21, 1925 unto Fitzhugh Lee and Myrtle “Myrna” (Glass) Edwards.

Jane grew up in Amarillo TX, graduating from Amarillo High in 1943. She participated in various school activities including cheerleading and she was crowned “Queen of Amarillo High” in 1943 and later voted Most Popular.  It was while in high school she met her sweetheart John (J.E.) Edgar Wren. They were married on March 16, 1944 in the parsonage of First Baptist Church in Amarillo.

They moved to Loveland in 1949 to start J.E.’s new business, Western Merchants Wholesale Co.. Then in 1950 they moved their home and business to Denver. They were blessed with three sons, John Scott, Randy Mack and Jay Robin. J.E. passed away on November 15, 1979.

Jane was a homemaker who loved caring for her husband, their children and their home. She was a wonderful cook and while she enjoyed bowling, bridge and various games, her true love was golf. She was a longstanding member of the Ladies Golf Association at Pinehurst Country Club and the El Jebel Shriners Sand Blasters Golf Club. Jane especially loved to travel to various places but her favorite was Hawaii. She was affectionately called “Tutu” by her grandchildren, which means Grandmother in Hawaiian.  Jane was a member of Wellshire Presbyterian Church.

Jane was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, a daughter in law, Mary Colleen Kenefick Wren, two grandchildren Jason Christopher Wren and Victoria Jane Wren, a brother Scott M. Edwards, Sr., her stepfather Mack D. Quarles and her close personal and family friend Ernie Snell.

Survivors include her sons, John Scott, Randy Mack and Jay Robin Wren all of Denver, her grandchildren, Regan Jane Wren Hall and her husband Tim of Denver, Brooke Elizabeth Wren Sisan and her husband Ned of Houston, TX John Thomas Wren, Allie Eliza Wren and Kathleen Jean “Katie” Wren Petcock and her husband William, all of Denver, her great grandchildren, Joshua and Monica Hall of Denver and Tyler and Jeffrey Sisan of Houston, TX, six nieces Sue Soltis of New Braunfels, TX, Karla Kay Mullins, Joan Carder, Ginger Rowell and June Miller all of Amarillo, TX, Betty Brashor of Carrollton, TX, two nephews Scott M. Edwards, Jr. of Amarillo, TX, Jack Barnwall of Las Vegas, NV, one great nephew David McCune and a great niece Kim McCune Jackson, one great-great nephew Dawson, two great-great- nieces Jennifer and Maddie , one great- great-great nephew A.J. and a great-great-great niece Sadie.

The family suggests memorial contributions to The American Cancer Society, Porter Hospice,  Al-Anon, or Wellshire Presbyterian Church.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

My mother Jane Wren passes on, a great loss.

Mom with grandsons Jeffery and Tyler.
Photos of mom's 88th birthday below.

At 7:50 a.m. this morning my mother Martha Jane (Edwards) Wren passed on. She was 89 this past July.

Mom told me she was born in Cave Springs, Arkansas where her parents F. Lee and Myrna Edwards knew a doctor, but she was really from Amarillo, Texas.

Her dad was a very talented salesman but not a great father. Her mother supported the family after Lee died in 1946 with a beauty shop she had always had in her home where Mom grew up, 826 Florida.

Mom was a cheerleader and a good student at Amarillo High School, where she met my dad, John E. Wren, who was a year ahead of her.

Her senior year in high school (class of '43) she was elected school queen in the fall and most popular in the spring. She was awarded a full scholarship to Colorado Women's College, but chose to instead attended business school in Amarillo until dad was discharged from the Navy and they married March 16, 1945. In 1949 we moved to Colorado where mom and dad started Western Merchants Wholesale Company which they sold in 1969.

Mom and dad had a close circle of friends, the Cearly's (Ann was mom's best friend I imagine), the Herren's, the Smith's, the Joy's, the Deeb's and others. They played bridge each month and dad and his buddies had a poker game most months. They were members of the Valley Country Club and founding members of Pinehurst Country Club, the 26th Club, Mount Vernon Country Club, and the Denver Athletic Club, and Wilshire Presbyterian Church. They traveled in all parts of the US and the world.

Dad passed on in 1979, far too early, and in time mom became very good friends with Ernie Snell
who also belonged to Pinehurst Country Club and had a condo on the 11th fairway, as did mom. Ernie died a few years ago. They were both avid golfers and travelers.

I had the rare privilege of attending her 50th high school reunion with her and it was clear she was still the most popular with her many class mates of that greatest generation.

Mom was a great business woman, I don't believe dad would have been nearly as successful without her, a great mother, we always had clean clothes, a clean house, and a great dinner on the table at 6 p.m. She was an extraordinary grandmother to her 7 grandkids. She was a life long Presbyterian, and for the past 20 years she read an Alanon daily reading book almost every day and marked the page with the year.

God bless you Mom, thanks to you and dad for all the good memories.
We had no idea this would be the last real celebration of mom's birthday a year ago.
On the cake was a photo of the house in Loveland when we came to Colorado in 1949.

Mom with granddaughter Monica celebrating her 88th birthday a year ago last July.


Thursday, September 04, 2014

Wren College starts today. Teach for us?

I just now announced to start of Wren College. We will focus on the disciplines of adult self-directed learning and business startup.

If you have teaching experience and an understanding of adult self-directed learning, I'd like to talk with you. Also I'd like to talk with people who have teaching experience and who agree with my understanding of the business startup process, see my little book on, Daring Mighty Things. If you'd be interested in talking with me about teaching call me at (303)861-1447.

Look for more announcements soon, but for now you can join us on our primary website, join us for free until January 1, 2020, check it out:

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Christian Unity?

Unity doesn't mean we agree about ideas, issues, and political candidates. But we disagree AND love the other, seeking to serve Christ in them whether we agree or not. What good my I do for them? For one thing I can really listen and make sure I understand.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Startup Show: After IDE, Act!

Tips for taking action after you've decided what you want to do. Activities have all changed, no longer on each morning. But still good tips. And may have some historic value. :-)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Civic education for neighborhoods

Once again John Wren, founder of Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc. is available to chamber of commerce and other groups to talk about Ben Franklin and how the common person can serve in elected public office. Will travel. Or get a preview any Friday at an IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop John chairs personally, see upcoming calendar on or call (303)861-1447 with questions or to get John Wren's Ben Franklin on your calendar.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

University of Denver Summer Commencement 2014

August 15, 2014 Commencement Address: Top 10 Tips for Achieving Success: (Starts at 16:00) 10. Hard work pays off. 9. Keep a positive attitude. 8. Stick to it. 7. Be patient. 6. Build a positive reputation. 5. Communicate effectively. 4. Set realistic goals. 3. Work effectively with others. 2. Exploit your passions. 1. Make a difference.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The gaze.


"Like any true mirror, the gaze of God receives us exactly as we are, without judgment or distortion, subtraction or addition."

My mother is very ill.

Yesterday from her hospital bed  she put her had on my right cheek and gazed into my eyes and I felt blessed.

November 15, 1979 my dad passed on, just 10 years after selling the business we'd been building for 20 years  after moving to Colorado from Texas.

The day before rom his hospital bed in the same hospital, too weak for words pop had given me a final hug.

Thank-you God for the gift of their lives together, the gift my life you've given through them, and through me and Janet to our four children and grand children.

Strengthen us all now by your real presence, your hug, my we all feel your hand on our cheek, your gaze into our eyes, strength to share with others this day forever more.

Thank you God, thank you mom and pop, and thank you who is reading this and we share this eternal moment. Please pray for my mom, and please pray for me to be able to be a channel of God's love, peace, and the certain knowledge that she'll soon have the joy of pop's hug again.

This life is so very short, don't wait. Now, right now, hear The Call, "come!" Let's start! 

It's only too late if we don't start now, trusting that the little we can do, with God's help, is enough.

God bless you and your Journey.+++ 


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Very short video, two startup stories.

Two startup stories back to back, takes less than 3 minutes to watch both. The first is how it seems to me how nearly everything that actually gets off the ground gets started, "Some times it's not about planning." The second it sounds like is still a work in progress, my hunch is... you can guess. We'll see in the next few months. Bogus (in my opinion) numbers on startups were published here in Colorado last week, Secretary of State office made media release that lots and lots of startups took off. Really? I'm going to dig deeper into the published numbers and will get back to you. In the mean time, watch this video and post a comment below or call me and let's talk. John Wren (303)861-1447

Monday, July 28, 2014

Want to get hired as employee or consultant?

When most people decide to get a new job, what do the do?

They do what most say to do, start working on their resume.

I don't think the resume makes much difference for people who really want to go to work now. 

What does make a difference? 

Phone calls to network (real network, people who know you and your work, not idiots who swap business cards) get referral, call, meet, close. Goes fast for those who really want to go to work, and without that real desire to go to work now, as a consultant, employee, a spouse, or best friend, nothing is going to happen no matter how perfect the resume or career path or industry and company knowledge, or any of the mind numbing distractions that hold us back.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Coworking space more than just renting a desk.

Here is a list to how we make Creative Density a coworking space.

 How we made Creative Density People First:

    1. We started with a community first and then got a space. The members were involved on the early decisions of the space, the location, and what our vision was from the very start. The space was just a gather spot for the community that was already formed. Three years later this has had beneficial rippling effects that continues to form our culture.
    2. We give high-fives and are open about it. We tell people up front that we are a group of smart and friendly people that want to get to know you. We introduce people, say hey to them, and aren’t afraid to give a high-five.  It’s amazing how a simple introduction and a morning hello opens people up. I, as the community manager, also like to celebrate victories community members may have.
    3. The coworkers create casual social activities for a break in work. We play yards games.  They are a great casual social activity that lasts about 10 to 15 minutes and doesn’t require too much skill. We found this activity to be the best catalyst to creating a community. Friday’s take-yourself-to-lunch events are very popular too. None of these activities are required and people should feel pressure to participate, but it’s sets a signal of openness that is carried throughout the space.
    4. We listen to the community for events. We hosting monthly(ish) educational meetings decided by the community. The most recent guests are lawyers, financial planners, website builders, and health insurers for independents. We only do events when the community states a desire for one or interest in a topic that is brought forward. There have been too many times we hosted many events during the week and it was disturbing for the community.
    5. Coworking Voices Roundtable. This is a community meeting where we discuss policies of the space and brainstorm ways that we can be a better community to make us professionally and personally stronger. This is a more formal way for us to evaluate how we are doing things and to let the community vote on changes.
    6. Assume yes. Creative Density should feel like your work clubhouse. We get the barriers out of the way so once people come in they can get comfortable and hopefully leave their signature on the space. We want the community to form the space.  Can I hang up a poster here? Yes. Can I host my bookclub after hours? Yes. Can we I hang a sign about starting a mastermind group? Yes. Can I have a candle? No…sorry.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Grassroots innovation in large organizations.

This is worth a listen if you're part of or work with a large organization.

Interesting discussion of the key quality needed by leaders to encourage grassroots innovation, other ways ideas are encouraged (it's not a suggestion box.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Starting a business in Colorado? Free online help from Colorado.

Online tutorial from the Colorado Secretary of State's Office, Starting a Business in Colorado
Use the Secretary of State's website to check and make sure the name you have chosen is not already in use.  To do this, go to the Business Database.  The tutorial also includes a link to this database. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Starting in a new direction? Free startup workshops.

To: Anyone interested in startup. (Start of a new career, project or campaign, or new business.)

The name of the Friday meeting has been changed to Denver Capitol Hill IDEA Café.

I'll be using the IDEA Café tomorrow and next Friday to help me make decisions about further changes in my work, it would be great to have you with us.

Please take a minute to RSVP yes or no for tomorrow, ok? Click below:

Denver Capitol Hill IDEA Startup Café
Panera Bread, 13th & Grant St.
2 to 3:30 p.m. Free.

Questions? Want to start a similar workshop in cooperation with your local chamber or other group? Call me at (303)861-1447, we could meet before or after the meeting tomorrow or next Friday.


Sunday, July 06, 2014

New DU Chancellor (see her TED Talk here below.)

Just followed @ChancellorChopp "BestCollege President" I'm @uofdenver , BA'69 MBA'80 Her TED talk great, see
— John Wren +++ Start! (@JohnSWren) July 6, 2014

Thursday, July 03, 2014

New leader of University of Denver

After big, big successes as President of Colgate and Swathmore, Dr. Rebecca Chopp, inspired by Robert Putnam author of Bowling Alone, the book that's triggered my work for the last two decades, comes to the University of Denver. Here's why:

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

What is the Hope for Humanity? A discussion of technology, politics, and...

Bill Wilson, founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, in 1955 towards the end of his life said, "Spiritual rebirth may be the only alternative to extinction." Wilson, Frank Buchman, and their predecessors going back 2000 years have been advocating for this same thing, that truly inspired action is our hope, that we learn how to listen to God and then just do it, see

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Colorado primary election

Low turn out was astonishing. Denver had less than 10 % of registered voters cast a ballot, disgraceful. That's 10% of registered voters and most aren't registered.

Big opportunity of the county political party that starts aggressively reaching out now in anticipation of the 2016 Colorado Caucus.

GOP Governor's race was bound to be a surprise, no matter what happened. See my comments, posted at bottom of this Denver Post editorial that's worth reading, too: 

President Eisenhower told us that in our system of government politics must be the part-time occupation of every citizen.

Let's all promise to do just a little bit more in our part-time job between now and the Colorado Caucus of 2016. You can start right now just by taking a couple of minutes to read the above editorial, reading my comment there, and then letting me know what you think, and more importantly what you are going to DO.

Me? What am I going to DO? I'm going to start by renewing my subscription to the Denver Post.

Post your comment here, or call me. (303)861-1447.

Life is short, but it's only too late if we don't start now!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Are we learning from video games?

Playing games are a good way to learn, according to this talk.

What's your opinion about this? More important, what is your experience? What games have you played that have helped you learn? What TV shows have you watched that helped you learn?

Click here for DU Video Cast:  Steven Berlin Johnson, popular science author and contributing editor to Wired magazine, discusses why every type of media is valuable to learning. Johnson contends for the notion that culture has risen to a new level of complexity versus the belief that the world is "dumbing down" because of technology and entertainment. He examines popular culture through cognitive exercise. He asks, "How does the interfaces of the web, tv, etc. that are apart of popular culture now and days compare to what it was like in 1977?" He asserts that there is a trend to more complexity and greater engagement, what he calls "The Sleeper Curve." Kids are learning despite themselves, and it provides a great opportunity. His talk highlights the benefits of games, participatory media, and books.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

How often we're talking about: liberal arts and Great Books.

"Rebecca Chopp is the best college president in America,"

"Rebecca Chopp is the best college president in America, the most effective national spokesperson among college presidents for what a liberal arts education is all about.” Shepard Ranbom, an active alumnus of Colgate University, a communications professional who specializes in education

See video below of announcement of Dr. Chopp as new Chancellor at the University of Denver.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Peyton Manning Advice to Graduating Students, advice his dad gave him.

Start a neighborhood adult learning group.

Share what you know with your neighbors, and teach what you want to know more about yourself. 

Grassroots civic education? See

Interested in business startup and small business? See 

Like good conversation about interesting, meaningful topics? See 

Call me for more info or just start a group with your neighbors. (303)861-1447

Sunday, May 25, 2014

American Dream

The term American Dream hasn't always been used, and when it was first used it wasn't intended to be used the way most think of it today.

The Library of Congress tell us that James Truslow Adams, in his book The Epic of America, which was written in 1931, stated that the American dream is "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position." (p.214-215)

Here's the history of the usage of the word. As you can see when it really took off is when American Dream was picked up by National Home Builders Association as a way to encourage more home ownership.

I researched this in early 1990s and right after I'd discovered this history of the usage, the fact that Truslow had first used it in his book The Epic of America, I came across a copy for just a couple of buck in a used book store.

Strengthen the Grassroots with the Power of the Invisible Sun! Bobby Sager's Commencement Speech at Babson College

Monday, May 19, 2014

My comment on change in definition of "small business" by SBA.

“Comments can be submitted on this proposed rule on or before July 18, 2014, at, identified by the following RIN number: (RIN 3245-AG49).  You may also mail comments to Khem R. Sharma, Chief, Office of Size Standards, 409 3rd St., SW, Mail Code 6530, Washington, DC  20416.”

Monday, May 19, 2014

I’ve done startup workshops in Denver, Colorado for some 20 years as an alternative to the SBA venture capital model of formal market research and formal strategic planning. What I’ve been doing for decades was viewed by most as eccentric when I started in 1994, it is becoming more accepted recently with publications advocating along similar lines, back in ’94 the only theoretical underpinning was from Dr. Amar Bhide the professor of entrepreneurship at Harvard University who’d sent his students to interview successful startups, articles in the Harvard Business Review soon became his very fine, but virtually ignored, book The Origin and Evolution of New Businesses, Oxford University Press.

The Wall Street Journal had a column a few days ago pointing out that most of what is now being taught on college campuses about startup is not helping. The more talk about startup, the fewer startups, virtually all talk is what I would call propaganda at the encouragement of the SBA and it’s many off-shoots, SCORE, SBDCs, etc, and it is killing small business in America.

One part of the problem is how the SBA defines small business, right now any business with up to 500 employees with certain exceptions. Yes, this definition needs to be changed, but not in the direction the SBA suggests, to 1,500 employees for some businesses. The definition by number of employees needs to be revised down, I suggest to 300.

Why 300? Because that’s what E.F.Schumacher’s experience led him to back in the late 60’s in his very good book Small is Beautiful—Economics as if People Mattered. More than 300 employees and the nature of the interactions between the people starts drastically changing.

I’ve started a virtual “chamber of commerce” with the intention of helping local chambers provide more real help to startups, as an alternative to the very expensive and ineffective SBDC program. Businesses with 10 to 100 employees, the bedrock of American business, is in sharp decline. Why? Because the SBA is killing startups. It’s a tax funded enterprise clearly intending to snuff out the entrepreneurial spirit in America.

But I don’t want to misrepresent my statement here, it is my own and not that of any organization. The Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc. does not lobby at this time, and I do not expect that it ever will.

 I say I’m a recovering MBA because much of what I was taught in graduate business school I’ve had to overcome to be of real help to people who are starting their own business. Since 1994 I’ve worked with thousands of people and what I’m saying here is based on that experience. I read a lot, but in no way am I an academic.  That does not mean there is not academic support for what I’m saying here to you now.

Nobel prize winning economist Edmund Phelps points out the very real problem of the sharp falloff in vitalism and dynamism in our culture since the late 60s, I recommend his most recent book to your committee before you make a decision on this, it’s called Mass Flourishing.  Also the recent Harvard Business Review Press book Just Start.

My little book, endorsed by Dr Amar Bhide, has been on sale for the last 20 years, as far as I know it has never done any harm and a lot of people have told me it has helped them. The Kindle version is 99-cents, and I’d suggest the committee buy it and make copies for all committee members, you have my permission to do so. Go to and search on “John Wren, Daring Mighty Things.”

Thank you for your consideration. I’d be glad to answer any questions you might have.

John S. Wren, MBA+++ (Cornell College, University of Denver, BA’69, MBA’80, Regis University)
1881 Buchtel Blvd, #501
Denver, CO 80210
(303)861-1447  cell (720)495-4949