42 Business Quotes from the Most Disruptive Startup Founders (Luis Trevino)

This post came to me via email from a reader who wanted to share several entrepreneurial quotes. It has been some time since I posted – and as I get back into the groove, habit, create the mojo (whatever you wish to call it)… I wanted to share. It is good to see someone post about what they believe. In addition, it is not just any marketing ploy. Many links I am sent turn out to be some marketing spam. This post, regardless if targeting this site for marketing or true desire to share the words seems to have energy. A spark. I say that because the blogger is also a small business starting up. Good luck to you Luis Trevino and Create the Bridge.

Below are a couple quotes that stood out to me. Go to “42 Business Quotes from the Most Disruptive Startup Founders” to see the rest.

Drew Houston, CEO of Dropbox

“Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”

Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify

“Put your consumers in focus, and listen to what they’re actually saying, not what they tell you.”

Tim Westergren, co-founder of Pandora

“Make your team feel respected, empowered, and genuinely excited about the company’s mission.”

Yancey Strickler, CEO of Kickstarter

“Email, which was the centre of my life until six months ago, has suddenly become much less important to me. I spend nearly all of my time on face-to face meetings.”


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Going Virtual – Electronic Only – Paperless Business

I have recently moved towards converting to entirely electronic project planning, notes, calendars, and task lists.

While trying to make my notes and history more “preserved” and accessible, I have converted to using my Samsung Galaxy Note for note taking. The notes which I am not able to take via S-Pen (stylus) and S-Pad (notepad), I photograph with a high megapixel camera. I then save the the appropriate file in PDF or JPG formats depending on need. My inbox has a detailed file sorting path which contains major categories and sub-folders for more granular filing. For me, the tasks above are taking less time than a legal pad and keeping that list up to date and of value for the future; whether that is filing with a project, or scanning.

Any notes that I need to take for quick action, such as a reminder, “Do XYZ today,” I use my operating systems Stickey Notes which allow a simple task list for quick to-do’s. For longer term projects I use Tasks inside of Outlook and take notes, priorities, updates, and percentages completed.

My questions to you – are what do you do? How do you organized your work/life schedule so that you cut free of paper and retain the knowledge of actions. I am a firm believer that Intellect is a Waste (8 common wastes) that we can avoid in today’s modern age. What works best for you, and your style of organization?


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kaizen vs. problem solving

You would not use a hammer to put a screw in – would you? Sure it would work, but would it be the best practice or give the best results? No. The right tool is needed for the right job. The same is true for other business tools, which include lean tools. Simply put we must use strategy when deploying methods and tools. If we pursue the wrong tool we could end up with no results, poor results, good results with more time spent (waste), or a chance that it would be just fine. The chance is just that, a risk or method which has unsure outcomes.

One that comes to mind (and there are many examples) is the a Kaizen event. I have witnessed numerous times that an event was demanded from someone, somewhere before the problem was even clearly defined. A Kaizen even is kind of a big deal. It is a very structured, multi day, cross-functional problem solving event where we need big gains. Gains can be defined by the value you wish to imply. Safety, Food Safety, or other metric is suitable. It does not always have to have financial figures attached but if you think about it (really think about it) every one of the items listed could have that value. It is a pyramid, an octopus, touching a variety of tentacles in a multitude of places.

My preference is an A3 problem solving approach. Some companies have named it 5 step, 6 step, or various other names but it is essentially a gap analysis with structure that takes one through brain storming, to solution, and follow up. I love these since I can schedule them over multiple days. Much like a Kaizen it can be cross functional. Virtual teams can work, but realize that without direct involvement and separation from normal jobs (like the enclosure of a Kaizen) things can get pushed aside or dragged out longer. I am not saying that you cannot work with this – just be aware of the project progress. Anyway – the thing that I like about delayed problem solvings (repeating at some interval from identification through solution) is that you come together, gather the lists of action items, disperse and meet again with some of the actions completed. Sometimes, using the Kata approach (Mike Rother) you could even set an experiment, see the results, and PDCA your plan the next meeting(s). Mike Rother did not actually create the Kata concept, but has the best explanation that I have found yet on the subject. If you are in a situation where a solution needs solved quickly, with lots of energy, larger teams, an equipment strategy workshop, or kaizen may be the ticket.

Sure I went on a tangent but I wanted to point out that several tools can be used but there may be a better one. If you want to read a really good article about Kaizen’s check out HOW DOES KAIZEN DIFFER FROM A KAIZEN EVENT? by Mark Rosenthal.

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michael hammer is wrong? roles and responsibilities

Org charts are typically 2D with solid and dotted lines. I tend to think of them as 3D.

I am reading a book by Michael Hammer called, Faster, Cheaper, Better. The book is good and has very good material thus far. However, I did find one point to be slightly debateable.While discussing the WHO portion (who should do the work) in the first chapters, he argues that we should create the work by the position and not so much the individual.

In his book, he states, “The most common change that results from process redesign is who does what work and how they work with others. One of the big mistakes made in answering the question of who does what work is to craft a process around a specific person rather than around what the job is. It’s very easy to fall into that trap. Who should do inventory management? Well Harry has been doing it for years, he’s the logical choice. Harry may have superlative skills in that position – or he may be parked there because he isn’t good at anything else. Whatever the case, the job is built around Harry’s abilities (or lack thereof), not around how the job relates to everything else in the process. Maybe the where part of that job should change, which in effect will also change the who part of the job. Don’t’ be forced into building rework loops into the process just to accommodate a given individual. In process redesign there should be no sacred cows or favored individuals.”

Now, before the groupies come out and beat me – I want to be clear and say that there is truth in his statement. I am afraid, though, that just by reading this without thinking entirely through the application incorrect conclusions could be made. The scenario above has several different possibilities and countering concepts which would lead to this going multiple directions. Let us first consider an individual like Harry, who has been placed in the position and tasks created due to being incompetent. It is common that when people who are favored reach their Peter’s Principle plateau – assume the “catch all” position. Miscellaneous tasks, including the things they are good at, are located into the position which may or may not make sense. In this application, I truly believe that Mr. Hammer is right. The rework and extra nonsensical steps to make this process work can lead to more harm than good.

The next view, is one that I struggle with at first, but realized by trial and error worked better. Now that is not to say in your organization that the role and responsibilities should align. There is some good thoughts against promoting a task to a certain group or position especially if you are standardizing within the organization. This can be a challenging time if the new assignment is given to the current incumbent. As an example I know of a company where when starting to have champions for roles, assigned them to certain groups. I discussed the champion concept in a previous post called “Lean Champions and the Pyramid Effect.”

So for an exact example, consider 5S and having a champion for that initiative. The leader would be best suited, by nature of the process, to be someone around safety. Many organizations will have an EHS (environmental health and safety) or Safety Manager the leader of that group. 5S, or 6S to be more modern, if done properly will have safety tied to it. There is a valid connection – but is it right to force that connection? What if there is an experienced manager or supervisor (or team member) that has more experience and/or much more passion about that topic. Is it in the best interest of the company to move towards every 5S Champ must be the EHS Manager – or is the motivated skilled other candidate a more viable option? I cannot answer that question for you, but I can create the point where I propose that it is our duty to do what is best for the company. In the example(s) above, I believe it is for the best suit for the company to create the Champion which will get the more value and give the best ROI. If the EHS manager were to come open and 5S is still a major part of your office/company strategy it may be time to hire someone which has that skill set. I do not, in either case, accept that a one-size-fits-all model is the best option. For further discussion I would also propose that the position should make sense for the sake of buy-in, credibility as well as availability. If the perfect skilled candidate with an eager attitude for an OEE inititive happens to be a Nurse with lots of previous operational background – this may be a bit too much of a stretch to make work or grasp. The wastes created to make this work may nullify the benefits that would be received, which goes back to the ROI of the situation.

Lastly it should be noted that Mr. Hammer does make a small clause to his statement which indicates that during the process redesign it may be in the best interest of the company to re-define roles which may mean that the assignment lay outside of normal boundaries, that is, until they boundaries are altered. During the process of moving the marks for expectation it is most likely that the individual in the position will take on some responsibilities and shed others, thus changing the WHERE portion.

I think that the original intention of the quoted paragraph from Michael Hammer’s book is to ensure that we are developing people and positions strategically and to not create a catch-all position or force something to fit in favor of one vs. the many.
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career path and a slippery slope

Possibly a misleading title for this article. However, I imagined the interview question over and over again… I continued to replay it in my mind and each time it felt like skiing down a cliff but instead of land ahead – the bottom fell out and well, you can imagine the rest.

I once interviewed for a supervisory job at a competitor. I was still a new supervisor at the time and wanted (desperately) to move to Wisconsin. There were a lot of non-professional reasons and my haste was probably unprecedented. I was only 24 at the time, so I was not mentally mature. By stating that, I am not saying at 24 you are or are not as a general statement. I am indicating that my mindset had a bias and I had convinced myself that an illogical solution was the best for my family (and me).

During an interview I was asked a question that I had never been asked before. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I cannot remember my exact answer but it was along the lines of a writer, or screenplay writer. Very true, and to this day it is still a dream of mine. However, not the place and time for that response. Granted – I was being very honest. A little too honest. Sort of like when someone asks “how are you doing?” not expecting you to divulge your life’s trials and tribulations. Anyway, back to the short story… We proceeded through the interview with a variety of traditional questions until the very end. The last question brought the interview back around (full circle) to the dream question… so “How is being a production supervisor going to get you closer to your dream?” Ouch… And the bombshell dropped. There was no correlation that was going to happen where my answer would make sense.

I tell you this for a couple reasons. Yes, I was a boneheaded, naive, and untalented interviewer at one point. Secondly, and more importantly, it has taken me several years to realize the importance of the question. What is it that you want to do – and how is it that your current activities will guide you in that or to that process? There will be times within a career where lateral and roles outside of your main focus may need to be taken to gain skills that broaden your abilities for later roles. Also, if you desire to help humanity and make a difference in the work – does the work you perform help you towards that goal? Is the desire something that can be facilitated via a side project, organization or hobby? Should one’s passions be the pursuit of the perfect career?

There are so many questions that you may have to pause and reflect within yourself. The idea behind this article is to begin with the end in mind. (One of my favorite Covey concepts.) What is it that you want to do, what skills have you have been blessed with and wish to share? Each step in your career should be logically thought out and planned so that each step on the path takes you somewhere. Maybe you do not wish to climb the corporate ladder – but I would guess that you would want to learn, be value added, and contribute. Each step that you take can guide you in that direction.

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begin with the end in mind, career, Covey, dreams, interview, planning, Short story
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history and a predictive productive future

The thing about work, is well, we tend to be our own worst enemy. You have heard that before, haven’t you? I assume there was no big surprise when I said that. I also assume when I say – we should study the history to help the future – your eyes may have rolled and again you will assume that I am stating the obvious. Yet, I beg to argue, if we truly understand what we have done, where we have been then we would not repeat the same things… over and over…

At most employers there is a substantial turnover, which may be up or out, but regardless, the positions and people change which lead to gaps in the information structure. Gaps which we did not document, or information that we were not for sure of yet. Even so, when the move happens most information is lost and the oncoming person is training in the very basics of the position and the balance is learned by experience, time and others. The original information may have been lost though, until the problem rears its’ ugly head again. So what can we do to prevent the shock of a change?

  1. Have standardized work, or job aids for critical tasks. There are many formats available – however I am sure that one size does not fit all. You will want to identify the record keeping style and ensure it is maintained (up to date). You may also wish to have full training programs created so that it is a routine, not a mess, when new people arrive. This not only looks good for the employee but helps the team adapt as well.

  2. Record and archive problem solving events along with the literature related to the project. This needs to be something that is easy to search and readily accessible.

  3. Cross train multiples in key areas to avoid any large institutional knowledge loss. The more people that know about an activity, project, or position the less likely you are to suffer from a separation.

  4. Update standardized documents as they change. Do not wait for an audit to uncover the antiquated procedures. By that time, it may be too late and the business put to risk when not needed.

  5. Consider an annual training on key events or procedures which encompass the earlier points. That way, each year a new group is exposed and a veteran group is refreshed.

If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?
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Quotes. Business + Life + Help?

  1. Your time is precious, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. – Steve Jobs
  2. Once you free yourself from the need for perfect acceptance, it’s a lot easier to launch work that matters. – Seth Godin
  3. Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from. – Seth Godin
  4. A consultant is someone who takes the watch off your wrist and tells you the time. – Unknown

There is no encrypted message here. Just a couple of good quotes that I identified while looking at a site (listed below).

Coutesy of: http://www.servendesign.com/motivational-business-quotes/

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