Archive for December, 2013

Rest, Reflect, Act

Posted: December 29, 2013 by Chuck Matthews in Culture, People, Planning, Startup

Dr. Chuck Matthews“And now we welcome the New Year, full of things that have never been.”

          – Rainer Maria Rilke

With the 2013 rapidly fading into 2014, it is fitting that we take time at the end of the year to pause and reflect on where we have been and where we are going.  There is something exciting about looking back on successes, failures, good times, and not so good times and realizing that the future beckons us to look forward to new vistas, hopes, fears, and dreams.  The writer Carl Bard captured this excitement very succinctly when he said, “Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

This is especially true for entrepreneurs, who constantly seek to solve problems, introduce new methods of production, innovate new products and services, and generally seek to meet and exceed customer expectations at every turn. 

A very successful entrepreneur once told my class that entrepreneurs are doers not dreamers.  They take action – not tomorrow, but today.  They get off their butts and make something happen.  In essence, entrepreneurs marry thought (ideas) and action to generate goods and/or services that address a “pain point” in an unserved and/or underserved market.  They execute ten simple steps (six strategic and four tactical) that propel them forward.   (more…)

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What’s in a name?

Posted: December 14, 2013 by Vance VanDrake III in Legal, Marketing, Startup, Uncategorized

vancevandrakeWhat’s in a name?  Groups of related trademarks are often referred to as a “family.”  Businesses often treat their trademarks, their business names, and their product name or logos like their children.  A trademark indicates source (it tells purchasers where or from whom the product or service comes.) Trademarks represent the goodwill in a brand.  To be successful, you must protect your own brand with equal vigor and take precautions not to tangle with other brands that may be confusingly similar. 

Many early-stage companies with outstanding innovation, leadership, and funding fall apart because of a poor name selection process, or a misunderstanding of trademark law. This results in an expensive trademark battle or, in some cases, being forced to change a name.  Because trademark owners are so protective of trademarks, they spare no expense to eliminate all  potential threats.  These proceedings can be very expensive and disruptive to a business but are easily avoidable. (more…)