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[Podcast] Entrepreneurial Lessons From the Founders of SF Sketchfest

When we think of entrepreneurship, we tend to picture startups and unicorns. But there are so many different types of businesses that revolve around taking risks. An event-based business is similar to a fast-growing tech company in the sense that both have goals of growth, attracting talent, and getting recognition from the press. So what […]


How to Avoid the 7 Deadly Business Sins of the 21st Century

As an entrepreneur, it is both a privilege and a tremendous responsibility to build a company–often from mere ideation all the way to IPO.

A successful and fulfilling life, much like a business, offers many roads by which to travel. Some are filled to the brim with heartache yet, miraculously, overwhelming joy. While others fall prey to the fiery pit of misery and self-effacing failure. Truth be told, most of the outcomes have to do with the choices we make; and subsequently how we choose to react to things that are thrown our way.

So, if you’re going to spend half your adulthood building a business, how can you avoid turning both your soul and your life’s work over to the devil? Because as much as modern culture–obsessed with relativism and moral indifference–will tell you the two can be compartmentalized, I beg to differ.

Deadly business sins#1–Unconscious bias

We do not choose how, when, where, and in which environment we grow up. But as we mature into self-actualized adults, it is in our best interest to question beliefs and biases we have developed about people, places, and things. Fortunately for us, we don’t live in the 1950s anymore in terms of many of the “isms”–racism, sexism, you name it. It’s not perfect, but we have evolved. Subsequently, providing a platform for discourse about the modern day workplace, and how our “unconscious bias” affects our ability to grow and thrive, is one of the most important ways to avoid the killer behavior of building a one-dimensional company. Kool-aid was always bad for you.

The antidote? A variety of professional training resources exist along the lines of “diversity in the workplace” and “uncovering hidden bias.” Do yourself and your organization a favor and invest in one or two of these trainings. If you’re a tiny startup, then (in the very least) circulate reading materials or talk openly about how to avoid unconscious bias as you grow and scale your company.

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8 Brand Voices We ♥ Like Whoa

I woke up today thinking about the amount of passion, time and energy that goes into building something you truly care about. The sheer volume of attention, commitment, and care entrepreneurs must demonstrate day in and day out to realize their visions is staggering. And really what it all boils down to, is love.

How fitting given the impending holiday where chocolate, roses, and winged cherubs rein supreme!

Business professionals don’t typically use the word “Love” very much. As Gapingvoid’s Hugh MacLeod astutely asserts:

“It embarrasses the grownups.”

But then, if love isn’t a part of the daily equation, how do we accomplish anything truly meaningful? Love is everything. It’s an emotion underpinned by thoughtfulness, empathy, and selflessness…all stellar qualities for any business to personify.

If Valentine’s Day is all about showing your love and appreciation, we’d like to take this opportunity to shout out 8 brands and business that make us swoon. They inspire us, give us insight, make us think differently, and encourage us to be the best versions of ourselves!

Not only do they care deeply about what they do, they are also ever mindful AND just plain delightful.

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4 unlikely lessons from office space trends

Part of the beauty of being an entrepreneur is the uncanny ability to roll with the punches, adapt to change, and ultimately solve problems in a creative way. But whether you’re a first-time founder or a seasoned innovator one truth holds constant: markets do not giving a flying you know what about your product roadmap, company valuation, or engineering pedigrees.

Nope. In fact, the irony of a free market is just how little any of this seems to matter in terms of the ultimate success of a company. Dare I bring up examples of over-hyped companies whose IPOs flopped, over-funded companies who (after years and years) still don’t have an actual profit-making enterprise, or behemoth brands with billions of dollars in the bank who can’t seem to innovate their way out of an open box.

The point? As much as we try, it’s often hard to predict which entrepreneurial pursuits will wind up being lucrative, and which ones will take their rightful place in the graveyard of good ideas (or terrible ones) that suffered from bad timing, ill-equipped people, or poor product execution. Between all the plans and strategies and intentions of a business lie the actual and tactical components of what often end up leading to a big win; or on the other side of the coin, an ultimate failure.

Office space trendsLately, as our company prepares for rapid growth, I’ve been thinking about things differently, which basically means more tactically. From hiring to building a culture, what are factors that we need to consider as we prepare for the next phase?

Last week, I met with two gentlemen from CBRE, a global real estate and investment firm, to talk about office space. You know, to manifest our future digs, which will (obviously) include a yoga studio, a full kitchen, vaulted ceilings, and a spiral staircase. Uh-huh, right. What I learned, however, beyond that fact that the aforementioned criteria would likely send us into early bankruptcy, is just how insightful the statistics and data around office space trends are to understanding the current environment for aspiring businesses.

You ready?

From CBRE’s “U.S. Tech-Twenty: Measuring Market Impact” report, here are a few things you may want to noodle on as you build out your empire – which will require plenty of office space:

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AirPR & YEC team up to increase PR opportunities for entrepreneurs

Editor’s Note:

This blog post is touting a partnership AirPR has recently launched to promote the benefit of our Marketplace. So, yes, we are going to talk about ourselves.

But I think it’s relevant to where the PR industry is going (content marketing, publication partners, branded content, etc.) plus we interviewed the co-founder of our partner organization, and he has some VERY interesting opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Read on, after the jump!

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