3 books you should read before your business can succeed

1. Jack Welch – Straight from the gut.
http://www.straightfromthegut.com/

2. Stephen R. Covey.- The 7 habits of highly effective people 
https://www.stephencovey.com/7habits/7habits.php

3. Steve Blank – 4 steps to the epihany.

Click to access Four_Steps.pdf

What will they teach you?
1. Be proactive
2. Begin with the end in mind
3. Put first things first.
4. Think Win-Win
5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
6. Synergize
7. Sharpen the saw
8. Trust your instincts
9. Candor in business is as important in business as in relationships
10. “Lead, follow or get out of the way”
11. Know no fear.
12. Find balance.

The sum of which is:

“There can be no relationship (business/friendship) without confidence, and no confidence without integrity.”― Samuel Johnson

Follow me on twitter for more updates on how to drive your altcoin / bitcoin projects forward http://www.twitter.com/angryadmean
Follow me on facebook for the same reasons: http://www.facebook.com/johnlasp

Want to start a big business? Gather mass and momentum, then focus!

Hypothetical Scenario #2

Case:
You found a really good ice cream recipe, all your friends love it, but it is missing just one thing to be in perfect balance.
You need to do alot of research before you can commence your startup dream and find that one ingredient that will make your ice cream cooler than itself.

The Driver
So you think you can drive? Well, then drive!
Get into your car, pick up alot of people with extremely diverse skillsets and deliver them to your project manager.

Who is riding shotgun?
Your project manager will be riding shotgun untill you arrive at the location we from now on decide to call “Brainstorm Session HQ” (BSHQ)

Brainstorm
At the BSHQ you unleash the potential of all the involved passengers in one big brainstorm session on how to create a sustainable business model, raise capital for research on your perfect ice cream recipe and the usual suspects like legal, accounting and so on. Remember to include such important aspects as your initial IT system. Don’t leave out the legal issues such as the NDA that everyone will already have sigened plus the contracts that ensure that each person gets what he deserves.

Business Model generation
Next generate a visual overview over your core business using Alexander Osterwalders Business Model generation canvas, and quickly read his new book, “value proporsition design”

The market research
Do your SWOT
Check some statistics (will be written eventually)
Figure out how big your market is, who your target customer is. You will need all of this data for this. You need to figure out why your customer will want to buy your product.

The dreaded business plan
Yes, you will need one, if you need outside investors they want to see what you are up to. They want to see numbers and statistics relevant for your startup.

Crowdfunding, Investors, Venture Captial?
Eventually someone might come up with an idea for a potential investor, when that happens each and everyone will focus on one thing. How to negotiate and agreement with this investor to ensure that they are on board the bus for the next and final step.

Execution
Hopefully you do not intend to kill anyone and thus you should focus on executing the plan and implement the business model into the real world.

Division
Divide the resulting company into previously agreed on shares.

Delegation
Find a decent manegerial CEO with leadership ability and delegate control.

Erase and rewind.
You now take your bus full of people and drive them back to BSHQ before they become bored and wander off. Why not learn from previous projects that the team worked on The next project is just around the corner. The driver knows the way.

The 5th reason your altcoin/bitcoin project will fail.

Heh, consider this.

Imagine you are a programmer for a for a bitcoin project. You manage to get a volunteer entrepreneur/driver to assist you in your venture to conduct real business with the exchange and move it forward faster.

You fail to communicate all the details needed with this entrepreneur because you are busy with alot of other aspects of life. Thus alienating the entrepreneur. Further more, when the Entrepreneur backs out because there is no improvement, and he writes you that on the regular communication chain (I QUIT). The result is, the Entrepreneur quits the team as there is no progress to be made and improvements are impossible. 5 days later you used to have a scheduled meeting with said entrepreneur, and you failed to read the 5 day old message that he actually left the team because there was no communication? Point proven… Programmer does not give a damn about the future of the exchange..

This project won’t make it far.

Non Disclore agreements and their relevance for cryptocurrencies and startups.

Protect your Intellectual property.
Trade secrets, business models, know how and confidential information are often the most valuable IP’s your business has. They must be protected at all time.

If any of such information is disclosed without proper legal protection or contract, they are lost.

What this means is, that you cannot prevent anyone who is familiar with your IP to share or use it freely and there is no way you can stop them without an NDA.

Do you want to disclose secrets?
Companies often rush into creating an NDA without thinking about the the business reasons for disclosing information. Imagine you inveted the Compact disc and you need Sony as a partner to continue development. Whatever reasons you have for disclosing information with Sony must be considered carefully. For instance, has SONY previously violated NDA’s and used IP or disclosed IP?

What happens if your NDA gets violated?
Do you have the resources available to take on whoever violated your NDA? Do you have resources to take on SONY? If you are a small business, probably not. You have to be very carefull about disclosing information only to partners and people who will respect your NDA and who you can compete with in a court of law.

Imagine you are fighting SONY in court. They have alot of resources available and could use tactits to delay the court case to increase costs for your business. If you cannot handle those costs the case is lost and Sony can continue to violate the agreement endlessly.

Do not blindly assume the NDA will protect you for the above reason.

Define and clarify the confidential information.
You want to tighten down the NDA around the core secrets and methods. This could be your code base for a new operating system.

Follow up
Sometimes confidential information is delivered verbally. Reinforce that the information you just shared is covered by the previously signed NDA. Do the same when writing emails. At the end of your email make sure that you state that the information you just delivered is covered by your NDA.

Length of secrecy obligation
One of the most famous trade secrets, the coca cola recipe has been secret for aproximately 100 years. What happens if you create a NDA for a duration of 5 years and your business is going to run for 20? After 5 years your secrets can become public domain and suddenly you have competitors brewing the same Coca Cola as you.

Investors.
Most of the time, professional investors will not sign a confidentiality agreement. If your secrets are merely disclosed by laying out your business idea, then you do not really have anything that is protectable in the first place. In such cases it might be a good idea to only reveal the results of your business model and not the actual secrets and methods.

If we use the new operating system you just delivered as an example, in this case you would want to present only the amazing new features but not the code itself. There is no reason for the investors to see your secret code.

Information flow direction?
Imagine you are working with a partner on a project which is protected by a mutual non disclose agreement. During a meeting your partner offers you ideas to improve your product. Now you have the problem, did your partner just give you confidential information? Can he now protect that information? This can lead into a dispute. Are you allowed to use that information?

Be sure to only use a mutual NDA if there is flow of information from both sides. Otherwise, you should use a one way NDA directed towards the recieving end of confidential information.

Addendum
Lisa Nichols, twitter handle @lisa_nichols7 was so kind to make me aware of her own post on this topic.
I suggest you read her post aswell: http://www.smeweb.com/index.php/sme-advice/5061-are-non-disclosure-agreements-really-worth-it

4 easy ways to fail a coin or a startup.

-Failure to delegate tasks.
Read more here: “Delegate or Sink!”

-Failure to install software required for business continuation.
Yes, the IT-guy turns inward on himself, stops responding and takes weeks and months to implement simple solutions that the project managers require in order to continue. Be proactive and do it yourself? Keep pressing? Find new IT-guy?

Read more: “6 mistakes entrepreneurs make with their initial IT-infrastructure”

-Failure to communicate with key people.
If people with knowledge do not communicate this knowledge to key people who require it, such as project managers, interaction designers and web designers, the project will fail. They need to know partners, potential investors, contracts and who the rest of the team is.

-People operating outside their core compentences..
If people operate outside their core competences, they will eventually loose track of key details in other aspects. A programmer attempting to lead a project while programming and being busy with that, will not really work well. Address this issues or be prepared to fall flat on your face. Key information will not be delivered and the rest of the team can stop working, they simply cannot continue.