This Will Change How You Do Business


Steve Blank is one of my favorite entrepreneurship authors.  My favorite would be Jeff Cornwall of the Entrepreneurial Mind.  Lately I was reading one of Blank’s articles on customer development.  I came across what he calls the Customer Development Manifesto.  This short document outlines the CORE essentials that a startup needs to understand about their customers.

  1. There Are No Facts Inside Your Building, So Get Outside
  2. Pair Customer Development with Agile Development
  3. Failure is an Integral Part of the Search for the Business Model
  4. If You’re Afraid to Fail You’re Destined to Do So
  5. Iterations and Pivots are Driven by Insight
  6. Validate Your Hypotheses with Experiments
  7. Success Begins with Buy-In from Investors and Co-Founders
  8. No Business Plan Survives First Contact with Customers
  9. Not All Startups Are Alike
  10. Startup Metrics are Different from Existing Companies
  11. Agree on Market Type – It Changes Everything
  12. Fast, Fearless Decision-Making, Cycle Time, Speed and Tempo
  13. If it’s not About Passion, You’re Dead the Day You Opened your Doors
  14. Startup Titles and Functions Are Very Different from a Company’s
  15. Preserve Cash While Searching. After It’s Found, Spend
  16. Communicate and Share Learning
  17. Startups Demand Comfort with Chaos and Uncertainty

See the full version here.  Nail the Customer Development Manifesto to the Wall.


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Incredible Christmas Light Displays


I have always loved Christmas lights so this year I decided to put together some of my favorite and share them.  My favorite place to see Christmas lights in Nashville would have to be the Sunny Side Neighborhood.  The houses really go all out.  You can check them out here.

Do you have any favorite Christmas traditions?  I would love to hear about them.

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What was the most valuable lesson learned while doing business and college?


Last week I was speaking with a group of Belmont University students and the
question came up “What was the most valuable lesson learned while doing
business and college?”
My suggestion was do your best to attempt and find a Work/Life balance.
This was a very difficult task for me because a majority of my free time was
not hanging out around campus or with my friends, but rather at my office or
traveling. I was always conscious of the fact that I didn’t want to wake up one day
and my college experience to be over and I didn’t really get to experience any of
it. At times that meant missing needed sleep and at other times it meant closing
my bedroom door and digging into a few files on a Saturday night. In the end I
am pleased with the college experience I was able to have and still being able to
dedicate every spare minute I had to building a business.

Top 5 Books To Read If You’re Interested In Business


Now that I have graduated from college I find myself more than ever before looking to accumulate knowledge on certain subjects. Not because it is required of me, but rather I see how it would be beneficial to have the knowledge and invest the time in myself. So here are five books that have been suggested to me recently and I look forward to reading.

  1. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek and suggested to read by Jason Rardin.
  2. Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm by Verne Harnish and suggested to read by Professor John Wark.
  3. Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist by Jason Mendelson and suggested to read by Jake Jorgovan.
  4. The Great Game of Business, Expanded and Updated: The Only Sensible Way to Run a Company by Jack Stack and cant I remember who suggested this one but it looks like a good read either way.
  5. Personal History by Katharine Graham and suggested to read by Warren Buffet at the 2013 BRK National Convention.

Please let me know if you have ever read any of them or if you have additional suggestions for me to read.

Government Shut Down


I know everybody has an opinion about what’s going on with the government right now and my goal is not to get to political with this blog, but I think that no matter where you stand seeing some of our national monuments being closed down is a sad day.  I’ve pulled together some links that have really helped me stay up to date with what’s been going on.  Happy reading every body.

Washington Post


USA Today



Cross Fit


Have you ever hear of Cross Fit?

It’s the hottest fitness trend sweeping across America right now.

My sister has jumped onto the Cross Fit train and placed fourth in her last competition!

Way to go sis!  So proud of her commitment to a healthy life style.

Here’s a photo of her group after the competition.


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