Monthly Archives: July 2009

July 2009: My Start-up Life

My Start-Up Life: What a (Very) Young CEO Learned on His Journey Through Silicon Valley, Ben Casnocha, 2007.

The CEO in question is, indeed, very young. In fact, Ben Casnocha was an adolescent when he started this first company and just entered his 20’s this year. He’s been described as a whiz kid, but he’s more, and when I heard him speak at a recent WIN breakfast, I realized that here’s a young man we can all pick up a few points from.

The New York Times review of his book gives us a quick synopsis of his entrepreneurism: “Publishing a book in his teens actually ranks as one of his [Ben Casnocha’s] more modest accomplishments. At 12, he started his first company. At 14, he founded a software company called Comcate Inc. At 17, Inc. Magazine named him “entrepreneur of the year.”

Those accomplishments were followed by others, including national media coverage.Reading Casnocha’s book is like tuning in to the young mind, one that is exceptionally entrepreneurial and insightful. His youthful energy takes the form of tips on maximizing luck and turning entrepreneurial dreams into business realities.

His book is a summer read that just might revitalize us all and give us a few new ideas along the way, too.

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July Tip: Toes in the Water

Toes in the Water And Sun on Your Back

It’s summer and with it comes the lazy, hazy lull before the busyness of the fall. During these delicious, long days we have a wonderful chance to relax, do something new and just sit and think. I recommend it.

Imagine yourself down by the Truckee River with your toes dabbling in the water and a warm sun on your back. Let your mind drift and meander with the flow of water.

Watch an interesting thing happen — delicious, new ideas begin to bubble to the surface. For just a few moments, play with the burbling possibilities and toy with “what could be” rather than “what is”.

This is possibility thinking (anything is possible) rather than probability thinking (it’s not very probable). And it’s a powerful boost for the creative juices. To bring out your inner entrepreneurial spirit, try these strategies.

  • Be random, be playful, say Yes!
  • Try something new now.
  • Consider this: You don’t need all the answers before you start. So, start.
  • Get your idea out there, see if it works, quickly adjust, and put it out again.
  • Become a learning junkie by challenging and stretching yourself.

Above all, have fun with it. Play. Splash. And bring that playful, creative spirit back to the office when you’re ready to come out of the sun.

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