Blog: Forward Thinking

Thoughts and Musings from Glen Hellman about Executive Performance, Startups, the Washington DC Tech Scene and more.
Skills Versus Traits - Clint Burt

Skills Versus Traits: You Can’t Teach Tall

What do I mean by Skills versus Traits? Nineteen Seventies Matinee Stars Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds (for you kids out there they were the George Cloney (too old?), Brand Pitt (still too old?), Ryan Gosling (Still too old?), Sunny Pawar (what? 8 years old too young?)) early in their careers were sitting in a Hollywood Studio waiting room to find out if they got the part. In walks the casting director and he says to Burt Reynolds, "You didn't get the part because you can't act. " He then turned to Clint and said, "You didn't get the part either...

Startup Business Plan

Get Investors to Read Your Startup Business Plan

How do you get investors to read your startup business plan? Well short of walking into their offices and holding a gun on them, there's no guaranteed way to get them to read a business plan. There are however several ways to get them to not read your startup business plan and they include: Send it to investors who don't invest in your space - You're a pre-revenue media entertainment startup located in Washington DC seeking seed funding and you send the plan to a later-stage investor that doesn't focus in media and entertainment. Wrong Stage. Wrong Geography. Wrong Investor. Blind...

Fire Bad Customers

Fire Bad Customers

Fire Bad Customers? Are you crazy? It's hard enough to get customers, why the hell would you fire them? We all know this, not all customers are created equal so fire your bad ones. I recently worked with two CEO's who were complaining about their customers. In one instance the CEO was asked to submit a proposal to an existing customer and who was applying pricing pressure. When I asked him why this customer was so important to him, he said they represented about 40 percent of his company's gross revenue. Upon further digging I found out that the 40% revenue customer only produced...

Bad Spam, Bad Marketing

Talk about bad marketing! Usually, Mr Cranky just ignores his spam mail. Occasionally, I lie to draw a lesson from them so I've decided to improve the following spam mail and send it to the spammer so that old Mak Saini...

DCs Mr Cranky

Why Do They Call Me DC’s Mr Cranky?

DC's Mr Cranky? Tonight, for the umpteenth time I was introduced as DC's Mr Cranky. Tonight, folks continuously asked, "Why Mr Cranky?" I obviously wasn't amongst my base. They didn't know me. So I thought today, I'd explain to the world...

ThinkTank Peer Advisory Group

Join New ThinkTank Peer Advisory Group

Why a Peer Advisory Group? It's lonely at the top.  Have you noticed? If you run a business where do you go to let down your guard? Where can you go to be vulnerable? Where can you share your deepest concerns? Who helps you be a better leader? Share them with you Partners? What if they are the issue? Share them with your spouse or spouse equivalent? Maybe...

Peter Paul and Mary - Mr Cranky Startups

Mr Cranky Startups – Where Have All The Founders Gone?

Mr Cranky Startups. It's a love hate relationship that reminds me of a song: Where have all the founders gone, Long time passing, Where have all the founders gone, Long time ago, When will they ever learn? At least I think that's how the Peter, Paul and Mary song went. Mr Cranky Startups Rant Lately, I've been wondering about the weakness in DC Tech startups. It seems to me that the rate of startup founders dipping their toes in the DCTech pond has slowed considerably. Yet before I am added to the list of purveyors of Fake News which is just another name for the...