Fireside Chat with Dan Berger, Social Tables

Thank you to Tien Wong and Connectpreneur for hosting my fireside chat with Founder and CEO, Dan Berger, Social Tables. If you've never been to one of Tien's Connectpreneur conferences he puts on a great show and you should check it out here: Connectrpreneur If you can't see the video you can link to it here: https://youtu.be/O3i_CIuB7Dg The transcipr of the interview follows: Me: Don, this is probably the first time we've been together since I last sat on your board probably four years ago. Dan: Yeah it's been it's been roses ever since. Me: True, so let me let me let me replay to you and to the audience how we first met. I was at a DC tech meetup, the date was April 5th 2011.  I had put out a tweet that the Dingman Angels were looking for good companies to possibly invest and I received this tweet back, @glehel hey! Let's try to connect at the end of the meetup. — Dan Berger (@danberger) April 5, 2011 Signed, Dan Berger, I was later to find out that then that Dan is pronounced Don and we then met at a Starbucks. Can you tell us a little bit about that? A week later we're at Starbucks you your partner and what did we talk...

Competitive Strategy: Value Discipline

Imagine you were building a football team from the ground up. Would you just go about willy-nilly picking the best available players?  Do you think after you filled your roster and realized you had 10 quarterbacks, and no running backs or receivers you’d ever win a game? What is your value discipline? No, when you build a team, you build a team around the best talent available to execute a particular style of play.  You choose a style of play, build a team around that style. You build a strategy around the optimal path to exploit your resources and compete against the other teams. If there are no great throwing quarterbacks available and there are a ton of mobile quarterbacks and running backs, you build a running team. To build on that you would look for linemen that can help you support that running strategy. You declare to the team, "we are a ball control team." You better make sure everyone on the offense now understands we are a run oriented-offense. The coach declares to win we keep the ball on the ground, control the clock, and dominate the ground game. Everyone knows we are built to run. If the coach misses...

The Power of Culture

Strong Culture Rarely Exists In The Wild [caption id="attachment_78719" align="alignright" width="189"] Ghost Orchid[/caption] The ghost orchid is one of the worlds rarest flowers. Since its first sighting in 1954, it has been found in the wild less than two dozen times. Yet it can be cultivated and grown in greenhouses in large quantities. Like the ghost orchid, a powerful culture of high-performance is rarely found organically grown in the wild. The best leaders build a powerful culture by bringing together the proper conditions for their teams to thrive. Potential leaders who randomly gather groups of individuals in the hope that someday, like a rare, naturally growing ghost orchid, they will find themselves the leaders of high-performance teams are likely to be disappointed. Yet if they intentionally built a cultural greenhouse, planted the right seeds, applied the exact amounts of moisture, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and sunlight to ensure a strong culture thrives, they would have a significantly greater probability of success. To lead a great team with a strong culture it is best to be a great leader and to be a great leader, one must be like horticulturists who presides over a successful greenhouse. Great leaders must be scientific, deliberate...

Design Thinking For CEOs

What do I mean by Design Thinking for CEOs? Let's break that down. What is Design Thinking? According to Wikipedia: Design thinking is a method for the practical, creative resolution of problems using the strategies designers use during the process of designing. Design thinking has also been developed as an approach to resolve issues outside of professional design practice, such as in business and social contexts. The reason I add the CEO qualifier as in Design Thinking for CEOs is many people who run businesses believe Design Thinking is for Software Developers or Product Managers or Interior Decorators and not for them. Design Thinking for CEOs or anyone is a way of thinking. It's constantly asking, "Why am I doing it this way?" It's constantly asking, "Is there a better way?" Everyone benefits from design thinking. Look at something as simple as a water fountain. Water fountains have changed very little in the last 100 years. Yet culture and habits have changed. Due to the emerging emphasis on health (drinking more water) and the environment protection have changed human habits so that many of us walk around with water bottles. In fact, some of us don't walk around with water bottles because 3 years ago...

Hiring Right

The point of hiring is not to get people on board the bus. Hiring right is getting the right people on board the bus. In fact, it's to get the right people in the right seats on the bus.  That's the key. Running a business is like chess and not checkers. In business, you don't need people who all walk alike, talk alike and share the exact same strengths and weaknesses. In business, different roles require different types of people. Some roles require the ability to move diagonally, other roles require you move like a knight. What's the key to hiring right? Four factors in hiring right are: Cognitive Ability - Does the candidate have the mental capacity to think, learn, solve problems and perform the mental tasks required to fulfill their duties? Personality Traits - Are the candidate's hard-wired personality traits compatible with the tasks they will be required to perform? Knowlege - Do they have the training and experience to perform the task? Cultural Fit - Do they fit in with the company's belief system? Which of these factors is most important? It depends on your situation. Hiring Right For Cognitive Ability - Smart people figure stuff out! I figured that out myself which is...

Indiscriminate Indiscriminator

My mother always told me that If I couldn't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. Then one day, my sister asked my mother to brush her hair and I said, "Jeeze Cindy, even Helen Keller can comb her own hair." To which my dad picked up his belt took two quick steps towards me and I beat feet out of the house as fast as I could. Only to return in under the cover of night when clearer heads prevailed. I guess that wasn't a nice thing to say. Obviously, the lesson didn't sink in. As you noticed Mr. Cranky isn't Mr. Cranky because his praise to pwn (pronounced Pone) ratio is like 2:9 maybe even 1:9. Now let me tell you I don't bitch about everything or everyone I see. There are many times, I see stuff I want to ridicule and then I say to myself, Is what I'm pointing out a warning and a danger to others? Will it be a useful lesson? You know, like a "Beware of Dog Sign." Examples: is this Danny Boice or Jennifer Melon, abusing employees, cheating investors, abusing family members or is this a Jason Feimster and his pretend VC 3Si...

gofundme Fail – Danny Boice Bullies his ex-wife

Updated May 15, 2018: Danny Boice bullies his ex-wife yet after 24 hours, the gofundme campaign has been restored. Danny's attempt to shut her down failed. The account is back live. Original Post: Danny Boice bullies his ex-wife. Today I learned a lesson about gofundme.. they support domestic abuse, they allow themselves to be bullied. They are willing to stand and watch as Danny Boice bullies his ex-wife, Joanne Boice. Four days ago, Debbie Bailey posted a gofundme campaign for her sister, Joanne Boice. Joanne is the former wife of Danny Boice. For those of you new to the story, Danny Boice is a documented bully and crook.  See these blog posts: Running Total of Danny Boice Malfeciance Danny Boice bullies his ex-wife. He's been bullying her for years. During their 9 year marriage and more so after the divorce. Danny lives in a $2 million house, drives luxury automobiles, takes two-week exotic vacations, all over the world flying on private jets. Danny is now married to his ex-wife's good friend who he impregnated while still married to Joanne. Yet his stay-at-home wife receives a mere $700 per month in alimony. They share custody of 2 children and as Danny has driven Joanne into poverty, he is...

When I Say Hero You Say…

When I say hero you say, Superman. When I say hero, you say George Washington or Lincoln or Lindberg.. or I can go on forever to name white heroes we worship. When I say hero, you say...