Legend Bill Bowerman; Cognitive Health; Where Good Ideas Come From; Rhythm Webcast
March 24, 2011
5 Strategic Blunders; Rackspace’s Strategy; Butler’s Strategy; Russian Strategy
April 7, 2011

Buffett’s Loss; Whoopie’s Support; Employee Happiness; Barcelona in Summer

"…keeping you great"


Help Make Crowd Source Funding Legal — SEC laws from 1933 are the same for the big company raising capital as the small business owner seeking $50,000. With the financial meltdown, the traditional means of financing are no longer an option. So if the banks aren't lending, credit card companies are starting to charge insane interest rates, and private money is limited to a select few, where do entrepreneurs turn? Friends and family … however, then you run into the 35 unaccredited investor issue. Woodie Neiss, one of my MIT/Birthing of Giants alum, has proposed some commonsense exceptions to the 1933 act (he even went to the SEC with it and they liked it). Now he's garnering support. Here's the petition: It took me 20 seconds to sign-it.

Whoopie Goldberg Helping Out — and check out this latest WSJ piece on Neiss's crowd source funding initiative. Neiss also managed to get a hand delivered letter to President Obama and is talking with Bloomberg's people — he's getting real traction, so let's help him – again, just sign the petition. So I asked him how he got to Goldberg. Basically through a friend of a friend who is her agent. Neiss has met with her 3 times and now she's lending her name and support.

Buffett's Loss — though Buffett doesn't have difficulty raising money, he is having a rough week. David Sokol, CEO of Buffett's NetJets (and keynoter at the last Growth Summit), abruptly resigned this week. Sokol noted, in his resignation letter, that he wants to "utilize the time remaining in my career to invest my family's resources … and … provide opportunity for my descendents and funding for my philanthropic interests." Buffett indicated Sokol wanted to resign a couple years ago as well. Here is Fortune's reporting on the resignation which comes with some controversy.

Why Your Employees Might Resign — Marshall Goldsmith, whom I consider second only to Jim Collins (he's also keynoting for 3.5 hours our upcoming Fortune Leadership Summit), wrote a blog this past week on why 49% of people aren't satisfied at work and how to make things better. BTW, what about all those people who toil long hours? Doesn't overwork lead to unhappiness? "No," notes Goldsmith, who is studying job satisfaction. "We didn't find the hours spent working correlated to happiness or meaning, or lack thereof. Nor did we find more hours spent outside of work in "fun" activities produced higher levels of satisfaction." Here's a link to Goldsmith's blog so you can see what does correlate to job satisfaction.

Why We All Might Resign…at least those in the "productive" sector of the economy. This is the premise of one of the most famous novels of all time, Atlas Shrugged. Considered by many a manifesto for entrepreneurs, the book is coming to the big screen appropriately on tax day in the US – April 15. It will be the first in a film trilogy encompassing the 1,368-page book, financed by businessman John Aglialoro, CEO of Cybex International and the 2004 US Poker Championship winner. Aglialoro has been pursuing his dream of seeing Atlas Shrugged in film for two decades! He's finally getting his satisfaction.

Barcelona Update — we couldn't be more excited (satisfied!) that the new interim headmaster for our children's school, Ben Franklin International School, is the renowned Tom Northrup, Headmaster Emeritus of the equally famous Middleburg, VA The Hill School. Tom has been advising the school for three years and now is moving to Barcelona to further the mission of educating global citizens. BTW, if any of you are interested in spending a week or two in Barcelona this summer, we received permission from the owners of our 5 bedroom flat to sub-lease it while we're gone in July and August.

Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” and WEO’s “Advanced Business” executive program both held at MIT. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 150 coaching partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale-up. The “Growth Guy” syndicated columnist, he’s also the Venture columnist for FORTUNE magazine. He’s the author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0); Mastering the Rockefeller Habits; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times," for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. Verne also chairs FORTUNE Magazine’s annual Leadership and Growth Summits and serves on several boards including chairman of The Riordan Clinic and the newly launched Geoversity. He is an investor in many scale-ups. A father of four, he enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.