Next Steve Jobs?; Now to Say Your Name; Internal Shark Tank; Verne Interview
June 19, 2014
More Facebook, More Depression; Salim Ismail; Office Branding; Better Elementary School?
July 3, 2014

Gates’ Stanford Speech; Partnering with Sumos; 5 Ways to Extend Paychecks; Fortune Stories Needed

"…keeping you great"


Stories Needed Next FORTUNE Column — are you a US business executive that has "escaped" overseas and found it helpful to you and the business? More below, but first…

5 Ways to Stretch Paychecks — pay raises only go so far. My latest FORTUNE column is entitled "5 Ways to Help Your Employees' Salaries Go Further." Take 1 minute to read the details behind these five tips:

  1. Operate efficiently (read why in column)
  2. Invest in financial education
  3. Help them raise their credit scores
  4. Provide low-cost grocery perks
  5. Let them augment their income

BTW, I didn't have space to expound on this last point, but Tom Peters always pushed the idea of turning your cost centers into profit centers, letting your internal teams do some outside work (design, accounting, LEAN training, etc.) to give them some variety in their work and to augment your costs and their wages.

Keys to Partnering with Heavyweights (Biz Dev book) — Bernie Brenner, founder of, a recent NASDAQ listed company (TRUE) he built through strategic partnering with giants, has written a book on how to do the same in your business. The book is entitled The Sumo Advantage: Leveraging Business Development to Team with Heavyweights and Grow in Any Economy. The key distinction in the book is between 800-lb Gorillas and Sumos. To quote from the inside jacket cover (which I found insightful):

"A gorilla provides power but has no 'X factor' to accelerate market dominance. Instead, consider pursuing a "sumo," who is always focused on beating the competition and who leverages his enormous weight and muscle to force competitors out of the ring. The gorilla is raw muscle and can exert enormous strength but is not at all strategic. It is instinctive and lacks self-awareness, imagination, and independent will. The sumo, on the other hand, is interested in out positioning, outsmarting and even out psyching the competition, using all means available.

The Sumo Advantage provides the strategies and tactics to help you find and partner with sumos. If you are unaware of the distinctions between sales and BD, then your sales-only focus may be what is holding you back. Once you understand and really believe that sales and business development are very different functions, the sky's the limit on growth."

Bill and Melinda Gates' Stanford 24 min Speech — in the first joint commencement address in Stanford history, Bill and Melinda Gates delivered what FORTUNE considered a speech to join the ranks of Steve Jobs classic address in 2006. Take 2 minutes to read FORTUNE's highlights of the address, particularly giving praise to Melinda's thoughts (role of luck, the importance of getting your heart broken, and why to be optimistic). And at the bottom of the article is a link to the full 24 minute speech starting at 1:08:26 in the ceremony (though you can start at 1:12:00 and not miss much but some introductory remarks). My favorite line by Bill Gates, when visiting a hospital of patients dying of drug resistant TB – it's "hell with a waiting list."

$100 Bet — after listening to Bill and Melinda's speech, and knowing that Bill is back involved with Microsoft, I'm more confident in a recent entertaining bet I made with a dear friend – a $100 bet that Microsoft's market cap will exceed Apple's in 36 months (June 10, 2017). Right now that gap is $200 billion.

Next FORTUNE Column Stories Needed — For my next column, I am looking to hear from US entrepreneurs who have "escaped" to locations outside the country to get distance they need to focus on the big picture at their companies and recharge. I am particularly interested in hearing from those who run their businesses this way on an ongoing basis. What are the pros and cons? Please share your business name, the city in the US where it is headquartered, the city from which you run it, the number of employees and company revenues (FORTUNE requires this). Please email [email protected]


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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.