Turkel’s Branding; Zuckerberg’s Next Decade; Investor’s Advice to Airbnb Team
May 1, 2014
Smartest Guy?; 2nd Best Speech?; Goals and Purpose worthless?; Happy Graduation
May 16, 2014

Nasty Gal advice; 6 Buffett lessons; free eBook; 5 Roadblocks; FORTUNE stories needed

"…keeping you great"


I stopped feeling like I didn't belong anywhere, and realized that I actually belonged anywhere I wanted to be.


Sophia Amoruso, CEO Nasty Gal

Stories for Venture Column — I'm working on my next column for FORTUNE and need stories, topic details below, but first…

5 Roadblocks To Growth — my latest FORTUNE Venture column is out on the newsstands and online. Here are five roadblocks:

  1. Not knowing your ideal customer
  2. Failing to scale systems
  3. Using an old org chart
  4. Trusting your gut
  5. Letting your skills flatline

Take 2 minutes to read the details. Thanks to Scot Lowry, CEO of digital-marketing firm Fathom, and Sunny Vanderbeck, managing partner at Satori Capital, for contributing to the column. I particularly like Lowry's idea of leaders referring to their team as "direct supports" instead of "direct reports." Review the five roadblocks at your next management meeting (books Inside Advantage and How Companies Win are key to figuring out the ideal customer).

Founder of Nasty Gal — Sophia Amoruso, founder and CEO of $100 million online retailer Nasty Gal, released her book this week entitled #GirlBoss. From shoplifter to 30 year old CEO of a company she launched when she was 22, I love the opening quote of her book "The only thing I smoke is my competition!" Diagnosed with ADD (aren't all entrepreneurs!), she threw away all the pills they gave her, homeschooled, started dumpster diving, and today has 350 employees. And she has three pieces of advice (overcoming three more roadblocks): "Don't ever grow up. Don't become a bore. Don't ever let the Man get to you." Anyway, I'm having a blast reading her book just for the pure inspiration and energy (and some serious practical ideas) it's giving me as an aged biz leader! I plan to share the book with my children next. Here's a quick FORTUNE piece on the book.

6 Buffett Lessons — …and coming off the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha last weekend, here are six odd lessons FORTUNE reporter Jen Wieczner gleaned from the gathering. Take 30 seconds to scan the six and a couple minutes more to read the details. A couple hints: The fact that billionaires are flying private more often IS a great sign for the economy and I'm glad Buffett is bullish on Airbnb – it's all about not letting the Man crush disruptors of the status quo (channeling Sophia!).

Free eBook — what tool are Cisco, VeriSign, and online betting portal (and soccer team sponsor) bwin.com using to set priorities? Collaboration games. Luke Hohmann, CEO & founder of Conteneo and inventor of Innovation Games (he keynoted the last Growth Summit), has just published an eBook about how these leading organization and others are using serious collaboration games in Portfolio Prioritization i.e. which projects should get support next. Entitled How to Prioritize Your Portfolio Using Conteneo Collaboration Games, it gives you a practical playbook for tackling typical portfolio management issues like stakeholder alignment, resource allocation, strategic and tactical prioritization, and is built around game plans and case studies from companies such as Verisign (helped them choose the top 7 or 46 projects to support), bwin.party, HP, Cisco and more.

FORTUNE Column Stories Needed — Even when companies do their best to pay fair wages, many employees find it hard to keep pace with the rising cost of living. Giving raises is one possible solution, but not all companies are in a position to do that. Has your company introduced an innovative benefit or program that helps your team manage personal finances more effectively, saves them money, helps them cope with a financial emergency or otherwise helps them make the most of their salaries? I'd like to hear from you for my next column. Please include the name of your company, what it does, where is located, number of employees and annual revenue (FORTUNE requires it). Please email me at [email protected] – thanks.

See you in Orlando — it will be another book – and learning-fest next week at the annual Leadership Summit presented by FORTUNE. And pencil in Oct 28 – 29 for the Growth Summit in Las Vegas – Ben Horowitz, Keith Ferrazzi, Liz Wiseman, John DiJulius, and others all have new books out in 2014 – a quick way to meet you're A-Player KPI of 12 books/year!


Need help implementing the Rockefeller Habits?

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.