Don't go in there! Lean startup lessons from horror films.

Normally I'm all about the back story and building suspense, but let's just get into some lessons learned from slashers, serial killers, and the stupid teenagers who seem to excel at getting themselves and their friends killed.

1. Travel in packs.

Zombies come in hordes and eat teenagers because the teenagers only have so many bullets. Eventually we'll get down to hand-to-hand combat and let's face it--it's a numbers game. From the other end, the reason most horror movies have at least one survivor is that the survivor (usually inadvertently) feeds his/her friends to the horde. If you're in the beginning stages of a startup or small business, make sure you've got others in your group...

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If the major social networks were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles...

They're the world's most fearsome fighting team! Why? Because they're heroes in a half-shell. And they're green.

Now that that is out of the way we can get down to business.

It amazes me, but I have been an active user of social media for the last 10 years. I haven't kept track of this, but I suspect that there hasn't been a day in my adult life where social media has been completely absent. When Facebook first appeared on the scene I was using it for internet dating...

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Thoughtfulness: keeping your customers happy.

What makes customer service great? 

I went to a Google recruiting event last week to see how they were branding their workplace philosophy, get a feel for the opportunities they were offering students and of course to see if they had any fun job opportunities for me. The event was hosted by an enthusiastic woman who began asking trivia questions about Google. Of course, she allowed participants to use Google to look up the answers. If you got a question right, she would give you a pair of sunglasses, a water bottle, a laptop bag or a pair of headphones.

Unfortunately for me, the event was targeted at college seniors. As I am halfway through my second Masters I was obviously not their core customer for this particular event. Nevertheless, I did get something from the event. The Google recruiter told one story that will stick with me as an example of outstanding customer service and branding...

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Being Content: 6 things every entrepreneur should know.

If I never see another article that says "5 things you didn't know about _____" or "12 shocking secrets you didn't know about _____" it will be too soon. That being said, I'm going to write one of these. Please forgive me. I (sort of) know not what I do.

The only thing that articles like this tell us is that people are desperately looking for a simple fix to their problems. While this article won't appear advertised on weather.com in a blinking banner with a muscular man or nearly naked woman, it does contain some simple things you can do to grow your business and yourself...

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It's time to hire a maid or: A reasonably clean examination of the present-value of future cashflows

Almost a year ago I bought my first house in the funky little town of Carrboro, North Carolina. Our small town began to gain steam around 100 years ago when Julian Shakespeare Carr, in obvious homage to his clearly epic name, purchased the Alberta Cotton Mill. In 1913, Julian Shakespeare Carr provided access to the electric grid to the community and expanded the scope of the mill.

The Mill has played a part in many staple American industries including cotton, rail, textile, lumber, hosiery...

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Ready, Aim, Fire: wait, where's the "congrats, you nailed it"?

As a youngster, I would often determine the outcome of future events by my ability to make a basketball shot. If I could sink a three, that meant that so-and-so liked me and that I was going to get straight A's in class. 

Unfortunately, I was never that great at basketball. It's cool, I was a 4.0 student until I got to business school (ohi, calculus, y u no nice?) and people seem to think I'm tolerable. If I missed the first shot, I would change the rules...

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Millennials: ermahgerd, smh. Srsly.

If you read the title of this blog post and were all like, "OMG, wtf is this dude talking a/b?! Much confuse, so wow," chances are that you're not a millennial. In fact, you probably don't understand anything I've written thus far. It's OK. Lemme explain.

The truth is that millennials have been afforded unprecedented access to self-branding. Whereas teenagers and young adults in the 60s, 70s or 80s had to be content with cruising the streets of Small Town, America blaring their rock 'n' roll music, millennials have been able to globalize their petty adolescence...

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