Three Keys to Branding Your Start-Up as an Innovation Leader

2017-07-07T17:13:00+00:00July 30th, 2016|INC Articles|

Building perception for innovation can be the difference between growth and funding of your ideas. Calling your business innovative is getting to be common practice for almost every start-up. Who doesn't want to be perceived as new and noteworthy? But being seen as innovative and actually being innovative are two radically different things. Actually being defined as innovative - introducing new ideas or original and creative thinking - may come easier to you and your start-up than increasing perception and brand promise of innovation. That requires a much more consistent level of branding work. In a world of social proof trumping actuality here are three proven effective ways to brand your start-up as an innovative from branding and marketing expert, Karen Leland, author of The Brand Mapping Strategy: Design, Build and Accelerate Your Brand. Consistency Being consistent with publishing content on the leading innovative trends in your industry or niche is important. Your [...]

5 Warning Signs You’re About to Fail

2017-07-07T17:08:48+00:00July 27th, 2016|INC Articles|

When to stop your start-up or break-up with your business. In the business world, the norm is to start-up loud and then shut-down quietly. Except when it comes to Laura Beck, the founder of Stripedshirt.com. Her so-called Indie-No-Go, Kickstopper campaign is teaching us a few things about failing, the right and wrong way, and why sometimes, breaking up with your business is the only option. Just about every business blog, article, and website you see out there tells you the same thing: when it comes to business, you have to be willing to stick with your start-up, through the good, the bad, and the garage full of unsold t-shirts. Without arguing that perseverance isn't a key part of success, some businesses aren't meant to succeed, and knowing when to quit could save you an immense amount of time and money. It's So Hard to Say Goodbye After five years of barely [...]

How Startups Really Get Funded

2017-07-07T17:06:11+00:00July 22nd, 2016|INC Articles|

Extended seed stages for funding are forcing founders to prove that the "dogs will eat the dog food." Welcome to the age of applied technology. This shift from developed technology is teaching us more than we ever could have imagined and even more than that, it is changing the way start-ups...well... start up. Andrew Goldner, Founder and Managing Director of GrowthX, a seed-stage MicroVC fund and leading market development accelerator, believes that this shift is key to getting to the bottom of what it takes to get successfully funded in this new marketplace. Technology Has Become Cheaper and Easier Realizing your talent, what you can bring to the table, and how you intend to do that is no longer enough to get funding. "The actual availability of talent is so much more plentiful than it has been historically, that to differentiate yourself, you are expected to have gotten much further with much less," [...]

Defying the Rules of Branding One Big Ass Fan at a Time

2017-07-06T16:37:51+00:00July 16th, 2016|INC Articles|

How listening to their tribe helped this company triple annual profits. The internet is flooded with advice from branding experts all over the world. Each tip and rule of branding is meant to drive you closer to your customer while maintaining a business that is geared toward maximum profitability. But what if the best way to get closer to your customer... was to simply listen to what they were saying? This is what the founder of Big Ass Fans (previously HVLS - High Volume Low Speed - Fan Company) did and they haven't looked back since. Learning to Listen "We would answer the phones with HVLS Fan Company, how can I help you? And on the other end the people would say. "Hey, aren't you the guys who make those big ass fans?" and after a little less than a year, we went ahead and changed the name." In a culture that favors business [...]

5 Design Personalities You Need to Level Your Team

2017-07-07T16:59:59+00:00July 15th, 2016|INC Articles|

Why you need a Pharrell Williams, Martha Stewart, Madonna, Walt Disney and Steve Jobs on your team. Every person you encounter throughout your day, every personality type, has blinders, shadow behaviors, gaps in their capabilities. Call it what you will, these exist in everyone. The design world is not exempt and I sat down with Paul Martens, founder of CORA and author of The Motivated Life, to discuss this and more. In 'The Motivated Life', Martens talks about a five-type system of design personalities with which designers can recognize their areas of expertise as well as their personality gaps. This thoughtful design theory shows us where our strengths are and also helps to point out weaknesses. 5 Core Types of Design Personalities Type One: Direction, designed to market oneself Type Two: Beauty, designed to please Type Three: Innovation, designed for popularity Type Four:  Entertainment, designed to entertain Type Five: Efficiency, designed for clarity If you are thinking you might [...]

Designing Your Path to Profitable Success by Focusing On Impact

2017-07-06T03:48:17+00:00July 3rd, 2016|INC Articles|

How a simple shift of perspective can change the way you do things, and ultimately change your level of success. Finding, creating, and managing success isn't an easy feat by any set of standards. Life can be is full, busy, messy, and unpredictable- so flying by the seat of your pants to find success just doesn't make sense. There are too many factors, day-to-day, that will derail you if you aren't prepared for the next step in your journey. When I sat down to talk with Wendy Lipton-Dibner, global strategist and bestselling author of 'Focus On Impact', she had quite a bit to say about this... and even presented a 10-step road map! Sequence and Success Are BFF's - Sequence + Success According to Wendy, if we are destined to get anywhere fast, we should never 'go out of sequence' or we would most certainly end up lost, hitting roadblocks, or [...]