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Justin Floyd
Visionary Entrepreneur building innovative businesses with people who are much smarter than me
Interests: business, innovation, sales, entrepreneurs, marketing., cloud technology
Recent Activity
If you 've been watching the UK election debates over the last couple of weeks you probably were unimpressed by the quality of the so- called elevator pitches that the three main party leaders were asked to give. How bad were they? Very. Elevator pitches have become increasingly redundant over the last couple of years. Lets face every one has their own self styled pitch. From politicians to Goldman Sachs they are all at it [ no I can't spot the difference either] which has rendered what was a fine piece of verbal dexterity in marketing ones products and company... Continue reading
There is a strange kudos about leadership. Most people at sometime or another feel or believe that they have to be a leader. Take the salesman who covets the sales manager role, the book keeper who wants to be the CFO, the CFO who wants to be the CEO, the CEO wants to be Chairman and the Chairman wants to be be next President. There is a lot of negative energy spent on the eternal power struggle associated with such ambition, especially in the corridors of power inside corporations. Not so for the Entrepreneur. By definition you are the leader... Continue reading
It had to come eventually. Think flip side to the glowing recommendations you can get on Linked In and consider scathing criticism of you, your career , your personality, your trust rating. Welcome to, thankfully still in beta. This is what Leslie Gaines Ross a reputation specialist has to say about it. 'What are Unvarnished's creators thinking? How can this be good? With no accountability and no restraints, people will review and rate bosses who hired and fired them, Rumors, innuendo, and hearsay will be aired, regardless of whether even a scrap of truth lies beneath them.' In my... Continue reading
There is a book written by Mike Wilson called 'The difference between God and Larry Ellison' which charts the meteoric rise of one of Silicon Valley's greatest showman, Larry Ellison of Oracle and how he clawed his way to the top of the mountain and has stayed there ever since. Wilson recounts some incredible stories of both Ellison and Oracle and spares no one when relaying Oracle's sales practises. One of the more interesting anecdotes is the description of how Ellison, when presenting the features of the Oracle product would get his 'tenses' mixed up, in other words selling features... Continue reading
Apple wheeled out the iPad this weekend in the US , early reports suggest they sold around 700,000 units , not bad in 48 hours. Apple have got what you might describe as a loyal customer base. And that is down to Steve Jobs vision of understanding some core principles in attracting and more importantly keeping customers. Principle one-Products don't sell, the experience does. People buy an iPhone, iPod because of the ecosystem behind it. Additionally with the lifecycle of many technology products being so short - around 3 years - renewals by recurring customers are vital to sustain growth.... Continue reading
Here's something you may not be aware of. There is enough food in the world to feed everyone pretty much. So why are 20% of the world's population either suffering from starvation or malnourished? The answer - both in the past and in the future - is advantage. I'm not about to go off onto an online podium for social change, but I want to highlight something I've talked about for some time which is how we as Entrepreneurs can build great businesses whilst at the same time helping to build a success path for aspiring Entrepreneurs who are just... Continue reading
If you have a handle on your business you will have seen it coming, the stomach churning meeting with your cash flow forecast that tells you if you do not hit your revenue targets in the next 30 days you are going to run out of cash. Game over. Over the years I along with many other CEO's , Entrepreneurs and Business Owners have been in a financial Apocalypse at times in their business career. At either the Board meeting or the one on one you have with your finance guy the data you get presented is the equivalent of... Continue reading
I'm a bit of a Linked In nut. Like any Entrepreneur I value quality connections highly and until social media sites started to take off I used to have to do regular seminar and exhibition shift work to uncover as many new business opportunities as I could. Now I log on Linked In and Twitter, see which profiles of potential contacts have been recommended to me, check out who has recently joined my network groups, see who has viewed my profile, view industry updates that interest me, and yes connect with a whole new bunch of contacts. In other words... Continue reading
There was a really interesting story last week regarding the threat of social media to a businesses brand . Especially if your customer service isn't delivering at the levels you have promised. As an Entrepreneur you work very hard to win those initial customers, keeping them whilst protecting your reputation is one of the most critical areas you should focus on. Even more so with the ascent of Twitter, Facebook and Linked In where information about you and your company is traded in the most public way possible. This is a perfect example of what can go wrong. On March... Continue reading
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Mar 15, 2010
The last week has seen the the burning embers from the banking inferno well and truly ignited again. Some of the stories coming out of Lehman Brothers is bewildering to most of us. Even more perplexing is the bankers bonus debacle, us Entrepreneurs cannot understand how Directors can be legally compensated obscene sums of money for incurring not just losses but insolvently . After all Directors of private companies [ read Entrepreneurs] are subjected to the most draconian actions if we fail in our goal to build a successful Enterprise. Frankly its a minefield of regulation and accountability , ignorance... Continue reading
I was with a lawyer recently and we were discussing the challenges of being an Entrepreneur.Despite the exorbitant fees he charges Entrepreneurs I'm not entirely sure he holds us in much esteem. A case in point if you will was this from him : 'anyone can have an idea- that's the easy bit'. Words of wisdom indeed. And worth every penny.. So what is the difference between an Entrepreneur with an idea and Entrepreneur with vision? So many great ideas never see their market potential . And that's because turning an idea into action necessitates you taking that idea then... Continue reading
There is an argument that says wisdom is the scarcest rarest and most valuable resource in the world today. You could also argue that experience comes a close second. When you have succeeded and failed a number of times you start to learn a lot about what it takes to be a successful Entrepreneur. What many overlook is a third quality outside of wisdom and experience and that is courage. You will see from below the questions you really have to ask of yourself before you take up the challenge of starting and running your own show. I accept that... Continue reading
The idea of starting and running your own business is seductive. I'll be my own Boss, work the hours that I want, become world renowned, be independent, be rich, be a somebody. Here's the reality check and just a glimpse of what you can expect for around 20 out of your 24 hour day. Incredible stress, anxiety, doubt, heartbreak, sleepless nights, emotional roller coasters, destruction to relationships, lost friends, embarrassment. And how about failed marriages, financial ruin, lawsuits, failing health, creating family rifts, social isolation, unrealized dreams, favors for family and friends, guilt, and the always painful "if" thoughts ("If... Continue reading
This may come as a surprsie to you but you know the moment you get that warm fuzzy feeling when you get told ' we really like your product' or ' we love the team you've put together' and the best of all' we want to invest in your company and take you all the way'. Someone wants you? No - someone wants what is yours. The problem is that for msot companies out on the investment merry- go- round by the time they have reached the point of an offer being made they are what you might term as... Continue reading
So you have got through the first round of presentations. You've done a good job pitching your company, your team, your soon to be world leading product and the trillion dollar market you are going to break into. I remember only too well the marathon that you have to run with minimal calories to get to the funding line. It's hard, it's uncompromising, and very few even make it to anything even resembling an offer of investment. So when you get to that stage , [you know the one where your future investor talks of wanting to make an offer... Continue reading
Our world is laden with acronyms . You need to know your CEO from your COA if you want to communicate in a credible way - apparently. COA is a new one that I have come across that stands for 'Chief Adoption Officer' , that means making sure your customers use your products. In other words [and I understand this term is now outlawed in management circles] that means selling to your customers. It appears now that the only market positioning in which the word 'sale' is permitted is in the retail trade, and even that conjures up some very... Continue reading
Yes its 'Mirror Mirror on the wall ' time. Who is your biggest critic? In my situation its become a crowded field over the years but despite stiff competition I give myself a harder time than anyone else has- yet. And as an Entrepreneur I find myself under fire at regular intervals, in the main deservedly so. So here is what you can do when you are facing criticism, whether you are a leader or you have simply not lived up to the expectation of you. 1. Show up. Let your critics see you for the leader who you are.... Continue reading
Great idea, great market opportunity, great potential. It is easy to get carried away with your new business idea, the one that is going to change the world. So how do you get to market with minimal if any funding? Whether you are in business, or thinking of leaving your job to start up a business there are 7 critical stages you should take your idea through to validate and most importantly give your business every opportunity to succeed. Here they are: 1) The idea 2) Develop the prototype no matter how basic 3) Pitch the idea to people you... Continue reading
What were you doing 3 minutes before you read this? What are you doing 3 minutes after you have read it? Who cares? You should. But only in the context of your customers. Its a really interesting concept that I came across for the first time recently. The idea goes something like this You can learn a great deal about customers by studying the broader context in which they use your product or service. To do this, ask what your customer is doing three minutes immediately before and three minutes after he uses your product or service. Its great for... Continue reading
A quote by Albert Einstein should appear on the welcome screen of every Venture Capitalist's Blackberry and it is is this - 'Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted ' There is a dangerous obsession in analysing spread sheet data to the point when a business loses its soul and starts to show 'metric flu' symptoms. And those symptoms manifest themselves if the worst way possible, where CEO's and the companies they head are slammed for getting their numbers wrong. The biggest cardinal sin that a company can commit is to miss... Continue reading
The reward? Get to do something world changing. In my early Entrepreneur days I would get a little too fixated on the business rather than the idea. Of course it is critical to build a business that makes a profit and is not simply on an external fund raising contest, but you also have to keep your vision very firmly fixed on being innovative and having ambition that wants to 'make a dent in the universe'. After all that's the reason you started up in the first place- right? And that is what made Apple re-invent music, as Google re-invented... Continue reading
There's an expression that I used to hear banded about in Silicon Valley. 'A Man for a time'. Its not a concept, its a reality that all Entrepreneurs have to face up to at some point in their business lifecycle. Sure it was all your idea. Sure you worked 100 hour weeks Sure you sacrificed your friends, your family,and your football club to build your business. And suddenly one day maybe its time for you to step aside and bring in someone smarter than you to take your idea which is no longer an idea, but has a real chance... Continue reading
The excitement of starting up your own business can often distort the reality of the market opportunity that you believe exists. A few years back I convinced myself that there was an unfulfilled need to build ERP and back office technology applications that would be delivered as a service and paid for on subscription. Hold on- isn't that where the technology industry is headed I hear you ask? In fact don't almost all technology vendors now take their products to market that way? Yes they do. It's called cloud computing . The problem was that my idea was way before... Continue reading
You know where I'm going with this don't you? Arguably we have the best 'X factor' contest in the world for up and coming businesses, its called the free market. So why do so few great ideas get to centre stage in the global economy? It starts with our education system. There are vast number of teachers who aren't teaching, policies that hold better students back so slower students can stay with them and a system that has created a huge illiteracy problem we're afraid to talk about. Our problem there isn't innovation, it's that it's controlled in such a... Continue reading