10 Lessons in Entrepreneurship from 20 Entrepreneurs!

I've probably listened to, coached or presented in 10-20,000 presentations.

  • Early volunteering and chairing the MIT Enterprise Forum, was my first love!
  • Being involved in the leadership of 4 or 5 other entrepreneurship associations
  •  20 years of teaching at MIT in early stage business planning 
  • 14 years of teaching at Tufts in entrepreneurial marketing and sales 
  •  Director of the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center & Cummings Professor of entrepreneurship
  •  9 of my own startups-a few very good, some just ok, and some "what was I thinking?"
  • A venture guy in three early stage venture firms and chairing Common Angels.
10,000 plus seems to be a good guess over 30 years; it's probably a lot more.

A couple of years ago, when we took over what has now been rebranded as the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center, we knew we could most importantly take entrepreneurship to the next level at this extraordinary University with 10 of the highest ranking research schools in the country.  We're really urgent, so we quickly moved ahead breaking more than a few rules along the way always focused on creating the absolute best student experience!

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Tags: Tufts Marketing, marketing interns, entrepreneurship, jack derby professor at Tufts, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

Stop Overthinking, Just Use Your Head & Celebrate the 4th

Sure, I get it...work, life, and relationships are often wicked complicated, maybe even overcomplicated, but that's life!  Way too often we overthink things, especially at work, to the point of making the already complicated impossibly cluttered, slow to enact and painful in which to participate. Recently, I've adopted with my work and my teaching a concept of frequently taking a view 100 feet off the deck and asking myself and others..."Aren't we overthinking this?", and, typically, I am discovering that the answer is a resounding "Yes".

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Tags: Tufts university, entrepreneurship, jack derby professor at Tufts, sales management productivity, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

My 3 Rules to my Graduating Seniors

May is always a bittersweet time !

It's the end of the academic year and the realization that hundreds of our students at the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center will graduate opening the next chapter in their books of life and in their careers.  We know from our data that the majority will join larger companies where they will bring their entrepreneurial spirit of curiosity and innovation.  Right alongside our congratulating the seniors going to work at Google, Hubspot, Linked and other companies where we can open doors, we are also closely watching and coaching a handful of companies being birthed right now as a result of this spring's very successful Tufts $100K New Ventures Competition Tufts TEC Graduates 2019-2

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Tags: angel investing, Tufts university, Tufts ELS program, Tufts internships, entrepreneurship, jack derby professor at Tufts, Tufts Entrepreneurship, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Kilimanjaro & Entrepreneurship

My Hubspot blog template asks me this morning "What are we writing about today?". This Thursday morning, I'm pretty consumed with the excitement and the logistics of tomorrow's day-long Founder's Workshop and its incredible line up of real-life entrepreneurs, early stage investors and expert coaches, all focused on making sure that our early stage entrepreneurs do not fall off the cliff.

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Tags: entreprenurial, business coaching, Tufts Gordon Institute, entrepreneurship, Making Tough Choices, sales success, jack derby professor at Tufts, Tufts Entrepreneurship, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

Spark-Incubate-Accelerate: Learn the Science of Entrepreneurship!

Back-in-the-day, working in corporate healthcare at Becton Dickinson, I didn’t know how to spell the word, “entrepreneurship”.  Even though three prior generations of my family had built businesses, that word would have been confusing at best since all that was talked about around the kitchen table was “the stores”.  It was the stores, open six days a week and Friday nights where my grandfather, father, mother, and me and my brothers worked.  It was never thought to be anything special. 


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Tags: entreprenurial, sales and marketing best practices, The Competitive Edge, Tufts Gordon Institute, Tufts internships, Tufts ELS, entrepreneurship, jack derby professor at Tufts, Tufts Entrepreneurship

Lessons in Life and Entrepreneurship from Vermont

Been a wicked busy and wicked cold January, so not much in the way of blogging, but now with this leap into February, I’m back at it.  It was my great grandfather Horace, who lived up the road a piece in the beautiful town of Poultney, Vermont, who talked about 8 months of snow, 2 months of mosquitoes and 2 months of “just damn poor sleddin’”.  My family has lived in this valley for just about 250 years, and what I know is that it takes real work to live here. Vermont’s beautiful on one hand, and just hardscrabble tough on the other.

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Tags: entreprenurial, how to write a business plan, writing a business plan, Tufts university, entrepreneurship, Making Tough Choices, jack derby professor at Tufts, Tufts Entrepreneurship, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

Zen & Entrepreneurship-A Need to Simplify

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Tue, Sep 25, 2018

When I became the Director of the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center, one of the Center's professors, a great guy and a superb instructor noted in our first faculty meeting "since you are the oldest..." , at which time, I jokingly cut him off, and he quickly course-corrected to point out... "I meant, you've been teaching here the longest". 
I've also realized during the last six months through Tufts' very unique perspective on entrepreneurship, innovation and research, that age has its benefits.  

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Tags: entreprenurial, entrepreneurship, Tufts Entrepreneurship

Acceleration-3 Steps to Improve

Two thirds of the way through this superb summer and plenty of time left to take a bit of vaca, squish the sand between the toes, pack those gotta-read-this-summer books into the beach bag, and in general just prepare yourself physically and mentally for the wicked fast acceleration into the first week of September. 

The Dog Days of August occur  when everyone realizes that the beginning of the summa' has passed them by, and now there's just five weeks left to take some time off and do that forced relaxation thing.  Forget trying to find anyone in France or Italy, and the same applies to any venture or PE person in the U.S, who all seem to be hiding out on Nantucket. It is what it is, and September will be here soon enough.  To a degree, who cares, since this is all about you, so right now, this morning, click open your calendar and just mark off all the days you can with the words "beach", "golf", "kids" or "nothing".  You won't get another chance since when it's over, it's over 

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Tags: HubSpot Tips, Tufts ELS program, Tufts internships, entrepreneurship, jack derby professor at Tufts, sales plans for 2018, Tufts Entrepreneurship

It's all about time...sales, management, and entrepreneurship!

You cannot not like Michael Porter... 

The guy is just brilliant!  Been around for a long time.  Lots of books.  Got the Five Forces Thing down.  Senior professor at HBS.  Has a building on campus named after him.  And, he's a true Renaissance Man, who continues to do research, write and still actively teach. The Real Deal !

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Tags: entreprenurial, Tufts ELS, sales planning meetings, entrepreneurship, sales management plans, sales effectivness, Tufts Entrepreneurship

Time to Start Filling the Beach Bag

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Tue, Mar 06, 2018

Maybe it's just the calendar as we race into March especially today sandwiched between the weekend nor'easter and tomorrow's nor'easter. Hard to believe that I was out raking in the NH yard in the sun on Sunday morning. Harder to believe that I was raking seaweed out of the grass after these waves went way over the seawall and closed the roads.

Maybe it was the bright 50 degree, sunny days just two weeks ago.  "In-Like-a-Lion" March lives up to its reputation this week



All I know is that just three months from now, Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer, and the summer means the beach, and the beach means mega-reading and mega-writing. 

Nothing better for me, my psyche, my health and my curiosity than taking my overloaded beach bag out early on a Saturday morning and opening up a book about sales or marketing and taking out my writing tablet.

Each summer, I also use the time on the beach to rewrite our 115 page Writing the Winning Business Plan and our 50 page Writing the Winning Marketing Plan. If you want copies of either of these, just click on below.  Actually, if you do read these now, and you have ideas or comments, just let me know, and we will make sure that we will add those comments if we can and give you attribution, as you will note in the front of the Writing the Winning Business Plan book

 

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Tags: sales leadership, entrepreneurship, jack derby professor at Tufts, sales management plans, sales management productivity, sales plans for 2018