Jack Derby, Coach, Advisor, Tufts Entrepreneurship Professor

Recent Posts

Entrepreneurship starts with Ideas

Last week, I noted with great pride that Pitchbook's annual university rankings of the top producers of U.S. venture capital-backed startup founders listed Tufts in its top 50 universities in the country!  Great to be listed alongside other MA-based universities like MIT, Harvard and BU, who also made the top 50. For me as a Tufts professor, this listing drives directly to the overarching mission of Tufts and its uniqueness to actively promote innovation and research across all of our 11 schools. 
 

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Tags: how to write a business plan, Tufts Entrepreneurship, entrepreneurshipfortherestofus, Teaching at Tufts University, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2023 Business Planning, 2023 Sales Planning, 2023 Marketing Plans

Millennials as Purchasing Decision Makers!!!

Every morning I'm up at 4:30. First, I ask Alexa to play WBZ 1030 Radio, so I get my "5 Things You Need to Know" with the local news plus what I really care about which is the traffic and weather to gauge my travel time from the NH beach to Boston.  The traffic is always wicked, so  I'm just listening for the big accidents like..."yet another truck got Storrowed early this morning", which if you live in Boston, you know what this means.

 

I then ask Alexa to "Play Bloomberg News", while I click into my newest edition of the WSJ on my iPad and comb through whatever appeals as interesting articles for the day. Last Tuesday, I stopped on this headline of "Millennials Are Changing What It Takes to Succeed in Sales".  

The next day, I was reminded of the same article when one of my most faithful blog readers and repeated entrepreneurs, Jerry Brecher, sent it to me. I'm going to link the article here, but my expectation is that by clicking on it, unless you're a WSJ subscriber, you will not get past their paywall. If you cannot, I would encourage you to hunt down the article and read it thoroughly.  

 


Me & Millennials

I began teaching at MIT 22 years ago and Tufts 17, so where I started in this wonderful profession was initially working with Xers and then mostly with Millennials.  Exciting, extremely smart, powerful in their statements and curiosity, very energetic, fast-paced and always questioning to move ahead and make an impact in the world!  Clearly in numbers, the largest generation: more than the Boomers who carried that badge since the 1940's.

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Tags: Sales Best Practices, Sales Management Best Practices, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022 sales planning, Teaching at Tufts University, 2023 Business Planning, 2023 Marketing Plans

Sales Success is about Sales Math

Never a great math student in junior high school, I was shipped off by my parents to a math tutor every Saturday morning for my time spent in the 8th grade. No wonder I was never one of "the cool kids"...plus I played clarinet in the band.  I do wish now that I could thank them profusely for that decision to enlist Mr. Sampson for those fundamental lessons in the basics of math.  Today, in my love of "The Science of Sales" (the title of one of my Tufts courses at The Derby Entrepreneurship Center,) much of what I do in the world of improving sales productivity comes down to the math of understanding: 

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Tags: HubSpot Tips, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2023 Business Planning, 2023 Sales Planning, 2023 Marketing Plans

2 months to sell?  Really 38 days!

When I returned from a couple of years in the Peace Corps, it was relatively easy for me to find a job...even given the fact that I had zippo experience in business and only an undergraduate degree from BC with a major in English.  No one really cared about the degree or my skills; they just wanted to hear about the Peace Corps.  One of my primary takeaways from those early years working first at Honeywell in their newly launched memory chip initiative and then at Becton Dickinson in their medtech division was the criticality of time management.   

 

Maybe, it was my inherent drive to make sure that I could stay ahead of the curve working with really bright manufacturing and engineering types, or maybe it's just the way I'm wired, but I've become highly focused and highly protective of my own time and that of the teams I work with both in my consulting role and at Tufts.

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Tags: Sales Best Practices, Sales Management Best Practices, Teaching entrepreneurship, Teaching at Tufts University, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2023 Business Planning, 2023 Sales Planning, 2023 Marketing Plans

No Profit, No Mission

I was sitting in a board meeting two weeks ago-great company and a superb team of directors and management-when one of the directors used this phrase of "no profit, no mission".

That quick comment crystallized for me in an instant that exacting balance we want to achieve in all our companies between "doing good" and "making money".  In fact, in this particular company, we're a public corporation that manufactures specialty chemicals, so immediately one would think "well, there's an immediate problem with doing any good". The reality, however, is totally the opposite:

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Tags: Teaching entrepreneurship, Teaching at Tufts University, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2023 Business Planning, 2023 Marketing Plans

We're quickly talking our way into a recession !

Last night in watching the first 5 minutes of the national ABC news, the "I" word was mentioned 9 times

Bloomberg this morning was not much better with everyone focused on today's 8:30 retail sales data.

Technically, given the clinical definition of a recession, we were at that point at the end of Q2, but it was decided to "adjust" the definition a bit.  

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Tags: Sales Best Practices, Making Tough Choices, Inboound, Teaching entrepreneurship, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2023 Business Planning

Tufts Marketing & Sales Projects for the January Semester

Tomorrow morning I'll send out my normal Friday blog on an issue that I am increasingly very concerned about which is that it seems to me that we are rapidly talking our way into the downward spiral of a recession and a very cold winter.    That's for tomorrow!

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Tags: Sales Management Best Practices, Tufts internships, Tufts Entrepreneurship, Teaching entrepreneurship, Teaching at Tufts University, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2023 Business Planning, 2023 Sales Planning, 2023 Marketing Plans

Competition is always good!

This is going to sell by itself!

Too many times, inexperienced entrepreneurs of all ages will use that deadly phrase.  It reminds me of the old Ralph Waldo Emerson cliche of "Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door." 
In the cold reality of the science of entrepreneurship, most likely that path will be very narrow if it exists at all.  As professional marketers, what we all want is for that small path to become a four-lane highway, and what we know is that will occur only through consistent marketing that doesn't talk about the product at all but highlights the value that the product brings.   After all, we really don't need a better mousetrap; we just need to get rid of the mice quickly, efficiently and without looking at squished mice caught in an ugly trap.   

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Tags: Tufts marketing projects, branding plans, Making Tough Choices, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022 business planning, entrepreneurshipfortherestofus, Teaching entrepreneurship

The 10 Must Do's in your Job Hunt

I love Tufts where I teach a course in Marketing and another in "The Science of Sales".  Actually, considering the method that I use, both courses are deep into the engineering and analytics of their respective disciplines and follow a consistent thread of "Process-Tools-Technology-Metrics & People". Totally integrated into the courseware of building detailed marketing and sales plans for real companies, is the corresponding rigor of "The Marketing of You", where everyone needs to develop their personal Value Propositions for jobs.  

Most importantly, at Tufts, we have a superb Career Center with very highly experienced leadership and hands-on advisors who really care about their work. 

At this time, given 1,500+ alums who have gone through my courses, many of whom are now managers and looking to hire my recent graduates, plus a very wide network of thousands of business and investor connections, we can open a lot of job opportunities ranging from companies the size of Hubspot to Deloitte and Amazon down to tiny startups.  The process is fun, often complex in a marketing sense, which makes it more fun, and, most importantly, very rewarding!

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Tags: how to write a marketing plan, Sales Hiring & Onboarding, 2020 business plans, 2020 sales plans, 2022 business planning, 2022 sales planning, 2022businessplansuccess, entrepreneurshipfortherestofus, Teaching entrepreneurship, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2023 Business Planning

Push & Plan Ahead This Fall

A crisp 55 in the Seaport where I am at 7 this morning.  Probably 45 down at the Winhall General Store in Vermont and just cold enough to start planning seriously about filling up the woodshed. While the weatha’ dictates my long list of Fall "To-Dos" that need to be done at the NH beach and in the VT hills, with only five more selling days left in the Q, quota success for the balance of this year is all about detailed account planning:

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Tags: Tufts marketing projects, Tufts internships, 2022 business planning, 2022 sales planning, Teaching at Tufts University, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2023 Business Planning

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