Jack Derby, Management Coach, Tufts Professor, Entrepreneur, Author

Jack was responsible for the Tufts University Entrepreneurship Center where he teaches and managed a highly engaged and active center of 17 professors, coaches, investors and 700+ students constituting the largest minor on campus. The Center hosts 30+ entrepreneurship events each year culminating in the $100K New Ventures Competition. Jack individually coaches 20 Tufts student startups each year. Today, he continues to teach a marketing course and a sales course in the Center, where he received the Henry & Madeline Fisher award voted by students as the highest rated professor on campus in the Department of Engineering. Prior to stepping down as Director in 2020, due to his wife’s health issues, Jack was the Cummings Family Professor of Entrepreneurship. For 20 years, he has taught business planning and marketing in MIT’s Mechanical Engineering Department where he continues. In 1990, Jack founded Derby Management, a regional consulting firm specializing in strategic and business planning with deep expertise in the specializations of business planning, sales productivity and marketing optimization. Prior to starting Derby Management, Jack served as CEO of Mayer Electronics and President of CB Sports. He is or has been a board member of 21 companies. Jack’s 17 years of corporate background consisted of being President of Litton Industries Medical Systems, CEO of Datamedix and Executive Vice President of Becton Dickinson Medical Systems, a market leader in hospital monitoring. For his work as an entrepreneur, Jack was named to the Boston Business Journal’s Mass High Tech’s All-Star Team, he received MIT Enterprise Forum’s Vince Fulmer Award for his work as chairman, and in 2019, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Corporate Growth of Boston for his work as long-term chairman of this leading M&A organization. Jack has founded or co-founded nine startups over the years acting as CEO in eight. Today, Jack is an active and highly engaged board member with a long investing history as an early stage investor as General Partner at Kestrel Ventures, Chairman of Common Angels and currently as a General Partner at Converge Ventures.
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Recent Posts

Friday 13th - Bad Luck or No Luck at All

If it wasn't for bad luck, you know, I wouldn't have no luck at all

There's a superb classic blues song sung by R&B greats, Ray Charles, Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughn and my personal favorite Joe Bonamassa, about luck...or in this case...bad luck. 

On Friday the 13th, I thought that it was appropriate to kick off today as we enter the season of 2023 sales and business planning meetings with a couple of thoughts about luck.

Bottom line: Never plan on luck, optimism or even best efforts!  What will happen, will happen only as a result of you and your team's personal involvement and rigid commitment to a planning process this year.

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Tags: business plans, business planning meetings, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2023 Business Planning

The Plan is about the Plan which, of course, is the Plan

After graduating from BC, I went into the Peace Corps, and when I came back to the States, with little else than a degree in English and Biology, I was lucky enough to land a job at a large medtech corporation that was hiring interns based on attributes rather than skills and experience. 

Very quickly, I and a group of other rookies hired at the same time for a specific new product, were pushed into an intensive, week-long management training session simply on "planning".  


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

The meek will inherit nothing...

With the beginning of March and just a few short weeks before the end of the Q, life in the world of us in the profession of Sales is totally focused on what we can bring across the finish line by the end of this month. 

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Tags: Sales Optimization, sales effectiveness, sales tools, how to close sales, sales process, how to write a sales plan, sales management productivity, 2022 sales planning

What we're hearing about 2022

It's been a very exciting time during the last four months as our 2022 planning ramps with our customers.  What I thought might be helpful is to share with you some of the primary themes we are experiencing in our role as business planning consultants as management gears up for 2022.   The following bullets are not prioritized, plus they come from a wide cross-section of markets covering healthcare, tech, food, industrial commodities, financial services and not-for-profits.  

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Tags: sales producitivity, how to close sales, sales planning meetings, how to write a sales plan, writing sales plans, writing business plans, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts

The problem is actually making the marketing choices!

Discussing marketing is fun, until we need to decide...

"Discussing" Marketing is exciting, challenging and lets our brains run free...at least that is until we need to make the choices of what we need to do in order to move ahead.  And today, given the hundreds of both strategic and tactical choices available to us in both Sales and in Marketing, the task often seems to be overwhelmingly difficult.  Actually, that's not the case compared to making choices about...for instance...milk.  

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Tags: marketing effectiveness, marketing management, Tufts marketing projects, how to write a marketing plan, Making Tough Choices, marketing planning, sales management productivity

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