The Rhythm of Entrepreneurship & Sales & Jobs

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Wed, Jul 27, 2011

My Question of the Day

Entrepreneur & SalesSitting on the beach over the weekend very seriously contemplating the rhythm of the waves (Is it that the big wave comes every 7 or every 10?) led to my drifting off considering the rhythm of a number of things. 

I know that I already subscribe to the annual rhythm of business…


Kickoff in January=new ideas, new excitment
Tune up in April=Lessons learned, readjustments
Tune up in July=Driving harder and hectic ramping up
Replan in Q3=Planning for the next year
Q4=Making the final the numbers
Kickoff in January….

So along this thought process, I began to consider the rhythm of entrepreneurship.  The current issue of Fortune’s cover article is titled “Tech Bubble 2.0” outlining the portent of the upcoming doom in tech investing.  Good for selling magazines, not so good for actual content for anyone really in the tech game, but a good reminder for me all the same.  For those of us who survived 1999, I don’t believe that this current frothiness of mobile, social media, cloud and biotech is a bubble.  More like, pent up demand after the last 18 months of gloom.  Plus this level of venture investing is certainly a much more stable environment.  Having said that this peak and valley thing does add to my theory on the rhythm of entrepreneurship…

                Huge layoffs in 2008-2009 = More entrepreneurs
                New tech of mobile, social media, cloud and video = More entrepreneurs
                New tech solutions=more capital efficiency
                Restructured venture and LP funds = more (but smaller) venture investing
                More money = more deals =more entrepreneurs

If I simply measure the rhythm of entrepreneurship by the amount of business plans I review both within the firm and within Common Angels, where I’m an investor, what used to be one or two plans a week, is now three or four.   All of which is very encouraging since we all need to remember that other than McDonalds, the only consistent job creation machine in the U.S. right now is small business, and if we’re really concerned about local job creation (which, of course we all are), it all comes down to local entrepreneurs.   And, if I think of local entrepreneurs, that translates to tech, healthcare in general and life science specifically- the three wellheads of new job creation in Massachusetts.   

Why Massachusetts?  First, I care about it since that’s where I work, but, more importantly, that’s where the people are.  Although I’m a six generation Vermonter and a now recent transplant onto the beaches of New Hampshire, there are just not enough people or the incubators of entrepreneurship (universities, hospitals and support mechanisms) in either state to move anyone’s needle.  So, Massachusetts it is, plus here we have 300 years of entrepreneurial history from whaling to shoes to textiles to software to gene splicing.

My question of the day is whether and to what degree Massachusetts should be in the venture capital business?  Our friends at Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation, MTDC, the Commonwealth’s venture capital fund where I’ve been an advisor and active co-investor for 20 years, are posing that question in this really short survey which you can take just by clicking on HERE.  In addition to noting your checkoffs, they would very much appreciate your additional comments. 

For additional background, click on to Scott Kirsner comments in today's Globe

I realize that our blog goes out to over 10,000 people and certainly does not just focus on Massachusetts, but even if you’re not from The Home of the Boston Bruins, you might still want to register your comments as to whether you feel that the government should be in the business of venture capital.  Governor Cuomo of New York just announced a state sponsored mid upstate NY fund last week and certainly most of the states’ pension funds (Calpers and the NY State Retirement Fund are two of the largest) are limited partners in numbers of venture funds.   With the increasing focus on job creation, my expectation is that there will be more and more pressure to create municipal funding for startups-tech and otherwise.

Thanks for whatever comments you can share. 

Now, get out there and sell something, today.

If you’re all concerned about how to sell more and optimize your sales team, think about attending our Sales Management Boot Camp in early October

5 reasons to attend...

1. Five years of experience
2. 350 graduates
3. Very high satisfaction; lots of testimonials
4. Pre August 15th discounts
5. Free Whiteboarding Session for pre-August 15th signups-$2,000 value
Click HERE for full agenda, logistics, prices & discounts

Good Selling !


Jack's Linked In

Tags: the economy, venture capital, angel investing, entreprenurial, sales, management, business planning, jobs