01/29/19

Making Progress in the Real World of Startups

Big Red Car here on a crisp, sunny Texas winter day. It is 40F, which is bone chilling cold in the ATX.

So, the BRC is talking to a couple of CEOs and they are describing their growth curve–from founding to launch to the Promised Land. All of them have made it to the pay window, a nice arrival point.

It was an interesting discussion and one you might want to have with yourself.

In an ideal situation — something that never, ever happens — fictitious growth might look something like this. You are looking at performance over a period of time. We all want it to be high and to the right. Performance appears to increase at a uniform rate, at a steady rate. Not very realistic?

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01/8/19

Accounting Thinking for Startups

I hate accounting, but I love orderly accounts. I love it when the checkbook, the bank reconciliations, the cash receipts/disbursements journals, and the balance sheet all agree. Takes a bit of sleight of hand to make that happen, but I love it.

As a startup CEO, you need to get a good handle on how accounting works. This blog post is not going to teach you accounting, but it is going to give you the Stations of the Cross as it relates to what you do from the perspective of accounting.

Ready?

First, accounting can be a little time consuming and boring. As a CEO, never, ever, ever get involved with it. In your early days, hire an arm’s length bookkeeper and have them put your operation together on QuikBooks. [Pro tip: You could run the Pentagon on QuikBooks Enterprise, so don’t let anybody tell you it isn’t robust enough for your enterprise.]

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11/12/18

Mature Startups

Big Red Car here on another cold, rainy Monday in the ATX.

So, I’m chatting with a seasoned startup CEO, and he asks, “What is the first sign that a startup is bursting through the crawl, walk, run continuum, Big Red Car? What are the things you look for?”

Says I, “When they start their own training program, conduct offsites regularly, and have an industry leading conference as part of their marketing program.”

To which he says, “Do tell, Big Red Car. What does that mean? The industry leading conference part?”

Related image

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04/29/18

CEO Shoptalk – Energy

Energy, today we focus on energy.

Big Red Car here after an afternoon of menial labor. I like menial labor, I do.

So, today we talk about how a startup, a small business, or a medium size business deals with energy.

First, there are energy sources and energy sinks. An energy sink is an absorber of energy. We will come back to this issue of energy sinks. Now, we focus on creating, maintaining, and multiplying energy.

Here is an example of a dragon projecting energy, hence, the name “dragon energy.” Haha, Kanye and Donald, both DRAGON ENERGY.

Fire breathing dragons are sources of energy. Usually, they have eaten burritos with jalapenos.

Every enterprise is, essentially, an energy equation. Let’s apply that to business, shall we?

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04/23/18

Revenue, the Essential Nature of Revenue

Revenue. Big Red Car here to talk about revenue. Y’all love revenue as much as the Big Red Car loves revenue?

I think you do.

If you whip out your accounting text, you will read first about operating and non-operating revenue. Scratch a little harder, you will learn about sales, rent, dividends, and interest.

If you are really on your game, you may stumble on “contra” revenue. Contra revenue is discounts and returns.

For what we are doing — startups — the revenue picture is slightly different. Let’s bring it into focus, shall we?

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07/23/17

Training — like the Rangers, training for the startup

Training table for the Big Red Car today — looking forward to a nice steak with a 10W40 mushroom sauce. ¬†We are talking training today for both the Rangers and the startup.

So, in the continuum of crawl, walk, run — somewhere about the walk to run transformation, the startup should start thinking about training.

If you look at this picture of these sharp Rangers, the difference between them and the rest of the straight leg Army is the quality of their training. They train to their mission.

U.S. Army Rangers with the 75th Ranger Regiment make up the “honor platoon” in a funeral procession to the gravesite of Gen. (retired) Wayne A. Downing during his internment service at West Point, NY, Sept. 27, 2007.

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07/17/17

Rent A Ranger.COM — A Gender Norming Startup

Big Red Car here on a very bright Monday morning with a very bright new idea — Rent A Ranger.

So, the Big Red Car is a libertine of sorts. On the other hand, the Big Red Car thinks this sexual predatory climate in Silicon Valley/Alley/Gulch/Plains/Mountains, etc. is out of control.

The solution — which the Big Red Car has been all over since the start — is for an afflicted woman to send their big brother to “reason” with the transgressor. The transgressor wants this service to get him back on the straight and narrow. [OK, maybe not.]

But, Big Red Car, how about if a lady doesn’t have a Big Brother? What then?

Ahhhh, dear reader, you have identified the pain point which the Big Red Car seeks to relieve — voila — Rent A Ranger.COM at your service, mademoiselle.

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03/3/17

IQ v I Will — Tale For the Ages

IQ v I WILL, really, Big Red?

Big Red Car here on a bluebird Colorado day in Steamboat Springs (channeling the experience with the Samsung Tablet) with a nice snowfall and some nicely groomed skiing.

So I’m thinking about two of The Boss’s CEO pals. Very different guys.

One is someone The Boss thinks of as being, perhaps, the smartest human he has ever met.

The other is a plodder — Big Red Car’s opinion, not The Boss — and is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Who gets the better outcomes?

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04/5/15

Inevitability — The Final Four

Big Red Car here in the glorious ATX where it is the best time of the year because of the azaleas, the weather, the bluebonnets and the Final Four.

Inevitability anyone?

In all of this is a lesson for entrepreneurs struggling with their startup businesses — an excellent lesson. A lesson of hope.

As an aside — Easter? Happy Easter! Talk about a lesson of hope, y’all? Easter is the big one — the triumph of life, love, redemption over sin. Wow! Continue reading