Monthly Archives: November 2011

Who Thought Paper Was Gone: How About Mini-Newspapers?

Newspapers are not quite gone yet. Mini-newspapers are coming.

Here is an excerpt from an interesting post by Emma Hutchings about a new mini-newspaper printer:

London-based design studio BERG has created a small device that prints out personalized, receipt-sized paper strips with news, puzzles, social network updates and information from apps. The Little Printer connects wirelessly to the web via an included Bridge unit. Using your phone as a remote control, you can configure it and set up subscriptions to different publications, and it will then gather these together into a personalized print-out for you. When you press the button it produces small black and white thermal updates

The benefits of paper in digital world? ” You can paste in it on the refrigerator, fold up in your wallet and scribble on it.” Given the explosive growth of mobile devices of every shape and kind, Little Printer take us in a new and I think interesting direction. Will be watching market reaction to this development and other products in the queue here. Check out


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How A Startup Catalyst in Lebanon Helps Young, Aspiring Entrepreneurs

How A Startup Catalyst in Lebanon Helps Young, Aspiring Entrepreneurs

You read that right, Lebanon. One of Lebanon’s most active startup catalysts, Seeqnce, hosted a new competition in partnership with Cedrus Ventures during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Over two weeks in Seeqnce’s new interactive workspace in Hamra, young aspiring entrepreneurs submitted ideas, formed teams, underwent training and selection, and then completed a 48-hour bootcamp, culminating in a prototype pitch to judges. Of
60 initial entrepreneurs, only 42 made the initial cut to form 11 teams, and one team dropped out due to the pressure. Many fledgling startups gained valuable experience here.

Teams present their business models to the jury, led by the Minister of Telecommunications Nicolas Sehnaoui. Each team had five minutes to explain their business concept and general revenue model, and then they had to showcase either a working prototype or a skeleton of their website. The jury assessed them based on four criteria: team members, presentation, product, and viability. Jury members asked tough questions, such as the supply chain of some products and how some of these startups were differentiating themselves from other established companies on the market.

The above highlights are extracted from an interesting article which I recommend reading

Here are my observations on the above:

  • The MENA (Middle East North Africa) region has a vibrant, energetic new venture community driven by aspiring entrepreneurs – this is a positive force in these countries – I find many in the U.S. are not aware of this
  • The MENA economies are really driven by smaller companies – for example, in Saudi Arabia, about 40 percent of the population work in companies with market cap of less than $15,000. While many are what we call ‘necessity’ vs ‘opportunity’ driven small business, nonetheless the new venture momentum is strong
  • The above scenario is, at some level, repeated in every country in the world. Global entrepreneurship is alive and well. As an example, I closely track the health care sector and while the US has an impressive health care system, most would be surprised at the level of innovation  emerging from overseas entrepreneurs.
  • Helping these efforts provides many of the benefits you would expect such as regional economic growth, job creation, and so on. Being directly involved in this area several years ago, I saw one other benefit- the ability to identify and build on these
    relationships to create a win-win and also help U.S. companies and our economy.

Today this is an ad-hoc effort . During a November 21st TV interview on the Inside Scoop Business program , I described a new program, the AEGIS program (“Accelerated Entrepeneurial Global Investment System) I am proposing to help attract overseas innovative ventures and technology to the U.S. market to promote job creation, innovation, and economic growth. Some key features of the proposed new program which I described in the interview:

  • Replaces today’s ad-hoc approach to identify, analyze, track and manage new ventures with a highly structured, well-defined program
  • Builds a base of ‘showcase’ companies in targeted sectors (e.g., alternative energy, bio-tech, health care, others) that provide high upside, economic benefits
  • New U.S. entities have global reach thus creating new export opportunities

I am starting discussions with the administration in early December related to AEGIS and will be seeking to attract major business partners to also participate. From my perspective looking at global entrepreneurship, I see many benefits here and the
ability to create win-win situations with overseas partners.

Stay tuned.

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A Creative Visualization Tool Application: How 5 companies started small and grew big

Interesting high level review of 5 very successful companies- check out

Note the use of a visualization tools and ‘infographics’ here to tightly convey information and tell a story. I am looking at using similar visualization techniques to present business plans for new ventures – you have not yet seen much related to new venture infographics but this is coming

Visualization tools help us move away from traditional powerpoint show to more creative ways to quickly and tightly describe a new venture- my experience to date suggests this forces tighter, more focused thinking–I see lots of opportunity here.

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Entrepreneurship -Interview on Inside Scoop Business Show Nov 21st

Agreed to be interviewed on weekly Upside Business Show November 21st- live on local channel 10, FIOS, Comcast, other TV markets, and live web streaming

Copy of broadcast now available at (click on Nov.21st show if needed)

Welcome your comments on the show – I think local entrepreneurs may find this helpful

Here is blurb I shared with local press and regional business development groups after the program:

In the one hour program, I  reviewed entrepreneurial strategies, perspectives for entrepreneurs, sharing some perspectives on evaluating ventures and new venture strategy.

I also reviewed several new entrepreneurial programs I have proposed to support job creation and economic growth- discussion expanded on information in my recently published book Worm on a Chopstick : Understanding Today’s Entrepreneurial Age: Directions, Strategies, Management Perspectives ( available at Amazon, Kindle) Good discussion with strong feedback – I am encouraged by the positive response

I do see real opportunity to develop creative entrepreneurial-driven, business expansion programs and  shared some of the directions I am pursuing on the show. Given today’s economic situation, we need to do more here.

I have shared my views on what I think should be done and will be talking with both administration staff and private groups in the next few weeks to discuss these initiatives. I welcome the feedback of others who also have interest and ideas- we need a dialog here given the job creation and economic challenges we are facing.

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New GWU Course Focuses on Helping Entrepreneurial Companies Grow

We know the skills required to launch a business, what I call SYOB skills (‘start your own business’),  are very different from skills needed to grow and create a scalable, sustainable business.

I am pleased to advise George Washington University Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence (“CFEE”) in the School of Business will now offer a new 1 1/2 credit seven week undergraduate course, Entrepreneurial Management I, MGT 4900,  starting January 7th and meeting Thursday 3:30 to 6:00 PM.I serve as an Adjunct Professor in the GWU School of Business and will be teaching the new course.

I developed the new undergraduate course to address the skills I believe are  needed to help  early stage companies grow- I find these are not well understood by entrepreneurial management teams I work with and are  missed in most traditional entrepreneurship programs.

The new course will use textbook and HBS cases – this will be a highly interactive, fast paced course. I am expecting  strong response to this new course and if you want to attend, early registration is recommended. For more information, check the GWU registrar website or contact me.

Here is an excerpt from the course syllabus- as you can see this is not a traditional “SYOB” course, and I believe will be well received by students based on my experience both teaching and working with many early stage ventures:

Course Description

Structured as a fast paced, dynamic, “learn by doing” integrated program, Entrepreneurial Management 1 (“EM 1”) introduces students to the skills needed to address critical entrepreneurial company issues and opportunities, develop winning strategies, understand how to address today’s entrepreneurial age challenges, and grow entrepreneurial ventures.

Entrepreneurial Management takes an integrative, multi-functional approach to the entrepreneurial business management issues facing managers of both emerging entrepreneurial firms, as well as traditional major firms seeking to address today’s entrepreurial age challenges and opportunities impacting their business.

Today’s traditional companies must “think entrepreneurially” to survive and grow, addressing today’s market challenges and opportunities. But to survive and grow, entrepreneurial companies must also adapt; moving from start-up to a sustainable business demands moving beyond “start your own business” skills and learning to think like “traditional” management. EM 1 addresses the core issues faced by all firms seeking to both understand today’s entrepreneurial age challenges, and develop new strategies, skills and perspectives to create defensible and sustainable businesses.

Within the EM1 course, we will examine critical strategic entrepreneurial management issues focusing on six core study areas:

  1. Innovation Management: New Directions in Developing, Leveraging and Managing Innovation
  2. New Technology: Driving Creative Business Models
  3. New Product Development: Creating Sustainable, Defensible Businesses
  4. Transitioning Challenges: Moving from Emerging Entrepreneurial to Professionally Managed Firm
  5. Globalization: Reshaping Markets, Products, Processes, Strategies
  6. Strategy Management: Challenges, Best Practices and Strategies

Through lectures, case studies, assigned readings, class assignments, and students’ active classroom participation, Entrepeneurial Management 1 provides students with a strong foundation of key entrepreneurial management a dynamic, challenging, fast-paced, learning environment.

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TV Interview -Entrepreneurship Strategies and Economic Growth

Interviewed on weekly Upside Business Show November 21st- local channel 10 on cable also on Verizon FIOS  and live web streaming- check out copy of broadcast now available at

One hour program  reviewed entrepreneurial strategies, perspectives for entrepreneurs,  and new entrepreneurial programs I have proposed to support job creation and economic growth- discussion expanded on information in my recently published book Worm on a Chopstick : Understanding Today’s Entrepreneurial Age: Directions, Strategies, Management Perspectives ( Amazon at Good discussion with strong feedback.

I do see real opportunity to develop creative entrepreneurial-driven, business expansion programs and  shared some of the directions I am pursuing. Like to hear from  others on ideas – given today’s economic situation, we need to do more here.  

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TV Interview Nov 21st – Review Entrepreneurship and Book

Accepted invitation for TV Interview tonight.  Interview will cover my book Worm on a Chopstick : Understanding Today’s Entrepreneurial Age: Directions, Strategies, Management Perspectives and also will share ideas on how new entrepreneurship directions and policies can help improve our economy.Some additional information related to tonight’s program:

Will be on Inside Scoop show  Channel 10 at 7 PM EST

For those who don’t wish to watch the TV channel, you can watch the live show at the URL and click on “Watch Live” .

The broadcast is carried on Verizon FiOS, Cox Cable, and (someplaces) Comcast cable systems throughout the entire Northern Virginia area as far south as Fredrichsburg and in DC and MD. Replays in SD and HDTV start the next day on the cable systems.

Questions for  guests and host can be sent to the producer via the chatroom that opens with the web-stream, also the email being monitored at or even live telephone call-in on 571-749-1166.  It is not unusual to have soldiers and federal workers with questions to call in by VOIP or Skype.

Comments on Washington Post Article on Student Entrepreneurship

Offered comments today on Washington Post article “The Boss in the Mirror” reviewing new ventures created by student entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship education in universities- check out



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Comments on EY Article “Global entrepreneurs changing the world”

Posted Comments on EY Article –“Global entrepreneurs changing the world” -An interesting article about how global entrepreneurs can take on big multinationals.

Interesting insights here- thanks for sharing. Outstanding group of global
entrepreneurs. I am involved in this area and one number in article that jumped out at me is only 53 percent of 300 entrepreneurs interviewed believe important to adapt products to meet local market needs.

As we know, major ‘transnational’ competitors face global competition and  pursue two key strategies- either cost leadership or product differentiation –  cost leaders do minimal local market customization to compete globally (think soap and consumer products),  but leading global product differentiators do need to create scale to achieve lowest cost possible, but still have added costs to meet local market needs- achieving balance here is tough as all know.

Many case studies to illustrate this – I like to use IKEA which most know- profitable , successful, undifferentiated, low cost Scandinavia  supplier of low cost, easy to assemble furniture in many European markets – entered a major market – the U.S. – and results poorer than expected. Why? U.S. consumers wanted changes ranging from longer beds (we are taller here) and increased quality among other changes – these changes were made, improved results but decreased margins in U.S. market.

For IKEA and many others, global undifferentiated product strategy had to change to succeed in US (and other) market(s).

Lessons for entrepreneurs?

–Global market is excellent opportunity and entrepreneurs
should pursue through organic strategy and alliances (JV, acquisition, other) .

–To achieve long term sustainable, defensible business, I do think the need to
customize to meet local market needs will increase not decrease – this impacts
margins so favors larger global firms who have ‘scale’.

–What this means for entrepreneurs is need to look closer at local market trends – entering overseas market and securing initial market share with an innovative product or service is a great accomplishment- important though to understand the longer term “lessons learned’ by many firms about need to customize as competition intensifies and margins impacted

— Do what you need to learn about “going global’ – clearly this is where there are outstanding global opportunities emerging in all sectors and entrepreneurial companies can play a major role

Paul Silverman

Emerging Opportunities – Internet TV, Ads, New Services

Emerging Opportunities – Check out NY Times Media Article Today–Ads and Services in Internet TV Sector

I track this area closely – note projected 50 percent of all homes will have at least one digital TV by year end. What is coming is crossover of many
exciting new business and consumer services that build on this new infrastructure (e.g., e-couponing, on-line ordering, mass-customized ‘perfect fit’ clothing, home health care services, and many others).
Advertisers have been missing link so this is positive and expect others will follow – still need to evaluate user reaction to ads but I see this being resolved. High potential area and some creative and exciting new business models are being developed here from what I have seen so far…

Here is article and link…

LG Brings Ad Capability to Internet-Connected TV
Published: November 1, 2011

A LEADING marketer of consumer electronics is adding an advertising capability to its Internet-connected televisions through an agreement with a video advertising technology company. And a charter sponsor has already been signed to join them….. more

I will be adding more info on this topic in next few weeks at





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