Worm on a Chopstick

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Worm on a Chopstick: Understanding Today’s Entrepreneurial Age: Directions, Strategies, Management Perspectives

How Do You Answer Three Questions Successful Entrepreneurial Company Managers Must Always Answer: What Business Are You Really In, Who is Your Competition, What is Your Growth Strategy?

Looks like three simple questions. But most entrepreneurial emerging firms struggle to answer these and fail. Not convinced? Just look at the numbers- about 50 % of all start-ups fail within the first year and 60 % fail or show no growth in 5 years. Very sobering statistics and and often the result of companies not answering these three questions.

So how do you answer these questions? Easier for large established companies who have more resources to attract and hire experienced management staff. Much tougher for managers of early stage companies focusing on today’s business, using cash to meet current bills, paying minimal attention to longer term strategic issues, often not really knowing how to answer the three questions.

These questions are deceptive and really tough to answer for most early stage companies. Why? Well, today’s explosive entrepreneurial age is changing the business landscape: creating new markets (mobile apps, online video, ebooks); destroying traditional business (bookstores, record stores, newspapers); changing how we develop, manage and grow companies. Disruptive technology innovation is driving new directions, new challenges, new rules in all market sectors. And like an unexpected critter on a chopstick, today’s tsunami-like market and technology changes often occur when you are least prepared.

So to avoid being a failure statistic, entrepreneurial company managers must adapt, develop new perspectives, learn new management techniques, really think and act like management of larger corporations. Saying this another way, management skills needed to start a new venture are dramatically different from the skills needed to manage and grow a successful business.

Sounds simple, but that means managers must change- moving from start-up to high growth management mode means developing new perspectives, addressing new issues, using new management tools, asking new questions, solving new problems. Tough for many entrepreneurs to accept but that is a fact.

Helping entrepreneurial company managers succeed is the mission of a new highly praised book, Worm on a Chopstick: Understanding Today’s Entrepreneurial Age: Directions, Strategies, Management Perspectives. Driven by real world experiences, “Chopstick” provides perspectives, strategies and tools helping today’s entrepreneurial firm managers succeed.

Reviewer Comments

The Worm on a Chopstick Series

8 Building Blocks To Launch, Manage, And Grow A Successful Business (June 2015)
“To be a great athlete or entrepreneur, you must master the fundamentals of the game. If you want to score big as an entrepreneur, Paul Silverman has provided the path–all the basics plus compelling real life stories. A must read for the next Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, or Jeff Bezos.”

-Tom McMillen, Former Congressman, Olympian, NBA star, and businessman

“Being an Entrepreneur can be a brutal experience, especially with brimming optimism and no guidelines. Paul Silverman has written a ‘Tough Love’ book that both confronts one with serious doses of reality; and the model that success follows. His experience and observation flows through the text to the great benefit of the reader. This is one reference book for winners in the marketplace of ideas. ”

-Michael Wynne, Former Air Force Secretary; and Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics. Now an Entrepreneur as Chairman, Hackproof Technologies

“8 Building Blocks To Launch, Manage, And Grow A Successful Business” is the ultimate source of knowledge and know how for those who want to build a scalable business or scale the one they have.  8 Building Blocks To Launch, Manage, And Grow A Successful Business carries the reader from idea all the way to capital markets and touches each base as the entrepreneur races toward home plate. It defines and demystifies the basic elements every entrepreneur should understand before he or she takes the leap into starting a business or risking the one they have in order to scale it.”

-Carl Eckstein, NextGen Venture Group, CEO; NextGen Venture Capital, Former Managing Partner
“Paul does a great job of taking the broad premise and promise of a new business idea and breaks it down into concrete “walk before you run” steps that are critical to creating a successful company. By explaining the essential business principles at the foundation of every great enterprise in manageable “bites”…and citing an array of notable marketplace examples to illustrate each, he makes it easy for entrepreneurs to relate to the challenges they must overcome on the journey. This is a great tour guide for anyone embarking on the road to entrepreneurism.”

-Liz Sara, Managing Director, Best Marketing LLC.

“This book is a MUST READ for anyone who is even thinking about planning on starting a business.  It’s a step by step walk through the critical processes of getting an idea from thought to paper to funding and into action.”

-Chuck Nash, Founder and CEO Emerging Technology Inc. (ETII); retired U.S. Navy Captain and Fox News military analyst

“Paul Silverman has done it – again.  His latest book, ‘8 Building Blocks To Launch, Manage, And Grow A Successful Business’ packs decades of business wisdom into a very concise and readable guide.  Every chapter includes cogent insights to help an entrepreneur sidestep pitfalls, achieve success and avoid becoming a ‘Maybe next time’ entrepreneur.”  

-Jay Wright, President, Bayberry Capital and co-author of “Finance and Accounting for Nonfinancial Managers, 7th edition.”

“An incredible and irreplaceable resource for all entrepreneurs to survive the dynamic transformational business landscape evolving from the revolutionary rise of exponentially disruptive technologies. This is one of the best times in history for aspiring entrepreneurs to capitalize on the convergence of this massive paradigm shift, and Paul in his new book, “8 Building Blocks To Launch, Manage, And Grow A Successful Business”, provides the insights, clarity, and tools every entrepreneur must have to succeed in this rapidly evolving, global hyper-challenging environment. Strongly recommend this book.”

-William Swalm, Entrepreneur, Businessman, Investor, M.B.A., Wharton

“8 Building Blocks To Launch, Manage, And Grow A Successful Business is a great guide for anyone considering starting a business. It gives the reader a basic structure to evaluate, implement and manage your new venture. It guides you through the foundational components that need to be thoroughly considered as you build a solid base for your business. Paul gently introduces some more advanced analytic tools that must be used in today’s tech heavy environment. Regardless of the type of business you are considering, this book will help you avoid many of the pitfalls that doom many start up ventures.”

-Mike McCloud, Owner, Uptown Bakers

“This ‘entrepreneurial cook’ book is well written, upbeat and filled with delightful, practical examples and analogies. The eight building blocks are clear and well described – a great starting point in a plan for success.  The Business Model and Financials are very important factors in funding efforts – both bottoms up and top down analysis – nicely outlined here.  It’s great to see that tips, tools and insights can be learned when you desire to take the leap into a challenging adventure – both scary and exciting at the same time. This book is relevant to every entrepreneur – new or experienced, whether in a start-up or in a major corporation.  A good read for anyone that needs to be responsive to ever changing demands on time and talent.”

-Jeffrey J. Guzy, CEO, Central Oil and Gas (www.centraloilandgas.com)

Worm On A Chopstick: Understanding Today’s Entrepreneurial Age- Directions, Strategies, Management Perspectives (2011)
In 2011, The 35th Anniversary Edition of Directors & Boards magazine featured Worm On A Chopstick: Understanding Today’s Entrepreneurial Age: Directions, Strategies, Management Perspectives in its recommended reading section “Book it: Best bets for board reading”, selecting the book as one of 8 books recommended. Directors & Boards magazine targets officers and directors of public companies. For additional information refer to Worm On A Chopstick Featured in Directors & Boards 35th Anniversary Issue.

“Sometimes a dynamic book comes along that makes you think in new directions, create new ideas, develop new perspectives. Worm on a Chopstick by Paul Silverman accomplishes this and so much more. He brings a highly experienced voice to today’s entrepreneurial age discussions and lets us know where we are heading.  A powerful book that could change your life.”

-Rita Cosby, Award Winning TV Host and Bestselling Author of “Quiet Hero: Secrets from My Father’s Past”

“Worm on a Chopstick provides a solid juxtaposition of theory and practice–tempered by experience. Very readable; and a learning opportunity”

-Michael W. Wynne, Investor, 21st Secretary of the Air Force, Former Undersecretary Acq Tech and Logistics

“Worm on a Chopstick elegantly combines a highly readable mixture of business “war stories” with relevant management theory.  A very useful guidebook for entrepreneurs and recent business school graduates.”

-Jay Wright, Co-author of “Finance and Accounting for Nonfinancial Managers, 6th edition”

“There are many management books on the market but few are presented in such a readable and understandable manner as this one. Truly a most enjoyable and worthwhile read! ”

-Chuck Nash, Founder and CEO Emerging Technology Inc. (ETII); retired U.S. Navy Captain and Fox News military analyst

“A great read for every technology guru contemplating the next big idea…Worm on a Chopstick provides the business principles every young entrepreneur needs, but sometimes overlooks.”

-Liz Sara, High tech marketing consultant, entrepreneur, angel investor.

“Worm on a Chopstick’s author, Paul Silverman, insists that in our new entrepreneurial world we must be prepared to think “out of the room” – and act strategically in the process. He uses colorful examples from his own experience as a businessman and teacher – including how to deal with a worm on his chopstick in a sticky situation – to explain how we have evolved to our current business state, the new risks and opportunities inherent in that state and approaches to addressing those risks and taking advantage of those opportunities. If you are looking to understand, survive and thrive in our new fast-paced, entrepreneurial business climate, I highly recommend Worm on a Chopstick.”

-Carl Eckstein, NextGen Capital, Managing Director

“Worm on a Chopstick provides a lifetime of business experience from the perspective of a consultant, entrepreneur and educator. It is a must-have reference for anyone in business, whether starting, running or growing a business, and those contemplating a business career. It presents in an easily readable way valuable lessons from many cases of successes and failures and will leave those who read it a basis for emulating the success stories and avoiding the costly errors of the failures. It is a recognition of the immutable foundation principles of business that must adapt to the dynamic political, economic and social forces of change in which we live now and that will apply with equal force to the succeeding generations of businessmen and women.”

-Ernest M. Stern, Shareholder in the corporate and securities practice group at Akerman Senterfitt LLP, a full service law firm with offices throughout the United States and the largest law firm in the State of Florida.

“Worm on a Chopstick….could easily be retitled Man on A Mission because that what Paul Silverman has been for 30+ years….he shares his thoughts and insights on the entrepreneurial process from every vantage point…a must read for leaders of rapid growth technology companies.”

-Andrew J. Sherman, Partner, Jones Day and author of Harvesting Intangible Assets

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