Educator (Associate Professor) / Entrepreneur / Leader of angel communities /
Entrepreneur in residence at PorterShed and BioExcel
It’s been a particularly challenging week. Covid and race have unhinged my home country. As the USA triumphantly sends men to space, cities burn at home, all of it feels like a bad dream memory of 1968. Fifty years (and a black president) have not moved the needle. The current administration have systematically set afire the ideals that made the USA a beacon, especially after World War II. Which leaves us – as Americans, as Europeans, as world citizens – anxious, more than a bit unhinged.
And don’t get me started on the US Treasury dumping billions into the purchase of stocks and debt instruments to hold up stock prices. The implications for our economies over the next decade are sobering to say the least.
No surprise that I’ve been looking for good news and inspiration. As you know, Covid has transformed retail and social media and education. And a few of our local heroes have found opportunity in all of it. Take VideoSherpa, for example. Andrew and Anna Downes provide cost-efficient and fast video tools for those who can no longer count on person-to-person contact. Think doctors and healthcare providers. Or companies who need to communicate with their remote (or at-home) workforces. VideoSherpa is fielding lots of inquiries and are looking to hire additional sales staff (talk to them if you’re interested). Good for them!!!!
Another example: this morning I talked to Jolene at ContentLlama. Retail has lumbered online, and those who could count on store traffic need to up their game (or, in many cases, get into the game). That’s ContentLlama’s core business. Jolene and Karina started out as facilitators for online sportswear. Since Covid, they’ve expanded into beauty and are talking with companies selling everything from luxury goods to foodstuffs. And they’re hiring as well.
Which brings me to recommended readings. Steve Blank, whose thoughts are always appreciated (if you’ve never been to his site, it’s a tool-shed and library for entrepreneurship. All free, all sharpened and gassed up, all high-quality). The article about him in the May 21 Irish Times is a great intro. In it he focuses on the challenges of the current circumstance:
We talk about change and disruption, and hearken for something called the new normal. I’m of the mind that change has become the new normal. It’s gone from daily change to minute-to-minute seismic shocks. Rory Prendergast’s new book, The Game Changer Formula, is as timely as it is insightful. The sea calls to a successful entrepreneur; without fully understanding why, he purchases a boat and takes his Penelope (Ursula, in this case) on a cross-ocean odyssey. Along with new lands and new cultures, they discover their own truths, as well an enviable level of intellectual and spiritual maturity. Rory returns to Ireland to write his story, and to offer his take on entrepreneurship – and following one’s own passions — at a time of rough seas and Sirens and uncertainty. A good read, a great way to self-assess and navigate these waters. Get it here:
As always, shout out to me if you have questions, need to talk. Have a good week, hug your loved ones.