Category: Entrepreneurity

In Confusion There Is Profit!

One of my favorite movies of all time is a "World War II in the Pacific" submarine movie called Operation Petticoat. It's a 1959 comedy-drama that stars Cary Grant as the Captain of a war ravaged submarine and Tony Curtis as Lt JG Nick Holden; a "less than scrupulous" officer who's been assigned to active submarine duty ... his previous assignment was "Entertainment Coordinator at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel". Well he's not much of a sailor at first, but as luck would have it, he is a fantastic scavenger. Every time the ship needs the unattainable, he manages to get it.

At one point in the movie, the sub is in port for repairs and an air-raid occurs. While everyone else is running for cover, Lt. Holden is seen in a truck heading into the attack. When asked where the Lt. is going a sailor says "Well sir, Mr. Holden says that in confusion there is profit".

And so there is!

You're probably wondering how a 1959 war movie fits into the theme of Entrepreneurity. Every day now it seems that the economic picture gets dimmer and dimmer. The stock market goes up and down like a yoyo, banks are failing, businesses are drying up or facing tough times, and there doesn't seem to be any really good news in sight. For those of us that would someday like to take a break from all of this crap, the regular retirement portfolio just ain't looking all that healthy.

Well the point to be taken from the story above is that even in the worst of times, there are still opportunities if you care to look for them. The cost of food and gas may be higher than ever, but people still have to eat and get to and from work. Most people will still try to better themselves either by investing in formal education or self-instruction via hobbies. When times are tough, people look to escape; maybe it's just a weekend trip instead of that cruise to the Bahamas, or perhaps it's just a night out to hear a local band. There's always something that at least some people, somewhere, will want or need.

There's no doubt that a lot of businesses will have to reevaluate how they make a buck, but that's part of what being an entrepreneur is all about; watching for trends and looking for the opportunities that follow those trends. If you run a restaurant, you may need to adjust your menu to suit a slightly different crowd. If you're in the computer business, maybe you want to take a more serious look at the value offered by Open Source Software. If you're a farmer you might want to look at alternative means of crop finance like share farming.

So, if your IRA isn't producing like it used to, maybe it's time to take matters into your own hands. Try the entrepreneurial approach and look for a few good business opportunities to replace those missing dividends.

Permalink 08/23/08 04:23:51 am, by Bill Email , 497 words, Categories: Entrepreneurity ,

Blogging - tougher than being an entrepreneur!

I've received several emails telling me to just "go with the flow" and not to get too deep into the philosophical shit of being an entrepreneur. Ok, so I've been sitting here for three hours trying to figure out what direction I wanted to go in with this blogging gig. This is tougher than I thought. I don't want to focus just on technology, or just on creativity, because at least for me, entrepreneurity involves a whole bunch of things. I just have to figure out what they are. So ....

Yes, I'm a Geek! Well, let me be more specific ... a Linux Geek. I've made a rather decent living from geek-stuff for the past 25 years or so; have patents, presented talks, given seminars, collected T-Shirts from all of the Unix shows.

And yes, creativity is a big thing; I play in a popular southern rock band called Steelhorse, write and record music, and play several instruments. I also create software, design hardware, ride motorcycles, and tinker with things mechanical. I watch MTV and The Discovery Channel. I've fallen off boats, and jumped from airplanes.

While surfing the internet tonight, looking for inspiration, I remembered reading some cool stuff in a blog a few years back that was written by Wil Wheaton of Star Trek TNG fame. So, I went on a trek to find it, and ended up spending a good amount of my evening (night?) reading posts. Now here's a clever and versatile guy; actor, geek, and author. A real entrepreneur. He's taken various skills and brought them together, and into focus.

I'm working on that focus thing ... stay tuned!

And Wil, if you're ever in this part of the country, bring a real guitar. Me and the band will show you how to play all 10 minutes of "Green Grass And High Tides".

Permalink 08/20/08 03:52:39 am, by Bill Rosser Email , 304 words, Categories: Entrepreneurity ,

Putting the cart ahead of the horse - er, what horse?

I was recently reminded of an acquaintance who, a good number of years ago, left his job as a car salesman and declared himself a computer consultant. After all, he had been using a Windows PC for a while, typing letters, doing a few spreadsheets, and an occasional marketing flyer. What else was there to know? The consulting business looked like an easy gig.

So, he invested in a really great looking professional office in the downtown area, surrounded by accountants, lawyers, and corporate buildings. He bought the latest PC, printer, and a new suit. After a couple of months, my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to pay him a visit just to see how he was doing. He was in quite a bind. For some reason, people wanted networks, and software, and connectivity; all of the things that he just took for granted, and really knew nothing about.

So many potential entrepreneurs, dive into a project having absolutely no depth of understanding whatsoever. In the case above, a bit of research would have revealed that his potential customers weren't looking for someone to show them what they already knew, they were looking for someone to show them the technology that they, and unfortunately he, knew nothing about.

He invested in the things that made him look like a consultant, but a sense of arrogance in thinking that he knew everything there was to know, kept him from investing in what he really needed to be successful. He tried to put the cart ahead of the horse, and ultimately discovered that he didn't even own a horse.

Last I heard, he was painting houses.

Permalink 08/15/08 01:59:30 am, by Bill Email , 278 words, Categories: Entrepreneurity ,

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