Tuesday, June 25, 2019

To Get Opportunities - You Have To Put Yourself Out There

With everything in life, we need to put ourselves out there in order to be presented with opportunities.

Putting yourself out there does many things; it gives you feedback and it plants seeds. Feedback comes when you make asks such as, “will you place an order”, etc. You plant seeds by becoming known to a contact, and start building a relationship.

Sometimes I see entrepreneurs get held up on putting themselves out there. They gravitate towards things that have less opportunity to present rejection. Yet, the shots on goal are what are going to both get you the feedback you need to improve but plant the seeds that can produce later.

Try to put yourself out there today. Reach out to some contacts you would like to do business with, someone you would like to mentor you, or just an old colleague.

Best,
Eric Corl


Sunday, April 14, 2019

Amazon Floating Warehouse

Approximately four years ago, Amazon received a patent on a floating warehouse to distribute goods via a drone.

Recently, a concept video came to light by zozi009.

It’s an impressive glimpse into what the future might hold.

Check it out!



Impressive, right?

Monday, March 11, 2019

On Consistency of Thought

“[Jeff Bezos] said people who were right a lot of the time were people who often changed their minds. He doesn’t think consistency of thought is a particularly positive trait. It’s perfectly healthy — encouraged, even — to have an idea tomorrow that contradicted your idea today.”

One of the biggest stressors of our personal and professional careers - are difficult people. A long time ago, I came to the realization that in general, 2-3% of people you interact with will be outright impossible. Not, they disagree with you, but they don't agree with anyone. Their method of operating in life is being difficult. When you understand that, it's a lot easier to accept.

So often, it's due to a reluctance on realizing they need to change the way they think. I've been able to break through to a number of people that fall in this category, but so often, the effort is so immensely disprapportionate to the results. What you can usually get across to someone on a tradional "reasonable spectrum", typically takes 3-4X longer and half the time, it takes a step backward before it moves forward.

Our minds are complex and one of the great characteristics of humans are that we don't instinctively t get into sheep mentality, although, I'll argue we can fall prey to it.

The most successful entrepreneurs I work with are flexible in their approach, and fixed on their goals. They understand that they need to adjust accordingly. Adjust to market feedback. Adjust their product. Adjust their pitch.

The unsuccessful ones tend to be 100% fixed on their approach. It doesn't work like that. It is a fundamental lack of understanding. If you always yell at people when  you are angry, and it doesn't get results, you need to realize that your approach is broken. There must be a better way.

In general, the only think fixed about your mindset are your principles and positivity.

Best,
Eric Corl




Monday, May 13, 2013

An article by my business partner...

Recently published on Forbes.com, was an article written by my business partner, Wil Schroter. The article, '5 Things Founders Don't Talk About', hit on many aspects relatable to my own life.



Feeling alone in your startup, without anyone who truly understands what you are going through... been there.

Constant questioning of whether or not I am doing the right thing for my business... been there.

Debt because of a business and the stress that goes along with it... unfortunately, I've been there.

Pending doom of a startup that is about to fail... been there. The doom is worse than once you have actually failed. After the startup failure, you pick back up and make things happen, which usually comes with positive vibes.

Being the captain of a sinking ship, as Wil refers to it... been there. It's a risk you take as the ship's captain. You may find the new world or you may go down with the ship while all of your men swim to shore.

Fortunately, I have quite a few good friends who are also founders, but it's important for all of us to make a mental note to share these things with one another.

To read Wil's article, click here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2013/05/10/5-things-founders-dont-talk-about/

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pondering a Coffee Shop

After an article was published about me in the local Sunday paper, I have had a good number of people reach out to me. Some for words of congratulations and others for advice. One of my wife's friends sent her an email asking if I had any advice for opening a coffee shop. While I have never owned a coffee shop or been involved with the business of one, it got my mind stirring. What would I do? Where would I start?


Read. Read more. Read anything and everything you can find on owning and starting a coffee shop. Look up statistics on the amount of coffee shops that fail annually. Why do they fail and how can you avoid those failures? For the neighborhood coffee shops that are successful, are they doing well and if so, why? You may need to set up meetings with these people. Let their experience educate you!

No one wants to go into to a business that is going to fail. By planning ahead and replicating an already working and profitable model, you will be less likely to be closing your shop's doors after only a year, because you couldn't compete with Starbucks.

Which takes me to my next thought that seemed to be a flashing neon sign in my head... Why would you want to compete with Starbucks? This would scare off a majority of people, which is probably why they have such a monopoly on the market. In order to compete with a company like Starbucks, the location of your shop will be very important. I would imagine you would want it somewhere there is a need for a coffee shop and local hang out.

When you think you have found that perfect location, go talk to other small shop owners. What is the rent like? What is the flow of traffic like? Do they have confidence in the local economy? Are the local residents the type of people that would spend money on coffee or are they already complaining that the price of Folgers went up?

All of this research and information will be helpful in drafting your business plan. Yes, you need a business plan for a company like a coffee shop. I personally do not know of any successful retail business that was started without such a document. You can find books upon books on how to start drafting these on Amazon. While you are working on the business plan, you may as well create your marketing plan and figure out how you are going to get your potential customers into your store.

Putting together a business and marketing plan will help you to decide if you can make any money off of this business and if you actually want to put your blood, sweat and tears into it.

If after all of this, you are still gung-ho on the idea, start doing.

Secure your location, buy your supplies, hire your employees and whatever else is on your check list.

Should you decide that the coffee shop is not for you, keep exploring. Entrepreneurship isn't for everyone, but if it's in your blood you will find something to be successful at!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Who Is John Galt?

One of my favorite books of all time is finally being made into a movie. If you are an entrepreneur, you need to read this book and/or watch this movie. Coming out on April 15th..........

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Products

Every day we have dozens of inventors submit new products to us. They are typically well into the product development process. Unfortunately, most inventors have contacted us too late. Many have blown their budgets on unscrupulous patent attorneys or invention help companies that never informed them that the successful commercialization of a product takes a significant amount of time and money.

Over the past four years, we have produced a tremendous amount of straightforward content to help individuals and small businesses save time, money, and increase their probability of success. Our struggles and successful launches have given us the unique experience that has allowed us to create easy to follow guides for every step of the process.

Whether you are simply kicking around an idea you think has great potential or soliciting purchase orders from companies, I encourage you to visit our website for insight and tips to help on your journey. New products are our passion and we would love to hear from you. If you are interested in staying up to date with us, visit the news blog at http://www.IdeaBuyer.com.

Best,
Eric Corl

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Simple Analogy

Author Unknown

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before but had once failed an entire class.

That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism. All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B.

The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Could not be any more simple than that.
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Monday, September 29, 2008

Idea Buyer Blog

Please visit our news blog at http://www.IdeaBuyer.com/news.

We have articles about bringing new products to market as well as many resources to help accelerate the technology commercialization process.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Charlie Rose Interview



I watch Charlie Rose's show on a regular basis and wanted to share one of his past interviews given it features not only the Great T. Boone Pickens but the late Tim Russert as well. Enjoy!

Eric Corl

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Priming the Pump



This is one of my favorite analogies on creating successful momentum in your life.

The video is less than five minutes and it is well worth the investment in time.

Check it out.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

New Site Look



For those of you who are following the progress of Idea Buyer, I'd like to show you our new image.

Here are a list of the changes:
1. New Logo- Old light bulb replaced with a high tech fluorescent light.
2. New account administration section. Easier to navigate, improved design.
3. The opportunity to create a free web page on Idea Buyer (i.e.- ideabuyer.com/you) where you can link and direct traffic to. Upgrade and have it viewed from our site starting at $25/month.
4. New articles and videos.
5. Improved auto-notification system for our corporate members.

If you have any additional suggestions for improving our site please send me an email at ericcorl@gmail.com.

Best,
Eric

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Consumer Electronics Show 2007



On January 8th, I traveled to Las Vegas to explore the consumer electronics show. In total, approximately 150,000 people from around the world made the same trip.

With everything from a 150" plasma tv to sensory imaging video games, CES was all but dull. While I was expecting to see more revolutionary items in the realm of holographic displays, the technological advancements were more in terms of capacity and performance. Smaller, more powerful devices to enable users to do more with less.

View our company blog here to read up on some of the innovations we came across.

Best,
Eric

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Amazing Transformation

This is an amazing feature story by ABC news about a man who lost over 400 pounds in two years.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Charlie Rose - Alternative Energy/Internet Technology



This is a dual panel of some of the top executives and entrepreneurs discussing alternative energy (John Doerr of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems, and K.R. Sridhar of Bloom Energy.), and the second being internet technology(Brian Halla of National Semiconductor, Reed Hastings of Netflix, Jerry Yang of Yahoo!, and Charles Giancarlo of Cisco).

The discussion of the H1B Visa caps and U.S. telecom regulations was particularly interesting to me in the second segment.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Basic SEO Guide




A Basic Tutorial on SEO
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is the method of structuring your site so that you are better indexed in the search engines. The main components are the structure of your site and the content it holds. You want to understand how search engines go about ranking a site so that you can structure your sites accordingly. Basically, it all comes down to content and structure but there are also several other factors which I’ll discuss.

SEO Term Glossary:
Google Page Rank-
This essentially represents how well you’re indexed in google. It is a representation of the amount of relevant content on your site and the number of backlinks. A page rank of 10/10 for example would give you #1 ranking in most se’s for your niche terms.
Tool: Download Here – It is their full toolbar with the pr tool attached.
Alexa Page Rank-
This is what most webmasters use to compare their traffic to other sites traffic and also monitor their progress. The reason it’s such an ego booster(or bruiser) is because it compares how you rank compared against the rest of the internet. It details what percentage of the iu’s are you reaching, etc. It has it’s critics but everybody keeps an eye on it.
Tool: Download Here
Site Map-
A site map is exactly how it sounds. It allows both users and search engine spiders (also known as serps) to navigate your site easily. They are critical for correct indexing and there are a variety of plugins that make this a very easy process. My favorite sitemap generator is
Tools:
1. Wordpress Plugin for Sitemap Plugin
http://www.dagondesign.com/articles/sitemap-generator-plugin-for-wordpress/
2. Another One in case the first one is not available for download.
http://www.arnebrachhold.de/projects/wordpress-plugins/google-xml-sitemaps-generator/
3. General Sitemap generator (Up to 500 pages)
http://www.xml-sitemaps.com
4. To submit your sitemap to Google to ensure indexing
http://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/siteoverview

Tools:
Tracking Tools
1. Google Analytics - Here
2. HitTail - Here
3. Crazy Egg - Here

Keyword Tools
1. Trellian SEO ToolKit (Paid)- SEO Toolkit
2. Keyword Discovery Keyword Tool (Free) - Here
3. Free Keyword - Here
Gives suggestions for keywords just as KeyWord Discover does.
4. Overture Tool - Link
5. Google Suggestions - Link

BackLink Generators
1. Blogger Commenter
I’ve found this to be the most useful backlink generator since Xrumer started leaving footprints. It automatically posts links to blogs that you list. The best way to get a list of blogs to a relevant topic is go to a well known blogger in industries and look at their “blogroll”. This typically has relevant blogs. Or, you can use Technorati to find blogs pertaining to a particular industry/keyword.

Information on Domains
Best source for domains:
www.1and1.com. Comes with free private registration.

Best place to check for available domains:
www.ajaxwhois.com
Domain Tier Information:
.edu and .gov domains are top tier. Google and other se’s love them.
.com, .org, and .net are all 2nd tier.
.info are third tier.

What should be in your domain:
Having the keyword term in your domain url equates for about 10-15% of indexing.
One way links from other sites and content control the rest.
Any backlinks from .edu’s, .gov’s, or any sites with a pr4 or higher are great for our Google Page Rank.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Squeezing Lemons Hard to Make Lemonade

I came across a story today and wanted to post it here. It is about a dying professor whose actions and words in his last months of life are incredibly inspiring. Yesterday he gave his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon University - talk about a paradigm shift.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07262/818671-85.stm

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Alan Greenspan recently released his new book, 'The Age of Turbulence'. The book has generated a ton of media attention spawning primarily from statements that the Iraq war is about oil and of course, his near two decade reign as the Federal Reserve Chairman.

An astute student of the late Ayn Rand, Greenspan is almost a walking economic agent who is a modern day rock star for capitalists. The minute he speaks on fiscal policy even to this day, markets move. Incredible but a little strange. As the dollar continues to drop it will be interesting to see how much of the blame is pushed back on Greenspan for his historically long decrease in interest rates just a few years back.

Here is the Charlie Rose interview with him. If you're into economics, Ayn Rand, or just interested in where he thinks the economy is going in the next 5-10 years then it's worth a watch.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

I sent this out to quite a few friends last year and thought it was time to re-post this speech by Steve Jobs at a Stanford graduation ceremony.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Paul Graham on College Education

Here is an interesting post by Paul Graham, a man who is well regarded among Silicon Valley's elite and a swarm of young entrepreneurs vying to be funded by a group he co-founded, YCombinator.

Here is a link to the original article
September 2007

A few weeks ago I had a thought so heretical that it really surprised me. It may not matter all that much where you go to college.

For me, as for a lot of middle class kids, getting into a good college was more or less the meaning of life when I was growing up. What was I? A student. To do that well meant to get good grades. Why did one have to get good grades? To get into a good college. And why did one want to do that? There seemed to be several reasons: you'd learn more, get better jobs, make more money. But it didn't matter exactly what the benefits would be. College was a bottleneck through which all your future prospects passed; everything would be better if you went to a better college.

A few weeks ago I realized that somewhere along the line I had stopped believing that.

What first set me thinking about this was the new trend of worrying obsessively about what kindergarten your kids go to. It seemed to me this couldn't possibly matter. Either it won't help your kid get into Harvard, or if it does, getting into Harvard won't mean much anymore. And then I thought: how much does it mean even now?

It turns out I have a lot of data about that. My three partners and I run a seed stage investment firm called Y Combinator. We invest when the company is just a couple guys and an idea. The idea doesn't matter much; it will change anyway. Most of our decision is based on the founders. The average founder is three years out of college. Many have just graduated; a few are still in school. So we're in much the same position as a graduate program, or a company hiring people right out of college. Except our choices are immediately and visibly tested. There are two possible outcomes for a startup: success or failure—and usually you know within a year which it will be.

The test applied to a startup is among the purest of real world tests. A startup succeeds or fails depending almost entirely on the efforts of the founders. Success is decided by the market: you only succeed if users like what you've built. And users don't care where you went to college.

As well as having precisely measurable results, we have a lot of them. Instead of doing a small number of large deals like a traditional venture capital fund, we do a large number of small ones. We currently fund about 40 companies a year, selected from about 900 applications representing a total of about 2000 people. [1]

Between the volume of people we judge and the rapid, unequivocal test that's applied to our choices, Y Combinator has been an unprecedented opportunity for learning how to pick winners. One of the most surprising things we've learned is how little it matters where people went to college.

I thought I'd already been cured of caring about that. There's nothing like going to grad school at Harvard to cure you of any illusions you might have about the average Harvard undergrad. And yet Y Combinator showed us we were still overestimating people who'd been to elite colleges. We'd interview people from MIT or Harvard or Stanford and sometimes find ourselves thinking: they must be smarter than they seem. It took us a few iterations to learn to trust our senses.

Practically everyone thinks that someone who went to MIT or Harvard or Stanford must be smart. Even people who hate you for it believe it.

But when you think about what it means to have gone to an elite college, how could this be true? We're talking about a decision made by admissions officers—basically, HR people—based on a cursory examination of a huge pile of depressingly similar applications submitted by seventeen year olds. And what do they have to go on? An easily gamed standardized test; a short essay telling you what the kid thinks you want to hear; an interview with a random alum; a high school record that's largely an index of obedience. Who would rely on such a test?

And yet a lot of companies do. A lot of companies are very much influenced by where applicants went to college. How could they be? I think I know the answer to that.

There used to be a saying in the corporate world: "No one ever got fired for buying IBM." You no longer hear this about IBM specifically, but the idea is very much alive; there is a whole category of "enterprise" software companies that exist to take advantage of it. People buying technology for large organizations don't care if they pay a fortune for mediocre software. It's not their money. They just want to buy from a supplier who seems safe—a company with an established name, confident salesmen, impressive offices, and software that conforms to all the current fashions. Not necessarily a company that will deliver so much as one that, if they do let you down, will still seem to have been a prudent choice. So companies have evolved to fill that niche.

A recruiter at a big company is in much the same position as someone buying technology for one. If someone went to Stanford and is not obviously insane, they're probably a safe bet. And a safe bet is enough. No one ever measures recruiters by the later performance of people they turn down. [2]

I'm not saying, of course, that elite colleges have evolved to prey upon the weaknesses of large organizations the way enterprise software companies have. But they work as if they had. In addition to the power of the brand name, graduates of elite colleges have two critical qualities that plug right into the way large organizations work. They're good at doing what they're asked, since that's what it takes to please the adults who judge you at seventeen. And having been to an elite college makes them more confident.

Back in the days when people might spend their whole career at one big company, these qualities must have been very valuable. Graduates of elite colleges would have been capable, yet amenable to authority. And since individual performance is so hard to measure in large organizations, their own confidence would have been the starting point for their reputation.

Things are very different in the new world of startups. We couldn't save someone from the market's judgement even if we wanted to. And being charming and confident counts for nothing with users. All users care about is whether you make something they like. If you don't, you're dead.

Knowing that test is coming makes us work a lot harder to get the right answers than anyone would if they were merely hiring people. We can't afford to have any illusions about the predictors of success. And what we've found is that the variation between schools is so much smaller than the variation between individuals that it's negligible by comparison. We can learn more about someone in the first minute of talking to them than by knowing where they went to school.

It seems obvious when you put it that way. Look at the individual, not where they went to college. But that's a weaker statement than the idea I began with, that it doesn't matter much where a given individual goes to college. Don't you learn things at the best schools that you wouldn't learn at lesser places?

Apparently not. Obviously you can't prove this in the case of a single individual, but you can tell from aggregate evidence: you can't, without asking them, distinguish people who went to one school from those who went to another three times as far down the US News list. [3] Try it and see.

How can this be? Because how much you learn in college depends a lot more on you than the college. A determined party animal can get through the best school without learning anything. And someone with a real thirst for knowledge will be able to find a few smart people to learn from at a school that isn't prestigious at all. At most colleges you can find at least a handful of other smart students, and most people have only a handful of close friends in college anyway. [4] The odds of finding smart professors are even better. The curve for faculty is a lot flatter than for students, especially in math and the hard sciences; you have to go pretty far down the list of colleges before you stop finding smart professors in the math department.

So it's not surprising that we've found the relative prestige of different colleges useless in judging individuals. There's a lot of randomness in how colleges select people, and what they learn there depends much more on them than the college. Between these two sources of variation, the college someone went to doesn't mean a lot. It is to some degree a predictor of ability, but so weak that we regard it mainly as a source of error and try consciously to ignore it.

I doubt what we've discovered is an anomaly specific to startups. Probably people have always overestimated the importance of where one goes to college. We're just finally able to measure it.

The unfortunate thing is not just that people are judged by such a superficial test, but that so many judge themselves by it. A lot of people, probably the majority of people in the America, have some amount of insecurity about where, or whether, they went to college. The tragedy of the situation is that by far the greatest liability of not having gone to the college you'd have liked is your own feeling that you're thereby lacking something. Colleges are a bit like exclusive clubs in this respect. There is only one real advantage to being a member of most exclusive clubs: you know you wouldn't be missing much if you weren't. When you're excluded, you can only imagine the advantages of being an insider. But invariably they're larger in your imagination than in real life.

So it is with colleges. Colleges differ, but they're nothing like the stamp of destiny so many imagine them to be. People aren't what some admissions officer decides about them at seventeen. They're what they make themselves.

Indeed, the great advantage of not caring where people went to college is not just that you can stop judging them (and yourself) by superficial measures, but that you can focus instead on what really matters. What matters is what you make of yourself. I think that's what we should tell kids. Their job isn't to get good grades so they can get into a good college, but to learn and do. And not just because that's more rewarding than worldly success. That will increasingly be the route to worldly success.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Where the Web 2.0 Star Companies Were Born

Here is an interesting article that shows the locations where companies like Craigslist, Digg, Facebook, and Google were started.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Overweight by Association

There is an interesting article in Businessweek titled "Sympathy Pounds". The article gives an overview of the direct correlation between having obese friends and becoming obese yourself.

What's revolutionary about this article is that they studied people for prolonged periods of time so they were able to isolate some major variables.

For example, if a best friend becomes overweight, you're 117% more likely to become overweight. That's most likely due to people engaging in similar sedentary lifestyles with excess caloric intake.

The best way for people to change something about their life is for them to begin controlling the environments they put themselves in. It's often easier for people to control their environment than to control their actions. Think about it. If you have a drinking problem for example, it will most likely be easier for you to stop drinking if you avoid going to places where you would be inclined to do so or spending time with people who you would regularly drink with.

Most people can plan ahead and keep themselves out of a situation they know may lead to something else but have little control over impulsive decisions like eating desert and fried food. Solution - don't go to restaurants with deserts and fried food.

However, this correlates to most of life. Health, wealth, emotions, the quality of our relationships, etc. I'm sure a lot of people think that an approach to choosing your friends with such high standards is somehow not right. Well, standards are what define our lives. It all comes down to how bad you really want change. When you hit bottom, you're usually triggered to rise back up to your identity. What's yours? A condition, such as being overweight is not your identity. Realize that.

It's a condition that you can change. You may be overweight, depressed, but that's not who you are. You are an amazing being that can transform into what your mind envisions. Raise your standards and be persistent. The pursuit itself will send you into a more proactive life state and higher consciousness.

Click here to read the original article:

Friday, June 1, 2007

WITNESS

Lebron James scored 48 points against the pistons last night which gets the Cavs even closer to the championship. View history in the making here.

Local Company Set to Soar



The founders of RealEstateInvestor.com (based out of Columbus) are taking what started as a project to better connect people in the real estate market to the next level.

After gaining substantial traction in the first 3 months of public launch they have plans in the works to start marketing their community on a national level. Currently, one of their promotional pieces is a free copy of Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill with an introduction by Colin Andrews (one of the founders).

If you're in the real estate market and looking for educational materials or a place to network this is it. If you're an entrepreneur it's also worth a look as they have created quite an intriguing web platform and community that you may be able to take some tips from for your business.

Getting back to my own launch which we're now projecting for next Friday. I'll keep you updated. Best, Eric

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Wil Schroter's Version of "The Secret"

While I think that the movie is great to remind people of how powerful their minds are in directing their lives, this blog post raises some hilarious points.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

How to Negotiate

Here's a great article on how to negotiate with Car Salesman.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Tax Deadline

Here's an interesting graph that represents where all of the tax revenue goes.
I was interested to see how much our investment in education has decreased for the 2007 budget. With increasing global competition I would think that would be a main priority but it looks like both parties settled on a budget that bought more pork than brains.

How to Avoid Being a Dot Bomb

I thought this was a great article for entrepreneurs starting internet based businesses. If this applies to you, check it out at http://ouriel.typepad.com/myblog/2006/07/11_suggestions_.html

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I'm Back



After taking a bit of time off of blogging to travel and move, I'm back and ready to share some great content. I spent the last week of March in Scottsdale, Arizona where I visited a friend who I went to Fisher (Ohio State University's Business School) with. It was great to see the progress he has made in his entrepreneurial pursuits in the real estate market. With rising foreclosures, he has found a niche in working short sales where he locks up properties at 70-80% on the dollar and flips them to other investors. He has now closed five deals since January - not a bad learning curve given that they will only finance deals that net at least 10k.

The first week of April I spent in New York City (actually the 29th-3rd). There, I stayed with a great friend from High School who now attends King's College in the Empire State Building. He's extremely hard working and I'd bet a lot that he becomes a celebrity. He has an uncanny ability to control crowds of people and has already been on TV several times in NYC at random, started a vending business, and is launching a clothing line. Needless to say, he's one of those friends who I can really sharpen my iron against.

I arrived on Thursday night from Columbus and we attended an Anthony Robbins Confrerence on Thursday (2pm - 12:30am), Friday (8am - 11:30pm), Saturday (8am - 11:30 pm), Sunday (8am - 1:30am), and Monday (8am - 5pm). The entire experience was incredible. If you ever have the opportunity to see Anthony Robbins Live jump at it. I would only describe it as this - when I left it was like I had been living in black and white and now everything was in vivid color.

I'm back in classes and have had the opportunity to take an MBA class on entrepreneurship and development which has turned out to be a great choice. The most value I've gotten out of the class thus far has been the networking opportunities and in depth case analysis on Hotmail, Ford, Starbucks, and Ebay. If you have a minute and you're an entreprenuer it is worth your while to watch the Charlie Rose interview with Howard Schultz. It's a great interview and you can grasp a lot of great business lessons out of it.

On another note, I ran my first half marathon this weekend with my good friend Lee Shadle (www.pestobistro.com). I ended up running most of the race with a 71 year old man named Jim who was running his 165th half marathon and had run 41,000 competitive miles. Pretty wild. Anyway, I had a great conversations with him and another guy named Kevin who was running the race to celebrate his 50th birthday. I thought, "What a better way to celebrate your birthday". Instead of slowing down, he's decided to speed up. We had great conversations and we'll be running the Columbus Marathon in October together which will be nice.

If you're up for running the half in Columbus in May or the full in October let me know. Best, Eric

Monday, March 26, 2007

Web Startup Costs

Here is an excellent article on the declining costs of starting and running an internet based business by the Chicago Tribune.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/technology/chi-0703260075mar26,0,2373962.story?coll=chi-bizfront-hed

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Anthony Robbins Live

Anthony Robbins will be giving a four day seminar from March 30th - April 2nd in New York. If you can make the time (we never "have" the time), it will certainly be worth it. The seminar is a complete immersion course and lasts all day, every day.

Investments in yourself pay the best dividends.






http://www.anthonyrobbins.com/UpwEvents/upwEnroll_Live.aspx

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Pitching VC's 101



Wil Schroter, a serial entrepreneur and the founder of the popular GoBigNetwork.com - a community for startups, wrote a great article in Venture Beat this week on what VC's should do to help the VC-Entrepreneur experience go smoother. Mr. Schroter gives a unique perspective from his personal experiences with raising vc and his passion for helping entrepreneurs succeed. The article is very well written and will definitely be getting mentioned all over the net in the next week or so. Read it at Venturebeat.com

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Microsoft Small Business Summit

Microsoft has a five day small business summit starting next Monday that features a plethora of well renowned entrepreneurs and executives. You can sign up for individual events that you would like to attend online. I wasn't expecting such a large pool of talented individuals and lecture topics so I'm pleasantly surprised. Register at www.sbsummit.com.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Celebrity Billionaires

Want to see how billionaires live?

http://www.forbes.com/2007/03/06/celebrity-billionaires-rich_07billionaires_cz_lk_0308celebrity_slide_12.html?thisSpeed=30000

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Sir Richard Branson












Below I have included a video of Sir Richard Branson - one of the most respected and successful entrepreneurs of this century. He has created one of the world's most recognizable yet diverse brands while creating over 200 comapnies.

Mr. Branson is idolized as an entrepreneur. Given that almost all of his strategies have gone against conventional wisdom and succeeded, Sir Branson has continually built a brand seen as "the under dog" and everyone loves the under dog.

Virgin Atlantic vs. British Airways
Virgin Cola vs. Coca Cola
Etc.

It's definitely worth a watch and if you haven't read his book, "Losing My Virginity", it's definitely worth a read.

Eric


Image from www.theage.com

The Amazing Les Brown

The author of "Live Your Dreams", Les Brown, on personal growth and achievement.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Tony Robbins tells Sylvester Stallone's Story

You've seen Rocky but have you ever heard Sylvester Stallone's real life story? Incredible.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Power of the Human Mind

I love to see an idea manifeset and sometimes art is the best depiction of the power of the mind to visualize and create. Here is a speed painting that represents this well.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Blogger Recognition

Today, I want to recognize some great writers whose blogs I read on a regular basis. If you take the time to check these out you won't regret it. My Best, Eric.

www.wilschroter.com - If you need a carrot, this serial entrepreneurs resume is like a farmer's market.

www.ryanmapes.com - This entrepreneur shares some of the newest news coming out of the valley and provides useful insights.

www.danputt.com - A young entrepreneur whose passion ripples through his writing.

www.bencasnocha.com - He's young but this entrepreneur is full of wisdom and provides some great book summaries.

www.guykawasaki.com - Insightful valley news.

www.techcrunch.com - Michael Arrington's site that features all of the newest 2.0 companies.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Interactive Online Home Page

I just subscribed to netvibes, a customizable online homepage that allows you to access your email, online storage, and news all in one place. It's free and setup takes only a minute. Check it out; www.netvibes.com

Monday, February 19, 2007

Book Recommendation - The Exceptional Presenter


After reading and putting this book to practice I wanted to share it with you. One of my coaches recommended this book to me a few months ago and I highly recommend it to you. Mr. Koegel provides extremely valuable insights into proper presentation skills that are easy to implement into your daily meetings and speeches. At a presentation this past week in LA I noticed a significant difference in how I felt on stage as well as the receptiveness of the audience.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Need some motivation?

After a conversation with a friend about the growing popularity of YouTube.com I hopped on and was searching for some videos that relate to my interests - Entrepreneurship, working out, a variety of speakers/thought leaders, and of course Rocky - My favorite anthology of all time. Below is a great tribute clip that always gets my blood boiling. I love it. Enjoy!

Monday, January 29, 2007

To Get the Edge - Learn from those that have it.. 1000 of the Smartest People - T.E.D. Talks

I came across the posted videos from the exclusive T.E.D. talks a month or so ago and I have continually been amazed by the value of the content as I have watched each one. The availability of this content and it's value makes me so much more conscious of the societal changes we are going through right now. Even ten years ago content of this nature would have been exclusively available to people who either attended the seminars (~1000 each) or to those who purchased tapes. Yet today, anyone from a teenager to a professor can log onto the internet and watch some of the most intelligent individuals speak on their chosen fields for free at their leisure.
This is taking the opportunity to expand our minds to a whole new level and we have the ability to control what information we have access to - not just mindlessly watching what a television station feels I may like. We are able to discriminate what information we want to access to a "t" and I can't stress how amazing that is and how grateful I am to be living at a time when I have the opportunity to do so.
To avoid rambling on, here is the link to the T.E.D. talks that I mentioned above;

http://www.ted.com/tedtalks

Friday, January 26, 2007

Guy Kawasaki Interviews Donald Trump

Below I have re-posted an interview that Guy Kawasaki had with Donald Trump that I found extremely intriguing. Check it out;

January 25, 2007

Ten Questions With Donald Trump

trumpPointing.jpg

Donald J. Trump is a graduate of the Wharton School of Finance and started his business career in an office he shared with his father. In August of 2006, Mr. Trump was voted by BusinessWeek magazine as “the world’s most competitive businessperson.”

In New York City, the Trump signature is synonymous with the most prestigious of addresses, among them the world-renowned Fifth Avenue skyscraper, Trump Tower, the Trump International Hotel & Tower, voted the best U.S. Hotel by Conde Nast Traveler, Trump World Tower at the United Nations Plaza, 40 Wall Street, and Trump Park Avenue.

In a departure from his real estate acquisitions, Mr. Trump and the NBC Television Network are partners in the ownership and broadcast rights for the three largest beauty competitions in the world: the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA Pageants. He is also the star and executive producer of the hit television series, “The Apprentice,” which has received national and worldwide attention. In the summer of 2004, his radio program on Clear Channel made its debut and broke all syndication records.

Mr. Trump has authored seven books, all of which became bestsellers. Trump Magazine was launched in 2004, Trump University Online in 2005, and the Donald J. Trump licensing program. In 2006, GoTrump.com, an online travel agency, made its debut, as did Trump Productions in Los Angeles.

  1. Question: If you, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Herb Kelleher and Larry Ellison got marooned on a desert island, who would end up running the place and who would end up as dinner?

    Answer: We would find a way to order in and have a productive meeting at the same time.

  2. Question: How long would Larry and Sergei, the co-founders of Google, last on your show?

    Answer: That would depend on whether they were good team players and if they had an original idea or two.

  3. Question: Would you fire your son or daughter?

    Answer: Yes, if they deserved it, but fortunately they are well prepared for their positions, so I doubt they would ever merit being fired.

  4. Question: What do you do to chill out?

    Answer: Playing golf provides me with my version of chilling out, plus I develop golf courses, so it’s a productive way to spend my chill time.

  5. Question: At the end of our life, what do you want to be remembered for?

    Answer: As a builder who has enhanced the cities and communities where I have built and/or developed.

  6. Question: What’s the difference between the Donald Trump on “The Apprentice” and the Donald Trump in every day business meetings?

    Answer: Business meetings are more about negotiation skills whereas “The Apprentice” falls into the job interview or audition category. I have business meetings with people who are looking to do business, not people who are looking for a job. My attitude on “The Apprentice” is as an employer looking at possible future employees. I don’t look to mold any of my business associates.

  7. Question: If you could apprentice with anyone in history, who would it be?

    Answer: My father was a great mentor. He’d be hard to replace.

  8. Question: Not many people make billions, lose billions, and then make billions all over again. How did you pull this off?

    Answer: To me it was a blip, not a catastrophe. I knew I was destined to succeed, and I kept focused on that belief. I’m very tenacious...and I don’t give up.

  9. Question: If you graduated from Wharton in 2006 instead of in the 1960s, what industry would you go into?

    Answer: Real estate. I love it and it still exists as a career and as a viable passion.

  10. Question: What do you think of two guys in a garage showing amateur videos selling out for $1.7 billion?

    Answer: I’d say they had a great idea—my hat’s off to them.

  11. Question: TV is TV, real life is real life: What’s the most important real-life advice you can give to an entrepreneur?

    Answer: You have to love what you do. Without passion, great success is hard to come by. An entrepreneur will have tough times if he or she isn’t passionate about what they’re doing. People who love what they’re doing don’t give up. It’s never even a consideration. It’s a pretty simple formula.



Original Article: http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/01/ten_questions_w.html

Monday, January 15, 2007

The P.T. Barnum Guide to Online Publicity*

This is a great article I found on Digg regarding P.T. Barnum. You can find the orginal article at http://www.copyblogger.com/pt-barnum-online-publicity/.


January 15th, 2007 | Copywriting, Social Media, Links

There’s a sucker born every minute.

Guess what? P.T. Barnum never said that. A competitor of his did, and yet it’s been wrongly attributed to Barnum for 140 years.

That’s a shame, because although Phineas Taylor Barnum used outrageous stunts and hoaxes for promotional purposes, he was insanely focused on delivering exceptional value to his customers. He even crusaded against schemers and charlatans that swindled people out of money.

Those crooks made Barnum’s job harder, just like spammers and snake-oil sellers make every honest online marketer’s task a bit tougher as well. When Barnum pulled one over on you, he told you… and then made sure you left with a smile on your face.

We all know that delivering outstanding, useful content is the best way to get positive online attention. But every once in a while, you might try something completely off the wall and gain big traction, as long as you find a way to deliver value beyond the hype.

For example, when it became clear that YouTube sensation Lonelygirl15 was a fake, a lot of people (including me) thought there might be a backlash. Nope, because the story “she” provided the audience contained enough quality and value to give people exceptional satisfaction. As Frank Ahrens of the Washington Post insightfully commented, we can be fooled, and we probably don’t care.

Barnum felt the same way, and he kept huge crowds coming back for more, time and time again. It all comes down to the beneficial payoff for the audience.

This is definitely a tricky area. So perhaps we should look at a few things P.T. Barnum actually did say that might help you develop a viral online publicity campaign of your own.

“Never attempt to catch a whale with a minnow.”

Barnum always thought big. When people told him his plans would never work, he didn’t give up—he simply resolved to make even bigger plans.

Well before our own attention economy, Barnum relentlessly worked every angle to direct the public’s attention towards his offerings. He always thought big, but also realized that even tiny details could create a snowball effect when it comes to publicity and word of mouth.

In short, think big or don’t bother.

“I would rather hear the pleased laugh of a child over some feature of my exhibition than receive as I did the flattering compliments of the Prince of Wales.”

What will people spend their last nickel on, even during a period of time as tough as the Great Depression?

Fun.

While it’s dangerous to expect humor or entertainment to convert directly into sales in most publicity contexts, delighting the crowd is still a great way to attract attention. Just think about the annual Go Daddy Super Bowl stunts. The hoopla has nothing to do with domain name registration (or even the commercials themselves), but it sure hasn’t hurt.

“If I was not a remarkably modest man, I should probably brag a little, and say that I had done what no American ever before accomplished [by visiting] the queen at her palace twice within eight days.”

P.T. Barnum knew the value of personal allies. The fact that Barnum had people like Mark Twain to help him promote his latest efforts demonstrates why having prominent new media friends makes sense in today’s world.

And as his references to Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales demonstrate, name-dropping has been a long-time strategy when it comes to publicity. That’s right… Chartreuse didn’t invent it.

“You know I had rather be laughed at than not to be noticed at all…”

Perhaps the most important thing you can learn from P.T. Barnum is courage. It takes courage to step beyond your comfort level and take a risk, and to have the maturity to turn failure into advantage by swallowing your pride and ignoring what people think.

Barnum once (as a stunt) offered $200,000 to purchase the first circus elephant to give birth in captivity. That was a whole lot of money back then, but the elephant owner declined, enlarged the telegram Barnum sent, and created a poster that turned it into a compelling Barnum endorsement for the show of his direct competitor. Rather than crying over spilled milk, P.T. found a kindred spirit to do business with, thereby turning his gaffe into a benefit.

Thus was born the Barnum & Bailey Circus (those Ringling Brothers came later to create the so-called greatest show on earth).

“Every man’s occupation should be beneficial to his fellow-man as well as profitable to himself. All else is vanity and folly.”

We’ve come full circle back to the heart of the matter. Most people can come up with something outrageous. But is there a payoff for the audience that makes it worth doing?

Most modern stunt marketing fails this test. Marketers shock simply to shock, with no larger plan, and certainly no audience payoff beyond the novelty of the disruptive message.

If you can engage and delight your prospective audience in a way that benefits you as well, do it.

If not, you’re wasting your time and everyone else’s.

P.S. The context in which “There’s a sucker born every minute” was uttered by Barnum’s rival is a fascinating triple-hoax story involving giants who live beneath the earth, archeology, old-school word of mouth, the danger of investing in things you don’t understand, and a lawsuit that ended with a startling courtroom confession. If you want to learn more about how P.T. Barnum’s strategies can help your business, read There’s a Customer Born Every Minute.

*From http://www.copyblogger.com/pt-barnum-online-publicity/

Friday, January 5, 2007

Stick to Your Goals - Free Online Tool

JoesGoals.com is a free, easy to use web application that helps you set, track, and follow through with your goals. You can even "share" your "status"(you recieve points on + or - actions) to help hold yourself accountable.

Go to MIT for Free

MIT now has over 1000 courses posted on it's Open Course Ware site at http://ocw.mit.edu. Anyone can access the lectures FREE. That's right, the courses are available free. God bless MIT.

Six Human Needs

I came across a great video of Anthony Robbins talking at the TED conference. Every time I watch this guy speak I have great "take aways" so I'm going to keep posting his material for you.

TED Talks

Anthony Robbins

http://www.ted.com/tedtalks/tedtalksplayer.cfm?key=tony_robbins

Anthony Robbins states that we can control our lives by prioritizing our "needs".

Do you know what your needs are?

Six Human Needs*:

  1. Certainty/Comfort. We all want comfort. And much of this comfort comes from certainty. Of course there is no ABSOLUTE certainty, but we want certainty the car will start, the water will flow from the tap when we turn it on and the currency we use will hold its value.
  2. Variety. At the same time we want certainty, we also crave variety. Paradoxically, there needs to be enough UNcertainty to provide spice and adventure in our lives.
  3. Significance. Deep down, we all want to be important. We want our life to have meaning and significance. I can imagine no worse a death than to think my life didn't matter.
  4. Connection/Love. It would be hard to argue against the need for love. We want to feel part of a community. We want to be cared for and cared about.
  5. Growth. There could be some people who say they don't want to grow, but I think they're simply fearful of doing so—or perhaps NOT doing so. To become better, to improve our skills, to stretch and excel may be more evident in some than others, but it's there.
  6. Contribution. The desire to contribute something of value—to help others, to make the world a better place than we found it is in all of us.

*Pasted from <http://www.econsultant.com/articles/tony-robbins-six-needs.html>

10 Ways to Use Linked In

Guy Kawasaki recently published a great blog on the ten ways to use linked in. I especially liked the following point.........
  • The average number of LinkedIn connections for people who work at Google is forty-seven.

  • The average number for Harvard Business School grads is fifty-eight, so you could skip the MBA, work at Google, and probably get most of the connections you need. Later, you can hire Harvard MBAs to prepare your income taxes

You can find the full article here; http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/01/ten_ways_to_use.html

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

2006 in Review


FYI: Yahoo News (news.yahoo.com) has a great “year in review” module in the right upper hand corner of their home page right now that’s really interesting. Aside from reviewing this year, it features the changes in prices and lifestyle as the population has doubled and tripled since 1915 (when population was 100M). One stat I saw that really opened my eyes is below:

Housing | Eggs

1915: $4,939 $0.39

1967: $23,400 $0.51

2006: $248,500 $1.57

Pretty crazy.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Top Trends to Follow

I came across an interesting revision of one of this year's most popular McKinsey Quarterly articles that focuses on the Top 10 Trends to follow in the years ahead. It's a great article for entrepreneurs to read to enhance they're knowledge of the top global trends that will shift markets. I think this is important to look at for not only business reasons but to better understand the world as well. Below are some interesting facts extracted from the article;
Total world cross-border trade as a percentage of global GDP
1990: 18%
2015 (estimated): 30%
Number of regional trade agreements
1990: 50
2005: 250
Change in Germany's population over the age of 75 from 2005 to 2015: 33%
Increase in tax burden needed to maintain current benefit levels for Germany's future generation: 90%
Change in Japan's population over the age of 75 from 2005 to 2015: 36%
Change in Japan's population under the age of 5 from 2005 to 2015:
-13%
Increase in tax burden needed to maintain current benefit levels for Japan's future generation: 175%
Computational capability of an Intel processor, as measured in instructions per second
1971: 60,000
2005: 10,800,000,000
Multiple by which e-mail traffic has grown from 1997 to 2005: 215
Number of US tax returns prepared in India
2003: 25,000
2005: 400,000
Combined market cap of top 150 mega-institutions
1994: $4 trillion
2004: $11 trillion
Total capital under management by private equity firms in 2003 in the United States and Europe:
$1 trillion
Market cap of the NYSE in 2003: $11 trillion
Growth rate of the total wealth controlled by millionaires in China from 1986 to 2001: 600%
Estimated number of Chinese households to achieve European income levels by 2020 (assuming real income grows at 8 percent annually): 100 million
Total number of workers in China: 750 million
Number employed in China's state-owned companies: 375 million
Year when the income gap in the United States between the wealthiest 5% and the bottom 10% was the widest ever recorded: 2004
Part of national GDP spent on the public sector in the United Kingdom in 2004: 20%
UK public-sector spending as a ratio of GDP when transfer payments (for example, pensions) are included: 40%
Proportion of Latin Americans who would prefer a dictator to democracy if he improved their living conditions: 50%
Muslims as a percentage of the global population
2000: 19%
2025 (estimated): 30%
Number of major violent conflicts
1991: 58
2005: 22
Number of coal-fired power plants China plans to build by 2012: 562
Estimated year China will overtake the United States as the number-one carbon emitter: 2025
Estimated year CO2 levels will hit 500 parts per million: 2050
Years since CO2 levels last hit 500 parts per million: 50 million
Average years it takes a CO2 molecule, once produced, to degrade: 100
Global CEOs who think overregulation is a threat to growth: 61%
Probability that a company in an industry's top revenue quartile will not be there in five years: 30%

You can find the article here; http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/article_page.aspx?ar=1734&L2=21&L3=114&srid=190&gp=0

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Great interview with Anthony Robbins

Do yourself a favor and check out Charlie Rose's interview with Anthony Robbins....
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5070588292701651217&q=anthony+robbins&hl=en

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Useful Websites for Entrepreneurs

Stumble Upon
www.stumbleupon.com
This site let's you vote on the newest web 2.0 companies.

Go Big Network
www.gobignetwork.com
This site helps entrepreneurs connect with the resources they need to start and grow their businesses.

Buzz Shout
www.buzzshout.com
Features the hottest web2.0 companies of the day.

Tech Crunch
www.techcrunch.com
A favorite among startup junkies as it features the leading web 2.0 companies in depth. Also, Michael Arrington, the founder, frequently posts his interviews with their founders which gives you an inside look at the companies.

Technorati
www.technorati.com
Search the contents of millions of blogs.

Business 2.0
www.business2.com
Offers great articles on the leading business opportunities.

Inc.com
www.inc.com
Great website that profiles the founders of today's largest and fastest growing companies.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Travels

Here are a few pictures from my recent trip to Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sedona, and Puerto Penasco.
Beautiful Sunset in Sedona:



Exploring Sedona in a rented jeep


Jet Skiing in the Baja of California

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Eric Corl - Ten Greatest Quotes on Competition of All Time

10. "I don't fear failure. I only fear the slowing up of the engine inside of me which is saying, "Keep going, someone must be on top, why not you?""
-Patton

9. "Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser."
- Vince Lombardi

8. "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."
-Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

7. "The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall."
- Vince Lombardi

6. "While most are dreaming of success, winners wake-up and work hard to achieve it."
- Unknown

5. "The higher we soar, the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly."
-Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

4. "Winners build on mistakes. Losers dwell on them."
-Arnold Mori

3. "No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves."
- Dwight Eisenhower

2. "The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights."
-Muhammad Ali

1. “Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.”
- Voltaire