by Chris Billowsin Business Beller, Mental Mischief0 commentstags: Business Development, Comprehensive Analysis, Human Condition, Summarizing a Business Organization
Paul Graham is not only a successful entrepreneur he is a analytical master who has written extensively on business, economics, and culture. I greatly appreciate how he deconstructs complex topics and makes it accessible. Below is some of my favorite articles by him: Nerd Culture http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html Hacker Culture http://www.paulgraham.com/gba.html Wealth and Inequality http://www.paulgraham.com/gap.html Wealth, Technology, and Startups http://www.paulgraham.com/wealth.html American Culture, Craftsmanship, and Design http://www.paulgraham.com/usa.html Graduating from High School http://www.paulgraham.com/hs.html Finding What You Love To Do http://www.paulgraham.com/love.html Building a Startup http://www.paulgraham.com/start.html Startup Lessons http://www.paulgraham.com/startuplessons.html Startup Mistakes http://www.paulgraham.com/startupmistakes.html About What Good Art Is http://www.paulgraham.com/goodart.html Intelligence vs Wisdom http://www.paulgraham.com/wisdom.html Thinking about Equity Valuations http://www.paulgraham.com/equity.html About Philosophy http://www.paulgraham.com/philosophy.html Principles to a New Product Launch http://www.paulgraham.com/newthings.html Types of Disagreement http://www.paulgraham.com/disagree.html 5 Regrets to Avoid http://www.paulgraham.com/todo.html The Counter Intuition of Startup Investing http://www.paulgraham.com/swan.html How Startups are Different from other Businesses http://www.paulgraham.com/growth.html How to Find Ideas for Startups http://www.paulgraham.com/startupideas.html Convincing Investors http://www.paulgraham.com/convince.html
by Chris Billowsin Business Beller0 commentstags: Business Development, Summarizing a Business Organization
When I was taking my business certificate, I created a mental model about the steps of creating a viable business venture. I called it the Destination Model of Strategic Management. Using the analogy of getting somewhere, I envisioned a road, driver, passenger, and vehicle with each part representing a strategic consideration. I created this model years ago and just recently stumbled onto it. I am posting it for posterity sake. I think it has some utility.
by Chris Billowsin Business Beller0 commentstags: Comprehensive Analysis, Corporations Don't Think, Defining Life, Foolishness, Institutional Learning, Summarizing a Business Organization
I can’t recall how I stumbled onto this concept and websites, but a while ago I found this riveting theory which I believe explains why most modern organizations are so inadequate at times and spend far too much time chasing the wrong priorities. I have touched on parts of this in previous blogs such as Driven to Distraction and Even the Best Systems Fall Victim and A List of Guidance. The reason why this happens is they fail to embrace Complexity Science. Basically, it is because our social institutions continue to operate like machines, believing that events can be tracked in a linear fashion and have measurable inputs that neatly match known outputs. While there is no denying that some institutions do operate like machines (take most factories), the fact that humans end up doing most of the work leaves the model sorely lacking. What is more accurate is to realize that all human based organizations are non-linear and complex. It is common for these systems to exhibit the following characteristics: Small inputs can lead to dramatically large consequences. Very slight differences in initial conditions produce very different outcomes. Global properties flow from aggregate behavior of individuals. Emergence (of order) […]
by Chris Billowsin Business Beller0 commentstags: Corporations Don't Think, Summarizing a Business Organization
I attended a workshop on the risk management responsibilities of being a Director of a corporation. I asked who was the corporation ultimately responsible to: the shareholder or to the customer/stakeholder. He said neither since the corporation is responsbile to itself. When I pressed further, he said that the corporation’s assets are to be used to further its goals into the future, not necessarily the goals of the immediate shareholders/stakeholders, though these two usually do align. I was fascinated. This means that as a Director of any corporation (non-profit/for-profit) my fiduciary responsibility means being loyal first to the corporation and its goals. I and the other Directors are to operate the corporation as if it was going to be around another 100 years and then govern accordingly. Our goal is to have the corporation be a service to present and future generations of shareholders and stakeholders. Even though it might be beneficial to sell all of the corporation’s assets now, thereby dissolving the corporation, and distribute them to the shareholders (meeting the shareholder’s need for a good return), this is not good for the future shareholders/stakeholders of the company who cannot be present at the table. The same principle applies […]
by Chris Billowsin Business Beller0 commentstags: Business Dilemma, Entreprenuership, Summarizing a Business Organization
For those who believed as I once did that Business is greed focused, I would like the convince you otherwise. Businesses reflect the attitude and values of the owners. A business that becomes focused just on profits loses its true purpose and ends up in the news like Enron. The purpose of business is to provide a service. In successfully doing so, its shareholders are rewarded. We need to breathe to live, but don’t need to focus on breathing to live. In fact, focusing on breathing creates anxiety and poor functioning. The same thinking applies to business profits. A business needs profits to live, but to focus on profits makes for poor functioning because of misplaced attention. In the same way that we naturally breathe as we go about living life, we naturally will create profits as we go about being a service to others.
by Chris Billowsin Business Beller0 commentstags: Summarizing a Business Organization
Having formed my own corporation and also managed a number of non-profit corporations, I am struck by how a corporation is just like a any other organism. Thinking about this, I came up with the following system to help define what a corporation is and how it consists of three distinct systems that have biological counterparts: 1) Ego & Intelligence System: Operations is the consciousness and personality of the organization. It is the purpose behind the corporation’s existence. The buck stops here for anything that ultimately goes wrong. Operational and Executive Leadership is under the direction of the President (and Vice Presidents) and Chief Executive Officer (and Chief Operations Officers), and anyone else involved with managing the affairs of the corporation. 2) Nervous & Chemical System: Administration is the nerve-chemical communications system and is essential to keeping the various systems working together. Organizational Integrity is under the direction of the Secretary, Chief Administration Officer, Chief Technology Officer, and everyone else involved with administrating the business of the corporation. This would included everything from corporate By-Laws to computer systems. 3) Cardiovascular & Respiratory System: Money and Capital is the cardiovascular and respiratory system that is necessary for a corporation to live. […]