Treasures at Your Local Business Library

I have often felt that librarians are among the most underrated and underappreciated professionals in the U.S. The reference librarians that I have known over the years are among the most intelligent people I've met. They don't know everything, but they usually know where to find anything--and fast!

Ecommerce success story – selling log beds

Six years ago my brother moved to Montana so that he could manufacture and sell log beds. His company is called Montana Log Outfitters. He built a factory on 10 acres and started selling beds on Yahoo Store and eBay. Today he sells hundreds of log beds per month. Not bad for a high school dropout--albeit one who has always had a knack for making and selling things. The internet has enabled him to have a great life style. His customers number nearly 10,000.

Utah: A Pocket of Prosperity in the Coming Decades

vSpring held today the kick off event for the 2005 v100 (most promising entrepreneurs) at the Larry H. Miller Innovation Center. Greg Warnock, vSpring partner who came up with the idea for this group gave a great address about enterpreneurship -- the requirements and the rewards. Interestingly enough, all five vSpring managing directors came from entrepreneurial backgrounds. Governor Huntsman gave an excellent address as well, reiterating his support for entrepreneurship and economic development.

Business Ignitor Series Wrapup

I was priveleged to speak at the first Utah County Business Ignitor series today put on by Connect Magazine, with Sponsors WSGR, 10x Marketing, and Tucanos. I think there were 60-80 people there, including lots of the Junto Partners from the 2005 group, and a lot of good networking was going on. It's always fun to talk about changing the world through entrepreneurship, and guaranteeing success by "approaching omniscience" through gaining knowledge from books and from others through constant networking and learning. But what will make this event most memorable to me was the very interesting and poetic introduction that Mark Bonham made of me. I quote:
Dreaming, but not sleepy Creative, but not slick Gadgets, but not gimmicks. Technology, but not trash. Analysis, but not paralysis CEO, but not "See ME go" Information, but not overload Ideas, but not without ideals Startups, but not stirrups Websites, but not web-frights

Raising Seed Capital

Yesterday there was a panel discussion at the annual Edison conference (for inventors and entrepreneurs) on how to raise seed capital. It was moderated by David Bradford, partner at Greenberg Traurig, the 8th largest law firm in the nation. David is also my partner in FundingUniverse.com. Panelists included myself, Blake Modersitzki of UV Partners and Michael Keene, former Chief Science Advisor to two Utah governors. In preparing for the discussion I read through all my markups in Angel Investing, the excellent book that every entrepreneur and every angel investor should read about capital. Here are some of the facts and quotes I wanted to share:
  • Angels fund 30-40 times more companies than VCs, but they do much smaller deals.

Tips for Recruiting Sales and CS People in Utah

Finding the right people is one of the most important keys to success. But it is hard to do. Our circles of acquaintance are generally very small. It is extremely easy to just hire someone you know, even if they don't fit the position very well, or to place an ad, get a few applicants, do a couple of interviews and make a selection. But choosing the wrong person can be very costly. One friend of mine spend $23,000 in wages for a programmer whose code they ended up re-writing. For him, spending $1,000 per month on a billboard to build a deeper

FundingArizona.com Launched

Okay, so our new web site for Arizona has only 1 registered investor with $50,000 of available capital so far. That's not going to change the world. But guess what is going to happen in the next few months? I think the number of registered investors and entrepreneurs on FundingArizona will grow steadily. Arizona has more than twice the population of Utah and it is also growing rapidly. Eventually, there should be more investors and more business plans on FundingArizona.com than there are on FundingUtah.com.