Writings by a younger, less handsome man who shares my name

Forgive the crickets and tumbleweeds on this blog during the last few weeks. I’ve been pulled every which way in the rest of my life and have sorely missed you all while I’ve been away. This community keeps me smiling and thinking, and I’m looking forward to sharing a life update soon to reignite things on the blog.

In the meantime, here’s an update on the Missioneurs Movement, one of the many things I’ve been working on. Building movements is hard, and one of the hardest parts of this movement has been agreeing on answers to tough existential questions about what we believe and what we hope to accomplish together.

I’m just one voice in this conversation. Here’s my most recent take on missioneurship from a presentation I gave at the Philadelphia kickoff event for Good Company Ventures.

You’ll notice that I try to be funny with my slides. This is new for me, as I’m sure you can tell. They say that comedians have to try out a new joke at least a dozen times in front of audiences before they nail it. We can only guess where that leaves me!

Presentation Video


 
Read more…

We snapped some lovely photos of the mob of missioneurs who attended the first ever Mission Mob event this Tuesday. I hope these smiling faces make you half as happy as they make me!

> Visit missioneurs.com to see a full event recap with videos

This is the fourth post in a five-part series on missioneurs, a new community of startup and social entrepreneurs.

The premise is that startup entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs need each other. Alone, too many of their great ideas are struggling and failing. Together, they can fill in each other’s blind spots, build stronger companies and make greater change.[Missioneurship image]

A new post in this series will be published every day this week. Blog subscribers will receive them one day early by email or RSS.

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Entrepreneurs become unstoppable when they see the world through both eyes. That is, when they become more than a startup entrepreneur and more than a social entrepreneur.

This is the premise of missioneurship.

Earlier in this series, we talked about the social entrepreneur’s obsession with mission at the expense of execution. We also talked about the startup entrepreneur’s obsession with execution at the expense of mission.

The results are often fatal. We lose startups and social causes that don’t have to die.

That is, unless we do something about it. Read more…

This is the third post in a five-part series on missioneurs, a new community of startup and social entrepreneurs.

The premise is that startup entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs need each other. Alone, too many of their great ideas are struggling and failing. Together, they can fill in each other’s blind spots, build stronger companies and make greater change.[Missioneurship image]

A new post in this series will be published every day this week. Blog subscribers will receive them one day early by email or RSS.

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Yesterday, we discussed the startup entrepreneur’s obsession with execution at the expense of ideas and the crippling effect this has on their marketing, sales and HR.

Now let’s talk about social entrepreneurs, who have the opposite problem:

Social entrepreneurs are obsessed with mission at the expense of execution.

This is a blessing and a curse.

It’s a blessing because their mission can be a very faithful guide. It defines what services they provide, how they make decisions, how they communicate to donors and constituents and how they build their teams. Read more…

This is the second post in a five-part series on missioneurs, a new community of startup and social entrepreneurs.

The premise is that startup entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs need each other. Alone, too many of their great ideas are struggling and failing. Together, they can fill in each other’s blind spots, build stronger companies and make greater change.[Missioneurship image]

A new post in this series will be published every day this week. Blog subscribers will receive them one day early by email or RSS.

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Yesterday, we discussed the epidemic of startups and non-profits dying needlessly – and why it’s time to do something about it.

Now let’s talk about the startup half of the epidemic, beginning with the single biggest reason why so many promising startups end up in the deadpool: the obsession with execution at the expense of ideas.

Ted Leonsis, former Vice Chairman of AOL, said it best in a speech at the 2007 Wharton Entrepreneurship Conference.

“Ideas are a dime a dozen. It’s all about execution.”

The same advice could just as easily have come from dozens of the most respected thinkers on startup entrepreneurship. Read more…

This is the first post in a five-part series on missioneurs, a new community of startup and social entrepreneurs.

The premise is that startup entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs need each other. Alone, too many of their great ideas are struggling and failing. Together, they can fill in each other’s blind spots, build stronger companies and make greater change.[Missioneurship image]

A new post in this series will be published every day this week. Blog subscribers will receive them one day early by email or RSS.

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Great startups and non-profits are dying needlessly, and it’s time for those of us who care to do something about it.

The obituaries look so familiar that they start to run together.

Here lies Anthillz, a tech startup that failed for lack of traction, inability to attract investors and too much time and money spent building the right tech team.

Here lies Great Intentions, a (barely) fictitious non-profit that died the non-profit version of this same death. It lost its foundation funding, laid off most of its staff, sought help in vain from its indifferent board – most of whom missed that board meeting, just like the ones before it – and forced its founders to look for other work because they couldn’t afford to pay themselves a salary, not even the peanuts they were making before.

If you’re a startup or social entrepreneur, one of these two stories should sound familiar. You probably hear versions of them again and again. Read more…