QI Podcast Series Quiet Innovation Podcast Series
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This episode is about bringing legitimacy to your great idea or startup.  Ok, so you have some great ideas, you’ve maybe even considered starting a business or have already done so.  But how do others view you and your idea?  Do they treat you like you are for-real, maybe even worth listening to?  Or, like so often happens, do you just come across as yet another goober with a crazy idea?  In today’s show I want to tell you why bringing legitimacy to your great idea & start up matters so much and how you can do it.  It’s all coming up!

Hey it’s episode 7 – feeling lucky.  What’s your predisposition?

As a reminder, the QI podcast is now aimed primary at innovators, startups, entrepreneurs, and anyone else who is quietly working on their own great idea.  Here you’ll get the advice, tips, and inspiration you need to make it a reality.   

All right, it’s all about, “helping you turn your great ideas into reality” so let’s get started.  Because there’s a lot here today you can find detailed show notes posted at QI.com.  

Before I start, let me remind everyone that I am not an attorney and you should not take anything I ever say as legal advice.  Everything I ever say here on the QI podcast or in the blog is to be viewed as general guidance or my own opinion.  You must always get the best advice you can and follow the guidance of those professionals who best know your personal situation.  

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QI Podcast Series Quiet Innovation Podcast Series
View the complete series with:
iTunes / Quiet Innovation
Play

Today I want to talk to you about something that sounds simple:  Your goals.  I know, right, duh, of course you have goals.  Don’t blow this off – we’re going to go further today.  In today’s show I’m going to walk you through an exercise you can do from time-to-time to bring clarity to your goals and better focus to your efforts.  I will show you how just sitting for one hour to think through some deceptively simple questions will not only give you amazing insight into yourself, it will also help you prioritize and better position yourself for success.  Note:  These are show notes only from the QI-006 podcast episode.  They are not the full transcript. 

Get ready, you may end up surprised at what you learn about yourself!

Before I get into the goal-setting exercise I have for you today, as a reminder, the QI podcast is now aimed primary at innovators, startups, entrepreneurs, and anyone else working on their own great idea.  Here you’ll get the advice, tips, and inspiration you need to make it a reality.   I changed the show format recently and am loving the new direction!  In fact, I even put in a new tagline which is now on the banner of the website, “Helping you turn your great ideas into reality”.

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I decided to post the short take-aways from the piece I wrote yesterday on Intuit’s botching of a one-day sale promotion of their QuickBooks product. I'm not doing this to trash Intuit. I still love their software and they will soon enough get this marketing boo-boo behind them. Rather, like Intuit, I too learned these lessons the hard way and thought they were worth a stand-alone entry on those merits alone. Good luck! -john

Make the Most of Your Marketing Campaigns – 5 Quick Tips

Lesson #1:  Failing to anticipate a competitive response could make your seemingly great promotions not appear so great to your customers when they go live.

Lesson #2:  Make sure you test, and then test again before putting a new promotion or marketing initiative in front of your customers.  Don't let your customers find mistakes you should have found yourself!

Lesson #3:  Make sure you've got adequate resources lined up to handle the response if your promotion is successful – or if something goes wrong.  At minimum, you need to think through the contingencies. 

Lesson #4:  Make sure you've got all hands on deck and prepared BEFORE you go out with a highly visible marketing campaign or promotion.  But do not promote beyond your organization's capacity to respond. 

Lesson #5:  When you or your team mess something up, the best way forward is a post-mortem from which you learn, not blame.  That's hard but critical. 

Bottom line: When planning you next marketing campaign or promotion, learn from the mistakes even an old hand like Intuit made this week and you will go far toward ensuring its success. Sometimes it's the basics that matter most.

Full disclosure: Like I said above, I still love QuickBooks software and strongly encourage startups and entrepreneurs to use it.  But if you choose to buy Intuit products (QuckBooks, Quicken, or TurboTax) by clicking on the links to the right I do earn a small commission on the sale for which I am most grateful.  I suggest, however, that you use this Amazon link instead to buy QuickBooks as it will save you $100 at time of this post.  

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Today Intuit, the makers of QuickBooks(tm) accounting software, gave startups and entrepreneurs a great lesson in how not to run a promotion. I outline what Intuit did wrong and what we can learn from it.  I also reiterate my respect for the software itself, marketing foibles aside.

Before I trash the marketing geniuses at Intuit, I need to first affirm my conviction that QuickBooks remains a must-have software for any startup or entrepreneur taking themselves seriously.  It's so feature-packed, at such a reasonable price, you are foolish if you still keep your accounting records in a spreadsheet or, worse, the proverbial shoebox. 

So I'm definitely not picking on QuickBooks software. I've relied on it for more than a decade in my businesses. For my personal finances, I rely on Quicken which is also made by Intuit.  To me, there's simply no substitute for either. (Full disclosure: If you buy QuickBooks or Quicken by clicking on these links or the links to the right I do earn a small commission on the sale for which I am most grateful.)

What I am critical of today is the way Intuit has botched a one-day promotion.  Instead or winning fans, I'll bet they've got a lot of annoyed people questioning their credibility.  Let's just say that in the time I was on hold waiting to talk to people at their call center, I went from a cold start to getting this far in writing this blog posting (it was nearly a 20 minute hold time mid-morning today). 

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QI Podcast Series Quiet Innovation Podcast Series
View the complete series with:
iTunes / Quiet Innovation
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Today’s show discusses why I am repositioning the Quiet Innovation podcast and what you can learn from it.

  1. My analysis of my own business model and the flaws I discovered.
  2. Use it as a lesson for other people with great ideas.
  3. Tell you what to expect going forward.

Why am I making the change:

  • Flawed business model – too much time for too little return.
  • My audience was not getting the full benefit of my my expertise, experience, and perspective.
  • I was losing the fire, the passion.
  • I realized my own "great idea hiding in plain sight" was my own background and how I could use that to help others.

Choosing to focus on helping others instead of just telling their stories got me fired-up again!

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QI Podcast Series Quiet Innovation Podcast Series
View the complete series with:
iTunes / Quiet Innovation
Play

This is the introductory episode of the Quiet Innovation podcast.  It explains the core concept of the show which is to help you turn your great ideas into reality.   Whether you simply have a great idea bouncing around in your head, or maybe you’re even a few years into it and need some help to take it to the next level, you’ve come to the right place for the advice, tips, and inspiration you need.

In today’s episode I talk about what this show is all about, who it’s aimed at, and how it’s going to benefit you.  And, of course, I also tell you about me and the background that qualifies me to help you turn your great ideas into reality.  It’s all coming up!  

With nearly 30 years of professional experience as a professional investor and successful entrepreneur to draw on, I have the perspective and the track record of success – and even failure – needed to strike the balance you need for staying motivated and hopeful, yet realistic. 

Topics covered in the Quiet Innovation podcast can include –

  • Matters pertaining to operations, including: the importance of key metrics, setting up an office, building an infrastructure, dealing with leases and contracts, recruiting, hiring & firing of employees, accounting and legal matters, risk mitigation, cash management, outsourcing,
  • Product design:  idea generation, when to go-to-market, testing your new concepts, intellectual property.
  • Sales & marketing including:  the importance of planning, designing and running marketing and sales campaigns, branding, public relations & dealing with the media,
  • social media, trade shows,
  • Topics related to raising capital, including:  venture capital, angel investors, & crowd funding. Oh, I’ll also talk about the value of business plans and what makes a good one.
  • Leadership topics such as setting strategy, effective planning & goal setting, servant leadership, formulating a vision, managing through crisis, dealing with lawyers, accountants, consultants, and even lawsuits.  
  • Topics of a personal interest like investing your own money, maintaining life balance, negotiating tactics and strategies, cashing out, time management, getting things done,

Basically, nearly anything related to helping you turn your great ideas into reality.  

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Important Editorial Note:   This podcast originally launched in early January 2013, but I changed the editorial direction in March 2013.  The change is so big that I decided to re-record this introductory episode in May so as to not confuse the newcomer to the show (it's backdated for continuity purposes only). 

To learn more about that change in editorial direction I encourage you to go ahead and listen to episode 5.  I’ve already pulled the original episodes 1-4 from iTunes so as to not create confusion for new people here.  But the blog postings remain here on the site.  Episode 5 starts the new format and goes from there.

All the best, John

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