27. June 2015 · Comments Off on L.A.’s Economic and Workforce Development General Manager in Entrepreneur Magazine · Categories: Uncategorized

Lambeth Hochwald had a great article in Entrepreneur Magazine on Jan Perry, the general manager of the Economic and Workforce Development Department for Los Angeles. Perry’s main focus has been on helping military veterans and the homeless find jobs. No doubt a lot of librarians can relate to this.

What was Perry’s take on entrepreneurs?

“Entrepreneurs are a unique breed of people who can translate their visions into reality, and government can be a catalyst for them.”

How are libraries acting as catalysts for entrepreneurs? I would love to learn what you think.


24. June 2015 · Comments Off on Pley: Where you rent Lego sets · Categories: Uncategorized

I recently learned about a company that has been called the “Netflix for Legos.” I’m talking about Pley.

The company has gotten great reviews from publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Washington Post, and many more.

What are some of the benefits to renting Legos? These include having kids spend less time with a digital screen, cost savings, reducing clutter, saving space (a big one for libraries), and protecting the environment. The Pley website states that “every set that is rented saves a tree over its rental life cycle.”

I wonder if children and youth services librarians are taking note of this company or using their services? They may also find the Pley blog as a starting point to brain storm programming ideas.

19. June 2015 · Comments Off on Three Questions Guy Kawasaki Asks When Hiring · Categories: Uncategorized


Three Questions Guy Kawasaki’s Asks When Hiring as featured in Art of the Start 2.0

1) Can the candidate do what you need?

2) Does the candidate believe in what you’re doing?

3) Is the candidate likeable and trustworthy?

As a subset to question 3, Kawasaki applies the Shopping Mall Test. If Kawasaki were to hypothetically see a candidate in a shopping mall before the candidate were to see Kawasaki, Kawasaki would hire the candidate if he felt enthusiastic about going up to the candidate and saying hello. Alternatively, if he were not to be enthusiastic about walking up to the candidate in the shopping mall then Kawasaki would be likely to refrain from hiring the candidate.

11. June 2015 · Comments Off on Tips for Delivering a Great “Pitch” Presentation from Guy Kawasaki · Categories: Uncategorized


Need to deliver an effective “pitch” presentation? Let Guy Kawasaki’s Art of the Start 2.0 be your guide. This is a summation of Chapter 6: The Art of Pitching.


Set expectations beforehand with the audience:

1) Ask the audience how much of their time can they give you.  As Kawasaki says, “This question shows that you respect the value of the audience’s time by not running over your limit. It also makes the audience commit to a minimum allotment of time.”

2) Then ask, “What are the three most important pieces of information that I can provide?” This allows you to focus on information that is important to the audience by skipping the irrelevant and focusing more time on what the audience finds relevant.

3) Finally ask if the audience will be patient enough to ask questions at the end. Get the audience to allow you to present without breaking your rhythm.

Cut to the chase by minute number six. In minute number 6 use a three to five word description to explain what you do. This could be something like, “We sell software” or “We teach underprivileged kids.”

Obey the 10/20/30 rule!

What is this?

10 slides for 20 minutes with a bare minimum of 30 point text!

How to do this with your slides? For a start-up company/project trying to get investments/support see the sample schema below.

Slide number 1 is all about the organization’s name and its contact information.

Slide number 2 identifies the problem that your company/project will address.

Slide number 3 focuses on how your company/project addresses the problem with a solution.

Slide number 4 discusses the technical details as to how you provide your solution. If you have something tangible such as a working demo or prototype, showcase it! Glen Shires of Google noted, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, a prototype is worth ten thousand slides.” When in doubt, focus on building your prototype and then when that is complete hit the presentation circuit. A good presentation that involves a prototype never gets to the end of the slide show, because everyone in the audience wants to learn more about the prototype.

Slide number 5 touches on the business model (i.e. how you make money).

Slide number 6 is the marketing strategy (i.e. how you plan to let people know about your company/project).

Slide number 7 is the competitive analysis. The wrong answer is that there is no competition! Be as thorough as possible with this slide.

Slide number 8 is the management team slide. You need to show that the team’s “education and work experience are relevant to the market you are going after.”

Slide 9 concerns the financial projections and metrics. Here you need to estimate what will happen in the next 3 to 5 years with the number of customers, sales, etc,

Slide 10 wraps up with “the current status of your product, what the near future looks like, and how you’ll use the money you’re trying to raise.”

Just let one person, the CEO, talk. One or two other team members with specialty knowledge can briefly talk to the audience on a topic related to their expertise, but the CEO should be covering the vast majority of the presentation.

To sum it up, “Simply provide enough detail to prove you can deliver and enough aerial view to prove you have a plan.”

Treat everyone in the audience as someone who has the power make your idea/product take off. “Work with anyone who is a key influencer, from secretaries, administrative aides, and personal assistants to product managers, support managers, and database administrators.”

Other tips? Don’t read your slides, “animate your body, not your slides“, use bullets, use diagrams and graphs, and “make printable slides.”

Also, as a general rule if you are invited to speak about a subject that you are not familiar with, just decline the invitation. Don’t publicize your ignorance and don’t waste people’s time.

Also, consider this passage Kawasaki lists on page 245, “The higher you go in many big companies, the thinner the oxygen; and the thinner the oxygen, the more difficult it is to support intelligent life. Thus, the middles and bottoms of organizations contain most of the intelligence, and intelligence is necessary to appreciate innovative products. The concept that people without lofty titles can affect sales means that you should ignore titles and work with anyone who is a key influencer, from secretaries, administrative aides, and personal assistants to product managers, support managers, and database administrators.”

04. June 2015 · Comments Off on Valve: A Company Where the Freedom to Fail meets Unstructured Collaboration · Categories: Uncategorized

I’m reading over Steinberg’s Make Change Work For You and came across his notes on a video game company called Valve,


You really have to read this company’s website to believe how they operate. They succeed with what I call “unstructured collaboration” (i.e. there is no traditional hierarchical structure that issues assignments) that many would find chaotic.

Their website states:

“When you give smart talented people the freedom to create without fear of failure, amazing things happen. We see it every day at Valve. In fact, some of our best insights have come from our biggest mistakes. And we’re ok with that!”

Who are they?

“Just highly motivated peers coming together to make cool stuff.”

Read the website to find out more. Check out the handbook for new employees. Do you think this could work in libraries?

04. June 2015 · Comments Off on Inspirational Quote from Bruce Lee · Categories: Uncategorized

So I’m reading Guy Kawasaki’s Art of the Start 2.0 (a fantastic book which I can’t wait to write more about!) and I came across a Bruce Lee quote that inspired me. When you feel tempted to take the easy way out or to suffer in silence instead of addressing an issue, let this quote set your priorities straight.

Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”


Thanks Bruce!