How a pen is mightier than an AK-47

Peter Thum was shocked. He was in Africa, working on a humanitarian project, when he met boys strutting around with assault rifles. Over the last few decades, millions have died in war-torn African countries, and he found that the AK-47 had become the weapon of choice. It is cheap, deadly, and simple enough to operate that even a child can use it. As an entrepreneur, Peter began forming a vision: To save lives by taking these weapons out of the hands of African children and turning the guns into... Read more →

Harvard Scientist Advocates New Approaches for Hiring

Last year, Harvard professor Todd Rose, author of the bestseller, The End of Average, asked me how I developed Performance-based Hiring. Todd was interested since much of what he discovered in his research identifying the drivers of human performance had been captured in Performance-based Hiring. I told Todd I conducted lots of trial and error experiments over a twenty year period. Many of the results of these experiments are described in this Performance-based Hiring Lynda.com course just published. Here’s... Read more →

Any Questions? The Interview Opportunity.

I guarantee 100% that there is one question that will always be asked in an interview.  The question is:  Do you have any questions? If it is the first question asked, you might as well pack up because you are not going to get any job at this place.  The interviewer is doing you a favor and doesn’t even have the courtesy to ask you about yourself.  You know it when this is happening. Usually it is the last question asked after you have poured out your soul to someone that you just met.  You... Read more →

A high school grad, an art major and a coder walk in to a bar…

That sounds like the start of a bad joke, but hear me out. What do those three people have in common? You’d probably believe it if I said they are all brunettes, like Chinese food and have Labradors. But what if I said they all have the skills needed to be successful IT employees? Over half a million of the five million open jobs in the U.S. today are in IT, and the demand will only continue to increase. In fact, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate that 1.3 million IT and cyber-security... Read more →

The Evolution of My Career from Stylist to CEO

Just a few decades ago it was the norm to have a career and be married to that chosen profession—the workforce had a handful of jobs with defined responsibilities, and the road to success was a clear one. That is what the workforce was all about when I started my career nearly 20 years ago, but since my very first day as a stylist I knew it wasn’t in my DNA to conform. Instead I decided I was going to find success by doing what I loved and expressing that passion in as many ways (and through... Read more →

Bessemer’s 10 Laws of Cloud Computing

 Hot of the press, we just updated BVP’s 10 Laws of Building a Cloud Unicorn!  The slides are online, and you can watch the live video presentation from this week shortly as well. Law 10:  On Demand Everything Law 9:  Grow (Efficiently) or Die Law 8: Sales Efficiency is Your Efficiency Law 7:  Customer Success = Company Success Law 6:  Control Your Own Destiny…Cash is King Law 5:  5 C’s of Cloud Finance CARR &ARR CAC Payback  Churn CLTV Cash Flow Law 4: The Best Product... Read more →

Will the Fed Cause the Next Recession?

A few weeks ago, our economic and market problems were widely seen as the fault of a slowdown in China, plunging oil and a rising dollar. Now there’s a new culprit: central banks around the globe. The Wall Street Journal devoted an editorial to the topic and the NY Times featured a print edition headline “New Fear That Central Banks Are Hindering Global Growth” (they changed the HED for the online version.) The prevailing fear among investors last week was that U.S. central bankers, along... Read more →

Plug Your Knowledge Gaps In Methodology ASAP

During this week’s roundtable, we had five entrepreneurs spanning Israel, Italy and India. Bontact First up, Baruch Kogan from Bnei Brak, Israel, pitched Bontact, a live customer support wizard that is designed to power SMB web sites with live chat, WhatsApp, and other messaging app based instant support. My read: SMB owners and CEOs need to make decisions on their operational ability to provide this level of support. It is not an ‘insert a piece of technology’ decision. Good news, the company... Read more →

For What Kind of Future Work Are We Educating Our Kids?

In There Is Life After College, Jeff Selingo explores why students struggle to launch into a career after college and how they can better navigate the route from high school through college and into the work world. It will be released by HarperCollins April 12, but you can pre-order your copy now.  If you want one example of how the modern workplace is being rapidly reshaped by advancing technology and global economic forces, just take look at a recent graduating class at Michigan State University. In... Read more →

Why we shy away from saying “I love you”

As a nation, this is something we are brilliant at. If there was a competition, we would win the gold, silver and bronze. I’m talking about our unbeaten track record of not voicing our appreciation when we like something that someone has done. If you don’t believe me, then think about it and ask yourself: when was the last time I appreciated someone or paid them a sincere compliment. In the world around us, closer home in our startup ecosystem, and just about every sphere of life, appreciation... Read more →
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