ENT 600 Blog #3

For better or for worse

This is was my first thought when Wasserman turned a leering eye on Homogenous teams. Homogenous teams are comprised of people who are similar with similar thoughts, experience, and education. I am personally looking to build my potential business with my Husband and include relatives and close friends. The author gave an example that was disheartening in the case of Evan Williams. Evan being the founder of a couple of businesses that employed his family, friends, and girlfriend. He was met with multiple challenges that ultimately his business could not withstand. Although I did not like what I was hearing, the problems he faced such as not be able to discuss tough issues and conflicting roles were actually some of my own personal fears that I had prior to reading The Founder’s Dilemmas. However, I breathed a sigh of relief when I found that there were short-term benefits of homogeneity. One of those being speed. When you are working with people that are familiar to you, you are able to hit the ground running. For example I feel I know my husband very well, I am able to most times guess his next move, we communicate well, and there is already trust there that does not have to be built, opposed to if I was working with an acquaintance or stranger. In the long term these same benefits can lead to risk. When I look at those that I would select for my potential business we all have worked in the same profession and carry many of the same strengths and weaknesses this will leave holes that only “outside” help can fill.

It is important for founders to build teams with top notch performers and these superior employees are not always friends and family. Eric Herrenkohl refers to these workers as A-Players in his book How to Hire A-Players. Herrenkohl encourages founders to get excited about finding immense talent. Entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs alike know that many hours are put into running a business but instead of trying to play every role in the company which after awhile can become problematic and unhealthy you need to find value in your team. Good employees want to work with other good employees. If you devote time and resources into finding “A players” other “A players” will follow. It is also important to know that sometimes you can NOT turn lemons into lemonade. I have seen many times in my professional career were an employee was under performing and management took many strides to coach and develop the employee hoping to turn them into a very high performing worker. As a founder you must recognize that the majority of the time the “A players” are not made but rather already possess the traits that make them “A players.” As a founder, in order to build a successful team you have to be willing to let go of the reins of your “baby” and the only way to fully do this is to leave your business in capable hands. In the hands of “A players”.




ENT 600 BLOG #2

In this next blog post in a series of reflections on “the Founders Dilemmas” I will focus on building social and financial capital. Wasserman brings attention to a point that I was very encouraged by. He advises that “People who wait to become founders can use their pre-founding career experiences to prepare for the extreme challenges of founding.” I currently work a 9-5 in the insurance industry and have done so since college. When I initially read this quote, I was excited, but I am glad that I kept reading as there is more to this antidote. Not all experience is valuable, and some can even be counterproductive. Although every business venture involves property and casualty insurance, I am not planning on starting an insurance agency so my background leaves some holes in “capitals” that I will need to successfully start a business.

Let us take a deeper look at Social capital. When searching for a definitive definition for “social capital” I could not find one. However, when I look at the bare bones of the numerous definitions it seems that they all refer to social capital as resources and the impact these resources have on each other. The first resource that usually comes to mind is money and financial resources however we will delve into financial capital later in this post. I want to focus on networking and social relationships. It seems that professional networking is being highlighted now more than ever. There is even a whole social media platform dedicated to this such as LinkedIn. I am invited to more and more happy hours with the mere purpose of connecting individuals so that they can mutually benefit each other and their respective businesses. Although I use the term networking there is a new term surfacing that I was previously unaware of, “Super Connector.” There is an argument that “networkers” are short term thinkers with selfish motives whilst the super connectors are long term thinkers that are emotionally invested and connected to others. Me personally I am glad that there are terms to distinguish the two. There have been many times I have walked away from a “networking” event where I felt that I was in the midst of a pyramid scheme and never made any real connections. It has become apparent in my research that a serious founder is looking to connect with others, their ideas, and values to accomplish something. A successful founder is a “super Connector”.

Connecting with others can lead to another important form of capital, financial capital. Money is needed to form any successful business. You need money to secure the goods and services. Most founders do not have this capital readily available or at startup; but by forming relationships and gaining the before mentioned social capital it is much easier to secure investors. These two forms of capitals go hand in hand but I think it is important to note that you don’t have to have financial capital to start obtaining social capital. In short, money is not needed to start “real” professional relationships.




ENT 600 Blog #1

Tug of War
This post will be the first in a series of reflections on Noam Wasserman’s book The Founders Dilemmas. The dilemma that I want to focus on in this post is maintaining control vs maximizing wealth. In terms of entrepreneurship, I had a preconceived assumption that control and wealth went hand in hand. I just figured that you could control your business entirely and that same business would be very successful. However after reading Wasserman’s words it became more apparent that this only happened in rare cases, Bill Gates being one of the most notable examples. The deeper I dug into the writer’s theories and examples the more it felt like the game Tug of War. Dictionary.com describes the sport of Tug of war as a situation in which two evenly matched people or fractions are striving to keep or obtain the same thing. In my mind I see the rope (founder of the company) , with control on one end and wealth on the other in end.

Choosing control
There comes a sense of pride with saying you run your own company but to be a true entrepreneur you must think about the longevity and success of said company by maximizing the potential of your business; this does not always include you the founder. By choosing control you have to be prepared for sacrifice. Wasserman brings out a very sobering point, that as an entrepreneur that chooses to work their own business you are in turn choosing to make less money than you would working for someone else. The statistics show that over a 10-year period the percentage is actually 35% less that a self-employed worker would earn. In addition, another pitfall that comes with choosing control is that the position of CEO that you coveted so much could be lost or in most instances taken away. To me this is the scariest dilemma with choosing control. My focus is not on those that have been pushed out by scandal and misconduct take for example John Schnatter (Papa Johns) and Travis Kalanick (Uber). But more so on CEOs like Rob Kalin (Etsy) that struggled with expansion. It just seems heartbreaking to have to admit to yourself that you are doing your business more harm than good because you are not equipped to manage it’s growth.

Maximizing Wealth
A founder that is focused on maximizing wealth and producing a company that is going to yield great value knows that such a feat comes with the task of relinquishing control. The author points out that in order to get the most out of your company you need resources. Many entrepreneurs do not have the resources needed so they have to look towards investors and to those that are able to provide knowledge and ideas that could take the company further than the founder is able to do on their own. In the end it is simple math and common sense. If you are giving up most of your shares but your business is growing at a faster rate because of the resources obtained in those deals, the dollar amount is still greater than if you would have kept your full stake in the company. This was enough for me to see the importance of maximizing wealth as I hope you do as well.



Positioning Grid and Analysis


Eggxit Denver Café is a potential restaurant that will be serving Breakfast and Brunch in the Denver, NC Area. In order to get a better understanding of where Eggxit Denver stands in the market I chose to conduct a focus group. Dictionary.com defines a focus Group as “a demographically diverse group of people assembled to participate in a guided discussion.” A very opportune time was to discuss amongst my co-workers at lunch. I liked the idea that food was involved being that Eggxit Denver plans to enter the food industry. Although this was the same test group used for the Direct Response tool, I felt I needed to seek out additional people. Although my direct response tool was not successful it did benefit me in my positioning research. In speaking with my focus group in our original discussion it was clear that they are like-minded, and I needed additional input.    The focus group consist of different tiers of employees so although I was not able to confirm, it is assumed that the group consisted of different income levels. Below is the demographic that I was able to identify.


  • 5 women Ages 50-60 (with Family)
  • 1 woman Ages 25-30 (single)
  • 1 woman Ages 25-30 (with Family)
  • 2 men  Age 40-50  (with Family)
  • 2 men Age 50-60 (With Family)


Below are initial questions that I asked the focus group. They were open ended and led to additional questions.


  1. Do you enjoy Brunch?
  2. Do you eat out for breakfast/brunch?
  3. What is more important to you price or quality?
  4. What is more important to you time or quality?
  5. When dining out for breakfast how important is restaurant atmosphere?


I gained tremendous insight and was surprised by some of the responses. Although not tracked I was able to get a feel for where Eggxit Denver café stood compared to the other breakfast options. Amongst my focus group “Brunch” was not a big-ticket item and a couple people admitted to not knowing exactly what the word meant.  The focus group as a whole wished to eat breakfast earlier rather than later, especially during the week. This really made me home in on the time variable but again I was surprised as the group made it clear they would not sacrifice quality for time. These preliminary questions including the group insisting that a good atmosphere was a must made it easy to eliminate the fast food industry from my positioning grid. I wanted to focus on the sit-down restaurants/diners in the area.



*** Westlake Diner

*** Lowesville Café

*** Eggxit Denver Café


Positioning Statement

The hot new thing does not always have to be expensive. At Eggxit Denver Café you are not paying for a dish you can prepare at home, but you are buying an affordable, quality dining experience that is one of a kind.


I don’t feel my competitors are able to claim the same thing that my positioning statement offers being that they lack the same quality. Being a local restaurant, my business is always visible, and I will need some brochures that include the menu that shows in detail the complexities of the dishes but also displays the low prices. I will also need to purchase promotion opportunities from the local schools as they drive a lot of the local buying power.


Direct Response Marketing Tool

Direct Response Marketing Tool

For my Direct Response Marketing tool, I used an application provided by blogger.com. I was able to ask a question and the other party could respond through the application. The responses would come directly to my email. The application could post directly to my personal social media. Enticing the “client” to click. The title/teaser that I chose was “How do you like your Eggs?” This one question is all that the viewer could see along with the link. Upon clicking the link, the client would then be connected with the page below.  Displayed is a snippet of the page.


To reinforce the brand, I chose an egg backdrop and below is the actual content in case the visual is not clear.

Here at Eggxit Denver Cafe, we would love to know a little about you. For starters, how do you like your eggs? You can tell a lot about a person by how they prepare their eggs. Also, with the growth of guest with pets, do you think dogs should be allowed on the patio. Please leave your comment below to help better serve you.

In order to respond, the user would have to link/provide their email address. I thought this tool would be effective as not only would I be surveying customer preferences, but I would be obtaining email addresses for future marketing.


Being that this is a hypothetical business, I directed several colleagues to my link and asked follow up questions regarding their experience and if this is something they would utilize in a real-world scenario.

My test group consisted of

3 women Ages 50-60 (with Family)

1 woman Ages 25-30 (single)

1 woman Ages 25-30 (with Family)

1  man  Age 40-50  (with Family)

An overall consensus was that the link appeared to look like spam and they were weary to click the link. The 3 older women admitted that they would not fill out the form unless there was some kind of incentive mentioned. The 2 younger women and man said that the dog option was very interesting and as pet owners they would be motivated to complete the form to insure their pets were welcome but did not see any purpose of the “egg question” but it did catch their attention.


After speaking with my test group. I would make some changes. I would apply the direct response tool directly to the info page of the restaurant site and state that by completing the form the user would be privy to exclusive promotions and offers.

Professional Presentation

Go, fight, win. I believe this chant to be most the memorable and closely associated with cheerleading. When I think of some of my fondest moments from high school, my time spent cheerleading is usually in the forefront of my memories. When the opportunity came to speak to a group of high school cheerleaders I was more than excited. I did not want to speak to just the sport itself but more so of my personal experience navigating being a high school athlete and how the same principles that were imperative then are still relevant now.

At a time when young minds are so very impressionable it is important for them to know that success is attainable and the path to success is not perfect. I provided a relatable talk that connected my past with their present. Life lessons that took many of us years to learn can be imparted to our young leaders in an effort to shape a better future for them.

I am not an expert on cheerleading or life but this talk opened the door for further discussions and thoughts about respect, discipline, and anti-bullying. I hope for my brief presentation to lead to mentorships and other avenues to encourage young women.