Startup Blog


Friends and colleagues, it’s true. I’ve returned to my old stomping grounds.  It seems that I just can’t stay away from the Washington State Department of Commerce. Wait, I’m acting like everyone knows me – my apologies.  There are a lot of new faces and names out...

WWMD (What Would MacGyver Do?)

Take a roll of duct tape, some Post-It Notes, a couple toilet tubes and an empty soda cans and what have you got?

We’ll if you’re MacGyver, you have everything you need to do in the bad guys, rescue the requisite damsel in distress, save the world and whip up a soufflé for dinner. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll probably be able to cobble together a new business idea, create a bunch of jobs and help your community grow. Continue Reading WWMD (What Would MacGyver Do?)

So you probably think this blog is about me.

I gave a lot of thought about what I should write about this month. There seems to be no shortage of topics to cover about economic development and entrepreneurship. But I feel that over the last two years I may have covered most of the subjects people beside me would...

Those who can’t follow, lead.

I’ve been thinking a lot about leadership lately. It’s not necessarily my fault. Hardly a day goes by when we’re not bombarded with the latest notions and pseudo-epiphanies about what a leader should or shouldn’t be. Last year alone, almost 1,500 paperbacks were published with the word “leadership” in the title. If I did my math correctly (and don’t count on it), that works out to four new books a day being published. For its part, Amazon lists 57,136 books on the subject of leadership. There’s so much content out there, in fact, that you could dedicate your entire life learning how to be a leader instead of just being one.

Which leads me to wonder… Continue Reading Those who can’t follow, lead.

It’s the talent, stupid!

Are you sitting down?
I want the world to know that I think recruiting business is the most effective economic development strategy around.
What? Has Maury finally lost it? For years you’ve heard me speak and write that recruitment is the devil’s work. And now I am opening my community door to the devil. Continue Reading It’s the talent, stupid!

The art of successful economic development.

Last month, I finished my blog with lyrics designed to encourage parents to teach their children to grow up to be entrepreneurs. Frankly, I was surprised by the response. Within minutes after publishing it on social media, I was inundated with hundreds of messages from readers (O.K., so I may have rounded up a bit). Some offered to buy me a one-way ticket to Nashville; others suggested I keep my day job and that my momma should have read more Dr. Seuss to me as a child. Taking the life coach suggestions out of the mix, what I found interesting was that most people who took the time to write wanted me to mention that the arts are an essential component of any economic development strategy and that it also plays an important role in entrepreneurship. Continue Reading The art of successful economic development.

Joy to the world.

I saw the movie Joy the other day. It is the story of the inventor of the Miracle Mop and the dynasty she created all because she wouldn’t let go of her dreams. If you haven’t seen it yet, here is the Reader’s Digest version:

“Facing betrayal, treachery, the loss of innocence and the scars of love, Joy Mangano becomes a true boss of family and enterprise. Allies become adversaries and adversaries become allies, both inside and outside the family, as Joy’s inner life and fierce imagination carry her through the storm she faces.” Continue Reading Joy to the world.

Time to start a resolution!

The first known New Year’s resolutions for bettering oneself started in the 1780’s and usually were of the pious nature. But in 1943, the great American folksinger, Woody Guthrie wrote a 33 item list of resolutions called “New Year’s Rulin’s”. They included practical, personal humorous and hopeful things for him to do that would make him a better father, husband, and human being. To this day, seventy years later, his resolutions have weathered the test of time as “rulin’s” that everyone can live by.
I am no Woody Guthrie, but I thought I would look at last year’s resolutions to see if they still made sense for practitioners to continue them for 2016. Continue Reading Time to start a resolution!

The 365 Days of November

I miss November. Don’t get me wrong, December is a nice month, even a great one. Everybody gets to celebrate their own holiday, how cool is that? There are the more well-known holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. And there are the less well known like St. Lucia Day or Ramadan. Hindus celebrate Pancha Ganapati while Buddhists enjoy enlightenment on Bodhi Day. If that’s not enough some people even welcome December with Festivasm a parody made popular by Jerry Seinfeld. I count at least 43 holidays celebrated by people for at least one day during December. Continue Reading The 365 Days of November

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