Startup Blog

Art and culture are worth a thousand jobs.

Art and culture are worth a thousand jobs.

I have been pretty fortunate in choosing locations where I want to live over these many years. I have resided in some of the best places in America: Houston, New York and Seattle. I have also relocated to some more rural areas such as Eugene, Galveston and Madrid, New...

Start, Stop, Continue.

Start, Stop, Continue.

Yes, the rumors are true. We have brought back our economic development mystic and sage, Maury Forman, to provide us with some guest blogs through the end of June. He assures us that he is still retired, but he still has so much to say, it appears.  When I was young,...

Follow the real leader.

Follow the real leader.

  It has been over 10 years since the Washington State Department of Commerce and the Association of Washington Cities collaborated to produce the Ten Commandments of Community Leadership. This 32-page booklet, illustrated by Pulitzer Prize winner David Horsey,...


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.

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