Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Brand new “Lean Approach” vids of Steve Blank at Kauffman Founders School

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

Steve Blank Brings ‘Lean Approach’ Lessons to Kauffman Founders School

Kauffman Founders School has launched a new education series to encourage entrepreneurs to undertake a process of customer discovery, development, and iteration to achieve the right product and market fit. The new online content features insights from Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur and educator Steve Blank, who describes how early-stage startups can succeed by emphasizing a business model over a business plan. He advises founders to systematically test their assumptions and look for insights that can shape their business through this process.

To me, in addition to the great information and lessons you learn from Steve, his home is amazing! What a backdrop for creativity and learning and just chillin’ out.

See Steve here at Founders School.

How to captivate any audience – Webinar

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

This webinar will teach you how to captivate any audience using techniques that most people have forgotten about or use infrequently. If you are not totally happy with what you learn in these 2 hours, you may have a complete refund.

PointDrive for presentations is a really cool product!

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

I have written about this before from a previous DEMO, but I am now addicted to using PointDrive. It makes it so easy to gather up different bits and pieces of content so that the presentation of the content is stunning and beautiful without you having to do any of the heavy lifting. Very simple. All in one place for your viewers to enjoy!

For example, recently I was called in to coach the top 5 finalists in the Wall Street Journal Startup of the Year contest. There was a new video published on the home page at for 5 days in a row. Pretty cool, but trying to pull all of those videos and content into a blog post (which I usually do) was getting old and tiresome. And, blogs are not necessarily the place to have someone go for a formal presentation.

So, with about 15 minutes effort, here’s the compilation of the experience using PointDrive to present the content:

A second example is the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation filmed and produced an amazing set of videos of me called Powerful Presentations. While you can easily go to their site to watch the videos for free, along with a line up of amazing speakers like Steve Blank and Craig Wortmann, here is the same content delivered through PointDrive: or here for the original site.

And, here is a short link to see the other people on the Kauffman Founders School site:

Kansas City, MO entrepreneurs celebrate on the iMax screen

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

I’m off to Kansas for the Pipeline Entrepreneurs Innovator of the Year ceremony. The CEO’s of the chosen startups have the unusual opportunity to present to investors on an iMax screen in the actual movie theater. This should be amazing and certainly a first for me

BTW, arrived at the Oakland Airport with my usual buffer of time this morning and was treated to an experience that reminded me of the good ‘ol days of travel.

Apparently, Southwest Airlines talked to the DHS about me and bumped me to the TSA PRE status without telling me. When I went to the usual cattle line, the TSA agent smiled and gently told me to go to the TSA PRE line. I didn’t even notice the PRE letters on my boarding pass. Why me? Dunno!

No need to remove shoes, take off belt, empty pockets of all Altoid mints, or even remove that quart bag of under 3 oz liquids or gels. I could even leave my vest on as it was really cold in the airport today.

Thank you Southwest Airlines! I even stopped by the main head dude in charge at TSA desk to thank them. I actually said, “Thank you for not treating me like a criminal today!” He smiled too. I wonder if this can continue not just for me, but for all travelers.

Have you tried PointDrive for presentations? You must!

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Pitch coach uses PointDrive to highlight his best work

December 2, 2013  |  Posted by 

Before our 4-minute presentation at DEMO Fall, we had the pleasure of being coached by Nathan Gold on the finer points of public speaking. As the DEMO Coach, Nathan knows how to make an impact better than anyone.  He’s offered more than 10,000 hours of coaching to help people give the best and most important presentations of their lives and has given over 15,000 presentations himself.

Recently, he was a coach in the Wall Street Journal’s Startup of the Year competition where five finalists gave him a 1-minute elevator pitch in the actual elevator of the Wall Street Journal offices in NYC. After a short feedback session with Nathan and an hour to rework their pitch, the entrepreneurs jumped back in the elevator with Nathan, with marked improvement. All of this was captured on video and after the close of the competition (where Rebellion Phonetics of Houston was named winner) Nathan found himself with a lot of great content he wanted to share with his readers and clients. This time, he decided to try out PointDrive and was kind of enough to share his experience with us here:

Click here to read the rest of the story.


Magic tricks in your business presentations?

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Can you imagine what your next business presentation might be like if you used a powerful metaphor like magic to illustrate the point you want people to remember forever? And, what if you could learn that magic trick in less than 1 hour?

Over the past 35 years of watching people present, some of the most memorable presentations for me involved the use of magic. Now, the speakers didn’t just use magic to impress the audience or make them feel dumb. They typically used a simple magic trick that conveyed a powerful message (or metaphor) that would last in the mind of the viewer for years and years to come.

I must admit, I have been using several simple magic tricks in my presentations for over 25 years with huge success. I still have people tell me they remember the water trick I did for them and it might have been 20 years ago. Metaphors are very powerful underutilized tools in business and magic is a marvelous metaphor that requires some exploration for those who want to amp up their presentation skills.

If you are going to be in the San Francisco Bay Area on January 20, 2014, you might want to think about joining me and Ryan Adler, a professional magician, for a once in a lifetime workshop:

Global Entrepreneur Week 2013 is next week

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Next week is the GEW or Global Entrepreneur Week celebrating entrepreneurship. There will be events taking place all around the globe in 140 countries. One of the most impressive events is taking place at one of the major hubs of entrepreneurship in Kansas City, MO.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is hosting a full week of events for the GEW. Many really excellent speakers and sessions are planned. To hear more about the event, check out this video:

I am really looking forward to ending this 18 day trip in Kansas City for the final day of the GEW. I have a workshop scheduled with the entrepreneurs on Friday, November 22. Funny thing is, the first day of this trip was in Kansas City too working with the famous Pipeline Entrepreneur team of startups. Go figure!

The Wall Street Journal announces the Startup of the Year for 2013

Friday, November 8th, 2013

The WSJ announced the winner of the Startup of the Year on Monday of this week. I was fortunate to be able to hop on a plane Sunday to be there for the finale party at Bryant Park on Monday.


It was really a great group of companies who all worked really hard at each task to reach the finale. It was truly my honor to be asked to coach these companies on their elevator pitches in the actual elevator at the WSJ in NYC. Rumor has it that they will run this contest in 2014, so stay tuned!

To see the top 5 finalists and their individual coaching sessions, watch here.

Kauffman Foundation launches online “Founders School” today!

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Kauffman Foundation Launches Online ‘Founders School’ at

Kauffman Founders School logo

Posted: Oct 03, 2013 7:46 AM PDT

This article was originally distributed via PRWeb. PRWeb, and WorldNow.


Educational videos offer as-needed curriculum for entrepreneurs at every startup stage, served up by leading experts covering often overlooked topics.

Kansas City, Mo. (PRWEB) October 03, 2013

Tapping the potential of online education to teach entrepreneurs best practices in areas not typically covered in other training programs, the Kauffman Foundation today unveiled the Kauffman Founders School.

The online video education program curated from years of the Foundation’s experience in developing and supporting entrepreneurship programs is designed to enable entrepreneurs to learn anywhere, anytime, and to immediately apply the lessons to their businesses.

“As we seek to encourage more people to start and grow companies, the Kauffman Founders School allows us to reach entrepreneurs with critical education, delivered by best-in-class experts, that, until now, hasn’t been broadly available,” said Thom Ruhe, vice president of Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation.

“Armed with the right information, entrepreneurs can significantly increase their effectiveness and improve their chances for success now and in the future.”

Founders School curriculum includes:
- Presentations from leading experts
- Suggestions for related readings that enhance lessons and offer founders additional insights and resources
- Questions for founders and their teams to answer
- An impact guide designed to help answer the question, What will I do differently as a result of the lesson I’ve learned?
- Insights from other founders about how theyve tackled challenges
- Tools and resources to help founders implement what theyve learned

Three topics and experts currently are featured, with at least three more modules planned for this year and a steady stream of new content to be added in 2014. Current modules are:

Entrepreneurial Selling, presented by Craig Wortmann, CEO and founder, Sales Engine, and clinical professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business

Intellectual Property, presented by Peter McDermott, partner, Banner and Witcoff

Powerful Presentations, presented by Nathan Gold, founder, The Demo Coach

“We carefully select experts who have substantive knowledge and experience as well as proven ability to teach cogently,” said Wendy Torrance, entrepreneurship director at Kauffman who leads development for the Founders School.

“We invite entrepreneurs and those who teach and mentor them to use this content to enhance their understanding of critical decisions, build essential skills and create opportunities to discuss the decisions they are making about their businesses every day.”

The Kauffman Founders School is housed on the Kauffman Foundation’s newly enhanced web platform, which offers a wealth of resources, educational information, and tools for entrepreneurs. It can be accessed at or via

About the Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that aims to foster economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit, and follow the Foundation on and

For the original version on PRWeb visit:

It’s almost time to celebrate failure at FailCon

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

FailCon Logo

FailCon is a conference that I have always talked about in my travels, but never actually attended. And, when I mention to people that there is this conference called FailCon, they mostly respond with laughter, utter shock, or disbelief, especially when I travel outside of the US. There are even a few countries where if you fail in business, you might as well leave the country and set up a new life somewhere else. Really?

Not at FailCon. This conference is rapidly becoming the “go-to” event where you get to hear from real entrepreneurs and people who have failed and how they learned from that failure. Failure in business is really no different than failing in life. You try something. You succeed or you fail. Either way, you can learn something from both. And, in my opinion, you can often learn a lot more about how to be successful by taking a deep dark look at how one has failed.

And that is what FailCon is all about. The next event is in San Francisco and there are still tickets available. As the official speaker coach for FailCon, I can already tell you that the list of speakers is amazing and you will learn a lot! If you want a $40 discount, use this link:

It will be at the Julia Morgan Ballroom, 465 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94104, on Monday, October 21, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM (PDT).

FailCon Speaker