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Documentary: Silicon Cowboys

Silicon Cowboys is the story of Compaq computers. Three men banded together to form a company. They didn’t really know what it was going to be about. They just had that Trep blood in them to build something. One of their early concept was to start a Mexican Restaurant. And then they thought about transportable desktop computers. With a sketch of what it would look like that was drawn at the back of a restaurant menu, they got an interested investor and that started it all.

We always hear about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs but not as much about the hardware people. These 3 men and their idea set their eyes on building compatible computers to the almighty IBM giant.

The story covers a decade of the wild west of computer history. It’s a behind-the-scenes travelogue of the different players — not only of the PC hardware but also of Intel who developed the RAM chips which evolved to challenge software makers to more powerful programs.

It also talks about the takeover from the founders — an inevitable stage of many growing businesses where managing more people goes beyond the original founder’s training.

Like most Treps, they weren’t out to get rich. They weren’t out to destroy IBM. They were out to build something better and have fun in the process.

Watch it in Netflix or any other video outlet.

Entrepreneur As a Skillset

Comment by Ray Carlson:
I found this article to be reflective of my career as a chemical engineer in the petroleum refining industry.  I had been involved in the Junior Achievement Company Program while in my early years at Northwestern University, and that relatively simple program gave me an entrepreneurial mindset that manifested itself in my subsequent career.
When making decisions on expanding a refinery or designing a new one as I did in Sweden, I had to develop business plans to show the economic viability of making such investments.  My actions were so-called ‘intrapreneurial’ because I was making decisions for my employer, not a business of my own.
Therefor, developing entrepreneurial skills can be of great value even if one takes a job because those skills can enhance the profitability of the business. Employers should be interested in those that we have trained and business plans they have developed.  Most employers and managers  have not done so and should appreciate having an employee that can do it.
ORIGINAL ARTICE from Talent Economy:
Being an entrepreneur in 2016 means more than starting a business and taking on risk. Today’s definition is more reflective of a skillset that larger organizations are finding incredibly valuable.

Entrepreneurs are the faces of innovation. They start new businesses that disrupt industries and create great value to society.

In 2016, being labeled an entrepreneur has taken on new meaning. Due to the allure of entrepreneurship created by the most recent wave of new technology companies, led by celebrity founders like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, the term is increasingly thought of as a skill, not just an occupation. These leaders label themselves as founders, CEOs, etc., even if they’re seen as entrepreneurs, writes a Forbes contributor. It’s often those who aspire to the status of Silicon Valley-esque business owners who label themselves as such, which is why the word is included on many resumes.

While some insist that people do away with the trend of writing “entrepreneur” on resumes, a growing opinion is that they can be entrepreneurial without having started a business.

Being entrepreneurial is a special skillset, and someone doesn’t need to be an entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word to have it, according to Nathalie Duval-Couetil, associate director for Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. “Capturing value is that entrepreneurship piece because you might have a great idea,” Duval-Couetil said, “but really if the idea doesn’t have any value to anybody that they’re willing to use or pay for it, then it doesn’t have any value.”

Large companies have found the value of operating more entrepreneurially in how they function. Methods such as agile and lean, development practices coined in the technology industry, have overtaken some formally bureaucratic organizations. Moreover, 2012 research from professional services firm Deloitte found that nearly half of the companies it surveyed reported generating higher profit margins when they became more entrepreneurial.

But what does it mean to entrepreneurial?

Purdue’s Duval-Couetil said that entrepreneurs understand the process of capturing values from knowledge or resources. Qualities and skills of these people include perseverance, willingness to navigate obstacles and ability to network and analyze market research.

Michael Marasco, director of Northwestern University’s Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, added that entrepreneurs typically possess qualities that include being hardworking, smart and focused on changing things for the better.

People who are entrepreneurial may exhibit these skills even if they’ve never started a business from scratch.

Are entrepreneurial skills learned or innate?

Duval-Couetil, who helps lead a university program in entrepreneurship, said that some people are naturally drawn to the idea of embodying the skills of entrepreneurship, while others take some time to discover their interest.

Nevertheless, many business schools have entrepreneur courses and certification programs. The Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program at Purdue requires that students take introduction courses in entrepreneurship, marketing and management, two option courses for market-specific depth and a capstone course or experiential program.

Duval-Couetil said these courses are rooted in the fundamental definition of entrepreneurship: They help students learn how to take an idea to market and start a business from the ground up.

However, she also said that by virtue of taking these courses many students learn many entrepreneurial skills that are valuable toward their employment with large organizations.

For instance, an engineering student with limited sales or public speaking skills might take what they learned on these subjects in an entrepreneurship course and apply it to their future engineering job at a large company.

Northwestern’s Marasco said that these types of entrepreneurs — the kinds that work in large firms — understand the business and aim to make it better, so they bring up ideas, gain support for them, and then make compromises between what they want to do and what the organization aims for.

What can CEOs do to foster an entrepreneurial workforce?

To show that the company supports entrepreneurship, leaders can champion new initiatives, support new business and keep open channels of communication, Marasco said. This helps employees at the organization have a say in what’s happening and feel that they’re owners of the company.

Duval-Couetil advocated for training to gain greater awareness of the concept. But beyond that, it’s important for companies to create a culture that embraces the value of entrepreneurship and values entrepreneurial talent. “The smart companies are the ones that are figuring out ways to keep those people,” she said. “If you have kind of a bureaucracy culture, you can’t expect entrepreneurial people to thrive.”

Lauren Dixon is an associate editor at Talent Economy.

CLICK HERE  for the original article by Lauren Dixon, Associate Editor of Talent Economy.

Steve Job’s Lost 1990 Interview

Interesting raw footage (hiccups and all) of Steve Job’s (est, net worth: $11 billion as opposed to Bill Gates‘ $66 billion) interview. His visionary persona is clearly seen. Treps should watch this. Starting on (Time) 10:26 he talks about how he and fellow Apple founder, Steve Wozniak (est. net worth is 100 Million dollars), were both employed and how they decided to become Treps because nobody wanted to launch their business ideas.

Personality of an Entrepreneur

I found this article by Stan Silverman, a guest columnist at the Philadelphia Business Journal. Here is a portion of the article:

Hire big dreamers; they’ll be your growth catalysts

I have encountered many entrepreneurs who are out to change the world. They have a certain mindset and certain traits in common:

  • A belief and proactive attitude that they and their team can overcome obstacles, and successfully create an innovative product or service that potential customers or clients will want to buy
  • Strong communication, interpersonal and networking skills, and the ability to sell their ideas to investors, customers and to their employees, and align everyone towards a common goal
  • An ability to take risks, and recognize that an inevitable failure is part of the learning process on the path to success

Entrepreneurs have a different world view and mindset than other individuals. They have a positive can-do attitude, and see the glass as half-full, while others see it as half-empty. They see a world of abundance and possibilities, rather than a world of scarcity. They continuously improve on what they have created as well as improve on what competitors offer in the marketplace.

Entrepreneurs are innovative, and differentiate themselves and their company to create competitive advantage. When it becomes apparent that their innovation may not be a technical, commercial or financial success, they pivot, and change direction. There are many individuals that do not have these traits. A few minutes into a conversation, one can tell which type of individual you are speaking with.


Arcadia H.S. Wins 1st and 2nd Place in District Business Plan Competition

by C. Ray Carlson, Chair, District Job Creation & Entrepreneurship

Mt Sierra College in Monrovia was the battleground for three high schools as their teams competed with oral presentations of their business plans. Not exactly a Shark Tank (ABC TV) competition, but exciting to watch, nevertheless.

First place went to Ace of Tennis by Arcadians George Hou and Justine Lima and was about a tennis store that would compete with existing sporting good stores. San Gabriel Valley is a community of tennis players, they claimed and offered a specialized service based on Hou’s obvious expertise as a tennis player.

Second place went to Renati Cithara by Arcadian Saenz Rosell who brought his guitar and demonstrated different guitar sounds that experienced players would more likely find in his guitar shop. Competition would be fierce but he convinced the judges that he might succeed.

Arcadia instructor, Mrs Susan Stallings, had an answer for why her two retailing teams succeeded. “Having been the Operations Manager (AGM) for May Co.-Arcadia several years ago, it was my job to keep expenses in line with projected revenues. Therefor a lot of my teaching is trying to drill in the concept that a good business idea needs to be thoroughly thought out, Sometimes the students actually get it!” as hers did.

Third and fourth place went to Muir H.S., and San Marino H.S, 1st place winner in two previous district competitions, was an ‘also ran.’ But that did not keep San Marino past president Isaac Hung from being very excited by the whole standing-room-only event, as he gave concluding remarks.

John Davis, Arcadia Rotary and Chief Financial Officer of Mt Sierra College, and a colleague were very happy with the winners and the whole event with 16 students. They urged Rotarians to keep coming back and even for more than this competition. The college is fully equipped to handle digital streaming of business plan presentations live or on YouTube from Las Vegas and other distant schools. Boulder City Sunrise may be one of those next year as they have requested the curriculum for a teacher at Boulder City H.S. who is eager to teach Entrepreneurial Literacy in the Fall.

Contact: C Ray Carlson Tel 626-590-4875 M,