The various musings of Michael Hiles

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Startups - page 2

Are you a leader? Or just a manager?


In World War II, Dwight Eisenhower trained his generals by piling a chain up on a table. He asked the generals, “If I push this chain, which way will it go?” The generals would jabber among themselves, debating and offering a bunch of different answers. The true answer, of course, is that nobody really knows…

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Why am I an entrepreneur?

Why, in the face of such the statistically losing proposition, would someone want to start a company? And furthermore, why would they want to do it to themselves over and over again? Am I some kind of sado-masochist, thriving on self-inflicted pain? As I sit and ponder the answers I come up with a few…

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First Follower: Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy

Derek Sivers was the founder of CD Baby. For those who don’t remember, for about 20 years, CDs were the preferred method of packaging and distributing music. Derek wanted to make it easier for artists to sell their CDs direct to their audiences. Then he sold the company. As impressive as that was, I believe…

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Leadership information superiority is the path to opportunity


Holy moly, that’s a mouthful of a title. Ok, let’s simplify it. If you have superior information, you’ll have more opportunity. As the future is uncertain, the only thing relatively clear is that much of what we will experience in the future will be different from the past.

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Techstars FounderCon 2016 in Cincinnati

HilesFiles & Brad Feld

What a whirlwind experience. This year Techstars held their global conference, FounderCon, right in my own, beloved backyard of Cincinnati. It was really great for the StartupCincy community to have so many dedicated startup tech entrepreneurs and investors on our own home turf.

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Be careful what you say


There was once a woman who lived in a little village. She was the town gossip, constantly talking about her neighbors, friends, and even family. She secretly enjoyed the chaos she created. One day, after fewer and fewer people would speak to her, the woman had an epiphany. She realized she had been hurting the…

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FbStart Launch at 1871 Chicago

The event was held downtown at the 1871 Chicago accelerator facility in the Merchandise Mart building. Facebook really pulled out all the stops with the event, featuring multiple speakers, free beer, and great conversations.

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The Fundamentals of Strategic Decisions

Business leaders are constantly faced with decisions. Most are about more tactical issues like day-to-day operations or shorter range and smaller impact issues. However, from time-to-time, business leaders are faced with making some decision that carries a much deeper impact on the future of the business as a whole.

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How To Start A Product Company Out Of A Services Company

One of the best ways to create an income as an entrepreneur is to provide consulting services to clients at some intrinsic level. There’s volumes of philosophy about how to make that kind of company a success, the least of which is how to package the knowledge and service delivery in a scalable way.

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Creating Something Out of Nothing: The Entrepreneur Magician

Alan Moore is a famed comic book writer who pioneered the “graphic novel” as a literary format. Alan’s successes include “V is for Vendetta”, “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, “Swamp Thing”, and many other works. Alan is considered a pioneer and a legend in the publishing world for his art. To me, he’s an extremely…

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