The buzz generated by Steve Jobs’ announcement of his departure was unprecedented in the history of the industry. This is hardly surprising: even Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, and one of the most respected executives in the country, acknowledged Jobs’ uniqueness. Apple’s singular presence is undeniable, and, as one of the most prestigious companies in the world, it is a rare example of prosperity amidst a global economic crisis.
Visionaries create evidence: In 1984, Apple rocked the world with its now iconic commercial to introduce the Mac. These days consumers have at their disposal a wealth of Macs, iPods, iPhones and iPads to express themselves away from the watchful gaze of Big Blue. Steve Jobs changed the world with a sledgehammer. His revolutionary success – one irreverent to the status quo – was unthinkable twenty-five years ago, but visionaries are, after all, those who are able to make us take for granted previously impossible ideas.
Democratizing magic: Of course Steve Jobs himself is a fascinating figure, but what is even more fascinating is the revolution he put into motion when he began to humanize technology in several domains: personal computers, music, animated film, telephones, and information exchange. Perhaps only Edison has had such a deep social impact through his inventions. Innovation in both cases is not simply the application of new technologies, but the art of adapting them so that they cause an evolution in consumers’ behaviors. In other words, while inventions can make geeks rejoice, they go down in history when they impact the lives of lay. Most users don’t buy iPhones because of its technical characteristics, but because of the magic it offers to users.
Memorability, or history anchored in the real world: Early adopters of Apple (of which I was as the founder/CEO of a company that put out the first graphic relational database for Mac, 4th Dimension) are now a very small minority of the millions of fans the company has accrued. And these fans are not ghostly usernames on anonymous chat rooms but living humans crowding into stores: the most prestigious tech company in the world is also the least active in social networks, opting instead to open dozens of popular physical stores at a time when everyone is cutting back or completely eliminating his real world fingerprint. But the success of Apple stores everywhere is due to the opportunity they afford people to touch and try out goods in a lively and aesthetic environment – people go to Apple stores to hang out. This real-world anchoring is gratifying for would-be buyers and guarantees the company’s perennial success. This year IBM celebrated 100 years – when Thomas Watson created the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation. Apple still has sixty-five years to go before it can celebrate this touchstone, but, even if it true that technology evolves at an exponential rate, there is little doubt that it has created a lasting legacy by giving people the ability to use technology without having to be techies and by demonstrating that consumers love beautiful objects. In other words, mass consumption is not at odds with the feeling of luxury.
Note on the illustration. The “Steve Icon”: In 1983, Andy Hertzfeld started to work on the icon editor that Susan Kare was to use to create icons for the Finder. I strongly recommend his book on the history of Macintosh, Revolution in the Valley (2004).
There was huge attendance and great panelists, including Lt. Col. Jackie Parker, the first woman Air Force pilot to attend U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB, California; Francine Gordon, a celebrated executive coach and organization consultant in the Valley; Sandra de Castro Buffington, the director of Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S); Courtney Macavinta, the Co-Founder of The Respect Institute and Joy Buolamwini, a 21 year old Computer Science major at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
From trench warfare to power: Women@theFrontier is a great expression and reminds us of pioneers on their journey west in the 19th century, and that the feminist movements of the 20th century have helped women conquer new territories and affirm their rights. But I also like to go back to the actual etymology of the word “frontier,” as I did during my keynote. The word “frontier” comes from an old French word that designated the front line of an army organized to stand up to an enemy. As people would organize to defend their country, the word ended up meaning the borders between states. In the 21rst century, Women@TheFrontier, must not only have to stand up to prejudice, discrimination and inequality, but also to their own fears of getting out of their comfort zones. They must use the considerable amount of power they have secured over the last fifty years. As Gloria Feldt says in No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think about Power, which I discussed a few months ago: “By far the most confounding problem facing women today is not that doors aren’t open, but that women aren’t walking through the open doors in numbers and with the intention sufficient to transform society’s major institutions once and for all.”
The power of empowering: Today, younger women can build up on this history and move on from corrective and defensive activism (addressing inequalities of all types) to transformative initiatives. The demographic in education plays in their favor: The male/female ratio on campus today is 43/57 – almost an exact reversal of what it was in the sixties. Women “are shaping the Internet” using the Web not only as consumers, but also and more generally as a productivity and networking environment. Bolstered up by their experience in removing barriers for themselves, they now have the ability to remove barriers for everybody.
The power of women has scaled tremendously. During the conference, Sandra de Castro Buffington explained how she leverages the power of the entertainment industry to improve the health and well being of individuals and communities worldwide. The energy of 21-year old Joy Buolamwini is definitely “without borders,” with already multiple initiatives under her belt (from building technological tools for the Carter Center to helping in the fight to eradicate blinding trachoma in Ethiopia to leading a software teaching initiative for the Zambian Institute for Sustainable Development).
“Women are at the forefront of developing solutions to the world’s greatest challenges,” said Susan Fonseca-Klein. “W@F is an opportunity to showcase leading women creating positive change, global in reach and exponential in impact, leveraging technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.”
The capacity for and effectiveness of change grows exponentially as more and women come together. Women leaders build the basis for repeated multiplication and pervasiveness. For example, think of the way my friend Sramana Mitra is democratizing entrepreneurship education with her 1M by 1M program!
Nothing’s stopping you: Five years ago, you needed thousands of dollars and an established company to get your hands on a development kit from Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft. To make things worse, there were no successful distribution channels for anything but the $20+ category of games. If you were an 18 year old kid in 2005, you had better go to college, get a degree, and apply for a job in the game industry once you graduated if you wanted to make video games.
Today, the barrier to entering the video game industry has never been lower. The iPhone dev kit costs $100, the Android dev kit is free. Kids these days aren’t trying to get jobs in the game industry, they can create their own jobs in the industry. The playing field is open. Quality and success are no longer determined solely by multi-million dollar investments and large development teams.
For example… When I was 18, back in ‘09, I started an iPhone game development studio with a few friends called Manifold Studios (shameless plug, my apologies.) We decided we would make games on a starving college kid budget that would have production values riveling those that the big boys produced (EA Mobile, Gameloft, Rovio, etc…) Take a look at our first shot, WarSquared (still in beta), and judge for yourself. It’s not just us though. Check out Robozzle, Helicopter, Bubble Ball, and Airy Labs. They all come from an under 20 crowd. We’re all doing it, and so can you.
What’s in a game? Three things. Design, code, and art. Telling good design from bad deserves a post of its own, but in general the key is scaling your design to your means. This is tough – if you take a look at the Unity (a 3D engine for game development) forums, everyone wants to make a Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game. Never mind that the budgets for these games are usually counted in the millions, everyone thinks they can make one. They can’t. A simple mobile game is the place to start, period.
The conventional wisdom: Conventional wisdom about mobile games goes something like this: there are so many out there that it is impossible to get noticed, nobody will ever discover your app, and you will never make any money.
Success is relative to investment. Yes, if you pour 100k into an app, you’ll be really upset if it only ever brings in 75k. But if you develop the game on your own time with a few hundred bucks, you’ll be really happy to make 75k. And again, it’s all about making your design match your means. If you have money to promote your game, you will want to design it differently. If you have the money and connections to promote your app, by all means make a paid app. But if you know upfront that you don’t, then you probably want to make your app a free one with in-app purchases. Then you have to try and pass the freemium tipping point. What is the tipping point you ask? Read on.
The tipping point: Everyone really should be using something like Flurry nowadays – how are you supposed to improve your app if you don’t have reliable data on how people are using it? And to get that data, you need some number of downloads, which you’re going to get because you will e-mail every blog, site, Youtuber, and so on, who covers apps. You’ll get mentioned somewhere, and you’ll get a few thousand downloads. Assuming you have reliable data on your users, you can easily measure if you’ve passed the tipping point: you make more money per download than it costs you to get that download. The world of incentivized downloads and app advertising is changing week to week, so don’t take the numbers I quote here to be reliable, but let’s say it costs you 35 cents to buy a download of your free app and you are generating an average of $1 per download. You’re past the tipping point. You’re home free. You make $1.85 on every $1.00 you spend. You will probably be able to find someone interested in publishing your game, or at least the justification to pour some money into it yourself.
Three steps to success
Figure out what your budget is, and what your means are. How many artists and programmers will be able to work on the game. Make sure your design is scaled to your means.
Get your game out as soon as possible. If you never release your app, you are guaranteed to fail. It sounds stupid, but the number of professionals who fall into this trap is huge. Ship early, ship often.
Assuming your game operates on the freemium model, tweak and iterate. Try new things often. Update as frequently as you can. Analyze your metrics, play with the design, change the menus, and do what it takes to get past the tipping point. Once you pass the tipping point, congratulations, you’re doing better than most pros. You’ve proven that in today’s video game industry, the little guy can play in the big leagues.
* Jeremy Rossmann is a rising junior at MIT joint-majoring in comparative media studies and mathematics with computer science. He is the CEO and Lead Designer at Manifold Studios, an iPhone game development startup he founded comprised of high school and college students. Their first game, WarSquared has been featured by Apple on the App Store.
The program I’m doing this year, , is presenting a summer line up for pre-professional singers – including a series of master classes, five nights of selected opera scenes and three full operas – for the first time. This is a new venture, with a relatively small group and limited funding: this is a bootstrapped startup, but this is precisely what makes taking part in this project so exhilarating.
Discovering entrepreneurship… Because the group is relatively small, our six weeks are plenty packed. More is required of us as students, both on and off the stage. All of us are singing numerous roles, in multiple scenes and operas, so we have to be organized and pace ourselves. There is not an extensive staff infrastructure, so we help to organize some of the logistics and are more responsible for extra-musical aspects of the productions. We can’t simply show up and rely on a large construct to take care of our needs. But this is a tremendous opportunity for us to invest much more of ourselves than simply our voices and stage presence. We are learning something critical: entrepreneurship.Especially in this economy and with the current state of arts funding, many of the projects we will undertake as young musicians will be held together by two strings, a prayer and a lot of hard work. Many people are telling us to be more entrepreneurial: this is it. We are forced to think beyond our individual musical lines and scenes. We are far more directly responsible for the outcome of the program as a whole than if we had opted for a larger, well-established structure.
… And empowerment: The experience is empowering. Assuming we do invest psychologically and understand how much of an impact we can have in the shaping the success of OAC’s Summer Program (and by extension its usefulness on our resumés), this is a terrific opportunity to learn and create as part of a team. This requires a good deal of dedication on our parts, as well as flexibility and evangelism – in fact, the qualities needed for any start-up venture. Without an overabundance of people, we have to take on more responsibility. Without returning spectators, we have to build our own audience base, through Facebook, Twitter, etc… Without built-in cost coverage and donor lists, we have to bootstrap funds (I organized a fundraiser at the end of May in Palo Alto, and another one is in the works). If you’ve ever seen somebody start a company, this is probably sounding rather familiar…This program is new, and most problems have to be addressed as they arrive, but when a startup is set in motion by a professional, as is Yefim Maizel, you realize that being “lean,” as they say it in startup jargon, does not mean creating a cheap result. Elegance is not always expensive when you have a reserve of imagination and an eye for the right thing. I remember reading in one of Guy Kawasaki’s books “A players attract A players.” OAC has launched its first summer season with an impressive and diverse group of contributors – both in terms of faculty and students who will be instrumental in its success.
Come and listen to us! Our events are listed on the Opera Academy calendar!
Sramana Mitra, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and strategy consultant founded the 1M by 1M(One Million by One Million) program, “a framework for Capitalism 2.0,” she says, and which she “envisions as a distributed, democratic capitalism.” Here is what this means: Not everybody can, or even needs to, come to Silicon Valley to create a company. There are creative entrepreneurs everywhere in the world, and they can succeed from virtually any place depending on the nature and the scope of what they undertake or on their own definition of success. Yet, where can they get accessible economic development tools? In other words, how can entrepreneurship education be democratized? Sramana’s 1M by 1M (One Million by One Million) brings a solution.
Startup America and Startup Anywhere: Check out the 1M by 1M program: While different countries and regions have started thousands of initiatives to rekindle the economy through innovation and entrepreneurship, one of the most critical needs is ensuring that entrepreneurs do not waste time and energy reinventing the wheel, or money they may not have in MBA programs or expensive consultants. The 1M by 1M program provides all the basics to start on the right footing at virtually no cost: “We offer a case-study-based online educational program, video lectures, and methodology, online strategy consulting at public and private online roundtables, as well as introductions to customers, channel partners and investors (pre-seed, seed, angel, VC, bank, alternative financing). The public roundtable is a free program accessible from anywhere in the world. The rest of the services are for paying members only.” The $1000 annual fee grants paying members unlimited usage of the service (just don’t abuse the system!). For a full explanation of why Sramana created this program, also consult this video.
What I like about this program:
Its “weapon of massive reconstruction” optimism: As Sramana puts it: “It is the entrepreneurs, and the entrepreneurs alone, who wield the most potent weapons of mass reconstruction. To build markets; to build nations; to build worlds.” One million by one million makes one trillion of whatever currency, and even if it is as hard to represent as one terawatt, it expresses the human power to change the world for the better — and create jobs.
Its pragmatic “virtual incubator” approach: Sramana has spent years talking with entrepreneurs, capturing their stories. Some of her stories she shares in her books*, but hundreds more are available as case studies from which entrepreneurs can learn. Innovative ideas evolve with time, but business model innovations come at a much slower pace – and the principles for capital efficiency, effective bootstrapping, customer validation, and positioning are not going to change overnight. The 1M by 1M program is a virtual and scalable incubator that can help scores of entrepreneurs get their act together at a low cost and in no time, wherever they are located in the world. As a virtual incubator, 1M by 1M supplements physical incubators and has partnerships with a few of them already, as well as with corporate sponsors. For example, in March, 1M by 1M announced that it was working with Microsoft on their India Startup Challenge — with Microsoft BizSpark offering $100,000 in total grant to four startups with winning ideas in the Cloud & Mobile categories.
Its inclusiveness: Physical incubators, even the largest, can only host a limited number of companies, which means that the vast majority of entrepreneurs are on their own for all sorts of reasons. 1M by 1M doesn’t have to select or exclude entrepreneurs to function, and thus can accept companies regardless of their prospective TAM or the speed at which the business will grow. Small niche businesses are the economy operating system of the world, and yes, any small business owner can benefit from being trained. As a matter of fact, the program heavily focuses on bootstrapping and leadership (something useful to entrepreneurs with larger ambitions, anyway). 1M by 1M is a fully international social network of entrepreneurs (they only have to be able to speak/understand English). Changing the world for the better is a collective effort, where each entrepreneur defines his/her vision of effectiveness, while benefiting from sharing lessons learned.
Conclusion: Read Guy Kawasaki’s The Art of the Start and a few other good books, including the ones that Sramana wrote, and join 1M by 1M. It’s a great way to start off, even if you have the type of business or you are in a place that allows you to apply for a physical incubator (in such case, you will benefit from this incubator even more!).
I was in Paris last month for the launch of the French version of Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment (”Enchantement“) at one of the great business schools over there, ESCP Europe. The following day, I met with fantastic entrepreneurs at Le Camping, a six-month accelerator program located inside the Palais Brongniart. I had a conversation on the steps on the beautiful buiding with the former CEO of Publicis-Etoile and co-founder of Keljob, Jacques Birol. Jacques also teaches at HEC, and has written an excellent book in French 52 Conseils éternels pour entreprendre published by Diateino (as is “Enchantement”). The conversation addresses five topics in two minutes:
On her website, Fox Rollin says that she “coaches leaders to succeed at the next level.” The truth is that succeeding at one level does not mean that you are ready for the next one. So restart your game plan and look at these 42 rules distributed into seven main stages – numbers that bear some analogies with Texas 42, in which the purpose of the game is to be the first team to reach seven marks.
Set Yourself up for Success: No matter how “experienced” you are, each start must be a fresh start; otherwise, you face the risk of simply applying old habits in new situations. Take charge of your start.
Map the Terrain: That’s the time to investigate what matters, identifying all the stakeholders and what is important to them to know where and how you will create value and eventually drive change.
Show up Wisely: What you would “typically do” might be irrelevant, so beware of your knowledgeable ego and reassess yourself. Realize that leadership is never a solo game, but the art of empowering a team to empower yourself while showing them how to optimally work with you.
Start your Wins: If your dream is fast glory, forget it. Build buy-in through small wins that enable you to know how people operate around you and get familiar with your style. Create mutual understanding instead of coercing people into following you blindly (they won’t, anyway).
Create your Management System: It’s time to show how indispensable you are in the game and how efficient you are at driving performance. Yet, continue to encourage dissent and foster diversity. You won’t be a leader alone: leaders grow more leaders.
Stay Smart: Resist the temptation to feel established after two months. Staying smart means staying current and capable, finding colleagues inside that will stretch you, and developing an industry presence. Powerful positions are only relative.
Set yourself and your Team up to Thrive: However satisfied you may be with where you are, it may only be the first step. The 42nd rule tells you to “extend a hand to the next round of leaders by sharing what you have learned.”
The imagery around leadership is fraught with clichés (self-heroisation, impatience, arrogance, outspokenness, etc.) that set a lot of people up for failure. The quality of this book is to show that leadership has nothing to do with posturing, that it’s a talent that can be nurtured. By coaching yourself into becoming an effective leader capable of energizing your team, you not only establish your authority, but also coach others on how to follow into your footsteps.
Abracadabra, “create as I say” in Aramaic, has been the power word of magicians for centuries. Today, when we tweet or blog, we all look for the power words that will grab the readers’ attention. What are they? This was the theme of a speech I gave to the class of Angelika Blendstrup in Stanford this week.
What power words are not:
Buzzwords: When you use buzzwords, you look like a blowfish puffing up to intimidate an enemy. Do you believe entrepreneurs when they tell you that their technology is a bleeding-edge, disruptive game-changer? They are actually saying only one thing: we are novices, just as the students who created this slang were when they believed they could fool teachers by stuffing their papers with all the expected words.
Jargon, shoptalk or industry specific lingo: These words simply show that you are knowledgeable. So people in that domain take them for granted. And if you use them in front of people outside the domain, these words are obscure and disconcerting.
Big words: They are all the words that make me feel stupid in order for you to look smart. Maybe they are power words for you. For me, they are just words I am unprepared to understand.
Power words are not special words. Say “water” to somebody who is thirsty, and you are an enchanter uttering a power word. What is true in life is true for blogs and tweets. Power words are words that come across as strong and significant in a context.
Staging words for impact
Grabbing people’s attention requires that you follow at least two of the basic rules for Web readability: scannability and sociability.
As emphasized by Jakob Nielsen since the mid 1990s in his Alertboxes, people rarely read Web pages word for word; instead, they glance at them, and pick out individual words and sentences. As a result, staging words for attention means:
Starting with the conclusion: Even though people scan texts, they still read the first lines so they can find out what they’re getting into. This is what Nielsen call the inverted pyramid, and is what most journalists actually have been doing for ever. Then, words start to jump out.
Highlighting keywords, through hyperlinks, typeface variations (like italic, bold, underlined) or color: Select the words that you believe are important, and have what linguists call a keyness. Keyness is not the characteristic of a word, but the contextual weight of a word. So a word can have a high keyness in a text, and none in another. For example “French cooking” has a high keyness if you write about Julia Child, but has none in this present post.
Creating meaningful titles and subtitles, and bulleted lists: They build up the framework for your keywords to act.
… and be as concise as you can!Do not drown your keywords in a sea of weak words (tons of adjectives, synonyms for one word, or hazy adverbs). Power words stick to the mind of people when they get your point quickly – and they might remember your post if they write a post on a similar topic and link to yours.
The Web is social in nature. Blogging is a social art, and obeys the rules of socializing. Words become power words when they foster adhesion and create adhesiveness — when they create a community around them. This is how some words have sometimes reached special status. Think of “unmarketing,” a time-stamped word by Scott Stratten, or of “enchantment,” rejuvenated by Guy Kawasaki. Google these, and you will see what I mean!
You increase chances of adhesiveness through:
Objective writing: Even though most blogs express a personal point of view, you want people to relate to what you say. As a result, soft-pedal on excessive statements. If you say that what you talk about is the “greatest, the fastest ever,” what are you going so say when you find out about something which is greater than the greatest or faster than the fastest? You build credibility over several posts, not one. Be descriptive as much as you can so that people can build a representation of the reality depicted by your power words.
In the end, power words are words that make your reader participate in your story. They have an impact on people. They empower them – make them act (tweet or retweet, for example).
… And can make them buy!
That’s the case of blogs with a commercial purpose, a complex genre, where you do not simply address an audience, but also search engines. The whole point is to choose keywords that resonate massively, correspond to what people search on the Web at a given time. In this case, it is almost indispensable to leverage resources such as Google Adwords, Wordtracker, or Keyword discovery, or others. It’s also a good idea to seek the guidance of professional SEO copywriters or attend their training. There are a few books on the topic, such as The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sellsby Robert Bly, and also look for the one that SEO pioneer and goddess Heather Lloyd-Martin plans to release next year!
Curation has been a hot topic for at least a year, and I agree with Tom Foremski, that it’s not just a trend, or as he puts it in a recent post, “a flash in the pan.” We all need to make sense of the mass of information that comes to us, and present it in a format that is easy to consume and communicate. So, we all tend to create our own “magazine” adopting a variety of criteria – and as any curator, we make decisions on what we want to collect, highlight, and share. In the end, digital curators are not fundamentally different from traditional curators.
A topic centric social media approach: When I stepped into Scoop.it, I didn’t think of whom I was going to follow, but of topics that might be I interested in. I came across a topic about Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment. So I became a follower.
I do not know the curator, and only time will tell me if she is somebody I will continue to follow, based on what I will like about her curator’s skills and her consistency over time.
Selecting content sources as a curator: You create your topic, add a description of what it is about, and create a number of key words related to the topic. Based on these key words, Scoop.it offers suggestions from default sources such as Google, Twitter, and others (which may solve the blank page syndrome), or from sources that you have listed as relevant environments for Scoop.it to crawl. You discard or select information as you see fit, and you can also create posts on the fly.
However, you do not need to be within Scoop.it to add to your topic. If you have dropped the Scoop button to your browser toolbar, you can also add content immediately – or you can also suggest new content to a topic created by somebody you follow.
For example, coming across an article about Enchantment in FastCompany, I sent this suggestion to Helene for her Enchantment Topic:
In addition to sharing capabilities (of a specific item on the page or of the whole page) and comment features, the notion of social suggestion sets Scoop.it apart from other platforms, and adds a socially collaborative dimension to curation. Curation enables people to connect based on centers of interests. The majority of your Facebook friends may not care about your love for video games. So why bother them when you can animate a topic-driven community?
Editorial control: This is a really appealing aspect of Scoop.it — and ultimately what empowers people who perform their curators’ role. When you select a piece for publication, you can customize the title or summarize the article the way you wish, or do so even after it is published.
You can move the various items around the page and highlight a specific article (see the green ribbon on the image above), tag the content, or modify the size of images or wrap the text around these images. Curators are not only savvy information selectors, they can also express who they are in the way they stage what they offer. In addition, as a curator, you can delete what you want when you want it – by default, pages are stored in reverse-chronological order just as in a blog. Well, good curation may be the art of conservation, after all…
The product is already quite compelling and, speaking with repeat entrepreneur/co-founder/CEO Guillaume Decugis*, I understand that multiple additional features are in the works: integration with social aggregators, along with the ability to add the Scoop.it button wherever you are, a widget enabling display of a curated page on a blog or website, search/filtering/cataloging capabilities, and an open API. ”We have a lot of features in mind,” Guillaume. “The whole point, though, is to keep the product simple to use.”
* The other co-founder is Marc Rougier, also a repeat entrepreneur.
Amita Paul and I held a SXSW conversation on March 13, 2011 at 5:00PM. Late on a Sunday afternoon, with already so many parties going on, we only expected a tiny committee; instead we found a full house. Nice surprise, but our greatest joy was that the whole room enthusiastically participated in creating what we called a Women Manifesto. As we all know, it’s very hard for any group to come up with actionable items in just one-hour. Yet, forward-looking women can! So, if you are interested, join this group on our Facebook Page. Here is a copy of the inaugural text of this Women Manifesto:
Breaking the glass ceiling is an ambiguous metaphor, as glass debris may fall on your head. So don’t stay inside, get out the building, and look at the sky: that’s what “fearless” women entrepreneurs do!
Keep on relentlessly: Starting a company is risky. It would be reckless for women, just like for men, to be unafraid. Yet, do not let fear stop you. Pursue your goal and be relentless, i.e. stubborn with a purpose.
Define success for you: Thinking “too small” or thinking “big” aren’t what matters. Size your initiative based on what you feel comfortable with, execute on your vision, i.e. build, deliver, and grow.
Ask for help: We are used to doing things by ourselves and handling work overload just to show that we are able to do it. But this is not the only way, or the best. Delegate, delegate, delegate!
Be beautiful: Beauty comes in multiple forms, ranging from outside prettiness to sheer internal charisma. Off-putting or boring faces are do not have to be a business paradigm for women (neither is it for men). Doing business is the art of communicating. So smile!
Make it a personal duty to help other women: First generations of women entrepreneurs may be interesting because of what they sometimes endured, but they are inspiring only if they make it easier for other women to succeed. Change comes one person at a time.
Yes, there are a lot of women support groups, but there can’t be too many as long as the percentage of businesses started by women remains so low. Feel free to post this on your blog in part or in full.