The Friday Five, Blogs That Matter – January 24, 2014

Blogs of Note for the Week Ending January 24, 2014

5 blogs that matterContinuing in my new tradition, here are quotes from 5 blogs that got my attention this week. I don’t benefit from reposting any of these posts. Sometimes, I don’t even know the writer. However, I do read and personally grow my knowledge by reading posts that challenge my thinking and get me to think outside my old paradigm. It’s not important that you agree with any of these writers. It’s only important that you think. I hope you will find some new sources of inspiration with these posts. Here’s the next group of 5 in the series:




Brenda Barron

6 Reasons Why Inbound Marketing Is Cool

Brenda Stokes BarronCan Inbound Marketing Be Cool? Umm, yes. Of course it can. In fact, inbound marketing is probably one of the coolest ways to engage with your audience online and if you don’t, you stand to be totally uncool. I mean, did you know that traditional marketing efforts like direct mail, television ads, and in-your-face website ads are largely ineffective? Or that marketing efforts that don’t provide value to a customer are ignored or found to be obnoxious?

If you don’t understand why, that’s okay. We’re here to show you why exactly inbound marketing is cool and undoubtedly the most effective way to engage prospects, build new customer relationships, and retain customers for life.


Traditional or outbound marketing is typically considered disruptive because it interrupts a person’s thought process or attention and diverts it to an advertisement or promotional push. This kind of marketing is featured on huge billboards and bus stops, in phone books and on television…

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Beth Barany

3 Craft Tips to Make Your Writing Interesting

Beth BaranyIn the last fifteen years of being dedicated to writing fiction, I have published one young adult fantasy novel, two sweet paranormal romance novellas, three nonfiction books, and fifty-plus articles and blog posts. That’s not counting the two remain-in-drawer novels and the two novels awaiting publication.

But that’s not all!

In addition to editing my own work, I have edited my coaching clients’ and critique partners’ work over the last decade and a half. All in all, I’ve probably edited the equivalent of over thirty novels or 7,500 pages. Whew! I’ve seen what doesn’t work in writing and I’ve also seen what works, and works well, to make a story sing and lift prose off the page and straight into the hearts and minds of readers.

Today I want to share a few tips about how to make your writing interesting, writing mechanics that can liven up your prose. A word of caution, though. Please take my advice with a grain of salt. That is to say, use my tips in your writing, then judge for yourself if they work for you or not. The more you’re clear on what works for you, the better writer you can be.

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No Author Specified

51 Startup Failure Post-Mortems

CB InsightsOn his many failed experiments, Thomas Edison once said

I have learned fifty thousand ways it cannot be done and therefore I am fifty thousand times nearer the final successful experiment.

And so while we have dug into the data behind startups that have died (as well as thoseacqui-hired) and found they usually die 20 months after raising financing and after having raised about $1.3 million, we thought it would be useful to see how startup founders and investors describe their failures.  While not 50,000 ways it cannot be done, below is a compilation of 51 startup post-mortems that describe the factors that drove a startup’s demise.  Most of the failures have been told by the company’s founders, but in a few cases, we did find a couple from investors including Roger Ehrenberg (now of IA Ventures) and Bruce Booth (Atlas Venture).

They are in no particular order, and there is something to learn from each and every one of them.

Title: 7 Lessons I’ve Learned From a Failed Startup

You Are MUCH More Resilient Than You Think

Had someone told me I was going to work a night audit job, get 4 hours sleep a day, consult, and be part of a startup, I would have told them that they’re crazy. I knew I was resilient, but this really pushed me to the next level. NEVER underestimate your capabilities.

Title: 7 Things I learned from Startup Failure

Company: Intellibank

Focus and simplicity are often more difficult to achieve than building features on top of features on top of features. As a result, too many startups are unfocused. The time required to trim back an idea is not insignificant — said best by Mark Twain: “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.”

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Clayton Browne


ValueWalkFacebook Scams: What You Need To Know And Do

Clicking on the Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) “Like” button might not be as harmless as it sounds. A recent CNN report explains that with scammers abound, you may be doing more harm than good by clicking on the “Like” or “Share” button of a Facebook page.

How the Facebook scams work

It’s all about “likes”. If scammers can get a lot of people to “like” a Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) page they set up, the page becomes a valuable commodity in that it can be quickly redesigned and repurposed to sell products.

The scammers prey on your good intentions to get “likes”. All those sweet or heart-wrenching posts seeking “likes”  that fill your news feed seem harmless enough. However, it turns out they’re often just “bait pages” for scammers. Internet crime experts say scammers are using Facebook for their scams in growing numbers today.

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Skip Prichard


SKIP PRICHARDIn every business, strategy is vital for success.  It charts the course and sets the direction.  But, every strategist knows that so often strategic goals never take off because they are drowned by all of the other competing interests.  The daily activities of the organization starve the strategic goal.  In The 4 Disciplines of Execution, a terrific new book, authors Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling explain how learning four disciplines can help produce breakthrough results.

And these same concepts can be applied to achieve your personal goals.

After reading the book, I followed up with author Jim Huling to delve into the material.

Jim, for those who aren’t familiar with the four disciplines, would you walk us through them quickly?

Discipline 1: The discipline of focus.  Extraordinary results can only be achieved when you are clear about what matters most…

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Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist

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