Jeff Ski KinseyEntrepreneur & Retired Marketing Mad Man™

Former CEO CFO CIO CTO COO EIR DBA | Serial & Parallel Entrepreneur | USMC Veteran | Marketing Mad Mad™ | Letter of Commendation from USMC for Process Improvement. Award-winning student in business management technology at Kent State University. Award-winning software developer. Author, Editor, Educator, Speaker, and Jonah’s Jonah in Goldratt’s TOC. Helped startup biz clients raise over $4 Million in working capital.

Recent Answers

Interesting challenge.

You are saying some of the right things (like MVP) but your statements do not convey a true understanding. How could your budget be stretched already without having a marketing plan? Or two?

I am happy to jump on a call to better understand your needs and I do mentor startup founders [aka would be entrepreneurs].

In my world, you are not an entrepreneur without a few trials by fire. The good news is this: You have started taking action!

Never underestimate the value in moving towards one's dream.


Indeed. Plans are almost everywhere.

May I suggest we frame your question a little to convey more detail (but not too much) in order to get you the help you need?

Allow me to assume that you have already "found a need" and wish to fill it. In fact, the best needs are the ones we face as individuals or professionals trying like everyone else to, "do more with less" and still be excited to go to work each day.

Let's call this Step One.

QuickNote: Have you found out the hard way that no one worth their weight in bitcoin will sign an NDA? Great. We can move to the next step...

Step Two: Is your "product" bought mostly by Consumers (as in a B2C, where your business sells to the end consumer of a good or service)? Or is your approach a B2B where you sell to other businesses? In a few cases it might be a variation or combination of these models.

Step Three: What industry will you serve? For example, I don't do food or beverage startups and rarely mentor founders in those spaces. Plus, as a result of my industry focus, I mostly work with B2B or B2B2C models. Are you beginning to see how it all fits together? Perfect!

Step Four: For now, this is the last question... Do you have experience in the industry you are building a "product" for, and if so, how long and how many roles have you filled inside that industry? We will ask later how well you are connected to other professionals in your target market.

Get the idea? Most of us on Clarity would like to focus on the areas and people we can help the most.

Reach out with any questions you might have... once you have written down the answers to my queries.


P.S. I put Product in quotes because it may be a good or service. Or both. Or neither. {grin}

I am a big fan of UpWork and codementor dot io

Each offers a different approach to helping customers get coding done. Also, consider fiverr dot com if you have tools or solutions that you can package and sell.

Wow. I too would love to find people that would be willing to handle all these matters and work on a commissions basis.

With the wheels back on the economy for the first time since the meltdown of August 2008, there is some hope that once again enough experts are doing well enough to take such roles.

However, may I offer a better approach? Let's assume for a moment that you are on LinkedIn and have at least 500 connections. If not, that should be your focus in your spare time. If so, reach out to your connections only, and tell them you are looking for a partner to take your business to the next level.

Tell us your strengths in two or three bullet points with a little detail, maybe 60 or 70 words for each, and remind them what your business does.

Then, when some recommendations come in, they have already been vetted to a degree by people you "know, like, and trust" and so reach out to each of the candidates.

Yes, there is more to it and I would be happy to talk with you. Reach out.


P.S. My last hire took a whole five minutes. If it is taking you longer, you are doing a number of things wrong.

First, I must have a need. aka "Find a need and fill it."

Second, I must have a reason to act sooner rather than later. Reminder: the fear of failure is greater than the need to succeed. So tell me how I am failing today by not acting.

Third, I must have resources that I can direct or redirect to purchase your good(s) and/or service(s).

Finally, and this is key for most people, you have to show me a vision of how you "make it all happen" for and with me. Tell me a story. A compelling one where I become the hero.

Good Day Prabodh, I am Ski, a tech maven of over 30 years with hands-on roles in numerous roles including CEO, CTO, DBA, and developer for over 12 startups and a "recovering" consultant to organizations that include the State of Ohio, The Town of Hilton Head Island, SC, LexisNexis, and Goldratt Consulting.

If you have ever watched the movie, Moneyball, or know of the work of the late Dr. Eli Goldratt, then you understand that mastering constraints is the shortest path to the success you seek. Please do not spend money you don't have and must raise to reinvent the wheel.

Let's talk.

That is a great question with a lot of potential answers, however, as is rarely the case, just one right answer. You need the one, best Real Estate maven on planet earth. Someone that has been there, done that, and sold out for millions of dollars. Sadly, I am not that person, but I do know him. And happy to point you in the right direction. Give me a shout. A ten minute call should be sufficient.

P.S. He was one of the largest RE/MAX franchisee and franchisors in the 1990s and continues to consult with anyone in the space willing to listen.

I wish I had known that Steve Jobs would die early and any vision he had for the iPad and the re-birth of magazine publishing would die with him. It is an amazing device but iTunes sucks as a platform. Plus, as long as Medium lacks paywalls (or something similar) and lacks an embedded payment mechanism, there is no good solution.

But if you want to cry over spilt milk, schedule a few minutes and we can sit on the ground and share sad tales. {grin}

Sounds like you know most of the important pieces but lack the confidence to jump back into the fray. For more than a few years I have been in love with the Lean Startup approach and the MVP. There will always be pros and cons to any approach, but this methodology still packs a lot of horsepower. I have built several companies in just 90 days. My efforts are turbocharged now with this simple approach. More thorough plans are possible than otherwise might be the case.

I use the Lean Canvas by Ash Maurya as my template for any new idea or project that I need to explore in detail before deciding to jump. Then I live in it and share it with others as needed. Those nine blocks in the canvas are pure gold if approached with a few pieces of common sense in hand and if (very big IF) you are willing to take some direction. Look it up at leancanvas dot com and if you want some insight, schedule some time and let's make it happen.

Exciting times. When I read between the lines having faced a similar decision on more than one occasion, I see all the missed opportunities from having been too busy personally to be as effective as needed. The good news, there is but one weakest link in any system and that includes your business. Is it the lack of a talented partner? Perhaps. Is it a failure to delegate? More likely but not a given. Hiring is the most complex function in business and a wrong or misstep could be very expensive in time and money. I have hired over 500 people and helped organizations hire even more. It may not be obvious that I spent years in retail, most in men's fashion and in another life built several online businesses. I would be happy to learn more about your unique challenges and offer some insights from my more than 10,000 hours of experience at the front lines in each industry. Schedule 30 to 60 minutes at your convenience, but as you point out, the clock is ticking.

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