• 70% OF START-UP COMPANIES FAIL BECAUSE OF A FEW FUNDAMENTAL STEPS: (1) Premature Scaling – spending money on non-essentials like marketing, sales personnel, fancy offices, etc. before “nailing the product/market fit critical to growing the business”; (2) Failure to involve mentors and team members with complementary skills. (Mentored start-ups grow some three times faster and raise seven times more funding, by “helping the founder focus & invest time wisely, and through experience & connections which provide a roadmap with higher probability of success”); (3) Failure to recognize that validating a business model can take three times longer than they imagine – especially since “ideas, even if they seem unique, require several rounds of customer interviews & product iterations before they become products people love, use and recommend.” DCG provides pro-bono consulting services to start-up companies and welcomes referrals. [FORBES – 10/24/19]
  • WORK-AT-HOME EMPLOYEES ALLOW FLEXIBILITY for both organizations and individuals, BUT PRESENT MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES that very often impede operational efficiency, stability and profitability. A study last year found that over half of full-time professionals globally are now telecommuting half the week or more; adding freelancers, self-employeds & part-timers increases that percentage dramatically. Major challenges include: (1) Effective communication within the confines of time-zone differences, and miscommunication thru email/instant messaging which lack “vocal tone & cadence, facial expression, and physical gestures which we normally take for granted in face-to-face conversations… since words alone rarely transmit as much meaning or info as we think we’re conveying”; (2) Optimal project management & collaboration, since “digital tools can make it harder to tell what each person is actually contributing… leading to under-or-over appreciation in the best case scenario, and misattribution & resentment in the worst.” DCG have decades of experience in meeting these challenges. Call us before your reality check bounces. [MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW – 10/31/19]
  • THE FTC HAS FINALLY TAKEN ACTION AGAINST FAKE INDICATORS OF SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE to deceive viewers & readers, successfully challenging the sale of “fake likes, views, subscribers & followers…on behalf of actors, athletes, musicians, writers, speakers, law firm partners, investment professionals and companies involved in advertising, marketing, public relations, banking & software through e-commerce & retail distribution”; also Sephora’s practice of using fake accounts to hide the identities of company employees writing fake reviews. [MANATT ADVERTISING LAW – 11/5/19]
  • VENEZUELA VOTED FOR SOCIALISM TWENTY YEARS AGO BY PEOPLE WHO BELIEVED CAMPAIGN RHETORIC, when Hugo Chavez promised free health care, housing & employment for all. Within a year, the economy shrunk over 7%, leading to unemployment above 20%; within a decade, there were “constant blackouts, food shortages, and appalling infant mortality… Today, sitting on top of the largest oil reserves in the world, Venezuelans are starving, with 70% of families sharing tubs & buckets of untreated water, making diarrhea and vomit a regular occurrence… Chavez destroyed the country by offering the poor pie-in-the-sky promises that were to be paid for by ‘the rich,’ but within a decade turned one of the wealthiest countries in the world into one of the most dysfunctional.” (Same story as Argentina). To the dismay of ‘Democratic Socialism’-oriented politicians, “America’s working class proletariat do not aspire to socialism. Instead of truck drivers & longshoremen, their meetings are full of divorcees, trans-genders, vegans and college professors.” [TOWN HALL.COM – 10/23/19]
  • UP TO FOUR CUPS OF COFFEE DAILY PROTECT AGAINST DNA DAMAGE AND ACCELERATED AGING, according to newest research. Even though mean level of damage at the start of one study was 16% greater in the coffee-users group, after a one month exclusion then a month of controlled group analysis, the amount of “broken DNA strands was reduced by 20% in men and 26% in women. Another study of 8,400 people drinking up to 25 cups daily, “arterial stiffness was not increased, negating the potential detrimental effects of coffee on our arteries.” [LIFE EXTENSION – 12/19]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK “To err is human. To blame it on someone else is politics.”   

Bard College offers courses at a New York maximum security prison, where convicts formed a Debate Club several years ago which has proven formidable – beating teams from West Point Military Academy, University of Vermont, and ‘National Title’ Harvard (arguing against public school enrollment of illegal aliens).