You’ve been to design school and you’ve got a great idea about building a company that best showcases your designs and your products. Well, now what? You’re an expert at designing the products that you see in your mind’s eye but you don’t know the next best steps about how to design a company that supports your dreams. One of your friends tells you that you need a business plan. Someone else tells you to read “Who Moved My Cheese?” while another person tells you that you should keep your day job. Is any of the advice going to get you to seeing your dream materialize into products that make it to the marketplace?
As a serial entrepreneur, I can tell you that there is a plethora of information swimming out in the world. I’ve spent years researching and building my own companies and have seen what tools and strategies are the most helpful to new entrepreneurs. I’ve also found what type of mindset is most productive to creating successful entrepreneurial ventures. After years of trial and error, I’ve put together FutureLab (CEO 200), a course that is designed to provide the information, tools and support that I wished I had when I started my first company. I designed it with people in mind who have a passion and a love for what they do but need guidance and expertise in building a company that is reflective of this.
First launched in 2002, I’ve recently updated FutureLab to include new and compelling information and tools that really assist new entrepreneurs. I am delighted to have FIT offering the course through The Enterprise Center. If you’ve got a dream and a vision and need to put it together in a comprehensive plan then FutureLab is a course designed for you.
For more info http://fitnyc.edu/7126.asp#Strategy
I’d love to see you in my class!
Lisa Hendrickson teaches CEO 200 FutureLab and The Sustainable Organization.
What do Aretha Franklin, Jackie Robinson and Rodney Dangerfield have in common? They all sought and emphasized the need for “respect”. Respect of others and respect for self.
In the business world and in our everyday lives, how do we attain and command respect? Respect is intangible; it is a feeling; and, it is an earned position. Respect is earned by words and by actions. Things like keeping promises, appointments, providing services, or just doing what you say you will do.
It applies to students, instructors and to employers and employees. Students can gain the respect of the instructor by handing in assignments on time, asking questions in class that are respectful of the instructor’s position, and treating fellow students with kindness and sincerity. Instructors and employers can gain respect by treating students and employees fairly and following through on promises. Employees can be thorough, complete projects when due, and take on responsibilities that are not necessarily theirs. It can also be earned by being personal. How personal are you in your communication? The more personal you are the more respect you will earn?
But there’s a secret to respect. If you master this secret you will be able to create respectful atmospheres in any environment you encounter. The secret is: In order to earn the respect of others, you must first respect yourself. And if you respect yourself that means that you have confidence in yourself. You have to like what you do. You have to be willing to serve. You have to like yourself. And you have to love yourself for what you are, what you believe in, and what or who you seek to become.
The secret is easy. Do the right thing all the time and respect will be yours. Say the right words, take the right actions and believe in your heart that you’re doing the best you can do – for yourself first, and for others second.
Margo Moore teaches BE 261 Starting a Small Business, CEO 001 Setting a Course for Your Business, CEO 002 Knowing Your Market, and CEO 003 Formulating Your Financial Strategy.
How can you protect yourself?
Name your product, service or concept. Then trademark it. Someone can steal the product idea but they can’t steal the name.
Copyright, trademark and patent the idea itself if you can. You are completely defenseless if you don’t. (But be aware that many fashion “ideas” are not easily defined in ways that can be trademarked – that’s why a trademarked name is important). Many questions of ownership and rights are determined by the date a trademark was filed.
Copyright is often determined by usage: if you’re using it, it’s yours.
By owning a patent, you are protected.
These solutions are all great but be aware that to go after someone for infringement can be expensive and often large companies are well aware of the financial advantage they have over you when “borrowing” ideas. So above all, speak with an attorney so you know exactly where you stand in this area.
AND MARKET. MARKET BIG. MARKET FAST. Get your name out there…
eventually all ideas are picked up by others, so being first and loud is your best defense.
Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.