As we were becoming increasingly immersed in the aura of the Valley’s start-up culture, it became more difficult to imagine a company being any other way. The precarious edge seemed a natural place to perch. Occasionally, I was forced to face the fact that our way was not the only way...
Seller, Beware: The Buyers Rule E-Commerce
The moments we felt strongest always seemed to coincide with the moments we were most vulnerable.
In addition to the difficulty of filling in our technology team, we had other new challenges to meet. Compared to the nearly infinite data available on the Internet, our previously deep and robust product catalog on CD flattened to a shallow, sparse database.
Who would have thought that the medium could become the message?
We were still basically giving away CDs loaded with catalog information and calculational tools to help hospitals and architects. I know that sounds kind of dry. But it was the size and scope of it that was exciting...
New Rules for the New Economy
It made sense at the time. We made practical decisions and underwent simple transitions. I’m not sure it could have gone any other way.
I was getting frustrated, and a little bit insecure. Thousands of people — the keepers of the world’s health — were telling us that we were helping them...
Microsoft Completes Acquisition of WebTV Networks
The Red Herring
Every big industry has them. They supply the nutrients required for abundant growth.
Alexander and JP were players. Builders of buzz. They had been involved in rapidly building the valuations of several local companies — companies vibrating with potential to make it big — companies to be pursued...
Being unique is great. Except when you’re not like everyone else.
Even when it was looking likely that angels like Shawn and Wally would fund us, Jack insisted that we keep exploring other paths. He said he knew consultants who specialized in helping small companies get big funding. And then there were also the venture capitalists (VCs)...
The unsatisfied customer is the most important customer.
One day, I was at home showing off the Neoforma website to my father-in-law. At the time, he was a dentist, computer-illiterate, impatient and prone to doing things the old, familiar way, unless the new way was unequivocally proven to be vastly more efficient...
Amazon.com IPO skyrockets
Businesses Find the Web a Friendly Mall
Our first taste of outside investment created an almost instantaneous craving for more.
When Jack made good on his promise to connect us with potential investors, we scrambled to produce a short business plan and slide presentation. The business plan would be sent to several angels...
When we entered this new society — the world of the technology start-up — we felt quite lost in some ways. It was difficult to know how to navigate the many established, yet unfamiliar channels of communication without a guide. Jeff and I were lucky.
We were referred to Jack by the large law firm he had left to start his own practice. We didn’t think that a relationship with an attorney was a big deal. We just wanted someone who could help us set up a new corporation and negotiate a good agreement with Varian, that was all...
We hadn’t really expected to be in the business of helping to ease the discomfort of rats, but once things got going, there was really no way of knowing where they might lead.
In 1996, at the request of the local Varian salesmen, I had traveled to Australia to show off the software Jeff and I had written. One of the venues I had gone to was a prestigious teaching hospital...
Sometimes a shove from the nest leads to flight. Sometimes it doesn’t. Time would tell.
As my confidence in Neoforma increased, my situation at Varian continued to decay...
Zona Research Indicates Microsoft Internet Explorer Share Now 28 Percent
We meant well. We were focused on making things better in our little corner of the world. How could we have imagined that we were causing such a fuss?
When we started Neoforma, Jeff and I considered ourselves, in part, to be champions of the small company...
Department Toolkit Now Available
We were going to change the world. All we had to do was let the world know.
The largest U.S. trade show for medical equipment is held every November in Chicago. I had attended, and dreaded, this show for many years...
About This Blog
I am an architect, writer, and reluctant serial entrepreneur. To be clear... I'm not a reluctant entrepreneur, just reluctant to admit that I am a serial one. I really do like to finish things too.
This blog is mostly content from the book, but I'm sprinkling in other stuff along the way.