Are You Using Your Comparative Advantage?

four value signals Jun 08, 2021

David Ricardo (that’s him in the picture) was a member of the British Parliament in 1817 when he developed a concept that is inherently counterintuitive:  that countries engage in international trade for goods, even when a country can and does produce all the needed goods more efficiently, at less cost than their trading partners

Even if you can make everything yourself, it still benefits you economically to sell some goods and buy others.   In effect, specializing...

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You’re the Expert, not the Accountant. What Financial Data Should You Watch?

four value signals May 05, 2021

A friend of mine was hired as the first outside CEO of a 30 year old family run business. When he took over he asked reasonable questions about inventory turnover, returns on key accounts, asset value, and so on. They didn’t have any information and referred my friend to the accountant. It turns out that for years the only numbers the family tracked were year-end revenue and profit, and these were reported with the tax filings: five months after every...

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Create a Sales Process

four value signals Apr 16, 2021

Running a scientific company is difficult.

Unlike a home business, your overhead is high because you need trained technicians, expensive instruments, and a dedicated place to put them.

As an Expert in your field, you probably knew a few people who became your customers when you started up.

So you had some revenue quickly, and you’ve been able to find some more - otherwise you’d be out of business and paying the costs of a failed experiment.  

But inevitably you run out...

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Should You Promote or Fire Yourself?

In the popular business book “The E-Myth Revisited”, Michael Gerber says that every business owner is really three people: the Technician, the Manager, and the Entrepreneur. 

I often use the term “Expert” to define the scientists I work with who have deep technical knowledge, the quintessential Technicians – who founded the business to deliver value to customers that only they can deliver. 

Are you buried in the Technician role?

...

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Where is the Road Map?

four value signals Feb 16, 2021

Where is the road map for a scientist to build a profitable business, build a team and scale up without burning out?

Your scientific training is a great foundation for building on your expertise, developing a contract services, supply, or consulting business. You have the valuable skills of analysis, information sourcing, research, problem solving and the mind-set of objectivity and skepticism.

This means instant credibility and the ability to quickly gauge the credibility of others.

You...

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