X + Y + Z = Productivity

aaron-burden-y02jEX_B0O0-unsplashThis last week I went out to get the mail and it was the typical junk (you know what I mean).  After sorting through it, 90% went directly into the recycling bin. The other few pieces were your typical bills, of which I simply filed because they are auto-paid, which, in my opinion, if you are not using auto-pay with everything, you are simply wasting your time.

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Attend SXSW Mentoring. Get a PSCF shirt.

pscf_and_shoesAs a session at last year’s SXSW V2V event in Las Vegas, NV, Traklight CEO Mary Juetten asked her audience of entrepreneurs if any of them thought they didn’t have Intellectual Property (IP). Of course, if you have been reading the Traklight blog and understand that 100% of businesses have IP, then you see that this question was a set up. No one should answer yes. But just as Mary was about to commend everyone and tell them they were correct for not raising their hands, there was one man who shyly raised his hand. 

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Website Re-Launch Countdown

Re-launch_countdown“You’ll never get anywhere if you try to make something absolutely perfect. Especially with software,” Mary said to me as I struggled to understand why my idea couldn’t be easily incorporated into the new version of our website. It took me a minute to realize that she wasn’t telling me my idea was a bad one, just that I needed to focus on the bigger picture: our website re-launch. It was a lesson learned with Traklight’s previous re-launch and was described in our June 29th, 2013 blog titled, “It Takes a Village to Re-Launch a Website.” She instead encouraged me to jot my thoughts down on a V3.1 Wishlist (which, as you can see with the image to the right, I did) to be incorporated as a feature in the future.

We go live in just a few days (4 to be specific), and we’re all working harder than ever to piece the last few details together. I have been through a site upgrade in the past so knew what I was in for, but it caught me off guard. Again. Not just the exponentially increased work load, but everything that comes along with it: coming in early and leaving late, long hours that inevitably lead to the thousand-yard stare as you struggle to focus, over-caffeinating, onset anxiety from excess of said caffeine…

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Must see: Where are the trillions of $$$s of Intangible Assets!?

Grab a cup of coffee and watch this TEDx Talk before you do anything else today. Andrew Sherman’s informative and entertaining talk shines a spotlight on the growing value of intangible assets and more.


The tie between Traklight’s mission and Andrew’s is within the TEDx Talk.  Planting the seeds and taking care of your innovation is critical. If you know what you have from the very beginning you will not fail as an entrepreneurial environmentalist.


Please read more about this Ted Talk and Andrew’s talking points regarding waste and intangible assets in the Washington Exec article that originally appeared February 10, 2014. I had the pleasure of meeting Andrew in DC last year and we are currently discussing working together on a joint presentation for the SBDC conference this fall. 

Finally, stay tuned for a guest blog from Andrew. His knowledge regarding intangible assets and more will be of great value to you whether you’re just starting out or have already established yourself as a profitable business. Check out his book, “Harvesting Intangible Assets: Uncover Hidden Revenue in Your Company’s Intellectual Property,” on Amazon.

Don’t be amongst the millions that are not figuring out what IP they have upfront. Take our Risk Quiz and learn if you are risking it all.

Top 5 Funding Tips

This is a guest blog by Delilah Panio, a capital markets expert who consults with startups on their business and financial planning. Her online course “A Recipe for Funding” addresses the emotional and practical realities of raising capital and empowers women entrepreneurs to attract the right capital from the right investors for their company. Learn more at http://www.delilahpanio.com. Delilah is offering Traklight members $50 off the course fee. Reach out to her directly at [email protected] to get the discount!

DelilahPanioFrom my years in the capital markets and my current involvement in the Los Angeles “Silicon Beach” tech scene, I have spoken with several investors (VCs and angels) and attended events where they talk about their turn on’s and off’s of prospective investment companies. Here are a few of the top tips that every entrepreneur should keep in mind as they pitch for funding:

  1. Don’t lie. Investors, and particularly VCs, do significant due diligence so will find out anything you may be trying to hide. Be honest and authentic…it comes across and gives them a sense of how you will handle their money.
  2. Be confident but humble. It’s a fine line but arrogance is an immediate turn off to investors.
  3. Be the expert. When it comes to the industry and market you are playing in, you need to be the most knowledgeable person in the room. Inspire confidence by being able to answer their questions. If there is a question you can’t answer, there’s nothing wrong with saying you will get back to them…just be sure you do!
  4. Know your pitch deck. You need to know your presentation inside and out, and every number in it. Practice the pitch and have the data to back up every point. You should be able to discuss any point in the deck without notes.
  5. Understand their reality. Be respectful of their time and how they are motivated and compensated. VCs have their own investors to answer to and make money for. For angel investors, know your audience. This is their personal money so the product or service has to resonate with them personally or be in line with their own expertise and background.

BONUS TIP: Don’t take it personally. All investors, VCs, and angels see several hundred pitches per year and only pick a handful. You actually want to get to “NO” as soon as possible and not waste your time trying to convince someone when they are never going to be interested.

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