1871 http://www.1871.com Where digital startups get their start Tue, 26 May 2015 10:33:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tullman: 3 Employees You Need To Fire. Now http://www.1871.com/tullman-3-employees-you-need-to-fire-now/ http://www.1871.com/tullman-3-employees-you-need-to-fire-now/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 21:14:21 +0000 http://www.1871.com/?p=12578 By 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. To view the original post, visit http://www.inc.com/howard-tullman/three-employees-you-need-to-fire-now.html

There’s no more challenging job than being ... » Continue]]> By 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. To view the original post, visit http://www.inc.com/howard-tullman/three-employees-you-need-to-fire-now.html

There’s no more challenging job than being the person who has to fire people. Everyone else gets to talk about what a tight-knit, stick-together group the company is (just like a “family” of friends), but you’re the one who has to deliver the bad news over and over again. It’s not easy or always popular to be the boss, but then good leadership isn’t a popularity contest. If you were unpopular in high school, you’re already one step ahead of the game.

But the fact is, your company is only as good as its weakest employee. Here are the folks you need to fire – sooner rather than later.

No effort, no heart. Sometimes it’s a breeze. We try to immediately fire any employee who doesn’t try or doesn’t care. These are the cardinal sins in a start-up, so there isn’t much angst in letting these folks go. Then the job gets harder.

All effort, no results. The next tier of troublesome employees are those who try hard but just cannot do the job. They are totally sincere, but incapable (or no longer capable) of doing the job that needs to get done. There are good people who are perfectly able to do a job poorly for a very long time before anyone has the time, interest, or guts to ask the hard questions about results rather than effort. These people need to go too, but you need to be fair and firm with them. Do them a real favor and tell them the truth.

Poor fit. Then there are the employees who are basically hard-working and dedicated, but who (for better or worse) can’t fit into the corporate culture.  Every business that I’ve been involved with has ultimately been about hard work mixed with a healthy dose of paranoia. We had lots of ways to reflect this ethic and plenty of signs all over the place. “Hard work conquers everything.” “Effort can trump ability.” “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that someone’s not out to get you.”  And so on. And almost everyone we hired got the message and drank the Kool-Aid. Even the people who just wanted a “job” pretty much worked their butts off.

But every so often, we’d hire someone who was just too healthy and well-adjusted to succeed among our tribe of crazies. We used to say that a relaxed man is not necessarily a better man. In one business, our internal motto was “let our sickness work for you.” It turned out that it was important to let the other people see you sweat even the smallest details. That way, they knew you cared. If you weren’t just a little bit crazy about the work and the business, you were slightly suspect or worse.

I remember one former employee who wrote me a long letter asking for a more complete explanation of why he didn’t succeed with us. Here is part of what I wrote:

Our company is [on] a very fast track, run by a bunch of workaholic perfectionists. We all believe that that’s what it takes to win against pretty fierce odds. And this is simply not the right place for everyone – especially people who want to have a family, outside interests and a normal life. I think it’s very likely that you’re simply too nice and too well-adjusted to work with the crazies around here and that’s shame on us – not you. But it’s the way things are. We wish you all the best.

Ultimately, all of these situations come down to a basic choice. You can make one person miserable when they lose their job, or you can end up with a crappy company where everyone’s miserable because you don’t have the guts to do the right things for the business. Once you start to carry people along who aren’t performing, you take a tremendous double hit. Yes, you pay the price for the poor performer’s activities, but that’s nothing compared to the real harm. As soon as you fail to consistently fire non-performers, you start to lose your best people. That’s what kills the company.

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the.1871.scoop 5.21.15 http://www.1871.com/the-1871-scoop-5-21-15/ http://www.1871.com/the-1871-scoop-5-21-15/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 19:30:19 +0000 http://www.1871.com/?p=12574 Welcome to the.1871.scoop – your source for interesting news from the 1871 team, members and friends. From mergers to member ... » Continue]]> Welcome to the.1871.scoop – your source for interesting news from the 1871 team, members and friends. From mergers to member opportunities, this is the new place to stay updated on all things 1871. 

(Indie)GoGo Gadget Crowdfunder: Join the Illinois Humanities Council on Wednesday, May 27, for a conversation with Slava Rubin, co-founder and CEO of 1871 crowdfunding partner Indiegogo, and Lisa Yun Lee, Director of the School of Art and Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago, about the role of entrepreneurship and technological change in our society and culture. This program is presented in honor of 1871 CEO Howard Tullman, who received the IHC’s 2015 Public Humanities Award last week. bit.ly/1PyF7rP

A m(ajor sigh of)Relief: 1871 member company mRelief (and its all-women software development team!) has empowered an estimated 5000 Midwest families with public assistance information. The company modernizes public benefits through web tools and text messaging to help users determine whether they qualify for benefits. Their online and SMS tools have already reduced eligibility determination time by 75 percent. http://www.mrelief.com | @mrelief_form

So only your phone has to know that you want your Uggs cleaned: TechCocktail calls Bunker member Starchup the GrubHub of laundry services in a new article released this week. The startup helps customers find dry cleaners, then lets them choose the service they want and set up a time for pick up. It’s a convenient service even if you already have a go-to dry cleaner, or if your current service is taking more than your clothes to the cleaners. bit.ly/1IPF99l | @Starchup

The Pat Ryan Interviewing Pat Ryan Founders’ Stories will blow your mind. Serial entrepreneur, host of Chicago Founders’ Stories, and 1871 Board Member Pat Ryan announced that he is turning over the reins at MAX Digital – Chicago’s fastest-growing company according to Inc. Magazine – to work on a new project that he expects to be even more successful. We can’t wait to see what he does next. In the meantime, check out past Chicago Founders’ Stories here. bit.ly/1K2lNwy | @PatRyanChicago

Financial J-Argon: New member Argon Credit just announced that they’ve raised a $75 million debt facility – bringing the total that the company has raised to $81 million. Argon is based on a platform for prime and near-prime borrowers looking for personal loans and uses proprietary artificial intelligence (though they call it “Ai” for Argon intelligence, of course) to individualize rates for customers. Congrats to the Argon team! bit.ly/1BcxdIX | @ArgonCredit

Jobs is my third favorite four letter word: Sales Director (Bonfyre) – Customer Success Manager (Telnyx) – Partner Relationship Manager (Tempesta Media) – Senior UI/UX Product Designer (SpotHero) – SEO/SEM Specialist (Telnyx) – Senior DevOps Engineer (Telnyx) – Product Analyst (SpotHero) – Polyglot Developer (HealthEngine) – Senior Developer (Options Away) – AngularJS Architect (NextTier Education) – Senior Ruby on Rails Developer (ThinkCERCA) – Senior Full-stack Rails Developer (Wellthie) – QA Engineer (Options Away) – QA Engineer (HealthEngine) – Lead Editor (Tempesta Media). See a full list with job descriptions on our jobs site. bit.ly/1EdvfJq

Tweet of the Week:

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.59.30 AM

Help us get to 40,000: Looking for something to tweet? May we suggest…some of our favorite 1871 tweets from the past week! It’s really easy – just use the click to tweet links below.

Be a part of film history. Help make #OrsonsLastFilm with @1871Chicago crowdfunding partner @Indiegogo: http://bit.ly/tosotw | http://ctt.ec/Q92Oq

 

From the 1871 blog: Tullman: 10 Startup Lessons Your Kids Could Use, Too http://ift.tt/1FeeH8i | http://ctt.ec/29CW5

 

RSVP for the 2nd program of @hydeparkangels’ Entrepreneurial Education Series on early stage investment 6/17 http://ht.ly/MUYt4 #Chicago http://ctt.ec/Xl7PD

Welcome new members! Arsen Gevorgyan (Toppie) – Nicole Yeary (Ms. Tech) – Adam Paris (Vue Ventures) – Tim Huelskamp – George Bozonelos (TrackMap) – Jim Ramirez (TextNinja) – David Donnantuono (Freshwater Advisors) – Terrand Bashua (SpaceHQ) – Jonathan Pauli (TransRecord) – Max Nussbaumer (Plenigo) – Henry Vasquez (Tribe) – Dwight Taylor (Vizyul) – Fred Steen (ThinkCERCA)

Just For Fun: For (more than) your daily dose of pop culture: someone just combined the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt theme song with clips from the new Mad Max movie. The result? Epic, and another excuse for the 1871 team to break into impromptu singalongs. on.mash.to/1IPMTIl

Birthdays this week: Sunday 5/17 – Chase Packard (MakeMoves) – Monday 5/18 – Camaree Turman (Weave the People) – Wednesday 5/20 – Sindhu Rajan (PranaDiabetes Support Network) – Jordan Fishfeld (PeerRealty) – Friday 5/22 – Greg White – Mark Nafe (Somasoft)

*Don’t see your birthday here? Make sure you fill out your Weave the People Profile!

Photo of the Week: Working hard at last week’s Shark Tank workshop.

20150519 BeatBox -17

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Guest Blog: Welcoming Iconic Tour to Chicago and 1871 – The Startup Success Community http://www.1871.com/guest-blog-welcoming-iconic-tour-to-chicago-and-1871-the-startup-success-community/ http://www.1871.com/guest-blog-welcoming-iconic-tour-to-chicago-and-1871-the-startup-success-community/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 20:40:43 +0000 http://www.1871.com/?p=12536 By Colm Lennon, 1871 member and founder of Haka Products

The Iconic Conference is here in Chicago this week. Inc. and ... » Continue]]> By Colm Lennon, 1871 member and founder of Haka Products

The Iconic Conference is here in Chicago this week. Inc. and CNBC have put together a solid line up of successful entrepreneurs, academics, authors, and more to tell their stories, share a point of view, and inspire us to achieve greatness. The attendees will surely walk away from this event with some great ideas about what to do differently to secure their entrepreneurial success.

There will be plenty of tours today of the co-working spaces around the city. There will be logos of the successful companies that got their start in that space. They will talk about how their space is unique, different, and enables startups to be successful.

Unfortunately, inspirational presentations and co-working spaces don’t create great companies. If that is all it took, the success rate for venture backed startups would be much higher.

Startups are a team sport! 

It’s kind of a strange because usually you think about startups as 1 or 2 guys in their garage starting the next Apple. Sure, lightning can strike but two guys in a garage can be a very lonely existence with a very low likelihood of success.

It takes a community to create successful companies. It takes:

  • Early adopter customers that share your vision and take a chance on you
  • Mentors that share your passion and want to enable your success
  • Teachers that provide you with the skills you need to start and grow a business
  • Investors that understand what it will take to win
  • Entrepreneurs that want to help each other by sharing experiences, resources, and ideas

Haka Products is very fortunate to be a part of 1871 here in the city of Chicago. Howard Tullman and the team at 1871 understand what it takes to create successful companies. They are enabling our success by creating a community that brings together all of the elements above.

1871 isn’t just a space. 1871 isn’t just an incubator. 1871 is a community of people with a shared vision of creating successful companies here in the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois.

Each month, members are provided with a huge list of workshops and office hour mentoring sessions. And each month, we have taken advantage of those workshops and mentoring sessions to address current challenges. I have had the opportunity to meet attorneys, intellectual property experts, sales leaders, marketing experts, investment advisors, and many more. I have also met with senior leaders at big companies in the Chicago area who have a passion for innovation and startups.

My team isn’t just the employees that work for Haka Products. My team consists of all the customers, mentors, advisors, and the 1871 team that have helped us get to where we are today and who want to see us succeed.

Welcome Iconic Tour to the City of Chicago. Here are four things you must do while you are in town:

  1. Bring a jacket – it’s Chicago in May
  2. Catch a game – we’re a sports town
  3. Grab some deep dish – we have our own pizza
  4. Experience the community – come by 1871 and don’t ask for ‘the tour’ – ask how you can be part of the community.

About the author: Colm Lennon is the Founder of Haka Products (http://www.hakaproducts.com). Haka Connect is an app built on Salesforce.com that helps you sell smarter and faster with context for customers and buyers. Haka Innovate helps you turn voice of the customer feedback into successful new products. Colm is an ex-CIO and Marketing leader at a Fortune 100 company. In addition to his LinkedIn profile, you can also interact with Colm on his Twitter account @ColmLennon.

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Tullman: Is Your Startup Truly Diverse? http://www.1871.com/tullman-is-your-startup-truly-diverse/ http://www.1871.com/tullman-is-your-startup-truly-diverse/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 19:27:25 +0000 http://www.1871.com/?p=12532 By 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. To view the original post, visit http://www.inc.com/howard-tullman/how-a-startup-should-define-diversity.html

The tech world, and Silicon Valley in ... » Continue]]> By 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. To view the original post, visit http://www.inc.com/howard-tullman/how-a-startup-should-define-diversity.html

The tech world, and Silicon Valley in particular, has taken a lot of heat over diversity, or lack thereof. It’s been criticized as a closed-loop fraternity of young, white, programmers whose social skills need work, particularly around women. But diversity can, and should have a broader meaning, too-; a diversity of experience. And that’s why I’m so impressed with the Chicago-based branch of the Startup Institute, which is located within 1871. The SI is cranking out amazing results-; not only in their own operations -; but, more importantly, in terms of providing a constant and growing stream of talented and excited new employees for so many of our member companies.

I think that 1871 companies alone are hiring about 10% to 15% of each Startup Institute cohort as they graduate. Some of these firms have already hired 4 or 5 people from the SI program and they keep coming back for more. In terms of attracting, training and retaining talent for Chicago companies in general, more than 90 Chicago-based businesses, as well as major corporations, have employed SI graduates and alumni so far. This is pretty big news for an operation that’s only been at it for a relatively short time.

As it happens, the overall population of 1871 aligns almost ideally with the target populations that the Startup Institute seeks to train. This is why I think it’s working so well for all concerned. We have newbies for sure. We have career changers. We have smart folks with real experience who need a tech and digital refresh-; or better yet-; a couple of partners. We have people that did one thing for a long, long time and are now looking to pursue their passion. And we have plenty of folks full of energy and passion who are looking for the right place to make a difference.

But what’s most interesting about the whole situation is what it says about the kinds of employees that both our early-stage businesses as well as the companies entering the growth stage are going to need to keep adding to their teams. And, if you’re running a startup anywhere, there’s a lesson here for you as well.

One surprising hint: it’s not just about programmers, engineers and other techies. And it’s also not just newbies or people looking for their first jobs right out of school. Our businesses need (1) talented sales people, (2) serious management help as they scale, (3) domain experts to help identify real customer needs and requirements, and (4) even a little gray hair.

And that’s where the unique make-up of the day-to-day population of 1871 comes in. Very few people realize just how diverse and robust a group of entrepreneurs can be when you have 1,500 people a day showing up at your doorstep. Each day. Every day. One particularly interesting fact is that our largest single group of members is composed of people with more than 14 years of industry experience. Not youngsters, and not newbies.

1871 today isn’t just about any one group or type of individuals. It’s not just for people interested in tech-; in no small part-; because tech is a part of everything today. You couldn’t avoid being tech-enabled if you tried. Nor is 1871 limited or appropriate only just for people of a certain age or only for those interested in simply a single industry or market sector. Passion, innovation, inspiration and entrepreneurship come in every size and shape and we welcome them all.

And the most important thing that you learn about people when you’re building a business-; which is the very reason that the alumni of the Startup Institute make such great hires and can hit the ground running and start making a difference immediately-; is that to build a great business, you need all kinds of people with different attitudes, aptitudes and abilities. Trying to hire only people who look, act and reason just like you is a fool’s mission. It’s the diversity of ideas and even ideals that makes all the difference.

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Tullman: 10 Startup Lessons Your Kids Could Use, Too http://www.1871.com/tullman-10-startup-lessons-your-kids-could-use-too/ http://www.1871.com/tullman-10-startup-lessons-your-kids-could-use-too/#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 15:18:19 +0000 http://www.1871.com/?p=12491 By 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. To view the original post, visit http://www.inc.com/howard-tullman/startup-lessons-for-kids-and-entrepreneurs.html

Kids and budding entrepreneurs have something in ... » Continue]]> By 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. To view the original post, visit http://www.inc.com/howard-tullman/startup-lessons-for-kids-and-entrepreneurs.html

Kids and budding entrepreneurs have something in common. Much of what every kid would ideally learn in school is, in part, a working familiarity with the same attitudes, approaches and outlooks that we try to instill in our aspiring 1871 entrepreneurs as a lasting part of their overall experience with us.

Today, there’s no question that we absorb a great deal through indirect lateral learning, (see http://www.inc.com/howard-tullman/when-to-steal-from-other-founders.html) which comes principally from our observations of the trials, tribulations, successes and failures of those around us engaged in similar or parallel activities. Not only does misery love company; the fact is that the cheapest and least painful education available today is making sure that you don’t repeat someone else’s mistakes while you’re building your business. In addition, peer-to-peer communications are a constant and growing part of our lives. We learn every day directly from each other and from others across the globe.

When you combine these knowledge sources with the many readily available independent media and content channels, it’s increasingly clear that most of us are learning as much or more from the digital universe as from any traditional and/or formal education programs. That will be even truer in the future.

And, although the debate continues to rage as to which startup skills can be taught, it’s very clear that a great deal can be learned by new business builders who immerse themselves in the critical and creative entrepreneurial mass that an incubator like 1871 provides.  That’s especially true when component parts of the startup ecosystem reside locally: including hundreds of other new entrepreneurs, universities, VCs, experienced serial entrepreneurs and committed mentors, angel investors, city and state representatives, substantial educational resources, alumni businesses, etc.

But we need to figure out exactly how to make sure that the policies and programs in our schools are designed and organized in ways which help our kids learn these same entrepreneurial life skills as early and as fully as possible. It’s not about filling their heads with ancient philosophies and rote facts; it’s about filling their hearts with a passion for learning and the desire to make a difference – to make their efforts and their lives meaningful -; both in the near term and in the long run. And it’s a process which can’t be started too soon.

Here are the top 10 “need to knows” on my list and a brief comment on each:

(1) You Get What You Work for, Not What You Wish for

In the real world, effort trumps talent; inspiration without execution means nothing. Our attitude is that, while we may not always outsmart the other guys, we will always out-prepare and outwork them.

(2) Keep Raising the Bar

Successive approximation beats postponed perfection. You get better by getting better and you do that by constantly raising the bar and iterating like mad. In a world of fast followers and global competition, we want to always be on the move and moving forward.

(3) Shoot for the Stars

If you don’t ask, you never get. Someone is gonna be first and grab the best seat in the house and it might as well be you. But you won’t get it if you don’t go for it. As Michael Jordan said: you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. If you don’t bother to ask, the answer’s always “No”.

4) Don’t Sell Yourself Short

There are always plenty of people who will tell you why you can’t do something – mainly because they haven’t tried or couldn’t do it themselves. Don’t allow yourself to be defined or constrained by other people’s limitations. Ya never know whether you can do it until you try. Every day the people who are doing it are blowing by the ones who insist that it can’t be done.

(5) Start Now with What You Have

Waiting for the perfect moment and the stars to align won’t get you anywhere. Waiting for a schedule or permission will get you left in the dust by the people who are just getting out there and getting things done. Nothing will ever get done if every objection and problem needs to be resolved before you start. The time will never be just right, but the time to start is always “now”.

(6) Nobody Said Life was Fair

Sometimes things just don’t work out. The best entrepreneurs understand that no one makes all the right choices or decisions – the trick is to learn from all of them – good or bad – and to learn not to repeat your mistakes. And, while hard work is necessary for success, it’s not sufficient in itself or any certain guarantee. Luck, timing, tools, the quality and commitment of your team, etc. – all of these are success factors. And even when everything aligns, there are still too many instances to count where the world seems to have conspired to kill your dream. This is why resilience and the ability to get over the past and get on with the future are just as crucial as the perseverance that it often takes to stick with your idea through thick and thin. Fall down three times; get up four times.

(7) Never Play the Blame Game

People can always find an excuse or blame their circumstances for why things didn’t happen or work out the way they hoped. But the ones who will always succeed are the ones who take whatever they are handed and make those conditions and constraints work. Hoping for something better isn’t an effective strategy – it’s just a formula for further disappointment. When you start blaming others for your problems, you give up your power and the ability to make critical changes.

(8) It’s Only a “No” for Now

Winners keep pressing and never take “No” for a final answer – just an opportunity to try harder, even if it’s on the next idea. Excellence and real results are always based ultimately in perseverance – sticking around long enough so that even if you can’t win them over, at least you will eventually wear down their resistance. There are no shortcuts or tricks to make the path easier and there’s no finish line either.

(9) Sometimes the Baby Just is Ugly

By the same token, don’t confuse energy wasting with perseverance.   Kids who think they’ll live forever (and are frankly too young to even understand the consequences of their actions) have no concept of opportunity costs or the fact that your time is probably the scarcest resource you have. Sadly, it’s often the same kind of problem with passionate, but inexperienced young entrepreneurs. They stick with things way too long and end up beating a dead horse when they should be moving on. They regularly forget the first rule of holes: when you’re in one, stop digging.

(10) Make Something that Makes a Difference

It’s hard to get out of your own head when you’re young, but it’s never too early to explain the value of being connected to something – a cause, an idea, a team, etc. – that’s bigger than yourself. At 1871, we say that you can’t be in this for the money – it’s just too hard and it’s really not about making money or even about making a living. It’s about making a life worth living and one that makes a difference and a contribution to others.

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Loyola University Chicago Announces Partnership with 1871 http://www.1871.com/loyola-university-chicago-announces-partnership-with-1871/ http://www.1871.com/loyola-university-chicago-announces-partnership-with-1871/#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 23:59:59 +0000 http://www.1871.com/?p=12477 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 11, 2015

Contact:

1871
Melissa Wooten
press@1871.com

Loyola University Chicago
Megan Troppito
» Continue]]> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 11, 2015

Contact:

1871
Melissa Wooten
press@1871.com

Loyola University Chicago
Megan Troppito
312.915.6324
mtroppito@luc.edu

 

Loyola University Chicago Announces Partnership with 1871

Organizations Team Up to Provide Access for Student Entrepreneurs and Faculty Mentors

CHICAGO (May 11, 2015) – Loyola University Chicago has teamed up with 1871 to open a workspace in the digital technology incubator’s historic Merchandise Mart space. The partnership allows Loyola student entrepreneurs, as well as the University’s world-class faculty, to plug directly into the Chicago entrepreneurial ecosystem through events, special programming, and access to critical business resources like venture capitalists, media outlets, and prospective corporate partners.

“Our relationships with universities have been essential in our ongoing effort to expand innovation and entrepreneurship throughout Chicago,” said 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. “Having university members and student entrepreneurs as a part of 1871 creates new and exciting opportunities for everyone. We are thrilled to welcome Loyola to our community.”

The partnership also allows 1871 to connect its members with Loyola faculty who are interested in serving as mentors and coaches. One of the first endeavors of the partnership includes the University’s School of Law, School of Communication, and Quinlan School of Business faculty engaging with entrepreneurs who have received an 1871 diversity scholarship. Over the past four months, six faculty members have met with these entrepreneurs weekly to coach them on their individual areas of expertise. The program culminates with a May 11 presentation at 1871.

“As a university, we are committed to connecting our students with opportunities both within, and beyond, Loyola’s campuses,” said John Pelissero, PhD, provost of Loyola University Chicago. “This opportunity to partner with 1871 and its entrepreneurial community benefits all of our students—undergraduate and graduate—and demonstrates our commitment to preparing students for a lifetime of leadership and innovation.”

Six Illinois universities now have workspaces at 1871, and 1871 has a number of endeavors focused on student entrepreneurs. The Chicago College Startup Competition, in which ten college businesses receive a free one-year full membership, allows entrepreneurs in college to continue to grow their businesses in Chicago after graduation. Additionally, 1871 hosts Campus 1871, a weekend-long event where college students interested in technology entrepreneurship harness their passion by working with peers from partner universities to ideate, create, and bring to life viable startups.

Student innovation took center stage from April 10 through April 12 at this year’s Campus 1871. Twenty Loyola students participated in Campus 1871, including sophomore finance and marketing major Jessica Chitkuer, whose team won first place for their creation of an app and website that connects users looking to learn new languages. Chitkuer and her team built a fully working prototype, designed product features, crafted a pitch deck, and conducted market validation in only 72 hours.

“Entrepreneurs have to wear a lot of hats,” said Ugur Uygur, assistant professor at Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business and a faculty mentor in the 1871 program. “Our partnership with 1871 provides a great opportunity for our students to learn how to wear all these hats, increase their knowledge across all disciplines, and connect with some of the brightest minds in Chicago.”

To learn more about Loyola’s 1871 partnership, or how to engage directly with our students and faculty, please contact our Office of Corporate Engagement at 312.915.6512 or visit LUC.edu/corporate.

 

About 1871 
1871 is the home of more than 325 early-stage, high-growth digital startups. Located in The Merchandise Mart, this 75,000 square foot facility is also the headquarters of nationally recognized accelerators, Techstars Chicago and Impact Engine; half a dozen industry-specific incubators in key areas such as real estate, education technology, food and financial technology; several emerging tech talent schools (Code Fellows, Flatiron, The Fullbridge Program, Designation and the Startup Institute), and the state’s leading technology advocate, the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition. It is the second home to Chicago-based VCs, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, MATH Venture Partners, Hyde Park Angels, OCA Ventures, OurCrowd and Chicago Ventures, as well as satellite offices for Northwestern University, University of Illinois, University of Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, and DeVry. 1871 has fast become recognized as the hub for the city’s entrepreneurial/technology ecosystem and has been featured in TechCrunch, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business among other top media. 1871 is the flagship project of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center.

 

About Loyola University Chicago
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with nearly 16,000 students. Nearly 10,000 undergraduates hailing from all 50 states and 82 countries call Loyola home. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in Beijing, China; Saigon-Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens); and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University features 11 schools and colleges, including the Quinlan School of Business, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Stritch School of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, School of Education, School of Law, School of Social Work, Graduate School, and Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago. Consistently ranked a top national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations like the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. To learn more about Loyola, visit LUC.edu, “like” us at Facebook.com/LoyolaChicago, or follow us on Twitter via @LoyolaChicago or @LoyolaNewsroom.

 

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Guest Blog: Why We Are Launching An Angel Network http://www.1871.com/guest-blog-why-we-are-launch-an-angel-network/ http://www.1871.com/guest-blog-why-we-are-launch-an-angel-network/#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 15:35:29 +0000 http://www.1871.com/?p=12465 By Noelle Juengling, Impact Engine. To view the original blog, visit http://theimpactengine.com/why-we-are-launching-an-angel-network/

At Impact Engine, we believe that some of ... » Continue]]> By Noelle Juengling, Impact Engine. To view the original blog, visit http://theimpactengine.com/why-we-are-launching-an-angel-network/

At Impact Engine, we believe that some of the most talented entrepreneurs today are launching companies that combine the potential for financial return with social impact. Since our founding in 2012, we have supported impact entrepreneurs through an ever-growing network of mentors and investors who were inspired by these entrepreneurs and committed to helping them launch their businesses successfully. Over the past three years, these companies have shown that profit and purpose can go hand in hand, and they have in turn helped us to demonstrate the power and potential of impact investing.

As we began planning for 2015, we realized that while we had accomplished a great deal working with entrepreneurs, we could do much more to support our community of investors. To that end, our next investment will be in impact investors!

The Impact Engine Angel Network is a community for investors to invest collaboratively and learn from each other as they build their personal angel investment portfolios around impact. Our network includes active impact investors who want to connect with each other, angel investors who are interested in exploring impact, and individuals  who are committed to impact but unfamiliar with early stage investing. No matter how they identify, the one thing they all care about is using capital to solve big social challenges.

Members of our angel network will benefit not only from vetted deal flow from a variety of sources, but also a community of inspiring individuals that they can learn from and invest with, and continued education from and connections with the impact investing field beyond Chicago. In addition to the Network, we are also launching Impact Pathways — educational opportunities for those just interested in learning more about impact investing and its many forms.

We are deeply inspired by the people who are aligning their investments with the social and environmental outcomes they want to see in the world. We plan to do our part to make their process even easier and more rewarding.

Click here for more information about our investor resources and here for the link to our press release.  Contact us atnetworkinfo@theimpactengine.com for more information.

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Guest Blog: U.S. Small Business Administration Partners with Good Food Business Accelerator at 1871 Incubator http://www.1871.com/guest-blog-u-s-small-business-administration-partners-with-good-food-business-accelerator-at-1871-incubator/ http://www.1871.com/guest-blog-u-s-small-business-administration-partners-with-good-food-business-accelerator-at-1871-incubator/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 18:33:38 +0000 http://www.1871.com/?p=12461 By Bob Benson, Family Farmed. To view the original post, visit http://goodfoodoneverytable.com/2015/04/23/u-s-small-business-administration-partners-with-good-food-business-accelerator-at-1871-incubator/

Demand for sustainably produced local food is rising ... » Continue]]> By Bob Benson, Family Farmed. To view the original post, visit http://goodfoodoneverytable.com/2015/04/23/u-s-small-business-administration-partners-with-good-food-business-accelerator-at-1871-incubator/

Demand for sustainably produced local food is rising fast: Organic food sales in the U.S. grew from $1 billion in 1990 to more than $39 billion in 2014, and local food is the hottest segment in the food industry. But supply has not kept pace. Large buyers, including supermarkets, restaurants, schools, hospitals, and other institutions are increasingly demanding sustainable local food.

That’s where the Good Food Business Accelerator (GFBA) comes in. Created  to address the burgeoning demand, it is a Fellows program for food and farm entrepreneurs to help them get financed, meet new customers, and scale up.

The Accelerator has set up shop at 1871, the center for innovation and entrepreneurship located in Chicago’s famous Merchandise Mart. The program is operated by FamilyFarmed, a leading non-profit that supports business development in the Good Food sector (Good Food being defined as food that is local, sustainable, humane, and fair).

Whole Foods Market, the nation’s largest natural foods supermarket chain, and UNFI, the nation’s leading distributor of natural and organic food, are strategic partners and funders of GBFA. The Accelerator was also the first grant of Food:Land:Opportunity — Localizing the Chicago Food Shed, an initiative of the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust. And the U.S. Department of Agriculture Local Foods Promotion Program also supported the program with a $100,000 grant.

1871 business incubator in Chicago

The creative energy is almost palpable at 1871 — home of FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator — which has emerged as a major hub for entrepreneurial development in Chicago since its launch in May 2012.

GFBA also has developed a strong relationship with the federal agency charged with assisting the entrepreneurial sector: the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). FamilyFarmed in 2014 was a winner of the SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund competition, earning it $50,000 to help launch the Accelerator program that began last fall and is rounding out its first six-month session of mentorship for nine competitively selected entrepreneur Fellows.

And twice, within a six-day period over the past week, leading SBA officials visited GFBA and were treated to tours of 1871 led by Howard Tullman, its CEO.

They included Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, who heads the agency in her Cabinet-level position, and Javier Saade, SBA’s associate administrator for the Office of Investment and Innovation. They were accompanied by Regional SBA Administrator Marianne O’Brien Markowitz, who oversees the agency’s operations in the Midwest, and Bo Steiner, SBA’s director for Illinois.

SBA visit to Good Food Business Accelerator

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, during her visit to FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator April 17, was greeted by Howard Tullman, CEO of the 1871 business incubator where the Accelerator program is located. Photo: Bob Benenson

“Loans from SBA banks are an important tool in the financing arsenal of rapidly growing businesses that, in some cases, need a federal guarantee to qualify for credit, ” said Tullman. “The SBA is a logical partner for 1871, which now is now home to more than 400 startups.”

In addition to the Good Food Business Accelerator, 1871 also has accelerator programs working with veterans, impact businesses, women, real estate, and tech. And all of this has come together quickly: May 2 will mark the third anniversary of 1871’s opening.

The timing of the SBA visits, though coincidental, was fortuitous, as the nine Fellow businesses participating in the first-year program at the Good Food Business Accelerator were preparing for their climactic event — Demo Day @ 1871 — which will take place Monday evening April 27 beginning at 6 p.m.

In what may be equated to the oral exams of a college graduate school class, all of the Accelerator program’s participants will do public presentations about their businesses and their growth plans. They then will be available for conversation with attendees and investors at a reception that follows. For more information and to register to attend, please click here.

What amounted to SBA Week for the Accelerator began on April 17, when Contreras-Sweet stopped by for an informal visit she described as a “customer call.” She added, “We just want to make sure we’re doing right by you, and how we can deepen the relationship, because you’re doing so much right.”

Contreras-Sweet noted that Congress deemed the first year of the Growth Accelerator Fund program so satisfactory that its allocation was increased from $2.5 million to $4 million. This will enable the program to expand the number of recipients of its $50,000 grants from 50 in the current year (out of 850) applicants to 80 next year.

Contreras-Sweet also mentioned the SBA’s efforts to develop business “cluster communities,” a concept with which FamilyFarmed associates itself because if its long-term efforts to connect buyers, sellers, service providers, financiers and others and help build Good Food into a dynamic market sector. A major element of this will be for SBA lenders to provide debt financing to businesses in the sector seeking loans. SBA plays a key role in this by providing loan guarantees for emerging businesses that might not otherwise qualify for bank financing.

“We take this kind of energy and ecosystem that has already been very successful, and then we sort of add more of the whole of government again and kind of wrap ourselves around it. We call these ‘cluster efforts,’ and we’re trying to create little Silicon Valleys,” said Contreras-Sweet, who noted that the program’s potential has drawn matching funds from JP Morgan Chase, one of the nation’s largest banking companies.

SBA visit to Good Food Business Accelerator

Marianne O’Brien Markowitz, Midwest regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Adminstration, chats with FamilyFarmed President Jim Slama (right) and Joel Blechman, director of the Good Food Business Accelerator, during the April 22 SBA visit to the program. Photo: Bob Benenson

“We have actively worked with more than 500 food and farm businesses, trade buyers, and Good Food investors in recent years,” said Jim Slama, founder of FamilyFarmed and the Good Food Business Accelerator, following the event. “Our Good Food Cluster is an exciting and rapidly growing market, and we are grateful for partners like the SBA who have helped it to thrive.”

Saade, during his visit on April 22, expanded upon the details of the SBA programs that are most relevant to businesses such as the participants in the Good Food Business Accelerator.

At a roundtable discussion that included most GFBA staff and Fellows, Saade elaborated upon the purpose of the Growth Accelerator Fund, which he oversees. “What’s interesting about it is that the premise of the competition, and the reason why places like 1871 and your Accelerator are so important, innovation happens almost solely at small companies,” he stated.

SBA visit to Good Food Business Accelerator

Javier Saade (rear left), SBA’s associate administrator for the Office of Investment and Innovation, held a roundtable discussion over lunch April 22 with Fellows and staff of FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator. Photo: Bob Benenson

Saade noted that business incubators and accelerators are providing structure — “an ecosystem” — that enables these small business innovators to take root and grow. “For these small companies to thrive, these ecosystems are actually critical backbones to their development,” he said. “Now could you small company folks do it without being here? Sure. But is it is better and easier? The data says yes. You usually get accelerated. You want to start making revenues as soon as humanly possible.”

There are specific SBA programs targeted to assisting early-stage companies. One is the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant program, which provides funding for research into areas that the government deems as national priorities. That definition typically is applied to areas such as renewable energy or technology. But Saade encouraged the Accelerator Fellows to consider whether their products fit as well.

Another option is the long-standing Small Business Investment Company(SBIC) program, in which the SBA does not provide money directly to entrepreneurs, but rather provides resources to investment companies that finance small businesses through loans or, in some cases, equity capital.

And Saade urged the participants not to overlook the possibility of getting their hands on federal money as vendors of goods and services needed to run the government. “Just like the government is the biggest researcher of things, it’s also the biggest buyer of things,” Saade said. “And guess what they buy? Everything.”

He said this could be a good time for entrepreneurs in this sector to do business with the government, because Michelle Obama has made healthier eating and active lifestyles the trademark issues of her two terms as first lady. “So you guys are actually in a space that not only is interesting and important to the country, but it’s getting a lot of visibility,” Saade said. “There can be all sorts of angles. Who knows?”

As the meeting wrapped up, Saade said he looked forward to trying the foods produced by some of the Accelerator Fellows, such as Phoenix Bean’s tofu,Living Water Farms microgreens, and the produce grown by The Urban Canopy at its rooftop, indoor, and in-ground farms on Chicago’s South Side. FamilyFarmed’s Slama promised him a tour of the Fellows’ businesses on his next visit to Chicago.

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the.1871.scoop 5.7.15 http://www.1871.com/the-1871-scoop-5-7-15/ http://www.1871.com/the-1871-scoop-5-7-15/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 15:00:57 +0000 http://www.1871.com/?p=12455 Welcome to the.1871.scoop – your source for interesting news from the 1871 team, members and friends. From mergers to member ... » Continue]]> Welcome to the.1871.scoop – your source for interesting news from the 1871 team, members and friends. From mergers to member opportunities, this is the new place to stay updated on all things 1871. Contact Melissa Wooten: mwooten@1871.com | @1871Chicago

You had me at Goose Island: Join us in the auditorium on Monday evening for a fireside chat with Imerman Angels founder Jonny Imerman and 1871 CEO Howard Tullman. The talk will focus on the importance of collaboration and community in the fight against cancer. Food and beverages will be provided by Union Sushi…and Protein Bar…and Jimmy Johns…and Goose Island – so there is really no reason not to be there. The event is free, but make sure to RSVP. bit.ly/1IRZ7R7 | @ImermanAngels

No word as to whether Daymond John’s cufflinks will make an appearance: How did three kids with no industry experience, no intellectual property, no money, and no clue land one of the top 10 deals in Shark Tank history? Find out at a workshop with Justin Fenchel and Dan Singer, founders of the Shark Tank-famous BeatBox Beverages, on 5/19. Their session is packed with interactive drills and team activities, not to mention a few stories from their time in the Tank. bit.ly/1ESGDwR | @BeatboxBevs

Apostrophes make everything better: Lost in the 20 open tabs while you research? Embarrassed that 20 open tabs doesn’t seem that high anymore? 1871 member company Sorc’d has created a private cloud-based environment for your team to capture, share, and recall snippets of information that are important to your business. Think Pinterest for information you care about. Email feedback@sorcd.com to find out how Bill Kurtis, Rise Interactive, and the 1871 team are using Sorc’d. sorcd.com

I thought it meant Why The Face? Join Women Tech Founders in the 1871 auditorium on the evening of 5/14 for part one of their Top 10 WTF Startup Lessons: Turn Your WTF Moment into a Tech Startup! You’ll meet 10 women who are turning their problems into solutions that reach millions. The speakers will share powerful lessons that moved them from identifying a problem/need to initial execution. bit.ly/1zFQg2Y | @WTFounders

It would have been worth it even without the fuzzy Comcast blanket I got: This weekend brought members of the Chicago tech community to 1871 for a hackathon around digital entertainment. After hearing from MC Tom Alexander (plus mini-MC Ben Alexander), the groups had 24 hours to hack before pitching their products to the INTX tech partners. This week, the winners of the hackathon and four 1871 member companies were able to attend the Internet & Television Expo, and the hackathon finalists all pitched in front of the Expo attendees. Congrats to team 4K Hax, who took home the $10,000 first prize for their pitch! bit.ly/1zFQg2Y

Every time a bell rings an impact investor gets its wings: Impact Engine just launched its Angel Network, creating Chicago’s first angel network focused specifically around impact investing. Members of the Impact Engine Angel Network will get a first look at qualified impact businesses coming through Impact Engine’s two entrepreneur programs, and will also have access to workshops, seminars, and a speaker series which will focus on impact investing and sector-specific trends. bit.ly/1IleUay

Our Designated Design Gurus: We’re excited to welcome the DESIGNATION team to 1871. Their students learn the full-stack of design skills, including user experience, user interface, and front-end development. Scratching your head over who can help with your front-end web development work? They’ve graduated over 100 students and have a 94% hiring rate, so chances are there’s someone at DESIGNATION who can help. designation.io | @designationio

Millenni-you’ll love this! Crain’s just released their 20 in Their 20s Class of 2015, and we’re thrilled to see that a few 1871-ers made the list. Congratulations to Mike Shannon and Kasey Gandham, co-founders of 1871 alum Packback, as well as Riana Lynn, founder of Good Food Business Accelerator company FoodTrace and our very own Google/Code2040 Entrepreneur-in-Residence! bit.ly/1dQ25K1 | @packbackbooks | @TheFoodTrace

Surprising nobody, Ashvin and Beau have already signed up: 1871’s in-house photography service will be holding their monthly complimentary portrait session for 1871 members this Monday, May 11 in the auditorium from 11am – 2pm. They can take walk-ins throughout that time and are also accepting sign-ups for the June session. 1871.com/photos

Prom-oat-ing Innovation: As part of our ongoing partnership with Quaker, we are holding a Pitch Day with their employees today. 1871 companies were invited to submit, and seven were selected to pitch live to the Quaker group. Good luck to all!

Smart people, working on our problems, for free: Member companies Heirlume and Savvo are receiving pro bono consulting from A.T. Kearney through A.T. Kearney’s pilot partnership with 1871. This deal not only helps out new businesses with limited resources, but also gives the consultants at A.T. Kearney a nice change from their typical larger clients. Both startups have seen a lot of success with the program, so we’re hoping to see more of A.T. Kearney in the future! @winesavvo | @Heirlume

Jobs is my third favorite four letter word: Sales Director (Bonfyre) – Customer Success Manager (Telnyx) – Senior UI/UX Product Designer (SpotHero) – SEO/SEM Specialist (Telnyx) – Senior DevOps Engineer (Telnyx) – Product Analyst (SpotHero) – Senior Developer (Options Away) – AngularJS Architect (NextTier Education) – Senior iOS Developer (SpotHero) – Senior Ruby on Rails Developer (ThinkCERCA) – Technical Co-Founder (Wordperks) – QA Engineer (Options Away) – QA Automation Engineer (Options Away). See a full list with job descriptions on our jobs site. bit.ly/1EdvfJq

News you can use: Freshii is scheduled to open up in July. – Contact photos@1871.com for affordable photography services. – Business Models Inc is running workshops every month for members to work on their business plans. Their next session will be in June. – Make sure to congratulate the Good Food Fellows on their graduation this coming Tuesday.

Tweet of the Week:

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 12.19.30 PM

 

Welcome new members! Hugo Agusto – Susan Bova (U.S. Cellular) – Mikhail Kogan (babstr) – Daniel Sullivan (Ubuntu Capital) – Yuriy Nekrasov (babstr) – Sarah Wasilewski (Lumia Marketing) – Ann Marie Murphy (Vue Ventures) – Michael Donnelly (Venture Connects) – Scott Sheridan – RJ Pahura (Venture Connects) – JJ Lee (Designation) – Bart Bruckert (BoxJump) – Zakery Kates – Jordan von Kluck – Case Sosnoff – Alan Wood – Nick Cottone – Tim Carnahan – Andy Zhang (Carzell Corp) – Jeremy Rothschild – Elise Taylor (Luxe Valet) – Dana Wright (MATH Venture Partners) – Solomiya Chuyko (PopUp Republic) – Bill Finn (Common Threads) – Martha Young-Burns (Common Threads) – Robin Vance (Common Threads) – Kathleen Sullivan (Common Threads) – Kevin Tellie (Common Threads) – Allison Liefer (Common Threads) – Allie Koolbeck (Common Threads)

Gogh check this out: See art combined with tech in this new virtual reality project that allows users to take a stroll through Vincent van Gogh’s The Night Café. If you don’t happen to have your VR headsets handy, the video is still pretty cool. engt.co/1AHXsqi

Birthdays this week: Sunday 5/3 – Tamara Habib (Firelily) – Jorge Doig (NexLP) – Wednesday 5/6 – Hanyul Lee (InSight LLC) – Thursday 5/7 – Ingrid Goncalves (Carrot) – Jon Bauer (Carbon Cash) – Friday 5/8 – Alberto Rincon (FamilyFarmed.org)

*Don’t see your birthday here? Make sure you fill out your Weave the People Profile!

Is it weird that Pere carries his own sharpie? In case it wasn’t clear with the tweet of the week, we’re incredibly excited to say that 1871 celebrated its 3 year anniversary on Saturday! We are so proud of all of your accomplishments, and can’t wait to see what will come of the next three. Be sure to find and sign this year’s 3 year anniversary commemorative logo the next time you’re in the space. on.fb.me/1Km5Y3C

20150501 Happy Hour-63

Essential Links: @1871Chicago | http://www.1871.com | weavethepeople.com/w/1871/2015/ | http://www.facebook.com/1871Chicago

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Tullman: Build a Bridge, not Another Band-Aid http://www.1871.com/tullman-build-a-bridge-not-another-band-aid/ http://www.1871.com/tullman-build-a-bridge-not-another-band-aid/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 20:54:05 +0000 http://www.1871.com/?p=12442 By 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. To view the original post, visit http://www.builtinchicago.org/blog/build-bridge-not-another-band-aid

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel had it ... » Continue]]> By 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. To view the original post, visit http://www.builtinchicago.org/blog/build-bridge-not-another-band-aid

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel had it right and they actually didn’t even know it. I think that today they’d still probably be embarrassed if someone called them “computer geeks” or said that they had perfectly articulated the newest and smartest solution we’ve seen in some time for the legacy and enterprise-wide computer system problems that continue to plague many of the country’s largest businesses. But the fact is that they said it all in a song.

The correct solutions today (and the enormous set of opportunities they create for smart young businesses) for a great deal of the legacy leftovers, remnant and orphaned protocols, and general “spaghetti code” confusion that continues to impede important process improvements, speed and efficiency enhancements, and any amount of material innovation in these big businesses are actually pretty simple. Some of these things are sitting there in plain sight, but they’re overlooked by the guys who’ve been staring at the same stale whiteboards for years and retreading the same tired paths. Rehashing the same old stew isn’t going to help anyone get ahead.

The simple answer – as the boys used to sing in the 70’s – is all about building a “bridge over troubled water”. It’s not about trying to implement the latest desperate attempt (in a long, sad series of stop-gap measures and bulked-up bandages) which simply adds complexity to the current code base and postpones the necessary progress to the ultimate solution. You can’t save your way to these kinds of radical solutions and you can’t do it on the cheap either. But you won’t get anywhere at all if you don’t have a new and clear vision of where you’re headed.

Here’s the hard truth: the guys that got them there and built the problems that these companies are living with today aren’t gonna get them to the next level of solutions. They’re committed to their code with their embedded approaches and they’re stuck trying to drag those ancient albatrosses forward into the future. It’s a heavy load; it’s the wrong strategy; and it’s doomed to be more of the same under the best of circumstances. There’s only one way you’re headed if you’re looking through the rear view mirror and that’s backwards.

Frankly, to solve these kinds of problems, these companies need to get help and a fresh set of uninvested eyes from the outside and they need a strategy that builds a new, streamlined and simply sufficient solution right over the top of the problems (a “bridge”) rather than another massive rewriting project that takes forever, costs a fortune, moves the same deck chairs around, and basically repaints the flagpole. Even the best Band-Aid is no bargain in the long run.

And what is very interesting is that these aren’t cases where the new kids on the block are going to be suggesting new things to be doing or even new ways to do them – they’re creating bypasses, express lanes and other new streamlined and fast channels to get the work done. They know the inputs; they know the desired outputs and results; and they’re free to determine the least costly and most efficient ways to connect them. It’s as easy as that once you get over the old news.

It all comes down to a simple realization, but it’s one that’s very difficult for the folks whose history is closely tied to what’s been built in the past to admit. They need to acknowledge that their hard work and voluminous body of code can be readily and easily replicated and, in fact, efficiently superseded by simpler and more straightforward solutions. Today it’s not about the size of the effort and the lines of code created; it’s about speed and throughput and – as often as not – the simpler and more elegant the code, the faster the results generated and the happier the end users.

The trick for the old guys is not to take this stuff personally. No one said that life was fair or that anything lasted forever. And the trick for good managers is to acknowledge that the rules of the game have changed and – while it’s not exactly fair – it’s something that needs to be recognized and lived with.

The best approach (and it’s still not an easy one) is to recognize and appreciate that the guys who built the ships that got us to this point were the explorers and the trailblazers and the real inventors in many cases, but their path was long and hard and costly and full of false starts, wrong paths, broken code, etc. along with plenty of do-overs. But they still got there and that’s a true accomplishment and something to be respected.

Unfortunately now for them, whether it’s fair or not, the new guys with the new eyes get the easy job – they already know where the goal line is and they know what works and what the users need and now they have a much easier job – they simply need to build a bridge that spans the old code and connects the past with the future as quickly and inexpensively as possible. And that’s all about execution rather than exploration and that’s what it’s going to take to finally break out of the restrictions and legacies of the past in order to build the paths to the future.

The way forward isn’t through the morass; it’s over the top.

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