1871 http://www.1871.com Where digital startups get their start Tue, 24 May 2016 15:19:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Last Week On Instagram http://www.1871.com/last-week-on-instagram-7/ http://www.1871.com/last-week-on-instagram-7/#comments Tue, 24 May 2016 15:18:02 +0000 http://www.1871.com/?p=14624 » Continue]]>

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“Not in my house!” -Dikembe Mutombo and his famous finger-wag. @dofficialmutombo

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Tullman: 7 Tips for Talking From TED’s Head http://www.1871.com/tullman-7-tips-for-talking-from-teds-head/ http://www.1871.com/tullman-7-tips-for-talking-from-teds-head/#comments Thu, 12 May 2016 22:50:07 +0000 http://www.1871.com/?p=14581 By 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. To view the original post, visit http://www.inc.com/howard-tullman/seven-tips-for-talking-from-teds-head.html.

As we continue to read less and less ... » Continue]]> By 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. To view the original post, visit http://www.inc.com/howard-tullman/seven-tips-for-talking-from-teds-head.html.

As we continue to read less and less and watch and listen to ever-increasing amounts of content–and the younger you are, the less you read– it’s becoming clear that new types of communication skills are going to be essential for any kind of success in our schools, our businesses and our lives. Not to mention our politics because, say whatever else you will about his messages, The Donald is a master communicator and it’s no accident that he left the dirty dozen and a half in the dust.

There are some critical lessons here for all of us and especially for our future. In our sound bite-obsessed and media-driven world today, it’s not just WYSIWYG – “what you see is what you get” – it’s pretty much what you see and hear is all you get, whether you like it or not. And the people who develop the ability to tell their stories and deliver their messages clearly, quickly and in ways that connect with us emotionally are going to be the only ones heard. In the future, it’ll be much more important to teach your kids to sing than to fish. I don’t mean literally to sing, but they’ll need to know how to aggressively “sell” their ideas in a swift and succinct fashion. Low energy is for losers.

Every day, our world is becoming more about form and less about substance. It’s about delivery, not details. Activity, rather than accuracy. And speed above all. If you’re not quickly and effectively connecting with me, you have no hope of communicating anything of importance to me. If I’m not listening, it doesn’t matter what you’re saying; if I don’t care about what you’re saying, it doesn’t matter how smart or important the message may be; and, if I can’t find you in the noise and clutter, you’ll never be chosen.

Sadly, in addition, we’re also seeing more and more of a trend where media is sliced and diced and siloed and where each listener is seeking affirmation over information – we are basically looking and listening only to the people who are telling us what we want to hear. It’s not about discovery; it’s all about dogma: an information chamber made of mirrors instead of windows on the world. And it’s not likely to get any better any time soon, so it’s on each of us to make our way through the morass and figure out how best to function in this frantic and fractured new world.

Fortunately, some savvy and talented people have spent a great deal of time studying what works in this new world and what it takes to get the word out successfully and effectively to your “audience” — whomever they may be. Chris Anderson is one of those guys.

We hosted Chris, the “Head of TED,” recently at 1871 for a short lecture about his new book TED Talks and for some Q&A with our member companies and other guests. Chris modestly pointed out that– contrary to people’s expectations –he himself isn’t a great speaker. That was fairly surprising because he has selected and prepped virtually all of the TED conference speakers for many years and there’s no better forum than a TED talk to get your ideas across. It was about the only thing he said that was totally wrong. He was terrific.

He showed us some short video examples of great (and not so great) TED talks and then shared some specific suggestions as to what goes into crafting a memorable presentation– especially an 18-minute masterpiece–to be delivered before one of the toughest and most accomplished audiences in the world. And he also made it very clear that these ideas weren’t just specific tips about what it takes to be a top talker at TED –they applied to every kind of opportunity you may have to present any ideas worth sharing.

I’m not going to try to cover everything he mentioned (you can get his book for all the details), but here are some of the key concepts that seemed especially important to me.

1.) Tell A Story

The right story sets up the idea you are trying to share. Our whole world revolves around storytelling and metaphors and analogies are some of the best shortcuts.

2) Start Strong

If you don’t hook them at the beginning, they’ll be gone in a flash. Their smart phones are lethal weapons in the attention war.

3) Talk Your Way

Authenticity is everything and if you’re uncomfortable or forcing it or trying to be someone you’re not, the audience will know it instantly. They have great BS detectors.

4) Explain on the Way to Persuading

The world won’t take your word for it. Give me a reason or two to go along and show me why it matters to me. Convincing yourself is easy– selling others is much harder.

5) Put Some Passion into It

Chris called this “unleashing your voice.” Heart helps. No one really cares what you know until they know how much you care. This is why celebrities shilling for the latest shiny object so often suck.

6.)Eye contact is essential

We learn by looking deeply into each other’s eyes. You’ve got to make that human connection. Connect with your audience – however small or large – by focusing on them as specific individuals and addressing your comments to them directly.

7) The Pros Rehearse More than Anyone –So Should You

Making it look easy is very, very hard. Rehearse, rehearse some more, and then do it a few more times. If you do it right, you won’t be stale, you’ll be successful.

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Tullman: Memo to Grads: Life’s Too Short to Be a Bore (or Chore) http://www.1871.com/tullman-memo-to-grads-lifes-too-short-to-be-a-bore-or-chore/ http://www.1871.com/tullman-memo-to-grads-lifes-too-short-to-be-a-bore-or-chore/#comments Thu, 05 May 2016 14:58:50 +0000 http://www.1871.com/?p=14563 By 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. To view the original post, visit http://www.inc.com/howard-tullman/lifes-too-short-to-be-a-bore-or-a-chore.html.

It’s getting to be graduation season again. Every ... » Continue]]> By 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. To view the original post, visit http://www.inc.com/howard-tullman/lifes-too-short-to-be-a-bore-or-a-chore.html.

It’s getting to be graduation season again. Every year I’m asked to speak and the temptation to save time by repurposing my prior talks is substantial — especially because I’m personally convinced that those prior words of wisdom were not only invaluable, but timeless as well. But being consistent (or lazy) requires you to be just as ignorant today as you were a year ago and I’d like to think that — even at my advanced age — I’ve learned, re-learned and unlearned a few new and important things.

In addition, the world is moving much too rapidly– and not necessarily forward– for anyone to look back as little as a year and not feel that so many radical changes have taken place. We need to take a fresh look at what’s really going to matter and make a difference in the lives of this year’s graduates. And given that so many of them want to be entrepreneurs and start their own businesses, I feel uniquely qualified to give them a bit of advice.

I’m not talking about philosophy or politics. I’m just trying to make sure that there’s at least one contrarian and maybe one voice of realism among this season’s many purveyors of touching truisms, pious platitudes, and bumper sticker BS –all of which feels like it was written by either Hallmark or hacks whose prior Republican clients and “candidates” are now sitting on the sidelines sucking their thumbs and watching The Donald drive the bus off the bridge.

The costly privilege of getting a Master’s, an MBA or a JD these days changes the way you look at the world mostly, I would argue, in a good way. The rigor, the arguments, the grit and the perseverance that it takes to survive the process prepares, distinguishes, and sets new graduates apart from the less fortunate folks in whatever endeavors they choose to pursue. Their first and most important job is to choose an initial path wisely so they can put all their new abilities to good use.

They possess powerful skills not to be wasted, not to be withheld for fear of failing  and, mostly importantly, not to be frittered away. In my world, failure is an everyday occurrence and an accepted part of the landscape. The best entrepreneurs aren’t afraid of failing — their greatest fear is spending a significant part of their lives doing something insignificant.  Today’s graduates don’t have to and they shouldn’t settle for a day job or anything less than doing something important and making a difference.

So here are a few things that I’ve learned, which I hope will help on the journey.

(1) Not Everything Worth Doing is Worth Doing to Perfection

Even if you’re not a Marine, it’s still great to try to be the best that you can be. Striving every day for excellence is stimulating and rewarding.  It’s a good goal and a worthy objective. On the other hand, shooting for perfection is neurotic and will simply drive you crazy. No one, and no business, can afford to be perfect even if it were possible; it’s a waste of time to even try.

In most things today, good enough is enough to get started, then you can start to grow. You want to concentrate on doing a few things really well and saying “No” to a million others. Focus is everything: you can do anything you want, but not everything. Pick your spots and take your best shot.

(2) Successive Approximation Beats Postponed Perfection

Iteration in our world is everything and it’s an unending process whereby you keep getting better by getting a little better every day. Any professional knows this. The minute you stop going, you stop growing. It’s like ironing (I think)– you keep going over and over again until it’s done. Of course it’s never done because there’s no summit today – only the next mountain.

(3) The Name of the Game is to Win, Not to be Right All the Time

Growth is inherently embarrassing. Mistakes are inevitable, skinned knees and bruises are part of every business. Going in, it helps to know that you’ll never have all the data you need for certain decisions so you’ll learn to draw sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises and try to make the best decisions you can. There may be better answers out there, but there’s rarely only one right answer and any reasonable answer is better than waiting while the world passes you by.

(4) No One Does Anything Important Today All by Themselves

Technologies quickly become commodities while dedicated, motivated and passionate people who can work together effectively are the only long term, sustainable competitive advantage any organization can really have. Today is the slowest rate of technological change that you will experience for the rest of your life, but human nature never changes. You need to make room for all kinds of people.

Teambuilding, collaboration and listening skills trump pure talent, and remember that it doesn’t help to be creative if no one cares what you have to say. The only thing more important than teamwork is a willingness and a desire to do the hard work that it takes to build a real business.

(5) Life’s Too Short to Be a Bore or a Chore

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life when all that we really need to make us happy is something to put our mind to, put our heart and soul into, to be enthusiastic about, and to be proud of. Maybe that sounds like a plateful (and it is), but it’s within our reach.

At 1871, we’re lucky enough to go to work each morning joined by excited, energetic and enthusiastic people who are setting out to change the world in important ways. They will face plenty of obstacles, but we’ve learned that when you’re surrounded by other people on the same path as you, it improves your own game.

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Tullman: Don’t Get Down–Get Busy http://www.1871.com/tullman-dont-get-down-get-busy/ http://www.1871.com/tullman-dont-get-down-get-busy/#comments Wed, 27 Apr 2016 17:36:47 +0000 http://www.1871.com/?p=14532 By 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. To view the original post, visit http://www.inc.com/howard-tullman/dont-get-down-get-busy.html

The bond between the best entrepreneurs and ... » Continue]]> By 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. To view the original post, visit http://www.inc.com/howard-tullman/dont-get-down-get-busy.html

The bond between the best entrepreneurs and their businesses is often so tight and all-encompassing that they can make the easy mistake of confusing who they are as people with what they do for a living. They lose sight of some of the more important things that distinguish earning a living from having a life. And because they take the ups and downs of business so personally, there’s virtually no separation between work and what little time is left for the rest of their life (not to mention family and friends). Everything suffers as a result.

If their business takes a hit, which startups do on a regular basis, they feel like they’re failing personally and that they must be fundamentally worthless. If that sounds overly dramatic or overwrought–come live in my world for a few weeks and you’ll change your mind in no time. The external stresses of business creation are nothing compared to the mental beatings and recriminations we administer to ourselves. It’s not healthy, it’s not smart, but it’s a fact of the life we’ve chosen.

Having said that, I want to be clear that I believe that there’s no such thing as “just business” and that it’s essential to take your business personally if you want to have any chance of real success and of building something that matters and makes a difference.  But, at the same time, I don’t think that you can let your identity and your sense of self-worth be entirely subsumed by the day-to-day crises and fire drills and the many temporary (we hope) setbacks that we all deal with. The ups and the occasional wins are nice; but it’s the downs and learning how to deal with them that makes all the difference in the long run. The highs may be high, but the lows are a lot deeper.

We all get depressed from time to time because –and I hope this doesn’t come as a complete surprise to anyone – life isn’t fair. Even the nicest people get knocked in the head from time to time.  The very best of intentions are scant protection from the vagaries of the startup world. And especially in this startup world, not everything ever works out the way you’ve planned. Sadly, and far too often, it turns out that being in the right time and place, or just catching some other lucky break, say like Bill Gates did, beats out a lot of better ideas, a bunch of long hours and hard work, and even much better technology and solutions. That’s just how it goes. But where things go after that, and where your business ends up, is up to you and how you handle the bruises and blisters that are all an essential part of growing any business.

I’ve watched hundreds of entrepreneurs handle every kind of adversity, and lived through more near-death experiences myself than I care to recall, and I’ve concluded that there’s a right way to proceed and a lot of ways that are wastes of time, leading you nowhere. Some of these approaches are just common sense ideas, but it’s easy to look past them when you’re feeling down and troubled. That’s when you need a friend and a helping hand. So here goes.

What Won’t Work

Playing the Blame Game

There’s always someone or something to blame. Usually it’s the people not in the room or the circumstances beyond your control or the weather that we can’t do a thing about. It doesn’t help to whine and worse, by putting your fate in the hands of circumstances or third parties, you give up your own power to change things. Sitting back and feeling sorry for yourself isn’t ever a viable solution.

Settling for A Situation that Sucks

Nothing I know gets better by itself. If you want a better outcome or result, you have to take control of the situation and make things better. Standing still means you’re sliding back while others are racing ahead. When you settle for less than you deserve or for less than your best, it’s a very slippery slope and, as often as not, you end up with even less than you settled for.

Trying to Ignore the Problem

If you don’t want to believe or accept something, no amount of evidence will change your mind. But, if you ignore a serious problem long enough, you’ll have a crisis on your hands eventually and then you’ll have no choice but to take action. It makes much more sense to be proactive and get on the problem now and get started on a solution before things get out of control and you end up just reacting to the latest fire. Ignoring the unhappy facts doesn’t make them go away; they just fester.

Trying to Be Superman

Nothing much gets done by one-man armies or super heroes – your business’s important problems are complex and require a competent team to address and resolve them.  You can’t solve these things all by yourself regardless of how many all-nighters you pull. Putting a team together distributes the burdens and some of the stress and makes for a much better result.

Trying to Distract Yourself

You may think that you can focus on other more trivial things– see a show or a movie, take a run or work out, have a few drinks–and magically stop worrying about the elephant in the room, but that’s not the way your entrepreneurial brain works. It never shuts down completely. Convincing yourself that you don’t care isn’t as easy as you might imagine– regardless of what a great sales person you may think you are. And even if you get your head momentarily out of the game; your stomach will still be keeping score.

What Will Work

Doing Something Now to Fix the Problem

Nothing beats now. You may still not get it totally right, but you won’t get anywhere at all if you don’t get started.  Better to be doing something constructive and moving the ball forward than to be sitting in a pile of pity feeling sorry for yourself. The people who work hard and still can’t find the right answers or circumstances don’t come to a screeching halt– they bend the world to their needs and desires– and they create their own solutions and make the conditions and circumstances that they need to succeed.

Raising Your Sights and Expectations for Next Time

At 1871, one of our favorite mottos is: “It’s Only a ‘No’ for Now.” The most critical skill of any successful entrepreneur is perseverance. Get knocked down, get back up, try again harder. But also, while you’re at it, aim a little higher the next time because selling yourself short or settling for half a loaf is stupid–regardless of all the people who are more than happy to tell you why things can’t be done. When you shoot for the stars, you’ll be amazed at just how far you can go. There’s always a best seat in the house; your job is to go for it.

Focusing on What is Working and Build from There

I call this “eating the elephant one bite at a time.” Not every problem can be solved at once and you can’t generally get across the chasm in a single leap, but you can build off the foundation formed by the accomplishments and successes that you’ve had to date and then break the remaining barriers down into manageable and bite-sized challenges; and then take these tasks on one at a time. It may require a little more time, but eventually a lot of small steps, pushes and the occasional shove– as well as a little bit of patience– will get you there.

Acknowledging that Things Could Be a Lot Worse

Serial entrepreneurs will tell you that it’s never as bad or as good as it looks. People who aren’t living this life think that all entrepreneurs are cock-eyed optimists who view everything through rose-colored glasses and believe that trees grow to the sky. But we know better. Whatever brave and excited face you have to put on every day and show the world (and your team as well), deep down inside, it pays to be paranoid. But it’s also essential, in the privacy of your own mind, to be proud. Proud of what you set out to do; proud of how far you’ve come when so many others never could; and proud of what you’ve built so far and of all the people you’ve benefited along the way. There are a lot of much worse ways you could be spending your time and your life.  Admit it and get on with it.

Remembering Why You’re Doing This in the First Place

We didn’t come this far to quit or to only come this far. We didn’t come to play; we came to win. And we wouldn’t be doing this at all if it wasn’t important and likely to make a difference to a lot of people in addition to ourselves.  That’s why we come to work; put our noses to the grindstone; and try to get better every single day. If it was easy, anyone could do it. It’s not.

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Last Week on Instagram http://www.1871.com/last-week-on-instagram-5/ http://www.1871.com/last-week-on-instagram-5/#comments Mon, 25 Apr 2016 16:45:16 +0000 http://www.1871.com/?p=14530 » Continue]]>

Shout out to the most recent graduates of @startupinstitute – Go forth and conquer!

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An amazing installation of #Flyboy by #Chicago artist @hebrubrantley in our new 3.0 space!

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Guest Blog: Motivate your career with Daymond John, Star of ‘Shark Tank’ http://www.1871.com/guest-blog-motivate-your-career-with-daymond-john-star-of-shark-tank/ http://www.1871.com/guest-blog-motivate-your-career-with-daymond-john-star-of-shark-tank/#comments Fri, 22 Apr 2016 16:05:02 +0000 http://www.1871.com/?p=14498 Our partners at Sage are gearing up for their annual Sage Summit, the largest gathering of small and medium-sized business ... » Continue]]> Our partners at Sage are gearing up for their annual Sage Summit, the largest gathering of small and medium-sized business in the world. The 1871 community can attend Sage Summit at a special rate using code 1871PROMO here. Ahead of the event, Sage has contributed a guest blog to the 1871 site, highlighting Sage Summit speaker Daymond John’s entrepreneurial journey. Learn more below:


All entrepreneurship begins with faith, trust and a dash of optimism. Daymond John, investor extraordinaire and star of Shark Tank, took all of these elements to create the extraordinary career he has today.

Daymond John is a world-famous entrepreneur and fashion industry pioneer who can now be seen each Friday night on ABC’s Emmy Award winning series, Shark Tank. In addition to his work on TV, Daymond is a New York Times Bestselling Author and a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship as a result of the massive commercial and financial success. In his 25-year career, he’s developed more than 25 brands and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Raised in hip-hop incubator Hollis, Queens, Daymond was inspired by area’s culture and music to start his own clothing brand. Daymond founded FUBU, For Us By Us, made popular by LL Cool J throughout the 1990s into the early 2000s. As his business prowess grew, Daymond found himself as one of the original “Sharks” on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” while continuing his duties as CEO of Shark Branding and traveling the world as a motivational speaker. Today, Daymond is proud to inspire thousands of small-business owners throughout the world.

Daymond has received the NAACP Entrepreneurs of the Year award, AdAge Marketing 1000 for Outstanding Campaign award, Essence award, Crain’s Business 40 under 40, Ernst and Young’s New York Entrepreneur of the Year award, Details 50 Most Influential Men, and is also a recipient of the Congressional Achievement award. He has worked with countless famous celebrities such as Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson, Busta Rhymes, Magic Johnson, Whitney Houston and more.

Daymond John is known for his entrepreneurial spirit, wild success and dedication to family throughout his career. Today, he wishes to inspire thousands to follow in his footsteps with his new book ‘The Power of Broke’ and a positive spirit in all endeavors.

Come to Chicago to ignite your passion at the Sage Summit, July 25-28! Imagine how much you could learn in three full days of networking with peers, hearing from and interacting with renowned business leaders, seeing the latest technology from over 150 vendors and going to a really cool concert on the beach!

Register today for Sage Summit, the largest gathering dedicated to small and medium businesses in the world. It’s only $99 when you register by June 30, 2016 using promo code 1871PROMO.

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Tullman: Leaders Learn Best by Listening http://www.1871.com/tullman-leaders-learn-best-by-listening/ http://www.1871.com/tullman-leaders-learn-best-by-listening/#comments Wed, 20 Apr 2016 19:55:20 +0000 http://www.1871.com/?p=14496 By 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. To view the original post, visit http://www.inc.com/howard-tullman/leaders-learn-best-by-listening.html.

We’re constantly rushing from one thing to ... » Continue]]> By 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. To view the original post, visit http://www.inc.com/howard-tullman/leaders-learn-best-by-listening.html.

We’re constantly rushing from one thing to the next. All of us, all of the time. The days are ever longer and the nights are even worse. I call it a life of “playing the entire game in overtime.” You might be kidding yourself and calling it masterful multi-tasking, but I’d say it’s mostly just a mess. We’re constantly trying to make time for everything and we’re discovering that not only is this an impossible dream, but we end up spending too much of our time on the urgent, rather than the important. We lose sight of what really matters in our lives and businesses. Our inboxes (calls, emails and especially texts) are driving us instead of the other way around. You’ll never get into the flow if you’re fighting non-stop fires all day long.

It’s abundantly clear that, as the speed of our days increases, we’re losing the one-on-one time necessary to connect with the people in our lives and in our companies whose thoughtful input we need to make smart decisions and right choices for the future. I’m talking both about accessing crucial company data as well as not cutting off the far more critical access to the personal and emotional feedback we all need from those we work with in order to succeed. Sadly, with the rate of change constantly accelerating, I don’t see things getting better for us any time soon– unless we start to take back some control, have a little patience, and slow the entire process down.

It starts with making time to listen. People will tell you the truth– which only hurts when it ought to– but only if you make it clear that you’re interested and paying attention when they try to talk. Entrepreneurs pride themselves on being great talkers with the “gift of gab,” but it’s much harder to sit still and listen. Even better, no one’s ears ever got them into hot water.

Taking on and trying to do too many things at once makes for an unendingly stressful life not to mention mediocre results across the board for your business. It never pays to be a mile wide and an inch deep in anything. It might be worth the pain and the sacrifices if the bottom line results were there, but the evidence is to the contrary. Trying to be all things to all people or please all of the people even part of the time is as impossible as trying to be in two places at one time. No one expects this of you (except maybe you) and–if you give them a chance– they’ll tell you that and they can even help you get over some of the hardest spots. It’s never smart to try to do everything. It’s not remotely practical to try to do it all by yourself. And, in the end, it’s a losing proposition for everyone because you inevitably find yourself trying to do a bunch of things poorly or cheaply that you shouldn’t be doing at all.

“Hurry sickness” is definitely an occupational disease of entrepreneurs, but it’s not incurable. Slow down, catch your breath, ask for some advice and help, and let your people do the talking. Wisdom and smart decisions are the rewards you get for listening when you would have much preferred to be talking.

There are two main reasons (apart from a continual lack of enough time and a constant lack of enough money) for the persistence of this particular problem and both can be addressed–maybe not entirely eliminated–if we just keep a couple of simple ideas in mind.

The first reason for the constant frenzy is that no one wants to slow down and be run over by their competitors and/or be left behind by their customers. Fast followers are lurking behind every bush just waiting to go to school on your example, create a faster, easier or cheaper solution, and quickly try to take your place. Customers’ expectations are perpetually progressive and their demands will only continue to increase and ratchet up over time. You’ve got to be rapid and responsive, but not rabid.

It still pays to be paranoid and to try to keep constantly moving your products and services ahead (and iterating all the while), but speed alone isn’t all that helpful if you’re headed in the wrong direction. Not all movement (however frantic) is progress or even forward motion and too much trying can sap precious energy, waste critical and scarce resources, and take your eyes off the main chance. There’s a right way to handle and prioritize these things, but a successful approach rarely starts with acting in the moment or reacting to the surrounding circumstances. It starts with listening and taking stock.

Looking for effective solutions without taking the time to carefully listen to your customers’ problems is like working in the dark without a flashlight. A lot of coding and other activity may make your engineers feel better (it’s a somewhat effective antidote for anxiety), but it’s not likely to be moving the ball up the field or leading your business to a better result for your clients unless it’s informed by actual and timely customer input. Making the time and taking the time to listen closely is not only smart business; it’s the safest way to proceed because no one ever listened themselves out of a job.

The second reason that drives a lot of entrepreneurial excess has more to do with managing people’s imagined perceptions rather than reality except that — in the intense context of a startup — perceptions and impressions are often long lasting and can quickly harden into unpleasant realities.

I’m a major advocate of leading by example and modeling the behavior that you expect from your team, but many entrepreneurs take this idea too literally and push it too far. They believe that, if you’re too calm, too collected, or too unconcerned with today’s crisis, your team members will think that you don’t care or that you’re not all-in. Ya gotta let them see you sweat so they’ll know you’ve got some skin in the game right alongside theirs. And, to prove the point, they think they need to run around like crazy people all day long, too. They worry that, if they slow down or sit down, people will be suspicious of their commitment.

But the truth is that these are the very people trying to get your attention and also to get a word in edgewise. They’d line the floors with flypaper if they thought that would slow you down for a few seconds. They want to be heard and they want to be helpful and it’s all up to you. Listening is the highest form of courtesy.

So give yourself a break, take some more time to listen, and–when you’re drowning in a hundred contradictory suggestions and ideas–remember the cardinal rule: most of the time, it’s far more important to listen to people’s advice than it is to heed it.

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1871 Officially Opens 3.0 Expansion http://www.1871.com/1871-officially-opens-3-0-expansion/ http://www.1871.com/1871-officially-opens-3-0-expansion/#comments Tue, 19 Apr 2016 16:41:59 +0000 http://www.1871.com/?p=14482 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 19, 2016

Melissa Wooten


APRIL 19, 2016

Melissa Wooten



1871 Opens Second Expansion Since Founding; Remains One Of The World’s Largest Technology Incubators

CHICAGO (APRIL 19, 2016) – 1871 today proudly opened its new 41,000 square foot expansion. The two-floor technology center and ecosystem is more than 115,000 square feet on the 12th and 13th floors of The Merchandise Mart and has over 1000 members. The expansion marks the latest phase of 1871’s remarkable growth, which has seen it develop from a 50,000 square foot experiment launched in 2012 to a thriving community with over 400 member companies, 1000 events a year, thousands of hours of educational opportunities, and tens of thousands of visitors annually.

“We are excited to unveil the newest expansion to the 1871 space, which has allowed us to dramatically expand the depth and breadth of the resources 1871 provides to its community,” said 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. “By providing larger spaces to grow with our most successful companies, as well as new spaces for new tenants, we are able to serve more members, offer more educational programs, facilitate new opportunities for incubators and accelerators, and ultimately welcome more individuals and organizations to the innovation economy.”

The new space is on the 13th floor of The Merchandise Mart, directly above 1871’s 12th floor footprint. It is connected by an internal stairway, allowing the entirety of 1871 to function as a single entity. The expansion includes suites for some of 1871’s largest and most successful member companies as well as spaces for tenants, classrooms, conference rooms, and incubators.

“The addition of this new space for 1871 means new opportunities for countless Chicagoans,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Since its founding, 1871 has helped make the city of Chicago a hub for innovation as well as a top destination for attracting diverse businesses and tech talent. From education to healthcare to finance to technology, today’s ideas are shaping the jobs of tomorrow right here in our own backyard. When we support our entrepreneurs, we support more jobs and resources in our communities and tap into the true potential of Chicago.”

Tenants of the 13th floor include:

  • MATH Venture Partners
  • Hyde Park Angels
  • Impact Engine
  • Chicago Ventures
  • Accenture Operations
  • Collective Shift
  • Options Away
  • Learnmetrics
  • DeVry Education Group’s DV X Labs
  • Windy City Lab
  • Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (which is working with 1871 on an incubator for Hispanic entrepreneurs)
  • Pivotal Labs

See more information about each of the tenants below.

In addition to the private suites, the 13th floor of 1871 also contains conference rooms for general use and the Bucksbaum Innovation Showcase, a retail technology space with a visual collaborative workspace, powered by Comcast Business and presented by Haworth – Bluescape. The expansion space also includes a display of artwork from bitforms gallery, which represents established, mid-career, and emerging artists critically engaged with new technologies.

“This third expansion in four years will deepen 1871’s impact on Chicago’s entire entrepreneurial community,” said J.B. Pritzker, managing partner of Pritzker Group and 1871 founder. “1871 is now the flagship entrepreneurial center for the entire nation and a global leader in technology and innovation. I look forward with excitement as to what the future holds for our city’s entrepreneurs.”

“Since its inception, Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center has been committed to supporting entrepreneurs by offering the resources and opportunities that help fledgling businesses succeed,” said Jim O’Connor Jr., chairman of the board of CEC. “These activities have a profound effect on Chicagoland, and we’re thrilled to support 1871 as they continue to move the needle forward for the city’s entrepreneurial community.”

Although 1871’s prior construction and initial expansion was funded in part by grants from the State of Illinois, which have already resulted in the creation of thousands of new technology-related jobs, 1871’s 3.0 expansion was financed entirely by 1871 with no government assistance. Silicon Valley Bank partnered with 1871 on the financing for the new space.

“1871 has been incredibly supportive of Impact Engine,” said Jessica Droste Yagan, Partner and CEO of Impact Engine. “We can’t imagine a better place from which to do our work empowering entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors to make a positive impact on society.”

The 13th Floor expansion was designed and developed by the same team that created the 2.0 expansion; including Gensler as Interior Architects, Skender Construction as Contractors, and Barbara S. Pollack & Associates as Owner’s Representative/Designer and Project Manager.

About 1871

1871 is the home of more than 400 early-stage, high-growth digital startups. Located in The Merchandise Mart, this 120,000 square foot facility is also the headquarters of nationally recognized accelerators Techstars Chicago and the Good Food Business Accelerator; impact investing fund 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 (Fullstack Academy, Anyone Can Learn to Code, Future Founders, 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 Inc. Magazine, TechCrunch, The Wall Street Journal, The 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 MATH Venture Partners

MATH Venture Partners is an early to growth-stage fund managed by a seasoned team of hands-on investors and operators. We look for entrepreneurial teams that have customer acquisition as part of their core DNA. It is this maniacal focus, deep appreciation for process and exceptional talent that makes them stand out. MATH forms deep and personal partnerships with entrepreneurs. We have built and scaled many large companies to successful exits. Both of our Managing Directors are serial entrepreneurs and teachers at heart. We love to partner with coachable founding teams that strive to constantly improve. Let’s build something great together.

About Hyde Park Angels

Hyde Park Angels is transforming early-stage investing by taking a people first approach. The organization is the largest and most active angel group in the Midwest. With a membership of over 100 successful entrepreneurs, executives, and venture capitalists, the group provides critical strategic expertise to entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial community. Nearly 40% of our members have founded a company, 88% are CEO’s, top executives or corporate board members, and 100% invest in startups. By leveraging the members’ deep and broad knowledge of multiple industries and financial capital, Hyde Park Angels has driven multiple exits and invested millions of dollars in over 40 portfolio companies that have created over hundreds of jobs in the Midwest since 2006.

About Impact Engine

Impact Engine is an investment fund that empowers entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors to make a positive impact on society. Through financial and human capital, we help for-profit businesses address the world’s greatest social and environmental challenges.

About Chicago Ventures

Chicago Ventures is an early-stage venture capital fund. We invest in exceptional entrepreneurs and their innovative technology companies that are disrupting a large market opportunity. We primarily invest in Chicago and the Central region of the country, providing engaged support through our operating experience, advisors, and network to help our portfolio companies build great businesses.

About Accenture Operations

Accenture Operations combines technology that digitizes and automates business processes, unlocks actionable insights, and delivers everything-as-a-service with our team’s deep industry, functional and technical expertise so you can confidently chart your course to consuming your core business services on demand, accelerate innovation and speed to market. Welcome to the “as-a-service” business revolution.


DESIGNATION is a design bootcamp that trains people of all experience levels to be UX/UI designers and front-end developers over 12 weeks in Chicago. The program is a fast-paced, high-intensity experience that immerses students in a creative, collaborative environment in order to produce extraordinary results in a relatively short timeframe. Participants learn a full-stack approach to design that gives them the versatility to tackle a wide range of problems, while encouraging them to specialize in the portion of the curriculum they’re most passionate about.

About Collective Shift

Collective Shift, a new initiative from the MacArthur Foundation, is dedicated to redesigning social systems for the connected age. Collective Shift’s first endeavor is LRNG. LRNG is a social enterprise that works collaboratively with schools, businesses, cities, and community institutions, such as libraries and museums, to redesign learning for the 21st century so all youth have the opportunity to succeed.

About Options Away

Options Away® leverages the concepts and technologies of the financial markets and applies them to the travel industry, allowing consumers to lock-in the price of an airline ticket while finalizing their travel plans. By engaging with intent driven customers while their flight is on hold, Options Away generates value not only through option fees, but also through cross-selling opportunities and big data. Options Away focuses on the B2B2C space by offering its solutions via APIs to leading travel brands. We are a 20-strong team of engineers, data scientists, and product specialists from both the financial and travel industries, who are passionate about perfecting the most innovative product to hit the travel industry in decades.

About Learnmetrics

Learnmetrics replaces the need for districts/schools to build their own data systems, manage from excel, or cobble together workfows through a maze of misfit products. With Learnmetrics, every school or district leader can remix their data, systems, and operations into a next-gen operating system for learning.

About DeVry Education Group’s DV X Labs

DV X Labs is DeVry Education Group’s edtech incubator. Our goal is to attract the nation’s smartest entrepreneurs and experiment with cutting-edge technology-enabled educational approaches that can improve student outcomes, lower education costs, and increase student access. Startups accepted into DV X Labs receive proprietary access to educational leaders across DeVry Education Group’s institutions, which include American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, Becker Professional Education; Carrington College; Chamberlain College of Nursing; DeVry Brasil; DeVry University; Ross University School of Medicine and Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Together, they prototype new technologies across a range of academic needs. In addition, startups that join DV X Labs receive mentorship, coaching and feedback to help improve their products and the opportunity to become long-term DeVry Group partners.

About Windy City Lab

Windy City Lab (WCL) is an 1871 member company that exists to build smart “connected” products. You’ll see some of their creations around the city and you’ll know they have been built by WCL when they update with real-time information, or wirelessly communicate with your phone via bluetooth. Their space on the 13th floor of 1871 includes a digital lab, which 1871 members will access for resources such as 3D printing, laser cutting, and digital electronics workstations. WCL also offers workshops on digital electronics, firmware design and all things IoT. 

About Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

The Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) is the leading Hispanic business, networking, advocacy and development organization in the state of Illinois. IHCC works with business owners, providing unique and strategic one-on-one services designed to help businesses thrive and grow, while also regularly hosting networking and public policy events.

About Pivotal Labs

Pivotal’s Cloud Native platform drives software innovation for many of the world’s most admired brands. With millions of developers in communities around the world, Pivotal technology touches billions of users every day. After shaping the software development culture of Silicon Valley’s most valuable companies for over a decade, today Pivotal leads a global technology movement transforming how the world builds software.

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