Our weekly thoughts and general ramblings about everything related to business – from industries and investments to management and operations.

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Nevermind Success

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote the about the lessons we learned from Sub Pop Records' signing of Nirvana.  This week, we wanted to highlight a related story, which has more to do with Nirvana than Sub Pop. Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman, Sub Pop's founders, saw talent in Nirvana and figured out a way to sign the band and release their first album - Bleach - in 1989. 

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Still Eating Broccoli

We have been thinking a lot recently about silver bullets.  Entrepreneurial culture tends to concentrate, for good reason, on examples of massive efficiency-creating technology or truly exceptional leadership.  Uber represents a one-stop solution for local transportation just as Steve Jobs is credited with being a singular driving force behind the success of Apple. 

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Socks and Shoes

It's no secret that we strongly emphasize financial and operational data internally.  In fact, when we first purchase a company, the majority of our focus goes toward putting in place systems that allow us to gather accurate and timely performance information.  We care not just about the results themselves but also that there is a degree of precision to the production of the reporting itself. 

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Signing Nirvana

This week we listened to a How I Built This podcast with Bruce Pavit and Jonathan Poneman, founders of Seattle based Sub Pop Records, the music label credited with popularizing the grunge music movement of the 1990s (you might recognize some of their bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, The Postal Service, The Shins).

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The Quiet Eye

This week we learned about a phenomenon known as the “quiet eye”.  Discovered by kinesiologist Joan Vickers, the quiet eye is an  “enhanced visual perception that allows the athlete to eliminate any distractions as they plan their next move.”  Basically, athletes with a quiet eye have a strikingly similar gaze pattern in key moments. 

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Just Say No

Unfortunately, one of the byproducts of managing through a crisis, or even a busy part of the season, is that forward visibility gets reduced and schedules get monopolized by urgent and important tasks.  Put simply, it's difficult to allocate a lot of time towards moving the business forward if you have to spend most of your available hours making sure everyone is healthy and able to show up for work

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