Thursday, March 12, 2009

Entrepreneurs and GTD - Making It Up and Making It Happen

We're getting ready to begin another session at the GTD Summit. This one on Entrepreneurs and GTD together.

Panelists: Buzz Bruggeman, Peter Gallant, Frode Odegard, John de Souza

Moderator: Bruce Somers

Every corporation that exists today was due to an entrepreneurs. The importance of GTD is about clearing the path and allow this thought process to happen.

Peter - Got to have a couple failures under your belt. Serial entrepreneur. Entering next stage as his company has been acquired. Love working on the earliest stage of things.

John - Serial entrepreneur as well. Gone through several companies. Current project is online heath community site. Do you really want to do this and is it the right time? GTD is invaluable in getting things going and then saying "what's next?"

Buzz - Creator of ActiveWords (Editor's note: yea! Activewords rocks!)30 years practicing law. Heard a guy speak about computers being able to understand us. Voice doesn't work. Set out to build application to name things and let you get it done. "Self-organizing ninjas" - what we call the people who really get off on Activewords. Started writing down name and number of everyone he ever talked to. To be able to tap into that when time came to ask for money/order, could reach out to those people. Reached out to David, because "Your people are my people". We give you back time.

Frode - First software startup in high school. A couple other companies as well. Starting more ventures as the recession has hit. Normal human reaction is to hunker down and reduce risk. Entrepreneurs tend to be restless. Need to keep track of commitments or else you will drown. We underestimate the need for reflection.
GTD Tips for entrepreneurs: Fight your action bias, get your team members to use GTD, work on your GTD like regular exercise.

Bruce asks the audience how many of them are entrepreneurs. Probably more than half the audience raised their hands.

Do you guys have any failures due to GTD leading you down a path? Buzz - I think the biggest problem is the weekly review. Do I really have this time? What's the one characteristic I saw most in the people that are at the top of their game. They were all disciplined and focus. Things will change, so using GTD lets you be prepared for this change when the time comes. Ready to execute better than anyone else. Frode - Price to pay for being a crazy maker is that you have to revisit higher level horizons more frequently. If you don't, Someday/Maybe list will get out of control. By using GTD, you'll have more of a filter for new things. Easily to overwhelm yourself, so you have to kill projects more often.

What about the recession? John - I like the recession now. Makes you focus and force discipline. Peter - forced acquisition and brought clarity. "When you narrow your options down, you become very, very focused." Buzz - We're on course to have the best year ever. People need to be productive to keep their jobs.

Any things you wish you knew earlier? John - Being an entrepreneur can be very lonely. Buzz - Three lessons: (1) Letting the inventor be the CEO. (2)Raise smart money. Smart money mentors you, gives you feedback, etc. (3) Craft your story and get your message right. Frode - Understanding people. Finance - having the right revenue model. John - Be careful about hiring people like yourself. You need diversity.

Greatest Fear as entrepreneur? Buzz - Getting the "serious maybe". John - Hiring the wrong senior person. Peter - Choosing the wrong opportunity of all the ones that will be out there (from a time and effort perspective).

Peter - Call To Action: Close your eyes and imagine that you completely lost your job. What would you do next? Might help guide you toward next opportunity.

Question: What tools do you use? Peter - Outlook Netcentrics add-in. Buzz - Activewords and Outlook. Can you aggregate tools together to get exponential results.

No comments: