MORGO 2010

September 16th, 2010 → 1:23 pm @

I went to the MORGO entrepreneur’s conference in Kerikeri a couple of weeks ago.  It was, as always, terrific, and a credit to Jenny Morel and her team.  

Learning to ride the YikeBike (Photo: MORGO Conferences)

Since then I’ve been mulling over the experience, and thinking about what was the best part of it. 

Well, there were great speakers, and inspiring speeches.  There was cool technology on display (the YikeBike, and Rex), and I got some good business done. 

But the best part of all was just hanging out with people who know what it’s like to build a business from scratch; people who remain optimistic and energised while they take on tasks which most people wouldn’t contemplate. 

Hanging out with entrepreneurs is the best advertisement there can be for an entrepreneurial lifestyle.

I came home refreshed and ready to focus on the next deal, the next plan, the next opportunity… 

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Video: Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

September 13th, 2010 → 8:10 am @


Is Entrepreneurship the key to Economic Development?

September 2nd, 2010 → 2:54 pm @

President Obama, speaking to the Summit on Entrepreneurship made a commitment to entrepreneurship because… 

“throughout history, the market has been the most powerful force the world has ever known for creating opportunity and lifting people out of poverty”.  

So, if the market is so important, how do we stimulate more entrepreneurship? 

If we have fewer successful entrepreneurs than we want then clearly there is a market failure behind it. (more…)

Economic Development &Entrepreneurship &Mentoring entrepreneurs

Are all entrepreneurs racehorses?

September 1st, 2010 → 2:56 pm @

Racehorses and draft-horses are both useful beasts of burden, but their training and development processes are vastly different.

So what about entrepreneurs?  Can we talk about training entrepreneurs any more broadly than we talk about training horses?  Of course not!

Part of the problem is that all entrepreneurs are lumped together in these discussions.  Does the person opening a store in Cleveland have more in common with Ted Turner or with a stall-holder in a developing country marketplace?  Can an aspiring, high-growth technology entrepreneur learn from a shoe retailer?

The many faces of entrepreneurship should be recognised, and dealt with separately.  A programme to develop entrepreneurs to run micro-funded businesses in developing countries has nothing in common with one designed to bring new wealth to a declining European economy by encouraging high-growth technology entrepreneurs… except that they are supporting the aspirations of wealth creators.

As the momentum grows in the discussions about helping economies through entrepreneurial action, I hope we can start to develop more precise ways to define what we’re about.  In my case, I work exclusively with high-growth entrepreneurs.  I appreciate the efforts of social entrepreneurs, small business entrepreneurs and others, but I believe that we need to be increasingly careful in the language we use to describe what our programs are about.   Otherwise, we’ll send mixed messages to the entrepreneurs and confuse the wider community as they try to work out who we’re aiming to help.

We are clear about the economic transformational power of entrepreneurs.  Now we just need to get clear about which entrepreneurs are the racehorses and which are the draft-horses, and tailor our programmes to each, so the racehorses learn to move fast and the draft-horses move steadily.


One of my companies won an award – I’m proud of them!

August 17th, 2010 → 11:12 am @

On 6 July 2010, a dinner was held to celebrate TracMap’s success in winning the Emerging Company Award at the NZ Hi-Tech Awards and being recognised as the 8th fastest growing company in the Deloitte Fast 50.

Peter Chin, the Mayor of Dunedin, presented Norman with an award to recognise his contribution to TracMap’s success.

The Award was made, appropriately, from a TracMap mapping unit.  And it is now sitting in my office.

Mayor Peter Chin presenting the Award (photo Mike McQueen)

Colin Brown (CEO), Norman, and Pat Garden (Chairman)

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Entrepreneurship &Fast Growth Companies &Mentoring entrepreneurs