Weekend Digest: How Entrepreneurs Learn From Mistakes

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 5 views 

For our weekend business and political readers, we offer this collection of national and international stories of interest:


The late and brilliant leader of Apple, Steve Jobs, didn’t exactly have smooth sailing running the company, according to Harvard Business Review. The Review points out that Jobs – like a lot of visionary leaders – had his share of stumbles along the way.

It’s a great disservice to everyone, especially young people, that the stories that we often hear about the most accomplished entrepreneurs sound so effortless. The truth is just the opposite, even for visionary creative success stories like those of Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, Howard Schultz, Wendy Kopp, and even the legendary Steve Jobs. Like any creative process, any entrepreneur who wants to invent, innovate, or create must be willing to be imperfect and make mistakes in order to learn what works and what does not.

What were some of Jobs’ biggest blunders? Go to this link to find the Review’s list and summary of “Five of Steve Jobs’ Biggest Mistakes.”


Entrepreneur takes a personal look at the setbacks, some more famous than others, of Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.

Billionaire Branson’s Virgin enterprise has spawned 400 companies around the world including his airlines Virgin Atlantic. Besides his entrepreneur skills, Sir Richard has become known for some incredible daredevil adventures like attempting to circle the earth in a hot-air balloon.

But Entrepreneur reports he has had his share of “mis-adventures” while building his business empire.

Branson launched a since-shuddered chain of bridal shops in the mid-1990s. And, of course, there’s Virgin Cola, the billionaire’s attempt to dethrone Coca-Cola — for which he famously drove a tank into Times Square to announce — that he admits is perhaps his biggest business stumble.

In a revealing interview, Entrepreneur sits down with Branson “to talk about (mis)adventures, the joy of setbacks and how to compete in a world of Goliaths.” Click here for the full story.


Stephen Key is an expert when it comes to ideas for startups and entrepreneurs. He is the co-founder of the website inventright.com and author of “One Simple Idea for Startups and Entrepreneurs: Live Your Dreams and Create Your Own Profitable Company.”

Key, who has licensed more than 20 products in the last 25 years, says he generates ideas by finding different ways to engage his mind, from walking the aisles of stores to brainstorming about holes in the marketplace.

Entrepreneur reports on “Eight techniques from Key and other experts that could help get your creative juices flowing.” Take this link to find out more.


That’s the gist of an op-ed posted by the New York Times regarding America’s internet services. Why is the U.S. falling behind other countries in such things as high-capacity fiber networks “reaching homes?”

Although Julius Genachowski, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has challenged the country to build additional gigabit fiber networks — about 100 times faster than most residential connections today — his words won’t advance our digital future unless they are backed up with the leadership necessary to enact pro-growth, pro-innovation and competition-enabling rules.

At the heart of the problem lie a few powerful companies with enormous influence over policymaking. Both the wireless and wired markets for high-speed Internet access have become heavily concentrated, and neither is subject to substantial competition nor oversight.

Who are these companies and why is the FCC being bogged down “over the scope of its regulatory powers?”

A third of Americans opt not to buy high-speed Internet access at home, often because they can’t afford it.

What steps does the federal government need to take to remove barriers to investment in local fiber networks? Go inside the Times story for three needed goals that could provide solutions.


On August 28, 1963 former Villanova basketball player George Raveling became the keeper of a national treasure. By an amazing set of circumstances, the 24-year-old young man had been recruited at the last minute to help provide security at the Washington D.C. Mall for the civil rights “March on Washington,” which ended with Dr. Martin Luther King’s brilliant and famous “I Have A Dream” speech.

Raveling went on to become a successful college basketball coach for three decades but on August 28, 1963 he came away from that day with a bit of American history in his hands.

Time recounts the events of the day for Raveling and how it all fell into place. It started when he was placed by the dias near the entertainers and speakers for his security post.

He heard Peter, Paul, and Mary singing “Blowin’ in the Wind,” Bob Dylan performed a tribute song for Medgar Evers, and Odetta stirred the crowd with a soulful rendition of “O’Freedom Over Me!” But while Raveling enjoyed the entertainment, the day for him was all business. “It was great seeing Harry Belafonte or Sidney Poitier but I didn’t focus on them,” he says. “I took my responsibility seriously and stayed focused on the crowd.”

And then it was time for Dr. King’s speech, and what happened after it has forever changed Raveling’s life.

Go to this link to find out what happened and how Raveling became the “Guardian” of the dream.


Politico has taken an in-depth look at President Obama’s second inaugural speech that it says “seems entirely possible will be seen as a signal event.”

The moment when Obama let go of caution, gave up imagining he could persuade or find common ground with conservatives and put the world on notice that he was ready to fight for a liberal agenda and roll right over his opponents. This belief is why many Democrats were enthralled with Obama’s address.

It seems just as possible that it will be remembered forlornly — a moment when Obama naively imagined that fortune was in his favor and did not reckon with how events, and opponents, might have other plans in store.

Get the full analysis from Politico plus what was “notably absent in the speech” and how that could affect the president’s agenda. Click here for the story plus a complete video replay of the speech if you haven’t seen it.


Everything from fear of eventually giving up Second Amendment rights to hysteria over proposed bans on assault weapons has stirred up a lot of controversy for Congressmen particularly Democratic Senators, reports The New York Times.

Before Senator Joe Manchin III invited a group of 15 businessmen and community leaders to lunch last week to discuss the topic, he had only a vague idea of how anxious many of his supporters were.

“How many of you all believe that there is a movement to take away the Second Amendment?” he asked.

About half the hands in the room went up.

Despite his best attempts to reassure them — “I see no movement, no talk, no bills, no nothing” — they remained skeptical. “We give up our rights one piece at a time,” a banker named Charlie Houck told the senator.

Democratic Senators led by Dianne Feinstein of California want to introduce legislation that would outlaw more than 100 types of assault weapons. Despite many recent mass shootings, critics say they will have a fight on their hands.

And on the afternoon the 15 residents met with Mr. Manchin in the conference room of a local arts center, they told him that going after guns and ammunition capacity would be much like banning box cutters after the Sept. 11 attacks, or limiting whiskey and six-pack sales to cure alcoholism.

Click here for more on the raging debate of this highly charged issue.


This past week outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spent more than five hours being grilled about her “long-awaited testimony about the Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya.”

Throughout the tense, emotional and dramatic session there was no shortage of key moments.

The Washington Post has video filed by what it thinks are the “8 Most Memorable Moments.” View them here.


HITFIX calls 34-year-old Jeff Nichols’ 2012 film Mud “masterful” and is a follow up to the producer, screenwriter, and director’s two other highly acclaimed works, Shotgun Stories (2007) and Take Shelter (2011).

“Mud,” screening tonight at the Sundance Film Festival, is a masterful combination of both stews that rings a storybook note owing as much to Gary Paulsen as to Mark Twain, and with more on its mind than perhaps anything the director has offered so far.

For the complete review plus a rundown of the star-filled cast surf to this link.


It’s called an Infrascanner Model 2000 and it’s “a portable wand that uses Near-Infrared (NIR) technology that can detect hemorrhaging in the brain and help medical professionals assess if a person needs a CT scan or surgery.”

The device was recently approved by the FDA for military and civilian use.

Find out more by navigating to this link.


There are many versions of Kirsten Larson who used to sit on a shelf in a library but now is being loaned to little girls for hugs and kisses.

What is Kirsten’s remarkable story and how does she travel from one girl’s house to another?

The doll, part of a brand that is all the rage among girls and whose price tag is rage-inducing to many parents, has become one of the most sought-after items at the library. For some girls, Kirsten was the only way they could afford such a luxury item in their home. For others, it was the only way their liberal-minded parents would allow any doll into their home, refusing to indulge in gender stereotypes or what they considered to be an elitist hobby.

Suzette Seepersad had been avoiding buying her daughter Caelyn Osborn, 5, any toys geared toward girls. But Caelyn fell in love with Kirsten, taking her to the family’s apartment, bathing her, reading stories to her and putting her to bed. After keeping the doll for two weeks or so, she had to be reminded by a librarian to return it.

For this doll of a story and it’s many fans, go to this link.