This Is How Long-Term Success Works

Eric Ries’ concept of the lean startup—the idea of creating a “minimum viable product” to get customer feedback to iterate on—has become a battle cry for startup founders. But some are taking it to an extreme, writes OPEN Forum contributor Barry Moltz. “Founding a company isn’t simply about throwing a bunch of ideas against the wall and seeing which ones stick with customers,” he says. “It’s about investing time, energy and money into creating a superior product or service that truly solves a deep pain for their target market.”

Here’s a few tips to keep in mind to do just that.

1. Find real paying customers.

2. Landing a first customer doesn’t mean 10 more will follow.

3.  Reputation only gets one chance.

Read on for seven more ways to truly stay lean during startup.

How Successful People Stay Calm Under Pressure

You may think you need coffee to get you through your day, but it can make a busy day feel even more hectic, writes OPEN Forum contributor Bruna Martinuzzi:

Ingesting more than 500 mg of caffeine a day increases anxiety—the antonym of calm. On average, a cup of brewed coffee contains 100 mg of caffeine. So if your daily routine includes drinking five or more cups of coffee, you may be brewing some trouble for yourself. This is an easy change to put in place on your road to a calmer disposition.

Read on for five more ways to remain calm and in control.

A chance conversation about the necessary evil of conference calls led one lean startup expert and his partner to create a breakthrough conference call system, with the help of some startup and Hollywood bigwigs.

You gotta have a gimmick if you want to stand out in today’s crowded market. For marketing expert Ted Rubin, his penchant for wearing crazy socks were the key to social media stardom.
Find out how on OPEN Forum.

You gotta have a gimmick if you want to stand out in today’s crowded market. For marketing expert Ted Rubin, his penchant for wearing crazy socks were the key to social media stardom.

Find out how on OPEN Forum.

Trying to seem small and local may hurt this Iowa-based whiskey distillery in a big way. 
Read more on OPEN Forum.

Trying to seem small and local may hurt this Iowa-based whiskey distillery in a big way. 

Read more on OPEN Forum.

It doesn’t matter what your business is, if you don’t know who your true customer is, you’re going to run into problems. Danae Ringelmann, the co-founder of Indiegogo, and serial entrepreneur Jen Groover tell us what they do to figure who their clients really are.

4 Ways to Become a Better Storyteller

Have you ever heard of the Moth? It’s an amazing event / podcast that gives storytellers (some professional, some pulled out of the audience) a stage to share their stories.

It’s a good place to start if you need some help brushing up your sales pitch, writes OPEN Forum contributor Erika Napoletano. “When you tell a story in pursuit of selling an idea or product, are you telling a story from the surface only? Or are you taking the bold step to share the deeper details, the story behind the story that we rarely get the chance to hear?”

Read on to learn how to become a better storyteller and sales pro on OPEN Forum.

3 Reasons Why Dating Is Just Plain Harder for Entrepreneurs

1. Your date may not get just how busy you are.

2. Your date may just be there for the fringe benefits.

3. Women entrepreneurs face gender biases of being a caregiver instead of breadwinner.

Dating experts and business owners weigh in on each of these three hurdles to dating as an entrepreneur on OPEN Forum.

The Powerful Publishing Tool More Businesses Should Use

Medium is a publishing platform available to anyone with a Twitter account (which makes sense, considering two of the guys behind the microblogging site created it). Unlike Twitter, you can go beyond 140 characters to share your thoughts; journalists, experts and provocateurs are using the space to post essays and become thought leaders of sorts in their spaces.

It’s a great space for small business owners as well for five major reasons. Read more on OPEN Forum.