Web Exclusives

October 24, 2014

Falling out of love with being CEO

Once was enough

By Brad Feld

I was a CEO once. In my first real company, Feld Technologies, there were two founders – me and Dave Jilk. I was president (we didn’t use the CEO title then, but as the president, I was the “chief executive officer”) and Dave was vice president. As we grew, other people had different titles, but the two of us ran the business. I’ve been told that I was a good CEO, but after about 10 people I didn’t like the role of CEO. But we stayed after it and built a successful company that was consistently profitable and acquired by a public company in 1993 for a

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October 24, 2014

Maximize your business’ value

Using trademark application and intent

By Peter Lemire

The law once said that to file an application for a United States federal trademark registration, an individual or a business had to actually be using the mark in interstate commerce. That individual or business must have actually sold the goods or services to someone in another state, or their sale of the goods or services had to have had an effect on interstate commerce. There was no way to “reserve” a name prior to actual usage.  In 1989, however, the Trademark Act was amended to allow for an “intent to use” application (ITU) to be filed with the United

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October 24, 2014

Best of CoBiz: Top seven lessons business can learn from politics

Watch what you say and how you say it

By John Heckers

No matter who gets your vote, you must admit this election is quite entertaining. It is a media circus truly worthy of Barnum & Bailey. Businesspeople can learn a few things from this silly season: 1). Watch what you say. Wherever you are speaking, you are not necessarily among friends. Don’t say anything that might compromise your reputation, your integrity or your business. You never know these days when someone’s cell phone camera is on “record.” 2). Watch how you say it. Many of the most damaging sound bites to the candidates are comments that are taken

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October 23, 2014

Behavioral finance: The latest craze

The nutiness can work for you

By James Osborne

Behavioral finance is all the rage. Ever since the release of Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast & Slow and Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational and a dozen other books like them, we are all ready and excited to admit that human aren't the number-crunching automatons the Efficient Market Hypothesis made us out to be. Many people in the industry felt entitled to overwhelmingly criticize Eugene Fama's Nobel Prize award (as if the man did not dramatically advance our understanding of finance and the investment marketplace). We love to pick on

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October 23, 2014

Changes in the boardroom

Observations from a board advisor

By Tracy E. Houston

I've observed a number of changes in the boardroom in recent years. The most prominent is the focus of influence moving away from the audit committee. The audit committee has held a bit more weight over the years, and this may be due to the fact it has become the ‘home’ of risk. While the whole board is responsible for risk, it has fallen on the shoulders of the audit committee to do most, if not all, of the heavy lifting around risk. This began to shift after the meltdown of 2008 when I begin to see more boards creating designated risk committees, and some even assigning

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October 23, 2014

Best of CoBiz: Six rules for a happy workplace

...and a happy family

By Lisa Jackson

I play two main roles in life: corporate consultant to leaders and parent of two teenagers. I am often struck by the similarities between these two "jobs." As I see it, many leaders spend their day trying to "make up" for parenting that didn't happen. And, if you happen to be doing both jobs - you have the perfect opportunity to cross-train. I consider these six rules the basic foundation of a happy family and a happy workplace. See how you can apply them to both domains in your world: 1) Share your toys. Most parents spend a great deal of time working on this rule in the family.

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October 22, 2014

Prepare for bends in the road

But know you can't predict everything

By Todd Ordal

“Management is prediction.” —W. Edwards Deming I used to live in the Twin Cities and drive back to western Minnesota where I grew up to visit family. My wife and I joked that once you got onto I-94, you could fall asleep for four hours and still be on track, but that was hyperbole. Even in farm country the road bends. Refusing to predict the future in a leadership role means that, by default, you’re committed to no bends in the road. If you could find a business that never changed and had a profitable business model, you’d feel lucky… for only a

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