February 19, 2013
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SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs

Bold Ventures
Startup takes a crack at virtual reality
Virtual reality has yet to catch on with consumers, but a startup called Oculus VR is hoping to change that with its Oculus Rift headset. The company, founded by a 20-year-old entrepreneur, received more than $2 million on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter and will begin shipping its first models next month. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/17)
Leading the Pack
4 leadership lessons from George Washington
George Washington led his troops to victory against the British redcoats in 1777 in part by adopting a more democratic approach to leadership, writes Signe Spencer. Rather than simply issuing commands and expecting obedience, Washington sought the advice of his subordinates and thereby hatched a battle plan that was more innovative and effective than anything a single general could have devised alone. Great Leadership (2/17)
Finance & Growth
Why your business plan doesn't need to be perfect
As a startup founder, it's more important to be passionate and resilient than to have the perfect business plan, write Rich Leimsider and Cheryl Dorsey of Echoing Green. However, you still have to have an idea that is innovative and has the potential to have a significant impact on the world, they write. Harvard Business Review online/HBR Blog Network (2/18)
The Whole Entrepreneur
Making the jump back to the corporate world
It can be hard to make the transition from entrepreneur to employee, but it's doable if you focus on learning what you can and look for ways to contribute in your new role, writes Katie Douthwaite. "[I]f I make my employees and clients happy, I am making an impact on the company -- no matter how far I am from the title of CEO," she writes. TheDailyMuse.com (2/18)
Public-speaking tips from Aristotle
Leaders should learn from Aristotle when it comes to planning a public speech or presentation, says John Baldoni. That means keeping things simple, and repeatedly signposting your key points. "Tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em, tell 'em, then tell 'em what you told 'em," Baldoni says. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (2/15)
Ideas for Innovators
Are large tech companies in trouble?
Some large tech companies are still stuck in the 20th century, which means they could be left in the dust as more agile competitors continue to innovate, according to serial entrepreneur Steve Blank. "CEOs who aren't making wrenching decisions about the organization of the company won't last more than five years on the job," he said. Innovation was a key topic in President Barack Obama's recent State of the Union address, but Blank said the government still isn't doing enough to foster new ideas. VentureBeat (2/16)
Fortune from Failure
Failure doesn't cause innovation
Failure is a natural byproduct of innovation, but that doesn't mean that companies should set out to fail, writes venture capitalist Henry Doss. Cultural factors such as mutual trust and a commitment to diverse modes of thinking are the real catalysts for innovation, he writes. Forbes (2/18)
It is not the frequency of failure that is important but rather the conditions that allow for innovation success."
-- Venture capitalist Henry Doss, writing at Forbes.
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