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I’m Back – What I’ve been working on

It’s been a long while since I’ve regularly posted here!  I’m happy to say I’m back and planning to write a lot more over the next couple months (and beyond I hope, but we’ll see).

Life has been busy.  On January 29th my son, Quincy Scott Winfield, was born.

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He’s a great kid and it’s been a ton of fun to watch him grow and develop these first four months.

I once again taught Entrepreneurial Marketing at University of Nevada this spring semester.  I spent the semester with a great group of students discussing topics like Crossing the Chasm, identifying and quantifying markets, Lean Analytics, metrics that matter, Guerrilla Marketing, The Hooked Model, SEO, Word of Mouth, PR, Privacy and Ethics, and marketing lessons that can be learned from the Grateful Dead.

(BTW, I will be taking my son to the final Grateful Dead shows this summer in Santa Clara and Chicago).

Another piece of big news in my life is I have accepted a full time position teaching Entrepreneurship, Marketing, and Finance at Sierra Nevada College.

I couldn’t be more excited to be joining the faculty at SNC.  Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend the day at a faculty retreat up in Virginia City which made me even more excited.

Sierra Nevada College is a small, liberal arts college up on the shores of Lake Tahoe.  The Entrepreneurship program has recently been embracing the Business Model Canvas and Steve Blank’s teachings as core themes through the curriculum.

One might wonder how a business school and topics like Entrepreneurship and Marketing fit in at Liberal Arts college?  These are topics I plan to write about extensively this summer.

I’d like to start by looking at two graphs:

Liberal Arts Decline

 

In this first one, we see that participation in Liberal Arts has been declining.

Entp Decline

And in this second one we see that, despite all the hype and press entrepreneurship gets these days, the US economy has become less entrepreneurial over time.

Now, these two graphs alone do not prove a cause and effect.  They show different time scales and we all know correlation does not imply causation.

It’s also not clear that firm entry and exit rates are the best indications of an “entrepreneurial” economy.

But I do think there is something here and it’s something I plan to spend the summer exploring further.

I’ve always argued the entrepreneurship is more a state of mind than a set of skills.  It’s a way of approaching business opportunities and problems and way to approach one’s career.

To me, liberal arts is all about learning “how” to think, not “what” to think.  As a liberal arts graduate myself, I believe a college education should prepare us to be curious, think critically, and know how to approach and answer a question or problem.

Thus, I see many similarities between liberal arts and entrepreneurship.  I will explore this further in my next group of posts.