The Influence Project


We started with a simple question: Who are the most influential people online right now?
That's what The Influence Project is designed to answer. By participating, you will have your picture appear in the November issue of Fast Company magazine as part of an amazing photo spread. The more influence you demonstrate, the bigger your picture will be.

You may discover that you're more influential than you think.

Influence is not only about having the most friends or followers. Real influence is about being able to affect the behavior of those you interact with, to get others in your social network to act on a suggestion or recommendation. When you post a link or recommend a site, how many people actually bother to check it out? And what’s the likelihood of those people then forwarding it on? How far does your influence spread?

This is the type of influence we’re looking for. We want to find the most influential person online. 

Who knows? It might even be you.

This is my "page" as a sample.

Clearly, the aim is not to win this, but might be worth YOU entrepreneurs join and see what happens!!


We do not have to choose between inspired employees and sizable profits - in fact inspired employees help make sizable profits.

To watch the video, go to:

Back in October 2008 I had the chance to see Chip Conley in San Francisco, during an Endeavor Tour to Sillicon Valley. The hotel where we were staying in a city in Sillicon Valley (I guess it was in Sunnyvale (CA), I do not even remember!) was one of the Joie de Vivre hotels (http://www.jdvhotels.com/). He was a key note speaker in our agenda and I loved it. What a nice surprise to find him as a TED speaker.

In the video (please watch it!) Chip talks about the paradigms of results/impact measurement on the modern world and contrasts this to a whole new model (pioneered by countries like Bhutan, for instance) to measure what counts, in life, in business.

Some key quotes I loved from the video were:

1. GDP measures everything in short ... EXCEPT "that" what makes like worthwhile
2. We do not have to choose between inspired employees and sizable profits - in fact inspired employees help make sizable profits.

You should watch the video, it shares interesting perspectives from different angles...
It`s a bit sad to recognize that the majority of the Entrepreneurs I come across are rather part of the traditional school, they still think face the dilemma of "inspired employees Vs. sizable profits" and -as Chip says- do not recognize their role as creators of a habitat of hapiness for their stakeholders. Some Entrepreneurs are even a bit embarrased of talking about it, fearing that people might character tem as "fluffly" or "unfocused" - and this is also a critique for organizations that support entrepreneurs: such innovative thinking about the way you perceive and create your own sucess as entrepreneur might be undervalued!

Do you know any amazing case to share about Entrepreneurs, as Chip, that have a particular model/way to create hapiness and/or measure what counts for them?


Overdose of optimism, the entrepreneurs` most typical excess?

Today I was reading an article that was written by Michael Skapinke on the Financial Times called  "Entrepreneurs need to know when to let go". You can read it if you feel like here.

On the article, there was a phrase that particularly called  my attention: "Scepticism is the journalist's default position, just as optimism is the entrepreneur's". 

Only few people would disagree with the fact that these "let`s be positive that it`s gonna work - attitude" that Entrepreneurs share plays a key role. It`s on the Entrepreneur`s DNA to hope for the best (no matter which risk level they are handling), and they do so because they trust the power of their own ideas and performance. And it`s great. Self-confidence is one of the most powerful characteristics that one can have to reach extraordinary things. 

However "right" and admirable the former can sound, there are limits. Indeed there must be limits ... the biggest challenge is to be aware of them. Out of my personal experience supporting Entrepreneurs as also trying to be one since we opened our restaurant with a couple of other partners, few situations where Entrepreneurs might suffer from "overdose of optimism" are:

- Not letting go a business that market has shown not to be profitable and still trying to artificially keep it alive though capital investment. If you do not change the strategy (management, plan, leader) to make it work, a business won`t get back on track by just being positive that a bit more of time is needed.

- Not letting go a worker/employee that shows some potential, but that has not been able to exploit it. "I think he/she will improve" - Second chances to underperformers are most typical than what we believe. Unfortunately (and fortunately) Entrepreneurs tend to think with the heart when it comes to managing employees, specially if these employees are those who happened to be around when you started your business. There is a hidden feeling of gratitude involved. 

Coming back to the phrase that inspired me to write this post ("scepticism is the journalist's default position, just as optimism is the entrepreneur's"), I feel like modifying it a bit to tap better into the entrepreneurial arena: "Scepticism is the manager`s default position, just as optimism is the entrepreneur's". When Entrepreneurs accept their overdose of optimism and realize that it can threaten their business, normally they call managers, creating a healthy balance. If Entrepreneurs are not there to hope for the best, innovation and "out of the box thinking" couldn`t probably flourish.

I think the biggest conclusions of this reflexion is that:

1. It would be a mistake to pretend to remove the natural optimism that Entrepreneurs have, it`s like going against their essence
2. Entrepreneurs need however to be aware when optimism blinds them and affects the soundness of the decisions they make
3. It`s important to look for a "counterweight" once one is aware that optimism is hindering growth: involving an objective manager or investor or advisor could be a way to go.

Meanwhile "WORKING FOR THE BEST WHILE HOPING FOR THE BEST" might sound like a healthy balance.