Almost every change Yabe-san introduced risked decreased efficiency and quality of service in the short term. Having the cleaners distracted from their jobs by talking with passengers, decreasing measurement and oversight. Even making the cleaning crews more visible to the customers went against the hospitality and travel best practices which hold that this kind of work is to take place out of sight and all friction for the customer is to be removed.

But everything Yabe-san did increased the possibilities for human connection. Not the usual, scripted staff-customer communication or the usual manager-staff meetings, but inefficient, unnecessary communication not directly related to completing the task at hand.

Rather than managing for control and compliance, he was managing for transparency and connection.

Internally this not only resulted in a skyrocketing of morale but an outpouring of creative ideas. The Tessei staff not only came up with innovations that improved their own jobs, but helped design the shape of the bins on the new Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, and they came up with the idea for the nursery and baby areas in Tokyo Station.

And, of course, it was this feeling of human connection that resulted in passengers cleaning up after themselves because they did not want to create extra work for someone they had just seen working so hard.

It led to people realizing that we are all on this train together. Yes, it eventually made processes more efficient and less expensive, but more importantly, it actually made life a little bit better for everyone involved.

Avoiding hassle is especially important for a bootstrapped company. As discussed in my previous post about the spiderweb entrepreneur, in the early stages of bootstrapping, nothing happens unless YOU do it, so it’s incredibly important to conserve your time and energy.

Ifyou want to absolutely minimize hassle as you run your software business, you can stick to each one of these rules, which I present in no particular order:

The joke is that brewing is 90% cleaning and 10% paperwork. Except that it's not a joke at all. It's just how brewery life is.

Why has the “Made in Germany” brand thrived over the last 15 or so years, even as “Made in Japan” grinds toward irrelevance? All the more extraordinary, Germany has flourished in a savagely competitive global environment despite high labor costs, an overvalued euro and any number of regional financial crises. Its secret: adapting and innovating in ways Japan Inc. cannot even seem to contemplate.

"The commonly held belief that entrepreneurs are young college students working out of their dorms is simply wrong," says study author Vivek Wadhwa of Duke University's Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization. "People typically come to a stage where they're tired of working for other people. They think, 'I'm 40 and I haven't made it big yet. This is my last chance.' That really spurs the entrepreneurial spirit."

Having been through multiple launches, seen companies launch at big conferences, and talked with many startups that have experienced the same effect, what I recommend – and what we’re doing at Origami - is not launching at all. Take the word launch out of your vocabulary – it’s a sign that you are gambling on your app and not building a long-term, sustainable company. Instead, put your sign-up page up or your app out because you need more feedback on your idea. Find an audience of passionate users, even if small, and reach out to their community through appropriate means. Try SEM and Facebook ads to find a target market. Experiment with business models and onboarding flows. Let the press come to you because they love what you’ve made.

Based on painful personal experience, this article illustrates the limitations of the Lean Startup theory and how it distracts founders from the fundamentals of successful entrepreneurship – the unlean lessons. It also explains how to overcome the theory’s shortcomings. Read on and learn how to protect yourself from wasting time and money on building unprofitable products and uncompetitive companies.

An acquisition, or an aqui-hire, is always a failure. Either the founders failed to achieve their goal, or – far likelier – they failed to dream big enough. The proper ambition for a tech entrepreneur should be to join the ranks of the great tech companies, or, at least, to create a profitable, independent company beloved by employees, customers, and shareholders.

There are plenty of myths floating around Silicon Valley, augmented by the legends of hot-headed young Turks such as Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, that you need to be in your 20s with a rigid mindset and a hefty ego. But they're the outliers, according to an extensive survey conducted by one startup incubator. [...] The results? As you can see in the infographic below, the young Turk thing is a myth. The best entrepreneurs are ones who work in their field first, gaining valuable real-world knowledge and experience for a decade or more. (We heard exactly the same thing from Google's startup acquisition guy).

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