The Professional Life Matrix (v2)

Professional Life Matrix (v2)

The Matrix has been reloaded! While preparing for a recent presentation I gave about the PLM at KU, I realized the PLM (v1) wasn’t quite right. Specifically, the RISK line didn’t make sense.

In that first version, the Intrapreneur was shown to have more risk in the game than the Shaper. Not true! The employees of a startup (especially one that’s early stage) are certainly taking on more risk by participating in a young company’s venture. When it comes to the Intrapreneur, at least they can bank on getting a paycheck from The Man. So to correct this, I simply rotated the entire matrix a 45 degrees counter-clockwise. #boomsizzle #problemsovled

I also made a few other adjustments in this version.

  1. Right at the top, I replaced wording and shape for the person that falls squarely in the Entrepreneur/Startup section. The Founder: the person with the original idea, insight and passion to make his dream a reality. Sure, they are often Hipsters, Hustlers and Hackers, but so to can shapers be these three things. It’s the act of founding a company that really sets the Founder and Shaper apart.
  2. You’ll notice the Intrapreneur circle overlaps the Corporation/Startup axis into the Corporation/Employee section. Although the Intrapreneur is given more leeway to step outside the norms of the typical corporate setting, at the end of the day they are inextricably tied to the corporation (and thus remain an employee of the corporation). After all, it’s the corporation that is funding the Intrapreneur’s project and paying their salary.
  3. In the same breath, the Shaper triangle now intersects and crosses over the Corporation/Startup axis into the Entrepreneur/Startup section. Although Shapers can be considered “employees” they are so much more than that. A true Shaper works with tenacity and diligence as if the company were their own, and more than likely the Shaper has some skin in the game in the form of equity. Furthermore, the lines are often blurred between the company’s Founder and Shapers. They all wear so many hats and do so many tasks that it really is like a survival team deep in a remote forest doing anything and everything they can to stay alive. And last but not least, the Shaper usually has some of their own ideas that they hope to someday turn into a business venture. Thus, the arrow points up … skyward … in the direction their hopes and dreams will travel.
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The Royals Win the 2014 World Series (in a parallel universe)!

Royals WinI just had a thought…

In a parallel universe, Alex Gordon didn’t stop at 3rd after his massive hit in the 9th inning. Instead, he rounded 3rd hard and fast, and he continued steaming towards home plate to an awaiting Buster Posey.

Brandon Crawford threw the ball in from midfield towards home plate, and although it wasn’t the best of throws it bounced its way to Buster and arrived about 2 seconds before Alex joined him. Instead of sliding, Alex decidedly SLAMMED into Buster HARD, old school style, and smashed him into the dirt. Buster lost the ball, and Alex was declared SAFE by the home plate umpire. The crowd went BALISTIC … the Royals tied the game! But the cheering and joy soon silenced as everyone noticed Buster rolling around in complete and total agony. After 10 long minutes, broken Buster was carried off the field with what was eventually determined to be career ending repeat injuries to his fibula and tendons like those he suffered on May 25, 2011.

The Royals eventually won the game, but the victory was bittersweet. The history books showed that, yes, the Royals took home the World Series trophy but at the expense of “Spirit of the Game” and another man’s health and livelihood.

Fast forward through this parallel universe 5, 10, 20 years, and as people talk about the 2014 World Series they don’t reminisce about how the series was unbelievable and utterly amazing. They don’t smile and remember how the “Cinderella Team” won. Instead, they talk about the one questionable play that changed it all, and how the Kansas City Royals went to questionable lengths to win the game.

So in a way, I’m fine with how it all turned out. I’m fine with the results in this universe. The citizens of the world will always remember just how awesome and classy the Royals played, right until the end. And even though the boys in blue din’t win, they are and will always be our 2014 hometown heroes who continue to inspire us for years and years to come.

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The Professional Life Matrix

The Professional Life Matrix

In April of 2013, Professor James Gentry (aka Jimmy), professor at the University of Kansas School of Journalism, asked if I would come speak to his Entrepreneurship for Communicators class about the differences between working at a corporation and working at a startup. I’m a Jayhawk through and through who loves KU and Lawrence, so I of course said yes.

I prepared a presentation and set out to tell my story. However, on the drive from Kansas City to Larryville, a thought came to me which included the professional life matrix. So, as entrepreneurs so often do, I abandoned much of my prepared talk in lieu of testing out the idea of the matrix on the students. It worked out pretty well, and earlier this week professor Gentry invited me back to KU to give the presentation again. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the professional life matrix.

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Ready … Set … TXT!

yoSo, my last post (ages ago) was about the pending and inevitable demise of TXT messaging. However, until that day arrives, TXT messaging it shall be for this guy.

Which brings me to a thought I had yesterday. You see, I wanted to send a TXT message while driving. But, as we’ve all learned by now (special thanks to Oprah Winfrey) that is a big no no and for good reason. TXTing + Driving = Bad Mojo. Immediately I longed for an app that allowed me to send a txt message in 3 clicks.

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Rest in peace, SMS TXT

RIP-SMSConsidering today’s Facebook acquisition of WhatsApp* for the paltry sum of $19B, I thought it would be a good time to write about something I’ve been thinking about for a while now: the end of SMS TXT messaging. I’m certainly not the first person to broach this subject. Molly McHugh wrote a nice article about the subject for Digital Trends back in 2011. But a lot has changed since then, including the creation and subsequent acquisition of a few messaging apps like GroupMe and WhatsApp.

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Legos and Startups: Undo Them

LegosOne of the things I love most about air travel is it affords me the opportunity to disconnect from the all-consuming Interwebs. Even when in-flight Wi-Fi is an option, I choose to take advantage of the down time to read, relax and let my mind wander freely.

On a recent Southwest flight while perusing their Spirit magazine, I came across an interesting article about Lego. The author, Melinda Mahaffey Icden, talks about the soaring popularity of Legos, especially among the nostalgic adult generation. The enduring fascination with Legos has spawned adult fans of Legos (AFOLs) to emerge from all corners of the globe, connect via social media and play like kids again. In turn, this is pushing the toy originally made for children to new heights.

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120% Effort for 40% Gain

Everyday I'm HustlinLast Tuesday, while I was sending emails, researching investors, tweaking our business plan, reviewing our financials, testing our mobile app and preparing to meet with our biz dev team to talk about sales strategies, I was reminded of a question a friend asked me recently.  “Matthew, why are you always working?”

She’s right, I am pretty much always working.  Being an entrepreneur certainly takes a lot of hustle, determination and long hours on a continual basis.  But why?  How come entrepreneurs and startup all-stars have to work so much and so often?

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Thanks for stopping by…

Marcus LIHey there!  How’s it goin?  I didn’t see you come in, but thanks for stopping by and saying hello.

In case we haven’t met before, my name is Matthew.  Nice to meet you.  I’m an entrepreneur and philanthropist working on this, that and the other.  It’s what I do.  Feel free to read more about me and what I’m doing these days by clicking here.

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