Week 3 Dilemmas Discussion

Movie Moneyball (2011)

Movie Summary

In the movie, Moneyball (2011), Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) puts together a baseball team for the Oakland A’s using a mathematical formula that he learns from Peter Brand (Jonah Hill). With the limited budget that the A’s have Billy, the General Manager, couldn’t keep his three best players from the previous season. While scouting in Cleveland to replace the players that he lost, Billy attempts to conduct trades with the General Manager of the Indians, but every offer is turned down because Peter doesn’t see value in them. Peter is recruited to work for Billy, and they build a team of undervalued players based on potential not the formula of looks and personalities. The method of how Billy and Peter build the team is not like by the scouts or Head Coach of the A’s. The head coach, Art Howe (Philip Seymour), refuses to follow Billy’s advice on who to play which causes the team to struggle on the field, resulting in losing many games. Art blames the failures on Billy. Art is quick to point out that Billy is the General Manager and not the Head Coach, so Art can do whatever he wants with the players that he has on the team. Billy is forced to trade off the players that Art has been starting instead of what is recommended to prove that the team that he built can be successful. After the team, that Billy put together, finally gets a chance to work the way that the team was designed they go on a winning streak that sets records. The team ended their season by losing the Division Championship, but their way of working together with the formula led to other teams adopting the formula. One team won the World Series two years later by following the formula.  

Concept from Entrepreneurship

In The Founder’s Dilemma, (Wasserman, 2012) chapter 5, the author covers the Role Dilemma: Positions and Decision Making. Wasserman writes about how some founders don’t want a title, and others only want to be the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Titles might not seem important at the beginning of a company but as the company matures titles become important in how outsiders view the founders. The title in a business determines how has the authority to make the final decision, and more importantly who could be praised or blame for how things turn out.

The Link

In the film Moneyball, the business is the baseball team the Oakland A’s. The team has been established and is not being founded at the time, but the roles and titles of the management cause friction between the characters. The General Manager has been given the role of recruiting and developing the roster into a winning team by the Team Owner. The Head Coach has the role of using the players on the roster to the best of his ability to win games. The movie highlights how both roles are trying to complete the task given to them, to win, but the Head Coach refuses to follow the General Manager’s vision. Billy must take measures to force Art to do what he wants him to do. In the movie the press and the public blame Billy for the losses. Billy is facing losing his job because the roster was his vision and responsibility no matter how Art chooses to use the player. Once the team starts winning the press praises the Head Coach, but after the season is over it is Billy who is offered a job and huge pay raise because of what he did.

Reference list (APA style)

Miller, B. (2011). Moneyball. Columbia Pictures.
Wasserman, N. (2012). “Chapter 5 Role Dilemma: Positions and Decision Making “, The Founder’s Dilemmas, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey

Week 2 Dilemmas Discussion

Movie Julie and Julia (2009)

Movie Summary

In the movie, Julie and Julia (2009), one of the characters, Julie Powell (Amy Adams) is an unsuccessful writer that works in a call center that takes calls from 9/11 victims. With the persuasion from her husband, she starts a blog with the challenge of cooking all the recipes from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The movie uses cut scenes to pan from the life of Julie Powell to that of Julia Child (Meryl Streep).

Julia Child moves to Paris France after World War II with her husband, who has taken a diplomat posting. To occupy her time, she tries several hobbies until she decides to take cooking classes. After passing her second exam attempt and graduating from Le Cordon Bleu, Julia Child went into business with two friends Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, and starts a cooking school.  The two friends had been working on a book, but they were rejected by publishers. Julia Child joined them and completed the book to be rejected again. The book was ultimately accepted by a different publisher.

Julie Powell’s adventures with her blog took a year and took a toll on her relationship with her husband.  Julie Powell posted every success and failure with the attempted recipes as well as issues she was having with her marriage. This honesty gained notice from her readers but almost caused her husband to leave. After taking some time off from her cooking she gets back together with her husband and continues her cooking challenge. A writer wanted to interview her for an article but had to cancel due to weather. Another writer from The New York Times interviewed her and wrote an article. After the article is published Julie Powell becomes famous and is offered book, television, and movie deals.

Concept from Entrepreneurship

The book, The Founder’s Dilemma, (Wasserman, 2012) addresses the dilemma of Solo Versus Team (Wasserman, 2012). This dilemma addresses the different advantages and disadvantages of being a solo founder or having a cofounder team. The book, Effectual Entrepreneurship, (Read et al., 2016) covers Fail cheap and learn quickly (Read et al., 2016). This concept is stated that it is beneficial to learn from your failure, view failure as a way to learn, and that passion in a project is a way to work through failure to keep trying if you don’t succeed.

The Link

In the film Julie and Julia, there are three different “businesses”. The first is the blog by Julie which she is a solo founder. She founds the blog with only assistance from her husband, who is a writer, to set up the blog website. She chooses not to enlist any help from her husband or her friend that is a blogger. The second business is the cooking school that Julia Child joins. The trio of female chefs teaches American women how to cook French cuisine. The cooking school added Julia Child as a cofounder and became more relatable to American women having an American added to the two French chefs. This addition also solidified the relationship between the trio prompting Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle to ask Julia to join their book project. The third business was the book project. This business shows how having the right cofounding team is important when Louisette Bertholle contributed very little to help with the book. The other concept, fail cheap and learn quickly, can be applied to the book project when the first publisher did not offer to publish the book, written by Beck and Bertholle because they felt like they needed some American input. The second publisher did not like the book written by the trio due to the length would make the printing too costly.

Reference list (APA style)

Ephron, N. (2009). Julie and Julia. Columbia Pictures.

Read, S., Sarasvathy, S., Dew, N., & Wiltbank, R. (2016). “Chapter 4 Fail cheap and learn quickly”, Effectual Entrepreneurship (2nd ed.). Routledge.

Wasserman, N. (2012). “Chapter 3 The Solo Versus Team Dilemma”, The Founder’s Dilemmas, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey

Week 1 Dilemmas Discussion

Ghostbusters (1984)

Movie Summary

In the movie, Ghostbusters (1984), the main three characters, Drs. Peter Venkman (Bill Muray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) were paranormal researchers before losing their grant from New York’s Columbia University. After being let go from the university, Dr. Venkman convinces Dr. Stantz and Dr. Spengler to start their venture of investigating and capturing ghosts. The trio launches a business named Ghostbusters with the limited experience of only seeing one ghost, and without ever catching one.  After a series of fortunate events, the business becomes famous and can save the city by the end of the movie.

Concept from Entrepreneurship

The book, The Founder’s Dilemma, (Wasserman, 2012) addresses the dilemma of Building Human Capital (Wasserman, 2012). This dilemma covers life experiences outside of academia that will give a founder/s insight on the steps to launching a successful venture.  Wasserman also covers Managerial Experience (Wasserman, 2012) as another dilemma. The managerial Experience dilemma is interesting because Wasserman describes how having a business degree or experience in a management position can be helpful, but he goes on to state that only 18% of the database founders used for case studies had any managerial experience. The dilemma of Clouding Judgement: Passion and Optimism (Wasserman, 2012) is also covered. This dilemma is described as the founder’s overconfidence and optimism, which can lead them down paths that do not follow a solid business plan.

The Link

In the film Ghostbusters, the three university professors turned paranormal exterminators, has the appearance of an induvial that lacks the experience of launching a successful business. Only Dr. Stantz has ever worked in the “private sector”, while Dr. Venkman has never held a job outside of academia. There are two major references to lack of managerial skills such as running out of petty cash before landing their first paying client, and not hiring enough staff to distribute the workload once the business takes off. Dr. Stantz’s optimism gets the trio in trouble twice by revealing how much he wants the business location while Dr. Venkman and Dr. Spengler are trying to talk the real estate agent down, and then again when he purchases a company vehicle that is overpriced and needs a lot of maintenance because he likes it. The passion for the paranormal is the one saving fact for the protagonists. While eating the last meal that they could afford, they received the phone call for a job that would help them not only launch the first of many successful ghost captures, but they were able to make their first sale. 

Reference list (APA style)

Reitman, I. (1984). Ghostbusters. Columbia Pictures.

Wasserman, N. (2012). “Chapter 2 Career Dilemmas “, The Founder’s Dilemmas, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey

Can you afford to market your business, or Can you afford not to market your business

Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide

The conclusion of duct tape marketing really made me think. Too offend small business owners either fail to put marketing into their budget or they don’t stick to any kind of budget and just throw money at marketing without setting limits. Either version is going to cost the business in the long run. If you don’t budget, you will not draw in the customers you need to grow to get the place to meet your goals. If you fail to follow any budget than you are pushing money into a bottomless pit without getting enough to offset the cost.

The first step is to set a marketing goal. The easiest way to set a goal for the business is to ask, where do I envision the business in five years. This question will lead to follow on question of how much grow/sales/referrals/ etc. is needed to achieve this goal. When the business owner has broken down where the business needs to be and the steps to get there, next is setting a budget to complete those steps to meet the goal. Jantsch states, “You should spend as little as you possibly can in order to achieve your marketing goals.” This is when a budget should be made. Not all plans work, but that doesn’t mean jump on the idea of the week and dig a deeper hole. Look at what is working and what isn’t and keep what is and change what isn’t.  

Jantsch, B. J. (2006). by John Jantsch Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide (text only)[Paperback]2008. Thomas Nelson.

Business Digital Footprint

Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide

I am in the military so every couple of year the Army will send me to a new place, and I don’t know the area. A few things never change, major chain restaurants and grocery stores, but the local place to get an oil change or dry cleaners is something that you must find. Talking to people familiar with the area only helps so much, because taste, affordability, and service are subjective. At the end of the day I research to find what I need on the internet.  The thing to note is I have seen so many businesses without websites, or they don’t portray what the business is about. These businesses are losing the opportunity to not only get my business that day, but they are losing the ability to interact with me in the future.

Smart business owners use their website to not only make the sale but capture the information of the customer to use automated marketing. Businesses can the customer’s information that to send automated emails about new products and services, or sales and promotions. By being able to email directly to someone who has already made a purchase you greatly increase your chances to convert a casual customer into a loyal repeat customer.

Another tactic that is discussed by Jantsch, in Duct Tape Marketing, is the use of multiple websites. A business can have one website devoted to sales and another to be used for a blog that relates to product and services offered by the business. Having a blog allows for customers as well as distributors to talk about how the products offered can by used in real life, or even how they can be optimized beyond normal use. It gives a location for likeminded people discuss topics that would be in conjunction with the business. In this blog there can be links pointing people reading or providing content to the blog to your business.   

Jantsch, B. J. (2006). by John Jantsch Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide (text only)[Paperback]2008. Thomas Nelson.

Websites and Business

Warren Buffett once said, “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.” For years I had the thought process that this works for businesses like Walmart 24-hour gas stations, but this doesn’t work for a small brick and mortar business that is only open doing business hour. A website is an employee that doesn’t take breaks and works day and night. But how will a business that sells goods during the day use a website to sell goods during the night? Customers can order online and when the business is open, and then the business can fill those order to be shipped or ready for pick up when the customer arrives. This process is different when the business is predominantly a service industry venue. However, with the use of online reservations and menus or list of services a customer can look at what is offered and make decision even when the business is closed. By offering a reservation you are making a sale anytime the business is open or closed.

A well put together website should be pointing a customer to the sale. Use your webpage to educate the story of your business and products. Every page and item should be to convey your message. Products should be described so customers don’t feel that they have been tricked. Extra pages and graphics shouldn’t distract the customer and lead them away from your product. The website should have a clean layout that is engaging and keep the customer’s attention.

Jantsch, B. J. (2006). by John Jantsch Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide (text only)[Paperback]2008. Thomas Nelson.

Teach don’t Preach

Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide

In Duct Tape Marketing, chapter 5, it covers that a business should produce marketing materials that educate. The one section that really stuck with me was the use of a marketing story. People have been using stories to convey historical events, lesson, and thoughts since time has been recorded. People have used stories to help people relate to an idea. In the book Jantsch lists how a business can use their own story to connect to their stakeholders and customers.

The use of a story can educate the customers of what the business stands for, history, or even how they have developed their products. By using an educational story of why a business exists and how the product can change lives, this story can trigger emotions. Studies show that customers buy on emotions, the deeper the emotion the more connected they are to the brand. This emotion also embeds a memory, the more the customer can relate with the story the better they will remember your product to fill a need in their life.

In the end, a business needs to teach their customers what their values are, and how they will help them fill a void. Marketing stories can trigger emotions and memories, but they need to know what these emotions and memories are tied to. Just talking about how great a product is, in of itself isn’t a bad thing, but an educated buyer will be more apt to be a repeat buyer.

Jantsch, B. J. (2006). by John Jantsch Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide (text only)[Paperback]2008. Thomas Nelson.

You can’t be everything to everyone.

In marketing a business or a product, the question should be asked who are we trying to reach with this product or service? For example, people wear clothes for warmth and modesty, but what customer would be interested in your specific item? Are you marketing to someone in high fashion wanting to be on the cutting edge of design or to an oil field worker needing rugged clothes that can last harsh conditions? Knowing who will be likely to purchase your goods comes down to what problem does it solve. The oil field worker needs durable clothes that can withstand chemicals, wicks moisture away, and are made from materials that are resistant to tearing. If you are offering something for this line of work, then that customer segment would fit your ideal customer. Not to say that other people could be customers, but they would be secondary.

If your product delivers these qualities, then you must look at what problems does it solve beyond what is already offered by other products. The marketing of the product should reflex the problem solving to your customer and should drive your marketing message. The marketing message should be an idea or concept that the customer can associate with your product. Nike’s tagline of “Just Do It” has been around for decades but still is associated with products and lifestyles. The marketing message should be used throughout the marketing campaign and add to the product image.

Lastly, the marketing campaign should be directed to generate results. Just as we identified that there are different ideal customers for high fashion and sturdy work clothes, there are different avenues to market to these different groups. Using the examples above, high fashion would be advertised in fashion magazines whereas work clothes would not. Using the ideal customer model, the marketing team should look at where the customer would have contact with the advertisement. With the growth of online marketing is the use of social media and websites, a business can target their customers to ensure that the correct demographic could see the marketing campaign.

Jantsch, B. J. (2006). by John Jantsch Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide (text only)[Paperback]2008. Thomas Nelson.

Blog II

If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.” – Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett makes an interesting point with this quote about business. This point can be used about brick and mortar companies needing to find ways to do business even when the doors are closed. This can be accomplished with a robust website allowing customers to shop online 24 hours a day. However, to add to the last blog post, I will be mentioning how this can be applied to blogs, vlogs, or other websites.

Blog and vlogs are interesting in that they can be monetized and draw revenue anytime that a person views them. A prime example of this platform that most people are familiar with is YouTube. Once you have enough views and subscribers you can make money every time someone watches one of your videos. The following is what is needed to be a partner and become monetized for YouTube.

  • Have at least 1,000 subscribers
  • Reach 4,000 valid public watch hours in the past 12 months
  • Sign and agree to the terms and conditions
  • Have an AdSense account
  • Get reviewed and approved

Once you have become a partner, then you can choose to make money from advertisements that are placed in the videos.

The interesting thing is that the revenue is not limited to YouTube and advertisements. The other way to make money is the use of affiliated links and sponsorship. Affiliated links are links to products or services that the YouTuber might mention in the video with a link to the website of said products or services. When a viewer clicks the link, a code is generated with the website and the YouTuber receives a portion of the sale. Sponsorship is when a brand or company pays a person to wear or endorse their products in the video. Lastly, another way to generate money is from the sale of merchandise. Many YouTubers have their website where they sell products with their logos for fans of their channel. This form of merchandising can be used by regular brick and mortar establishments to drive business to their website.

 All of this sounds well and good but how do you get to the place where you can earn your first check from YouTube? As mentioned in the last post, it’s all about content. Content can be broken into three categories; what you post, how often you post, and the quality of the post. A person should focus on “what” they post in two ways, either entertainment or educational. To have viewers subscribe and follow your channel, you need to have videos that meet a niche that makes them want to watch not only the videos you have posted, but want to know when you have posted new videos. Next, the frequency of your posts should be addressed. The more videos you post the more chances you have for a viewer to find your channel. The last thing to consider, and in most opinions, the most important, is the quality of the videos you post. A channel can have strong content but have a poor-quality video you will not gain followers.

Source: Mint. (2021, February 19). How Much Do Youtubers Make & How to Become a Youtuber. MintLife Blog. https://mint.intuit.com/blog/relationships/how-much-do-youtubers-make-5035/#:%7E:text=%2414.89%20billion%20increase.-,How%20many%20views%20do%20YouTubers%20need%20to%20get%20paid%3F,receive%20%245%20per%201%2C000%20views.


If I was honest with myself and those reading this, if I said when this program started, I didn’t understand what a blog was. The first assignment in the program was to make a blog and share the web address on the discussion board. That sounded easy enough for a person that works with computers every day. Make a webpage and post content, two simple things for having a blog. However, I never felt comfortable about posting on the blog, because most things that I was working on for the class had to be posted on the discussion board, so why should I post on the blog? Over the last week, I have done some honest research about blogs and vlogs.

I have never been the type of person that liked to write about myself. Even as a child, I would hear about friends that had their journals taken, and their thoughts shared without their consent. These events caused me to be guarded about putting my thoughts to paper, short of academic writing. With this mentality, I never understood what would drive a person to write all their thoughts out for others to read and judge them. The more I researched “blogging” I came to realize that having a blog isn’t only about sharing thoughts but can be about sharing experiences or skills.

I thought about the program’s assignment and concentrated on the business side of blogging. Firstly, how can a person have a blog that generates money? In principle, it comes down to content and the hosting of the content. If the author/content is interesting, engaging, and appealing then readers visit the page which equates to views or visits. When a blog has enough people visiting the page, the author can have the page monetized with advertisements. The more people view the page, the more that the advertisers will pay the author.

All of this sounds too easy; pick a topic, write, and get paid. But the truth is that it can be easy or extremely hard. Making money from a blog uses the same principles as most businesses. What sets you apart from the competition, who is your target market or audience, and the advertising to attract customers or in this case readers to your site. The principle of business that affects blogs the most, is what sets you apart. As mentioned, several times, it is all about content.