Hyrum Smith and the Big Business Show

Former Franklin Covey CEO Hyrum Smith gave a great presentation today at the Big Business Show in Orem. He discussed the Reality Model that is taught by his new company, the Galileo Initiative. Very empowering stuff.

Provo Labs, our Web 2.0 Internet Business Incubator, has its first booth with several portfolio companies represented, including FundingUniverse.com (matching service for angel investors and entrepreneurs), LDS Media (search engine for LDS content), Blastyx (online video), Big Idea (corporate blogging, podcasting and vidcasting services), DevUtah (a group we sponsor and endorse, but don’t own — they host Geek dinners regularly), and WebEvident (an SEO company for small and medium sized businesses.) I think I’m missing one or two.

Come by and see us tomorrow. (I may not be there because of the BYU Family History Technology Conference, plus I get to do a 10-minute spotlight on Provo Labs at the UVEF monthly luncheon.) LDS Media is giving away two free LDS songs for all new customers of LDSAudio.com and Blastyx has a $1,000 off show special for video production and online distribution — a great way to get noticed in today’s crowded web arena.

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Getting out of the current and into pools

This week I spent two days at the Corporate Alliance Summit with 50 business leaders and managers. We learned about the powerful relationship-building principles that Corporate Alliance teaches, and had a lot of time to make personal connections with each other.

My first Summit was last September. It was incredible.

Corporate Alliances teaches that almost all of us swim each day in the “business current,” where we are very busy and focused on day to day business. While we are in that current, we rarely form deep relationships with people. We are focusing on transactions and operations.

Where lasting relationships are formed is in “pools,” which are places where you connect with other people in a non-business setting, and where you really get to know one another. A lot of business people golf because it is a great pool for connecting. Some of the pools that I belong to are the Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum, a few non profits, including the Academy for Creating Enterprise, and various groups at BYU and within my church. Geek dinners and Entrepreneur breakfasts are also good pools, as our Phil Windley’s CTO Breakfasts (I keep planning to go to those) and Genus Breakfasts, the Business Ignitor Series from Connect Magazine, and other local networking events.

But some pools are much better than others for forming relationships.

My favorite pool of all is the Corporate Alliance Summit itself, where the entire focus is on learning about each others needs (both business and personal), serving each other (as we share possible answers to each others problems) and then developing lasting relationships with each other.

I’ve never experienced anything else where I connected so deeply and so quickly with so many other wonderful people. And now it has happened twice.

I’m a huge fan of Jared Stewart, the visionary behind Corporate Alliance, and his wonderful team. I have joined the board of directors and am now an investor in the company (through Provo Labs.)

I am paying full price to send key people from all the Provo Labs companies to Summit. We all need to learn this culture and these principles. They are very similar to the wonderful concepts found in the book, “Love is the Killer App,” my all-time favorite business book by Tim Sanders.

I think Corporate Alliance has the potential to be the next generation Covey Leadership center, teaching millions of business leaders around the world how to recognize that relationships matter most in business and that there are powerful ways to develop lasting relationships with others, both within and without your company.

So here is a question for my readers: what seminar or conference is the best one you’ve ever attended and why?

I go to conferences all the time and would really love to know which ones you like the most.

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Phil Windley’s Technometria | Hearing Alan Kay

Phil Windley’s Technometria | Hearing Alan Kay

Alan Kay is speaking in Salt Lake on Thursday. I would go hear him in a heartbeat if I weren’t judging a business plan competition at BYU on Thursday. Alan is one of the pioneers of the computer industry, having worked at Xerox Park from 1970-1980, then Atari, Disney, and HP. He got a Ph.D. from the University of Utah in computer science.

Don’t miss the chance to learn from one of the great computer scientists of our time.

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Learn How to Harvest a Company

Scott Frazier, an extremely active Utah angel investor and entrepreneur, will speak Thursday, Feb. 9th at the UVEF monthly luncheon.

Come hear him tell the story about how he invested in and then sold Truvision. This is a great success story.

All entrepreneurs ought to be thinking about how and when to exit their company. As E-Myth author Michael Gerber says, every company will eventually be run by someone else, since when you die, you can’t take it with you. So start thinking about your harvest or exit or transition now.

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Phil Windley’s Technometria | CTO Breakfast Report

Phil Windley’s Technometria | CTO Breakfast Report

I’ve always wanted to attend Phil Windley’s CTO breakfasts but I always seem to have a conflict. But after reading the report from the one held earlier this week, I know I can’t afford to miss this anymore.

I hope all the Provo Labs folks reading this post will sign up for future CTO breakfasts as well as the Geek Dinners that DevUtah holds.

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Utah Geek Dinner tonight!

Provo Labs is a supporter of DevUtah’s Geek Dinners, great networking events for both developers and entrepreneurs.

DevUtah’s next Geek Dinner will be held at 6:00 this Tuesday night (Jan 17) at the Miller Business Innovation Center on the Salt Lake Community College campus (9690 South 300 West, Sandy).

There will be two short educational presentations by accomplished attorneys who will discuss legal topics for geeks. Nathan Nelson will talk about legal aspects of selling your software concepts, starting your own software development company (code shop), or becoming an independent developer. David McKenzie will discuss popular myths about software patents and copyright ownership relating to contractors.

We will also have a brief mini-presentation by Dave Turnbull from SoftwareFor.org, who will talk about some of the successes and failures of the last release of “Software for Starving Students”, which had over 25,000 downloads in just a few days.

The event will be catered by Panache Catering. Each attendee is required to contribute $7 to help cover the costs. Attendees are strongly encouraged to prepay burnsadria@hotmail.com via PayPal, although cash and checks will also be accepted at the door.

Please RSVP here

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UVEF Award winners

Here are the winners of awards from UVEF this year.

1. Mike Proper won the Ron Community Service Award. He was orphaned at age 10 and didn’t finish high school, but he has created more than one multi-million business, and his current company DirectPointe is growing by 200% per year. Mike speaks often to high school and college students. He has helped create a public private partnership to help single moms escape the dead end of low paying jobs.

Mike Proper: I find meaning from our forefathers who gave us freedom and opportunity. I want to acknowledge them. He plans to be more involve at UVEF. I wants to help others believe in themselves. I want everyone to feel worth and to know that each one can know they can do whatever they set their mind to.

2. Greatest Contribution to Entrepreneurs: Kyle Love. He cofounded UVEF in 1989. He serves on boards for Omniture and ShopSite. He is a founding member of Utah Angels. He has helped at BYU with mentoring students. He recently helped turn around Cogito and raise $10 million for it.

Kyle: when he graduated from college he and his wife wanted to stay here, but there wasn’t much high tech opportunity, so we moved to Oregon. In 1981 they wanted to move back. He worked for Wicat then started his own. Back then there was no venture capital. So we’ve tried to help make

3. Best Kept Secret. Certiport. In the last 7 years the company has emerged as a leader in training and certification. There are more than 9,000 Certiport centers in 130 countries. In Cleveland, Certiport is working to certify 30,000 underserved citiizens so they aren’t shut out from the digital world.

David, CEO. I relocated from NYC Manhattan to come here because of the beauty of this place and the pool of talent. We work in 20 different languages because of the talent pool here. We have 130 employees in American Fork. 4 men and 3 women executives.

4. Most Innovative Product. Network Composer by Cymphonix. This product let’s network administrators see what is happening on the internet in real time. It is a robust threat-management and performance optimizing firewall available today. It is not a subscription solution, but is the most affordable solution available.

Kevin Santiago, CEO. I’m glad I didn’t have to describe our product. I’ve been carrying around a book called “Your Marketing Sucks.” Two of our angel investors are here today, including John Richards and David Ruff. John helped us get to vSpring, our lead investor.

5. Entrepreneur of the Year: Morgan Lynch, LogoWorks. This company solves a simple problem, helping businesses get a great logo at a low price. More than 30,000 businesses have used this service, which uses multiple designers to give businesses a choice in logos.

Morgan Lynch: I have Lance Archibald here with me of Date Lance fame and he just won some jazz tickets. This year we’ve had a great year, getting to VC funds to make their first investments here in Utah. We have attracted a lot of talent. The Date Lance thing has turned into something bigger. People love working at our company. There were times as a bootstrap company where we had low compensation and no compensation plans. Now I go to work and I love it and I think, wow, how did this happen? Every time I come back to Utah Valley I think we are so lucky to be here, we have great access to talent and a lower cost structure.

Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry from T-Mobile.

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UVEF luncheon today

I should have blogged about this a few days ago. UVEF is holding it’s annual December awards banquet at noon today at the Provo Marriott. Keith McCord will be the master of ceremonies. Pay $20 at the door and learn about the top entrepreneurial businesses in Utah this year (as judged by our UVEF board of trustees.) This is always a great networking opportunity for Utah entrepreneurs.

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Geek Dinner in Utah County, Wed Night

Some of the smartest people I know are meeting for a geek dinner Wednesday night at Los Hermanos in Lindon. All other geeks are welcome. Please check this out.

The registrations doubled today to 23 or so, and we hope to get another dozen or two people signed up before this is over.

Utah Geek Dinners are a brainchild of Phil Burns, COO for our soon-to-be-christened Provo Labs. (Provo Labs will replace Infobase Ventures as our internet business incubator).

These Geek Dinners are not related to our other ventures. They are just an effort to create more events in Utah for techies. Phil Burns and some of his partners have a great vision for creating places where coders of all kinds can share ideas, share code, and start businesses together.

Phil is also exploring some concepts of micro-financing startup companies that come out of the open source community. He is having discussions with leading Web 2.0 geeks from both coasts to see where things are headed.

BTW, Phil Windley, another close friend and one of my favorite geeks will be speaking Wednesday night. I think podcasting equipment will be on hand, as well as video projector and wireless for all attendees.

I can’t stay for the whole evening, but this is going to be very cool.

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