Q & A: How Some Entrepreneurs Can Avoid Crowdfunding Pitfalls


Q & A: crowdfunding success tips for beginners

Q:  Whether Kickstarter or a  competing platform,
any advice for someone thinking about
crowdfunding a business project?

A:  Look beyond the hype.  Investigate the skills
and commitment required to succeed in a crowdfunding project.
It’s far more involved than you may realize.

Check out the blog of Business Librarian, Roger Green, New York SBDC,
and two episodes from the PBS show Start Up for more details.

Ramblin with Roger.com
Kapsul-Kickstarter Campaign, June 6, 2018

Kapsul Kickstarter catastrophe: owning mistakes

Start Up: Season 5
Virtual Toys

Dee Adams is the author of
Finding Your Niche: Discover…

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Funny Moneywise Lesson from Actor Jamie Foxx


When actor Jamie Foxx appeared ss a guest coach
on the original American Idol, he showed he had the skills
of a gifted teacher.
Recently, he appeared on Late Night with Stephen Colbert
and told a funny story that could be used as a
teaching tool for aspiring entrepreneurs…among others.

Earlier in his career, Foxx had met Sean Combs at a party thrown by the recording star and was stunned when Coombs revealed the cost of the party – $1.5 million. So Foxx offered to throw a West Coast party that would rival  Combs’ bash and for less cost.

And Foxx later staged a house party for Combs.

Laughter filled the audience as Foxx recalled his
budget party menu. Yet he achieved the goal and impressed

Cost?  Foxx spent $208.00

A humorous story with a serious takeaway
Many would-be entrepreneurs never move forward
because of the money, they believe they need.
Unfortunately, for some, not even having large amounts of money solve the problem.

Some would-be entrepreneurs may be inspired by Foxx’s story
to rethink their habits and attitudes about money.

Dee Adams is the author of
Finding Your Niche: Discover…

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Hugh Jackman: Business Warning


Not even a celebrity can sell a product if it’s not good,
said Hugh Jackman recently in a news interview.
The entertainer and successful coffee entrepreneur
cited two iconic figures
who failed at ventures
despite fame: Babe Ruth and Frank

Curious, I searched for more details about the famous singer’s  business venture. Sure enough, I found a news article that proves that even the rich and famous may get really, really, bad startup advice.


Dee Adams is the author of
Finding Your Niche: Discover… 

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Why Two Young Minority Entrepreneurs Were Arrested at Starbucks



Update: This post,
which first appeared
April 18, 2018, was removed
then reposted because of
a technical issue.

Q: Technology and social movements may help
address profiling issues in the consumer marketplace,
you noted.Recently, cell phone video went viral after the
controversial arrest and jailing of two minority men sitting at
a Philadelphia Starbuck’s.
They were later released without charge.
What do you think about this incident and
how else might technology put an end to such incidents?

A:    The term loitering is often defined in vague terms
in many jurisdictions. Black’s law dictionary is one example
that underscores the issue.

The men were sitting quietly for 15 minutes, according to witnesses.
The Starbucks worker’s exchange with the men, prior to calling
the police (Nestel), suggests anger is evident.
Details in The Washington Post provides further clues
as to why the situation escalated.

Some might argue
that the call to police was racial bias and also a power play.

I would not disagree. The men were later released from jail because Starbucks declined to press charges. One wonders what charges would have applied in this case.

If store owners are concerned with customers who
sit for long periods without buying (CNN),
then if ordinances permit, management should consider posting
at every table a courteous, humorous, and effective
policy guideline enforced equally for all people.

Cell phone technology and social media captured and exposed the incident.
But Virtual Reality may be an effective tool to educate
those who never experience racial bias.

M.L. Nestel
Handcuffing of 2 Black men in a Starbucks
called repressible outcome by CEO
Comedian, CNN commentator
W. Kamau Bell recalls
being kicked out of coffee shop
The Washington Post.com
Starbucks to close 8,000 Starbucks
for racial bias education
money.cnn.com…GMA interview
The men arrested in Philadelphia
Coffeeshop speak out
Dee Adams is the editor of
Shopping & Racial Profiling

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Name Game Revisited


Editor’s note: Portions of this post appeared previously merged with the wrong paragraphs.  The correct copy is reposted below.

What industry would you find these items? And what are they?


  • Purple Fiesta
  • Ruby Crescent
  • Russian Banana
  • Purple Peruvian
  • German Butterballs
  • Rose Fin Apple
  • Magic Molly
  • New Girl
  • Striped German
  • Cobra
  • Valley Girl
  • Paragon
  • German Johnson
  • Yellow Pear
  • Black Prince

Partial Answer: Banana probably pointed you in the direction of the food industry, which would be correct, but if you reasoned that the items were exotic fruits of some kind..insert buzzer. The second group is a different product in the same industry. Can you guess?

Note: The answer to this quiz points to a much bigger issue for aspiring and established entrepreneurs. Details and photos below…


The first list refers to names of potatoes and the second group of names refers to tomatoes. Seed growers around the world have a reputation for coming up with colorful descriptions of their produce.  A practice that some insiders find challenging because it confuses the consumer. For instance, crops, such as tomatoes and squash have more than 1,000 different names! And often times an offbeat moniker makes it difficult to sell the product, so some industry sellers change the name.

And there are cases where foreign growers unfamiliar with the English language have coined names using canned translation services resulting in product names that don’t relate well with consumers.

For other examples, visit the employee owned Johnny Seeds company.
Check out  Spinach and tomatoes for many creative monikers.


  • Even a simple product has to have the right name to generate sales. A poor name will hinder sales. Ironically, seed growers create the often colorful names to get attention in the marketplace yet the practice adds to consumer confusion.
  • Not every mystery can be solved by using Google to find the answer.

Photo Credits
Note: Had I not spoken to industry members across the U.S. I would have been inclined to think some of the photos were Photoshop trickery….

  • First photo purple and white potatoes/Chiots Run Flicker
  • Second photo Bing Images
  • Pink Potatoes from Recipes for 2



Plant Sciences, U.C. Davis/potatoes

Johnny’s Selected Seed Company.com

Pink potatoes
Recipe for 2

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Why Creating a Product Name, Brand, or Title is Challenging


Why Creating a product name, brand, or title is challenging

Imagine having the task of creating a name
for an ordinary
product like carrots.

The World Wide Web has greatly increased
competition and the need to think all around the box.
For instance, a recent search for a title for
a new food column was dismal: every clever, quirky, offbeat,
humorous, or serious food-related term had already been taken.

Creating the right name, brand, trademark or title takes work
and requires identifying a strategy that inspires creative
effort that will attract interest.

Name Game Puzzle, a previous post, highlighted issues and challenges
of entering a crowded field and finding a way to stand out in the food industry.

Check out how one company solved the name game
branding challenge for their carrots, which enables them to…umm, stand out from the bunch…sorry.

Dee Adams is the author of
Finding Your Niche: Discover…

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Q&A: Best Industries for Women Entrepreneurs


Q & A: Best Industries for Women Entrepreneurs

Q: Given the Me Too movement and other gender issues
es, what industries are best for women
with dreams of entrepreneurship?

A: In theory, one should pick a field of interest regardless of gender bias within the industry. Identify possible mentors and influencers. Investigate industry problems beforehand and create a strategy for navigating potholes. Otherwise, based on the issues cited in your question, there would be few fields for women to enter.

Check out the following three related links about women and entrepreneurship in specific industries.

C-Span’s Book TV with journalist and author, Emily Chang, Brotopia: Breaking up the boys’ club of Silicon Valley, Publishers Weekly article about why women become independent publishers, and Marin Tockman of Dashing Bicycle-Bike Shop, the only female-owned bike shop in the southern US, according to PBS program, Startup.




Dee Adams is the author of
Finding Your Niche: Discover…

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Q & A: Aptitudes and Technology



Q. Does technology and the internet change aptitudes?

A. No, because aptitudes are an innate ability.
What does change are tools used to perform
tasks and how aptitudes may be used.

Dee Adams is the author of
Finding Your Niche: Discover…

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Q & A: Funny or Unusual Business Ideas


Q &A: Funnu or unsual business ideas

Q: What’s the funniest or most unusual business
that you have found or thought up?

A. Well, in the funny category that
has to be Goat Yoga.
Most unusual was
a segment on Shark Tank in which the idea involved
mailing messages that were written on
potatoes to customers.
I still don’t understand that one.
A shark supposedly funded the idea!

The most unusual idea that I thought of was inspired
by the Bulwer-Lytton comical fiction writing contest.
The idea was to start a humorous business contest in which contestants would submit a wacky idea with a two sentence pitch.

The funniest most ridiculous submission would win a cash prize.

I thought the contest would be a great idea and fun way to promote Finding Your Niche, but I quickly dropped the idea when a veteran business counselor said that the marketplace would associate my book with wacky ideas.

Dee Adams is the author of
Finding Your Niche: Discover…(Which has absolutely nothing to do with wacky business ideas.)

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Q & A: How Do I Figure Out My Interests?


How Do I Figure Out Interests?

Q: What resource might best
help identify all my interests?
A. Check out the Interest Assessment
on the Virginia Education Wizard site.
Larry Ferlazzo.edublogs.org gave it high
marks on the cool scale.

VA Wizard.org

 Dee Adams is the author
of Finding Your Niche: Discover…  

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