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, written by Jeremy. Read the commentary.

Brad, at Feld Thoughts, writes about the importance of business measures. I’m glad he did because it confirms some recent suspicions I’ve been having.

Let’s compare three of my favourite entrepreneurs. The first is a lawyer who loves his numbers. The second is a graphic artist who’s company making some neat transitions. And the last is one of the most insightful and creative entrepreneurs I know.

Two questions for each of them. What’s your favourite innovation last year? How much do you worry about money?

Lawyer: Favourite innovation – “A fax/copy/printer machine that saves me six cents per page.” Money worries – “Uhm, how to use it all wisely. I started with none 4 years ago, now I haven’t enough time to manage it wisely.”

Graphic designer: Favourite innovation – “Recognizing how badly companies need help with their public image.” Money worries – “Not bad today, but for the last 10 years it’s been brutal.”

Creative phenom: Favourite innovation – “These six cool, new services we cranked out last month.” Money worries – “This is my third start-up in eight years and I’m always wonder where’s all the money going, why am I working so hard, and I need more cash!”

It’s tough to make a direct comparison across these guys, but their attitudes to business numbers are nearly polar. The lawyer is obsessed by numbers and the creative juggernaut doesn’t think much beyond his target income this month.

Interestingly, their concerns about cash flow are just as polar but flipped. The lawyer is not too concerned and the creative company is burning lots of bandwidth trying to deal with the pinch.

And right in the middle is the creative, transitioning graphic designer. He recently completed an accounting course so he could “get a better handle on what his accountant is saying.” He hired a writer to fill in other gaps in his business. He’s ready for movement.

Brad writes, “While it’s easy to get lost in ‘data’ rather than synthesizing and understanding ‘information’, I find way too many early stage companies measuring very little – thinking this is something that ‘only big companies do’.”

It’s easy to get lost in data and it’s easy to be run by numbers. The beauty of early stage companies is the ability to move rapidly in new directions. And the love of movement sometimes distracts entrepreneurs from measuring if that movement is profitable.

Good news: Creative juggernaut asked for some help with an experiment. We’re going to firm up his books, nail down a strategy and put updates on the impacts here.

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