The Challenges of Starting a Small Business

Cliff Schorer: Well, I think the greatest challenge first is having a solid idea that you can build a business around. I think it's incredibly important that you vet it carefully and you ask as many experts in the field as you can for advice especially if you're your own person elderly people or older people love to give you advice and help you out. So that'd be the first step I'd take to find out if you've got a good idea and if you … it's within your scope of capability to make it happen. There's always plenty of capital around if you have a good idea and it's structured well so I think that that's where important business planning comes in where you show that you have a grasp of what it will take to do it, that you're not overly ambitious. They — We see so many business plans where it's kind of stick with me, you'll wear diamonds kind of thing and we want to know there's reality underneath, that we want to know that you really understood how long it takes to put together a sales organization or to develop a product order, take from prototype to packaged goods, how difficult it is and how challenging. If you have —  If you convey that you have a sense of that I think you have a great chance towards doing real well. After you've got that kernel of an idea I think the next most important thing you do is to kind of structure it out carefully. Think about the components of it. Begin to talk to the market and see are people really interested. A lot of us have great ideas but the public's not interested in them so I think it's pretty important to find out very, very early on if there is a market and if people would be interested in it.

Recorded on: 5/13/08

Your founding idea is the most critical, says Cliff Schorer. Vet it thoroughly.

‘Designer baby’ book trilogy explores the moral dilemmas humans may soon create

How would the ability to genetically customize children change society? Sci-fi author Eugene Clark explores the future on our horizon in Volume I of the "Genetic Pressure" series.

Surprising Science
  • A new sci-fi book series called "Genetic Pressure" explores the scientific and moral implications of a world with a burgeoning designer baby industry.
  • It's currently illegal to implant genetically edited human embryos in most nations, but designer babies may someday become widespread.
  • While gene-editing technology could help humans eliminate genetic diseases, some in the scientific community fear it may also usher in a new era of eugenics.
Keep reading Show less

What is the ‘self’? The 3 layers of your identity.

Answering the question of who you are is not an easy task. Let's unpack what culture, philosophy, and neuroscience have to say.

  • Who am I? It's a question that humans have grappled with since the dawn of time, and most of us are no closer to an answer.
  • Trying to pin down what makes you you depends on which school of thought you prescribe to. Some argue that the self is an illusion, while others believe that finding one's "true self" is about sincerity and authenticity.
  • In this video, author Gish Jen, Harvard professor Michael Puett, psychotherapist Mark Epstein, and neuroscientist Sam Harris discuss three layers of the self, looking through the lens of culture, philosophy, and neuroscience.
Keep reading Show less

Discovery of two giant radio galaxies hints at more to come

The newly discovered galaxies are 62x bigger than the Milky Way.

I. Heywood, University of Oxford / Rhodes University / South African Radio Astronomy Observatory / CC BY 4.0.
Surprising Science
  • Two recently discovered radio galaxies are among the largest objects in the cosmos.
  • The discovery implies that radio galaxies are more common than previously thought.
  • The discovery was made while creating a radio map of the sky with a small part of a new radio array.
Keep reading Show less

Massive 'Darth Vader' isopod found lurking in the Indian Ocean

The father of all giant sea bugs was recently discovered off the coast of Java.

SJADE 2018
Surprising Science
  • A new species of isopod with a resemblance to a certain Sith lord was just discovered.
  • It is the first known giant isopod from the Indian Ocean.
  • The finding extends the list of giant isopods even further.
Keep reading Show less

The secret life of maladaptive daydreaming

Daydreaming can be a pleasant pastime, but people who suffer from maladaptive daydreamers are trapped by their fantasies.

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Mind & Brain
  • Maladaptive daydreamers can experience intricate, vivid daydreams for hours a day.
  • This addiction can result in disassociation from vital life tasks and relationships.
  • Psychologists, online communities, and social pipelines are spreading awareness and hope for many.
  • Keep reading Show less