I’ve had the pleasure of mentoring dozens of startups through various innovation programs, and continue to do so through our incubator Collective, and beyond. I’m also very fortunate to work alongside mentor veterans Paul O’Brien & Ted Cohen who have collectively mentored hundreds of startups over the years.

What I’ve come to realize, is that most programs and entrepreneurs tend to think backwards when it comes to launching a business or product. More times than not, students and entrepreneurs build a business plan, financial models, an MVP, or even a prototype before they’ve even figured out (if there’s a demand for what they’re building, and if anyone would pay them for it). It sounds crazy when you think about it right? 

Listen, at the end of the day we all drink our own Kool-Aid when it comes to building something of our own. Of course we think it’s great, the best, groundbreaking, original, etc etc… Don’t blindly follow your confidence and ambition, do the homework! The moment you have an idea you think has a real chance, ask at minimum 100 people about it, not including your family (for hopefully obvious reasons). 

Chances are your original idea will change based on feedback, you’ll have a clearer picture of what the product/service is, what problems you’re actually solving, and for who! Take time, do the homework, it could be the difference between months of presumptuously wasted effort, or a real shot at making something substantial.   


Hear from past Collective graduates about their experience and success within our intensive 12-week media tech incubator. **Currently accepting applications here**

From History, Our Future 

2020 will be remembered as one of the most remarkable years in human history for a host of reasons, least of which is how the state of our economy, and need to work from home, has thrust us all to appreciate what it means to be online at the same time that many are exploring starting a business of their own.  

Never before has the landscape of our workforce changed so dramatically while circumstances have millions considering entrepreneurship.  

That present, merely a step in our collective history, made me curious about centuries of study of entrepreneurship and how economists, from 1700’s Richard Cantillon to 2000’s Elinor Ostrom, have uncovered the risk tolerance, desire to achieve, collaboration, and innovation involved in being entrepreneurial.

Read the full article here


Our friends at The Center For Creative Entrepreneurship have put together an incredibly comprehensive calendar for creative professionals! Check out their fantastic line up here.

iPhone SE 2020 Review

First off, a confession: I’ve never loved the iPhone, it’s never been my main axe. I appreciate it, I acknowledge its sociological impact, I recognize its singular ability to restructure the handset/carrier ecosystem. I do, however, reject its reputation for innovation. I believe it imitates while it elevates, refining and mainstreaming ‘new’ features that were, admittedly, introduced years earlier by Samsung, LG, HTC and others. You must admire Apple’s artifice, presenting derivative technology as original thought.

But, I’m obviously in the minority, most people LOVE their iPhone. Especially application developers. In order to properly do my job as a digital media consultant, I have been forced to have an iPhone. To experience pre-release versions of apps and platforms, an up-to-date iPhone is required, as Android app versions usually follow later.

Until recently, my ‘yes, I have an iPhone, it’s somewhere in my bag’ iPhone 7 sufficed. Then, overnight, it was out of date, I had to upgrade. Luckily, the timing was right, Apple had introduced their first mid-priced model in a few years, the iPhone SE 2020, with an entry level price of $399 for a 64gb model.

I needed more storage, so I opted for the 256gb unit, a $549 investment. While I still prefer my Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, the iPhone SE is growing on me, a surprising turn of events.

Rather than list all of its cost-saving compromises, I’ll highlight three of the main ones:

Design – While it is a current model, not a close-out, it more closely resembles the iPhone 8 than the current flagship iPhone 11 Pro/Pro Max.

Camera – Unlike its cutting-edge siblings, the SE is a single lens configuration that precludes flexible features such as optical zoom and telephoto lens.

Screen – LCD instead of OLED – the picture and video quality are very good, but not outstanding.


  • Display size
    • 4.7-inch Retina HD; 1,334×750 pixels
  • Dimension (inches)
    • 5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 in
  • Weight (ounces)
    • 5.22 oz
  • Mobile software
    • iOS 13
  • Camera
    • 12-mpxl
  • Front-facing camera
    • 7-mpxl
  • Video Capture
    • 4k
  • Processor
    • Apple A13 Bionic
  • Storage
    • 64GB / 128GB / 256GB
  • Expandable storage 
    • No
  • Fingerprint sensor
    • Home button
  • Connector
    • Lightning
  • Headphone jack
    • No
  • Special features
    • Water resistant 
    • (IP67); dual-SIM capabilities 
      • (nano-SIM and e-SIM)
    • Wireless charging

The Positives:

  • Excellent value for the money
  • Has the same high-speed A13 microprocessor as them ore expensive iPhone 11 models
  • Records high-quality 4k video

The Negatives:

  • Single lens camera/no zoom
  • Reduced battery life – estimated 25 hours
  • A relatively cramped keyboard

Collective Incubator Applications Open

Applications for Collective’s third cohort are open! Collective’s program is dedicated to early stage MediaTech focused startups. Spread the love, or apply here.

Whether you’re trying to grow and scale a business, or improve and resell for profit, the Insperity® Capital Growth Program can provide the HR essentials you need to maximize your investmentLearn More

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by John Zozzaro time to read: 6 min