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Grasshopper: Inspiring Entrepreneurs, Creating E-People

We should all be bending over backwards to help Entrepreneurs in these troubled times.  Watch this video and get a fresh perspective on what it means to be an Entrepreneur.

Send the video link to every young person you can think of — today!  Let’s kick-start a new generation of courageous, job making, world changing, “E people.”

There’s no better time then now to fulfill a dream and start a business.

The amazing video was written & produced by Sonja Jacob, designed by Ben White, and the compelling music is the work of Carly Commando (of NBA playoff theme fame).  I love the straight forward inspirational simplicity of the copy and the elegance of the graphic design. This is a great video piece. The idea for the video, and the movement to create more entrepreneurs, comes from a company called Grasshopper, more on them later in this post, and Kudos for their vision.

Living mostly in the UK now, I’m struck by how often I hear negative talk about E-People.  Specifically, the assumption, with some folks, is that entrepreneurs are these greedy Gordon Gecko types. Now, granted, greed is a reality, but it irks me because it’s my belief that the average business-starting entrepreneur is motivated primarily by passion for an idea. It’s about love, not money. Money is just how you keep score; a result, but not the goal. As Steve Jobs once said, “the journey is the reward.” When money alone becomes the goal you get what happened recently — a crash based on products with no real value.

Creativity and innovation happen when the spirit meets the intellect to solve a problem. Where is greed in that equation? When you solve problems for people you get their business, and that’s real value (not derivatives!)

In these challenging times, why not inspire people to start a business?  Let’s reinvent the economy one new business at a time, starting by sending this video link ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6MhAwQ64c0 ). Grasshopper sponsored the video to start a grass roots entrepreneurial movement. I’m on board! It’s already starting to snowball, apparently somebody voluntarily did a Portuguese sub-titled version of the video already!

Grasshopper is a six year old business started by two college mates at Babson College. They provide inexpensive virtual phones systems and other communication services to small businesses.  Their business is all about enabling small business, so, this video is an outgrowth of that positive business vibe. And for those keeping score they’re over 20 million in annual revenues.

Grasshopper is starting something to counter the prevailing negative notions of entrepreneurship. The video is their contribution to an effort to push the reset button and put young people on the course of following their passion, starting a business, and changing the world.

It beats the hell out of complaining about how bad things are.

I talked to David Hauser, CTO and co-founder of Grasshopper (formerly GotVMail) and was impressed that he not only walks the talk of Entrepreneurship himself, he’s helping others walk. Empowerment is both his business and his passion — and it shows. David’s (and Grasshopper’s) success is done by building 2 to 4 innovative communications products a year.  These products rise, bubble up, from a spirit of generosity,  abundance, and courage. And I’m sure they are technical wizards, but that’s the easy part. I can only assume his co-founder Siamak Taghaddos (CEO) shares these values.  Siamak, an Iranian immigrant to the USA, is a living example of the good things that happen when a person works hard and Starts Something.

Grasshopper is interesting. What do you think of a company that has its own Nintendo Wii room, and a basketball hoop (for “3 on 3″) in the parking lot?  I think they have a sense of fun in how they work. This is in the Boston area, not California. Nice to see that joie de vivre on the east coast.

Grasshopper is a new name for the company. To announce their new identity they sent chocolate covered grasshoppers to the 5,000 most influential people in America (I shoulda been on that list!). That’s creative marketing. Grasshopper is a company to watch as I see them, like Apple, as a Holistically Innovative company.  They are clearly innovative in the way they do (and “be”) business.