The Developer

I am Mike Shorten and am the lead developer of this tool. I have a passion for finding solutions to business problems that work when implemented. I have more than 30 years’ experience advising and mentoring businesses varying in size from small entrepreneurs to large international companies. These businesses have been across a broad spectrum of industries.

In developing this tool, I relied primarily on my experience supplemented with expert views in the form of books and articles. I asked subject matter experts to review the tool to ensure that more than just my view was included.


Small to medium businesses are the primary creators of jobs and where the majority of innovation occurs. However, very few of them survive the long haul. In developing this tool, I want to help independent small to medium business to grow and be successful.


I have long held the view that the complexity of solutions leads to failure in implementation. The simplicity of concept is far more likely to be successful in application. I thus have a business ideology to simplify! I have carried this concept through into the domain name SimplifyTOM. The TOM stands for Target Operating Model and helps in defining the strategic intent of a business in a holistic manner. Thus my domain name covers both simplify and the definition of a core business concept.


The inspiration for the concept of asking questions and then providing actions to implement came from the book “The Hallmarks for Successful Business” by David Hall and Dinah Bennet. Further inspiration for actions came from “Thriving on Chaos” by Tom Peters. “The One Page Business Plan” by Jim Horan follows my ideology of ‘simplify’ and provided further inspiration for this tool.

Many other books and articles provided input. In particular, I would like to mention:

“The Essential Guide to Managing Small Business Growth” by Peter Wilson and Sue Bates.

“Effective Marketing” by Peter Hingston.

“Better Sales Networks” by Tuba Űstűner and David Godes (HBR).

“Make Your Values Mean Something” by Patrick M. Lencioni (HBR).