Business Cards

Who likes business cards?   Every time I go to a meet up or a function, I come home with pockets full of them.  Usually, I can find people on LinkedIN or someplace else.  I don’t have a good process for them.

A couple of months ago, I was at Detroit Startup Week.  I ran into the guys at UsePurple.com.  At the event, they’d take all the cards you accumulated and upload them into a database that would sync with your contacts.  Awesome.  I just did that.  The service was extremely fast, and totally simple.  They did it overnight and if you want the cards back they will send them to you.

It’s a little thing, and I should probably take the time to type each card into my database.  But, man UsePurple.com sure is convenient.

One of Hyde Park Angels first associates quit being an associate to work on his startup.  Bump.  It was a way to bump cell phones and exchange information.  He raised some startup capital and was acquired by Google.  But, Google killed the service.

LinkedIN used to have a service called Card Muncher.  You would take a photo of the business card and it would machine read all the info and upload to your contacts.  It never worked well, and now it’s not in existence.

We are still using business cards, just like they did in the 18th century.

The Ubiquitous Internet

My family and I headed up to Grand Marais, MN for a few days.  Someone rated it, “The Coolest Small Town in America”.  Of course, gonna be pretty darn hot in the northland today.  I posted some photos on Instagram, …






Looking Ahead In FinTech

Financial innovation is happening, but most consumers won’t see the bulk of it.  It’s happening behind the scene.  A lot of the smoke and fire around financial innovation is in Blockchain.  The lion’s share of money is going toward it. …






Financial Statements and Valuation

Are financial statements relevant anymore?  In this topsy turvy market that seems to defy gravity, I wonder.  I read this article in Marketwatch about how financial statements don’t seem to matter when it comes to stock valuation.  I am sorry, but …






It’s Never A Good Time

Yesterday, an entrepreneur who let me invest in his company had a baby.  Or, rather, his wife had a baby girl.  It’s always a special time bringing a baby into the world, yet there is never a perfect time to …






The Heavy Lifting

A lot of the Fin Tech industry revolves around the easy stuff.  The new app on your phone.  The saving pennies, nickels and dimes app.  The new investing app. This is all well and good, but it’s easier to build …






Scaling Your Portfolio

My friend Fred Wilson has a post up about active vs passive investing.  It really got me thinking because I am seeing trends in the angel investing/early stage world that I don’t agree with.  Crowdfunding has really allowed people to …






The Coup in Turkey

Wow, on the heels of another terror attack in France, a coup starts in Turkey.  By the way, there is no negotiating with the likes of ISIS.  The only way to win is kill them all.  Distasteful for a civilization …






Questions From Entrepreneurs

Yesterday I did a thing with the iVenture Accelerator at the University of Illinois. They were up at 1871. We heard some pitches, and then did some Q+A. One of the questions that came up was a very good one. …






The Futures Podcast

The other day, I did a podcast with Anthony Crudele. It was a lot of fun. Commiserating with someone that has similar experiences that you had is always fun. Here are various links to the podcast. Here is the direct …






Where Is Chicago In The Gartner Cycle?

I read Matt Turk’s piece on the NY Tech Ecosystem. I am fascinated by ecosystems. Where do Chicagoans think Chicago is on the scale I posted above? We have a lot of momentum in Chicago’s tech ecosystem. We are not …






Network Vs Team

Do you know the difference between building a network and building a team?  One is not better than the other.  It all depends on the task you want to take on. The two are very different, even though they seem …






The Blockchain Expands, But It’s in Asia

Saw two separate articles today about the blockchain.  I am pretty excited about the blockchain, and in cryptocurrency.  It took me awhile to come to that conclusion.  However, I had a leg up because I lived my life in a …






Playing It Straight

Playing it straight has been a part of my entire life.  The exception has been some of the people I have met in the startup world.  Since becoming involved with startups, I realize how lawyers stay in business.  Transparency is …






The Lifestyle Businesses of Fin Tech

One of the most interesting things to me about B2B Fin Tech is the kinds of businesses you run into.  Often, you run into operating businesses that are cash flow businesses.  They have found a little niche.  They are solving …






Are Markets Efficient?

I totally love this discussion. It’s one reason that if you get an MBA, you want to do it at Chicago Booth. They smash differing ideas together-and they are tolerant. More people should be tolerant. Hal Weitzman really has a …






Competition Is Healthy For International Trade

In the age where everyone gets a trophy, we lose site of why competition is truly a healthy thing.  In Fin Tech, I think we are going to find out.  One thing the EU does is try to stamp out …






Why Seed or Early Stage?

One day I was talking to another investor.  He said, “Why do you invest at seed, it’s so f*&6ing hard.”  I laughed.  For him it was hard.  He was incredibly busy doing other things besides investing in startups.  I think …