Posts from July 2016

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 …

World Events and Fintech

A lot of folks are trying to figure out what Brexit means for Fin Tech.  London is a huge financial center and has a great Fin Tech community.  I think it’s a waste of time trying to figure out the …

Breaking It Down

The other day, I showed how my partner Kenny and I came to our investment thesis.   It took more than a blogpost.  We have been discussing it for a long time.  I wanted to break it down a little …

With All The Pomp And Circumstance

On this day in 1826, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died. Both knew it was the fourth.  Adams said the fourth should be celebrated every year with fireworks and all the pomp and circumstance.  It should be a joyful …

Some Interesting Data-How We Found Our “Why”

Data doesn’t give you passion.  Data doesn’t execute.  Data doesn’t do anything but if you interpret it correctly you will make better decisions.  I thought this data was interesting and I wanted to share it with you. I often tell …

Focus on Sales

The first VC ever in Chicago was Bob Geras.  Over lunch we were chatting and he told me the best way to get bottom line revenue is increase top line revenue.  We laughed.  Of course it is-and of course startup …

You Better Like People

One thing I learned early in the trading business is it wasn’t about the numbers.  It was about people.  Fighting for trades was one thing, but you had to build relationships over time to get those trades.  Sometimes there was …