Posts from February 2017

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm

A lot of the time during this process, I am on my computer reading stuff. We talk. We have moments of intensity. Then, we retreat.   My father in law passed yesterday.  Hospice people are really great.  One of the …






The Final Journey

The final journey isn’t shared. It’s your own, and you face it alone. Your family and friends are there for the ride. Your body, and your psyche call the shots. But, there is an end to the journey. I think …






When It’s The End

Been in Florida the past couple of days. I always joke that Florida is “God’s waiting room” but today it is. My wife’s father is in hospice. I am learning a lot about end of life. I haven’t spent much …






An Enlightening Talk on Finance

If I were a benevolent dictator and was choosing the US Treasury Secretary, my choice would have been John Allison hands down. He was CEO of BB&T bank and they made it through the crisis unscathed. Their competitors failed. There …






The Terms on a Term Sheet

One of the things we try to do at WLV is be very friendly to entrepreneurs.  A lot of people say that, but we really try.  For example, we try to give really honest feedback.  When some VC firms pass …






Billions In Value, One Pit

One of the things that is hard to pin down is how entrepreneurial Chicago is.  It’s really an entrepreneurial Mecca.  But, it doesn’t seem like it because the kind of entrepreneurship that has existed here doesn’t resemble anything on the …






Would I Want My Daughter To Work For Uber?

One of the things we used to joke about years ago was having daughters.  When I had my first daughter, my trader friends in the pit showered me with bar room humor.  “God’s way of getting even with you.”, was …






A Critical Point of Differentiation in Framing

There are a couple of quotes that I want to pull from articles that I read this morning.  The first is from WSJ editorial writer Bret Stephens.  Stephens is writing about the collapse of Western Civ in education; and how …






Competition Makes You Better

America was based on the notion of competition. As a culture, we are getting away from it. Everything is pre-planned. When I used to do television, often a producer would call me up to ask me questions before I went …






Including Diversity in Entrepreneurship

There has been a lot of talk about diversity in entrepreneurship.  I am all for it. I am also reminded of Thomas Sowell’s brilliant observation.  “The next time some academics tell you how important ‘diversity’ is, ask how many Republicans …






Work Ethic and Competitiveness

One of the things about Midwestern people that people find they like is their work ethic.  Midwesterners were farmers that broke the prairies.  That hardscrabble work ethic is ingrained in their DNA.  Former football commentator John Madden would describe them …






Square Up!

When I played a lot of basketball, I was a pretty damn good shooter.  I can still knock down free throws like it’s nobody’s business and shooting from 20 feet in I can tickle the twine.  My father was a …






The Down Round

Yesterday I interacted with Mike Moyer’s class at Chicago Booth.  It was a lot of fun.  There were lots of questions, but one of the questions was on valuation.  How does anyone go about valuing a startup company? It’s a …






CryptoCurrency and Freedom

One of the features of cryptocurrency that fanatics advocate is freedom from all government. I don’t think this is realistic. But certainly in extreme cases you can see where cryptocurrency can fill a need when government totally breaks down-or is …






Clearing is Centralized, and Concentrates Risk

One of the things blockchain might be able to do better is clearing.  Clearing of swaps especially.  Under Dodd-Frank, the government mandated a lot of swaps clearing.  Logically, this made sense.  I was initially in favor of moving plain vanilla …






Frederick Douglass and Black History Month

Last evening I had the privilege of going to a celebration of Fredrick Douglass.  It was on the South side of Chicago at 47th and MLK Drive.  I didn’t know a lot about Frederick Douglass other than he was raised …






Innovation in Agriculture

When we were bullish meat markets we always said “people gotta eat”. There has been a lot of innovation in farming that people don’t always see. Innovation happens from seed genetics, to farming practices, to machines, to the factories that …