Posts from May 2017

Leadership Thoughts

Leadership in startups is huge.  It can help a startup weather the inevitable bad times.  My friend Raman Chadha has been teaching leadership in the Junto Institute for a few years now.  Recently, they announced they were setting up a …






Great Networks Aren’t Passive

I was speaking with someone about networks and network effects.  One thing that came out of the conversation is that great networks aren’t passive. They are active.  Great networks require people to participate.  They might participate in different ways, but …






Make Sure Your Attorney Understands Venture

As the venture industry has expanded, more service providers have entered it.  I loved Jason Calcanis tweetstorm of a few months ago.  In it he said no seed stage company needs a publicist.  It’s up to the entrepreneur to do the …






A Travel Tip

Today I am traveling to San Francisco.  A few weeks ago, I took a trip. A carry-on bag that I had bought on the cheap in 2006 finally died. I started shopping.  I couldn’t make a decision about what features …






Double Nickels

I turn 55 today.  What a long strange trip it’s been.  Thanks to anyone who helped me on the voyage.






Does Your Marketplace Expand the Market?

There are a lot of “marketplace” technologies out there.  Marketplaces make things more transparent.  Good marketplaces show better bids and offers and help people make good decisions.  They have liquidity and a tight bid/ask spread. However, if all a marketplace does …






Biggest Pain Points are Communication

Yesterday I was at the Chicago Booth Management Conference.  In typical Booth fashion there was some socializing but they always have break out sessions with some “rigorous inquiry”.  I went to a session on CFO Perspectives which was interesting.  There …






Building the MVP

When you are starting a company and you are used to working in a big company environment, you haven’t been exposed to the hacking world of startups.  I run into a fair amount of people like this.  They have worked …






“Markets” Are Truly Hard to Understand

Today, the Republicans will vote to repeal and replace Obamacare.  Yesterday, Aetna announced they were pulling out of the Virginia “Obamacare Market”.  Today, the CEO of the NASDAQ released a statement on how they would like to see markets reformed. …






Yes, Robots Can

Back in the days when we were in the pits talking about if the CME should demutualize (or not) and if the exchange should spend more on electronic systems (or not) one of the things I used to hear a …






What Does It Mean When Something Is Broken?

When you listen to pitches, you might hear an entrepreneur squeak that line into the pitch.  “Payments are fundamentally broken”.  It’s a broad statement.  However, it doesn’t say much about how or why? Is it broken?  Why it’s broken is …






A Sneaky Secret About The Fin Tech Ecosystem in Chicago

There are different ways to build startup ecosystems.   One way is obvious.  Brute strength. Have some people with good ideas and other people that want to fund them.  That has been Chicago’s path.  It’s a linear path.  The other …