Posts from November 2017

Happy Thanksgiving-It’s the Giving Season

We hopped in a car with my family and drove to Detroit, MI.  We are spending Thanksgiving with my sister’s family.  It’s nice to have my daughter who lives in LA home although our car was pretty crowded with four …

15 Million Sold

The other night my wife and I watched the movie The Founder.  It’s the story of McDonald’s and Ray Kroc.  There are multiple lessons to be learned watching it.  After the movie, my wife and I talked about the different …

Creative Financing-Delayed Cap Notes

There are several ways to finance a startup at inception.  The traditional route is your own pocket and sweat equity or a “friends and family” round.  Seed investors like angels and angel groups come next along with seed funds. Typically …

Avoid The Perception, or Temptation of Any Impropriety. Get Deskpass!

The tally of sexual harassment offenders that have been outed in the past few months is too long to name.  High profile journalists, venture capitalists, businessmen, and politicians all have been implicated.  I am sort of surprised we haven’t seen anything …

Far Out Adjacencies

In Competitive Strategy, one of the things Porter looks at is potential competition to your business from companies adjacent to your business.  Adjacencies are getting a whole new meaning in the digital age.  I think that is what makes it …

The Liquidity Crisis

There is a problem that is solvable when it comes to startups. It’s liquidity. Over the past couple of years, I have seen Fund of Fund managers like Chris Douvos, Michael Kim, and Lindel Eakman talk about this problem on …

Phrasing Is Important

“It’s not what you say, but how you say it.”  How many times have you heard that old adage?  I consistently re-learn this.  After being on the trading floor for 25 years, my style of language is a lot different …

Integrity

Saw this post from Techstars co-founder David Cohen and thought I’d explore it a little more deeply.  David talks about the moment of integrity.  Your life leads up to that moment.  Sometimes your family values it and so it’s deeply …

The Bitcoin Debate-Is It Overvalued?

Been watching the bitcoin debate back and forth.  There is a ton of confirmation bias in it.  If you own bitcoin, you think it’s going to the moon.  I have heard bitcoin holders tell me it’s still cheap. If you …

Cross Border Competition

One of the things you learn early if you read Professor Michael Porter’s seminal book Competitive Strategy is looking for new competitors to your market.  I read that book for a class in 1983 and I thought it was the …

Some Feedback on Digital Innovation in B2C Banking

Was reading the Digital Banking Report‘s latest look on retail banking innovation.  I pay attention to the B2C side even though we only invest in the B2B side.  B2C sometimes informs B2B.  Sometimes businesses startup as B2C, and pivot to …

The SEC Starts Focusing on Real Estate

People in the startup community have been both pro and con on the SEC regulating ICOs. But, there are other asset classes out there that already exist that have some shady activity. Real estate is one of them. RSM recently …

Have A Meaningful Veterans Day

The other day I went to a lunch and listened to my friend John Borling give a very animated talk about Veterans Day.  John was a Major General in the Air Force.  He also was shot down over Vietnam and …

Get Rid of The Fed

I know what you are thinking.  I am a crackpot.  I have joined the Ron Paul cadre that wants to end the Fed and go back to gold.  I deliberately put up a click-bait headline because the way we regulate …

Fin Tech Innovation Labs

Today I am headed to NYC.  When you live in Chicago you can turn NYC into a day trip. It’s a huge advantage.  In out and sleep in my own bed the same day but I digress. I am going …

The Tighter And Pointier The Better

Entrepreneurship is such a tough game.  I have nothing but the utmost respect for people that come up with an idea and then turn it into something.  But, one of the really hard things for entrepreneurs to do is raise …