Posts from November 2017

Even If You Think You Are Thinking Big, Think Bigger

Yesterday I was privileged to have been invited to a University of Chicago class to judge some student teams that were working on startup ideas.  It can be very interesting to listen to pitches in this format because you get a …

What Are You Going To Do With The Money?

This is a question that isn’t considered often enough.  Investors ought to really think about the answer before they ask it.  It’s a critical question that an entrepreneur needs to answer. One thing we know in our line of business …

Can You Short Bitcoin?

The exchange part of Bitcoin has always been sort of the wild west to me.  No standardization.  No real regulation.  Most of the big time trading is done bilaterally.  DRW’s Cumberland Mining in Chicago is the center of the universe …

The Woulda Shoulda Coulda Trade

Lately as the value of Bitcoin approaches new heights and the stock market continues to rally I am reading a lot about “if you invested x amount back in xxxx” articles.  This is what we used to call the woulda …

The Iron Laws

There are iron laws of economics.  When someone goes against them, they always get a comeuppance in the end.  It turns out, there might be iron laws of technology. Chris Mims wrote an article about them. Here is a link talking …

The Black Friday

Americans will go out and shop for Christmas today.  Always interesting to me.  A mosque in Egypt was attacked and 85 people are dead.  The war on terror never stops.  I really detest those bastards.  I usually traded on this …

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 …