Posts from 2017

Autonomous Tractors

Saw this video on Facebook.  Brings home my blogpost about how driverless vehicles will affect everything. Combine this tractor with IoT.  Eventually robots will be able to do livestock farming.  My first inclination when I thought about drones was how …

Driverless Will Affect Everything

A while ago, Benedict Evans had a really great blogpost about driverless cars and their effects on different things that you might not think about.  He is a VC for a16z and a great follow on Twitter.  For example, a …

Sear Vs Reverse Sear

Football season is upon us.  Tailgates will happen.  Since I am from Chicago, I tend to think I know a little bit about meat.  After all, it’s the steakhouse capital of the world.  I ran across this article on Sear …

Getting Out is Tougher Than Getting In

One of the things you have to contemplate as a seed investor is how to get out of an investment.  There is a “liquidity premium” that investors have to pay.  You put money in, and it’s locked up.  But, because …

Corporate Taxes Do Make a Difference

A friend of mine works for Ernst and Young.  He is an international expert on corporate tax policy.  He has been immersed in it for almost his entire career.  When clients ask, he takes them to better corporate tax jurisdictions. …

Last Day of August

Summer is basically over.  I hope you had a good one.  I got a lot done but never really “relaxed”.  Hopefully next summer.  We got most of what we wanted done on our cabin in Grand Marais.  We have a …

Why Can’t A Country Do an ICO?

Yesterday I saw where Burger King issued it’s own cryptocurrency in Russia, WhopperCoin.  It didn’t surprise me.  When I first started thinking about cryptocurrency, I hypothesized that big companies would use it for their supply chain management and to lock …

The Investor Can’t Execute

When it comes to early stage startups, success is determined by execution.  If the team can get the job done, they continue to ascend the mountain.  If they don’t, they go out of business. A lot of venture capitalists and …

9 Trillion Gallons of Rain

Houston got hammered by Hurricane Harvey. 9 trillion gallons of rain. Wow. Alligators on people’s doorsteps. Already, people are going to help. The Cajun Navy is already there.  Grocer H-E-B already lined up trucks and is on the way. I …

How To Gain Context on a Sales Phone Call

When we do diligence on a company, one of the most critical things is the selling process. We analyze that process closely to see if the team can execute, and if it’s repeatable. We also analyze it to see if …

Chicago Fin Tech Event on Sep 13 at MakeSpace

When Kenny and I started West Loop Ventures, we had three things we wanted to accomplish.  Obviously, making money for our LPs and ourselves was a goal.  But the two other goals were different. One of them was to educate …

Congratulations to Lost Arts

If you aren’t in Chicago, you probably don’t know about Lost Arts.  It’s a special kind of co-work space started by one of the founders of Kickstarter, Charles Adler.  It is turning one year old on August 31.  That’s a …

Some Common Sense Economics

The economics geniuses will be out at Jackson Hole this week to discuss the world’s economy.  I love what my friend Yra Harris wrote: In July, Barry Ritholtz posted an interesting article by Alan Jay Levinovitz in Aeon Essays titled, “How …

Truss Takes it To The Next Level

One of the last independent angel investments I made was into a company called Truss.  They were solving a very difficult problem in commercial real estate.  If you have tried to find space of 10,000 square feet or less, it’s …

Getting Children Hooked on Technology

There is a big movement for governments to get kids hooked on technology.  While I appreciate the initiatives it’s important to realize not every kid is going to get hooked.  People are different and they need to be free to …

Taking Care of Your Own Field

Sometimes, you take stuff for granted.  Things happily get done and you don’t notice.  You just show up, and go about your business.  I was thinking about this as I power washed a deck yesterday for a few hours. At …

Book Review: Jason Calcanis “Angel”

I read the book by Jason Calcanis on angel investing.  If you are going to angel invest, it’s a good read.  If you are angel investing, it’s still a good read.  If you are an entrepreneur and you are going …

A Sensible Discussion on Race

I have avoided posting on my blog about what’s happened in America over the past week.  Safe to say, I am not on the side of any white supremacists.  I am also not on the side of anyone that wants …