Posts from 2017

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 …

Jake Butt Saves His Butt

You might have watched the NFL Draft and you might not have.  One thing that most people don’t think about is how players prepare for the worst.  This year, a lot of the top college football players will buy an …

Reading, Writing, Rithmatic

People often think that being an investor is totally exciting.  The impression is that investors sit around and shoot the shit kicking big ideas back and forth.  There is some of that.  But, most of it is pretty mundane. I …

What’s A Startup? Fin Tech In Chicago

In the past couple of months, two fin tech incubators have started up in Chicago.  At West Loop Ventures, we love it because we invest in B2B Fin Tech companies.  More is better for us.  We are going to work …

YCharts Launches Portfolio Sync

A company I have been invested in since it’s seed round just released a new upgrade that should get anyone with an investment portfolio excited. Ycharts just launched Portfolio Sync and it integrates with Morningstar data.  YCharts automatically links with …

Accounting Versus Economics When It Comes to Tax Policy

Trump is moving ahead with his tax plan.  Strategically, it’s smart to do this now because everyone in America just paid taxes.  I guarantee that no one will report it correctly no matter what their political bias.  People look at …

The Rebalance of Value

Finally, it’s here. For a year or two now, several venture capitalists have said: “Winter is coming”. They had seen their share of overvalued companies, some in their own portfolio. I am starting to see reality hit some companies in …

Condescension Is Not Persuasion

Sometimes when you are selling some thing totally new, no one understands it. They don’t see your vision. They haven’t been privy to your brainstorming sessions. You have to take them to the mountaintop. When you are selling something radically …

It Really Is About Founders

Was looking at different startups the other day. It really is about the founders at early stages. No idea is 100% unique. If any idea is good and worth pursuing, there will be at least one other company starting up …

The Real Message of Virtu and KCG Merger

Two HFT shops merged. They were huge enterprises. A lot of people will analyze the merger using MBA SWOT analysis. I look at it a bit differently. This isn’t the first HFT merger, but it is a much grander scale …

Change Is Not Easy

Change is not easy. Fred Wilson blogged about how if you seek to understand, or seek to see the world differently, Change.  He is seeing change in his portfolio companies.  In some of my portfolio companies, I have seen that …

Paul Revere’s Ride And Network Effects

Started reading a book about Paul Revere’s Ride.  It’s by David Hackett Fischer.  It’s interesting.  Revere’s ride has been characterized as a solo rider screaming “The British are Coming” through the streets of Boston.  That’s not true.  The ride took …

Happy Easter

Hope you make it a great day.  We are headed to the beach early this morning for a sunrise service.  Then, off to a pancake house for our traditional breakfast.  Not too cold this morning but a little rainy.  Making …