Posts from 2017

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 …

Should You Pay Deal by Deal, or Total Fund?

There are more than a few ways to organize a fund waterfall. Fund waterfalls are how all the investors get paid. The return comes in, and then all the distributions happen. There are different ways to structure waterfalls, but the …

Rainy Day

This summer up north in Minnesota they have had a lot more rain than usual.  It’s lead to a lot more mosquitoes than usual.  Mosquitoes are the state bird here.  We have been doing a lot of work this summer. …

YCharts on the Inc 5000

Excited to announce @ycharts has been named #1158 on the @inc5000‘s annual list of the fastest-growing private companies! #Inc5000 pic.twitter.com/tR2Suv0kcl — YCharts (@ycharts) August 15, 2017 YCharts has been named to the Inc 5000. It’s the best stock and ETF …

Chicago And Food

I go back and think about the first meeting we ever had of Hyde Park Angels, the angel group I spearheaded, in April of 2007.  It wasn’t a pitch meeting, but a “meet us” meeting at the Gleacher Center in …

Remote Work, Can You Do It?

I have followed the remote work movement ever since I spoke with Sam Rosen and Pat Griffin at a breakfast in January of 2012.  That conversation lead to investments in Deskpass and into Nextspace.  Nextspace didn’t make it but Deskpass …

Why You Need to Learn How to Follow in Order to Lead

In Major League Baseball when a rookie comes up, they have to carry bags and do other menial stuff.  It’s part of ritual hazing that goes on.  It’s also a part of learning to be a pro.  Having respect for …

The Google

If you are in tech no doubt you heard about the engineer who was fired at Google for writing a ten page document on employment practices and the corporate culture.  Many women felt it was especially sexist and demeaning. Here …

Shutting Down

The shut down of a company is final. It’s the end. There are similarities to every shut down of a company. Some investors get mad. They argue that it shouldn’t be shut down. The dream is still alive. If it’s …

What’s a Four Letter Word For Frustration?

IKEA. We have been rehabbing a cabin all summer up in northern MN. My wife (and my daughters) love IKEA. I hate the place. If I went to the Pearly Gates and St Peter asked, “Hell or put together IKEA …

Should You Always Wave the Pom Poms?

Yesterday at Fred Wilson’s blog, AVC, he talked about the backlash he was getting from a post on greed. In the crypto community, there is a lot of greed lately with the run up in value of several currencies.  There …