Posts by Jeff Carter

How To Go From Angel To Fund

Since 2007, I have been an angel.  I started up Hyde Park Angels with every intention of doing a fund.  Raising a fund is brutally hard.  It’s probably harder than raising money for a seed stage company because at least …






The Future is Going to Be Micro

Technology is remaking society in ways we never thought it could.  At the turn of the 20th Century, technology changed the way we work and industrialists created large systems of manufacturing. Huge cities sprung up around the large systems.  Commoditized …






Appreciating All Aspects of Innovation

Chicago’s startup ecosystem is starting to build.  People are actually coming to Chicago to start companies.  For years, it was the other way around.  Historically, it’s always been an innovative city.  The businesses were meat and potatoes type businesses, meaning …






Keeping Score

Managing people in your company is a relationship.  In relationships, lots of people keep score.  This is why a lot of marriages fail.  When I was trading on the floor, most people assumed it was just about the numbers.  It …






I AM THE KING

I love playing Cards Against Humanity.  My kids gave me a Cards Against Humanity gift this Christmas.  It was actually a Hanukkah gift!  Today, May 20 from 12:21 pm CDT to 12:24 pm CDT, I am KING. To be king, …






Platforms, Network Effects and Politics

How do you win in winner take all contests?  Network effects.  But, network effects are really really hard to get going. What’s a network effect?  Additional users make a service more valuable for everyone.  When I search on a platform …






Are You Right For Venture?

Had a bunch of meetings with some interesting people the last few days.  I was perusing Twitter and I saw Hunter Walk tweet this: @bryce …are really talented founders/team for what they’re building & have shot at profitable, sub $50m …






Bayer and Monsanto

Last evening I saw Bayer made an “unsolicited” bid for Monsanto.  People should understand how Bayer can afford to swallow up a company like Monsanto. Bayer has a market cap of $73.6B.  Turns out selling aspirin is a good business! …






The Business Blockchain

My friend William Mougayer wrote a book called The Business Blockchain.  It’s a great book for anyone looking to understand what the whole Bitcoin thing is about.  I have blogged about Bitcoin in the past.  It’s highly interesting to me …






The Path To Exit

How do you get an exit?  A lot of the startup blogosphere talks about getting into a startup.  But, at some point you have to get out. Personally, I am very dismayed about the length of time companies are staying …






Founders Coming Together

One of the things that trips up seed companies is founder issues.  Seed companies come together in all sorts of ways.  Some come together on hackathon weekends.  Some are just classmates.  Sometimes it’s friends.  I have also seen two co-workers …






The Midwest Startup Ecosystem Supply Chain

Yesterday, I saw another survey on colleges.  Their methodology is linked here.  They seem to come about this time of year.   Kids are thinking about which school to attend, or have made a decision.  Many are thinking about which …






Chicago And The Sharing Economy

There is a big debate happening in Chicago political circles right now on the sharing economy.  So far, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has stood on the side of the sharing economy and I am glad he has. Politicians and regulators want …






The Lucas Museum in Chicago

I have watched the Lucas Museum debate in Chicago rage back and forth.  I have been a highly interested observer.  Friends of the Parks has stopped it.  Some have said, “not there” but do it in a neighborhood that needs …






Taking Brokerage One Step Further

Yesterday, I blogged about how brokers of all kinds were under assault.  I wanted to highlight one point that wasn’t in yesterday’s blog.  In Web 1.o, all kinds of platforms were being built to disintermediate brokers. I remember seeing B2B …






Assault On The Brokers

If you are in a job that can basically be reduced to brokerage, it’s vulnerable to being automated.  I watched as pit brokers and people that ran desks on the trading floor got their jobs automated.  Those people used to …






Some Mountains Are Too Hard To Climb

Startups are really hard to execute.  If it were easy, everyone would do it.  Businesses are hard to build.  Money has value, and it’s hard to get customers to part with it.  Startups are even harder than a lot of …






This Summer In Chicago, It Could Be Interesting

Yesterday for Mother’s Day and my birthday our family went to the Cubs game.  We are a Cubs family. The west suburban neighborhood I grew up in was a White Sox neighborhood.  But, ironically most of my boyhood friends were …