Posts in Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

The G7/I7 In Torino, Italy

This weekend I will be going to Torino, Italy.  Torino is the site of the information part of the G7 conferences that take place throughout the year.  You can see a link to the entirety of the G7 here.  I …

Are Ideas Linear in Finance?

Listening to Ben Horowitz speak at the Chicago Venture Summit, he made a point which he’s made before.  Venture capitalists invest in really bad ideas.  But, if those ideas work it would be pretty cool.  He used AirBnb as an …

When Does An Investor Intervene?

A lot of investors say they are “active investors”.  It’s almost in every pitch deck you see.  The definition of an active investor is fuzzy.  What’s it really mean? Does it mean you simply lead deals and take board seats? …

Should Google Be Broken Up?

There is a nascent movement afoot to have big companies broken up similar to what Teddy Roosevelt did back at the turn of the last century. If you went to public school, you were educated that the “robber barons” were …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …