Posts in Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Who Controls Your Reputation?

When I was taking classes at the University of Chicago for my MBA there were a lot of interesting classes. Of course, the regimental numbers classes.  Every MBA goes through the core.  Economics, Accounting, Finance, Strategy, Statistics and Operations.  But, …






Inspiration For Your Business

John Wooden was a tremendous basketball coach.   But, he might have been a better life coach.  When I talk to startups, I tell them “be quick but don’t hurry” which echoes the Lean Start Up model. Here is his …






America Is Innovative, Still the Greatest Country in the World

One of the things I really dislike about many Americans is they say we need to be more humble.  We aren’t the greatest country.  They point out things about other countries that they like better.  They like to say when …






Instaprofit-A Solution to the Facebook/Instagram Problem

Instagram wants to sell my photos. Facebook ($FB) wants to commercialize my relationships. Nothing is free, there are opportunity costs to everything. However, the recent decision of Instagram/Facebook to monetize photos has received tremendous backlash. Their executives focused on an …






Building The Midwestern Ecosystem, One Company at A Time

I don’t know if anyone saw this on Techcrunch.  It’s worth a viewing. These videos are Chicago-centric. However, even though I am from here I am not territorial. No one has the market cornered on great ideas, or great execution. …






Restoring Hope

One of the reasons that I like hanging with entrepreneurs is that they give you hope.  In times of trouble, or when you are down, go out and talk to some people starting up a business.  They think for the …






Farmhouse and A Big Idea

Last night my wife and I went out with Raman Chadha and his wife to Farmhouse. We talked a little about his new venture, The Junto Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership.  Raman is attempting to solve a pretty big problem in the …






Valuations in The Midwest

A lot of folks think there is a bubble in valuation when it comes to start ups.  In certain cases, there is a strong case to be made for a “bubble”.  But in many other cases, it just doesn’t ring …






Learning and Teaching At the Same Time

Last night I was at The Coop.  A while ago, I had decided to teach a Dabble class on pitching to angels. If you live in Chicago, Milwaukee or Denver, you ought to buy friends Dabble classes for the holidays. …






What’s The Most Important Part of The Sale?

When you are out pitching your company to investors, or once you raise money pitching your company to customers, what’s the most important part of the sale? I might argue that it’s the appointment. Many times it’s just hard to …






Innovation Is Everywhere

Friends of mine had a Christmas party up in Madison, Wisconsin so my wife and I decided to go.  Zach Brandon and Allen Dines had been telling me there were good things happening in Madison, so I posted some office …






Microeconomics Monday-Economies of Scale

A lot of times CEO’swill say they are trying to achieve economies of scale with a particular acquisition.  Sometimes it will be in building a new plant, or starting to operate an existing plant differently.  Entrepreneurs in their presentations will …






12 Ways to Be Successful In Your Business

Customers are going to say things like; better, cheaper, faster.  You will have to build things to solve problems for them.  When they buy it, you’ll know they need it. A lot of folks out there are thinking iteratively, and …






Shedding Tears for The Bubble

Is there such a thing as a bubble?  It’s talked about all the time.  The internet bubble, the home mortgage bubble. Now we are hearing about the start up bubble. If you believe in market efficiency, you know those statements …






Forced Unemployment With a Smile on Their Face

If you are in Chicago and see some people that look unemployed and hungry for a job, you might be right.  But, in many cases don’t walk by, hire them.  They may look raggedy, but they are sharp.  They won …






Execution Is A Key To Success

Ideas are great.  Ideas germinate into businesses.  But ideas are just ideas until a person takes it and actually makes something.  No ideais worth anything until it gets a customer.  Only then is it validated.  Even hi tech science in …