Posts in Entrepreneurship

Never Ever Give Up

Thanks to a friend at US Trust, I was able to meet author James Bradley.  If you don’t know who he is, his first book is called Flags of Our Fathers.  I had seen the movie, but never read the …






Rethinking College

Was visiting one of my daughters at college this weekend.  Chatted with a bunch of people.  My oldest goes to a top ten liberal arts school.  It’s very interesting to me how they have chosen to treat their students.  Instead …






Beating the Odds

If you didn’t catch this weekend interview in the WSJ, I thought I might link to it here.  It touches on various themes we have espoused on in this blog. Rex Sinquefield is an index fund pioneer, a classical liberal, …






YCharts and Stocktoberfest

Yesterday, Shawn Carpenter the CEO of Ycharts presented at Stocktoberfest.  It’s the investor festival being hosted by Howard Lindzon of  the highly innovative Stocktwits.  From what I heard Shawn did a good job.  Doesn’t surprise me because Shawn is a great CEO. …






Chicago, The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Is Growing

Yesterday was pretty fun.  Hyde Park Angels managing director Karin O Connor and I were at a lunch for our alma mater, The University of Illinois.  The College of Business puts these things on periodically in Chicago. Since co-founding HPA …






Want to Change Things? Change The Economics

Start ups always have problems.  They build a business plan, and put some numbers to it.  It’s a joke among entrepreneurs and investors.  Virtually every financial plan I have seen for a start up looks like this: The chart above …






F%^$ You Money

How much is enough?  When it was dull in the trading pit, a friend of mine used to say, “Is there a better hotel room?  Is there a faster jet?  Is there a bigger boat?”.  How much do you need? …






The Birth of FX Futures

Markets are everywhere. Milton Friedman came up with the idea of financial futures on currencies. Leo Melamad took the idea and ran with it. Ideas are only ideas. Innovation isn’t true innovation until you build something and generate revenue. Here …






Quick Thoughts on Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Yesterday and today, I am at CATTECH V. It’s conference of Tech Transfer heads from major midwestern research universities. We had some companies present, and some panels on how to get funding in the midwest. A thought occurred to me …






The Perspective Of Immigrants

Sometimes it helps to get the perspective of immigrants to America. I remember once when I was going to make an investment in some foreign real estate. I spoke with a person who defected from behind the Iron Curtain and …






Doing Efficient Market Research Online

The most obvious customers of data are trading firms and their traders. They pay thousands in fees a month for data. It’s a massive industry. Exchanges treat market data as a profit center. Bloomberg built an entire monolith business from …






What Pain Point Is Crowdfunding Solving?

Entrepreneurs solve problems. Solve a big enough problem and you can build a big business. If we look at crowd funding from different perspectives, we might be able to gauge how successful it will be or what market segments it …






Crowdfunding Summit

This morning, I am going to be on a panel for a crowdfunding discussion. It’s obviously a hot new topic. There have been some great successes with crowdfunding and some spectacular failures. I don’t care about them. Here is what …






Some Quick Thoughts on Unemployment

No, I don’t think the number was manipulated. Was it correct? I doubt it. When are government statistics correct the first time they are released? Crop reports are never right, and private estimates of crop size are generally closer. The …






Social Entrepreneurship, Clean Water for Everyone

Most of the time when the words social and entrepreneurship are linked together, the result is some feel good happy place company that is guaranteed to lose money. Many times when I have seen this, it’s in clean energy or …






A Challenge For The Chicago Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel went to Champaign on a mission. He wanted to persuade hacks from the engineering school to come to Chicago. I am happy he went. Emanuel is doing what he can to support a scalable start up …






Do You Want a Celebrity Endorser?

There are some celebrities that are active in the angel investing start up space. Ashton Kutcher comes to mind. Any company he invests in gets a cadre of people interested in it. Companies spend a lot of time trying to …