Posts in Start Ups

Crafting the Killer Sales Email

When you sell, inevitably you will not be able to sell in person.  The higher the ticket item, and the more risk there is for adoption, the more the salesperson needs to be face to face with the customer.  If …






Filtering By Risk

One thing that you do in the sales process is filter.  Filter by industry. Filter by person inside the company.  Filter by size of company.  Filter by geography.  There are all kinds of ways you can think up to filter …






Robots Scare People, They Shouldn’t

In this photo are three structural nodes, intended to hold cables above a road in The Hague. The difference is the node on the far left was designed by a human, and on the far right by a computer. More …






Are You In Control of Your Destiny, or Not?

People have different personalities.  Some feel like they need control.  Psychologists call them, “controllers”.  Regular people might call them “control freaks”.   Other people aren’t as concerned with control. There is no right or wrong personality.  Steve Jobs was a …






At Seed Do You Worry About Exit?

When founders pitch to seed investors, they get asked this question all the time, “How are you going to exit?”  Seed investors are acutely aware of the liquidity premium of cash.  They love to put cash in deals, but they …






Risk Taking Wanes

When I was in high school, I took a class in film.  It was taught by two English teachers, John Mostacci and Ralph Amelio.  They used film in the same way other English teachers might use a great Henry James …






Jason Calcanis, On Fire With Truthiness

Yesterday I ran across a tweetstorm by Jason Calcanis.  He dropped some New York City bluntness on people.  I love it.  He is a very experienced seed investor.  He runs Launch, which is an awesome event.  He grew up in …






Interacting With Your Board

My friend Jim Gray was on an HPA panel recently and offered up some advice on how to interact with your board. How to Present Information to Your Board from Hyde Park Angels on Vimeo. If you don’t know Jim, …






A Hurdle In Fin Tech Revolutions

When things start to revolutionize it is interesting to watch how people view it.  Existing entrenched competitors want to strangle innovation in the crib.  Some people scoff at it and say it’s a stupid idea that will never ever work. …






The First Close

When I co-founded Hyde Park Angels, I did it with the hope of eventually doing a fund.  I saw the writing on the wall for pit trading where I had made a living since 1986.  Little did I know how …






What Are the New Norms In FinTech?

Saw this chart from McKinsey and wanted to share it. Fin Tech is changing. Everyone can grasp B2C Fin tech.  Apps for your phone are easy to download and use.  Payments, expense records, checking, savings, and investing have already changed. …






Before You Get Too Cheery About the “Trump Rally”

I subscribe to the Tastytrade newsletter and read it every morning.  I don’t always agree with them, but they always have some interesting ideas and things to think about.  Being an old trader, I always keep an eye on the …






Should You Pay to Incentivize Innovation?

It’s an interesting question.   Shouldn’t we innovate because of passion?  Shouldn’t we be innovating because we want to move the world forward?  Shouldn’t we be innovating because of some internal drive to solve some problem? Or Can we offer …






The Entrepreneurial Selling Process-Execution Phase

One of the great things about the Chicago entrepreneurial ecosystem is we are blessed with a lot of professional salespeople.  Chicago is a B2B salesperson paradise.  They live here because of logistics.  O’Hare gets you anywhere.  It’s fun to interact …






The Entrepreneurial Selling Process-Filtering

Everyone loves process these days.  Randomness is out.  The entrepreneurial selling process can feel totally random.  It’s up to entrepreneurs to control their process so it is not.  How do they do that?  Segmentation. It’s really a three part process. …






Most People Think Selling is Slimy

I signed up for Professor Craig Wortmann‘s Coursera class on selling.  I have never done a Coursera class.  I am excited to try it.  My first job was selling for 3M.  I am a bit rusty, and things have changed …






The Chicago Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Lost One This Week

On December 4th, Professor Paul Magelli Sr. passed away.  I used to lecture at Paul’s classes. He was really really a great guy.  I always told him one of my regrets in life was not taking a class taught by …






The New Banks Are Coming Tra La, Tra La

Friday there was some big news in the financial world.  The Office of the Comptroller released a policy brief.  They announced plans to begin issuing national banking charters.  Financial technology firms may have a way to avoid regulation by 50 …