Posts in Start Ups

If You Are Going it Alone, Beware

This summer, I rode in a 100 mile bike ride.  I did most of it by myself, alone on the road.  I wasn’t in shape, had only been on my bike a couple of times and so could not even …

Failure Is Hard

One of the things about being in a start up is there is a high failure rate.  As a matter of fact, and statistics, most fail.  Learning from failure is one of the tricks of the game.  Marc Pincus failed …

Craft Brew vs Big Brew

This morning I clicked over to Abnormal Returns and saw an article on craft brewing. It really interested me because I have tried to use my dollars to support local brewers here in Chicago.  When I travel, I try and …

Is Hostess Just Atlas Shrugging?

Hostess announced it was going out of business. They were unable to reach and agreement with their union workers.  They employed 18,500 workers.  Only 3500 were unionized.  19% of the workforce.  It’s too bad. The Twinkie is getting all the …

Do You Bet On Horses Or Jockeys?

Last evening, I lectured to a group of students at Notre Dame. Today, I am talking to some law students interested in entrepreneurship.  One of the questions I usually get is what makes a person invest in a company?  The answers …

Battles Between States-Why We Need Coopitition

Yesterday I was up in Madison, Wisconsin at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium.  Zach Brandon has done a really good job of coordinating all the Wisconsin Angel groups and VC firms.  He has also carried on the mission that Joe …

25% Angel Tax Credits

Governments know that they are in trouble.  Fiscally, they are stretched to the limit with unfunded liabilities.  The politicians are unable to make the tough choices to cut spending-and they are limited to how much they can raise taxes.  That’s …

The Tech Scene in Chicago is Blooming

My whole life, I have been trained to be a skeptic.  My first job out of college was in sales.  When you sell, you need to look for clues as to why people aren’t buying.  The people that are buying …

New Angel Group in Chicago-and Nation

In 2006, a group of my fellow UChicago MBA students and I began forming the plans for an angel group in Chicago.  It had been tried and most groups had failed. We affiliated with the University of Chicago, and in …

Test Drive of a Tesla S

Last night the law firm Foley and Lardner invited me to test drive a Tesla S.  Foley has been a huge sponsor of the start up ecosystem in Chicago via Catapult.  A company that I am investing in, Dabble, was …

Do We Believe in Creative Destruction, or Not?

Over on Facebook, I saw my friend Jon Pasky’s post about Uber.  Whether you like Uber or not, this concerns every start up, every financier, or anyone interested in seeing a start up ecosystem thrive in Chicago. If you don’t know what Uber …

Physical Mentoring and Virtual Mentoring

One of the neat things that happen in Silicon Valley is the accessibility factor.  If you need to get something done, all you need to find out is where the appropriate people hang out.  Over the years, a culture has …

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 …

Do You Cover Up?

News last night showed that the Obama administration knew of the Benghazi terrorist attacks while they were happening.  They also knew that it was an organized assault.  This is counter to their claim that it was a video inciting random …