Posts in Uncategorized

In Person or Online?

We drove back from Detroit today.  My children went to school in the city of Chicago.  Their school and their rival school has a huge networking party the day after Thanksgiving.  They take over a bar and meet up.  It’s …






Happy Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving story is pretty amazing.  People left Europe to escape religious persecution.  I am not sure a lot of us would take the same risk today.  Sure, we have immigrants come here today.  They escape desperate situations in some …






What’s The Best Core Engine To a Business?

When we look at successful business models, it’s important to analyze why they are successful.  There are different models, but if I generalize, there are two strong ones.  Walled gardens.  They solve problems and have high stickiness with high switching …






Competition is Great For America

A lot of people will try to make some meaning out of the election of Trump to the White House.  I have seen a lot of melt down tweets and Facebook posts about a lot of stuff.  I think they …






The Oligopoly and Crony Employeeism

I posted this chart because my friend Arnold posted it on his Facebook. But, it’s a metaphor for everything in America these days.  Massive companies dominate every industry.  I’d urge everyone to read Professor John Cochrane’s essay on economic growth. …






Here’s Something Hopeful

After the latest news on the dumpster fire of a political election, and the Cubs loss I thought you might like to see something hopeful. Elon Musk unveiled solar powered shingles.  The idea isn’t new, but the ones he unveiled …






Why Is It Hard to Let Software Eat The Government?

Mattermark posted an article about civic tech.  Software has eaten up all kinds of jobs and made all kinds of businesses more efficient.  The promise of artificial intelligence and other technology is there.  Truly, we are seeing things daily that we …






Did Corzine Get Justice?

Yesterday, Jon Corzine agreed to pay a $5M fine.  Corzine embezzled over one billion dollars of his customers money in order to cover bad trades that he made.  It sent shockwaves through the futures industry.  People that were customers of …






Look For Chicagoans To Be Edgy in October

Do you feel something in the air?  It’s not the election.  It’s not the stock market.  It’s not the property tax increases and fee increases levied by the city and county.  It’s not gunfire or firecrackers.  It’s the major league …






Remaking An Old System

Had to drive up to Minnesota to close up our cabin and get our timeline in order.  We are rehabbing it.  It was a kit cabin built by Weyerhauser in 1961.  It’s 650 square feet of pure bliss.  It’s so …






Sorry For New York

Yesterday I was at the Michigan v Colorado game in Ann Arbor.  110,000 people.  More than that when you consider all the tailgaters.  It was a nice day.  When I got home, I took a quick gander through Twitter to …






Limited Government: Necessary For Growth

There is a small debate going on today over the role of government.  If you are at all interested in it, I’d encourage you to read this piece written by Cliff Asness back in 2009.  At the time, he was …






How Regulators Destroy Markets

Was reading a book by John Allison “The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure”.  In it, he talks about the state of US markets and capitalism.   People are confused these days because they think we have actual capitalism …






Serendipity Doesn’t Happen By Being Passive

People talk about serendipity happening to them.  When it happens, it’s not because people were simply in the right place at the right time.  They usually are out in the world trying to make things happen. People often guard their …






The Second City of Tech

Crain’s Chicago wrote an editorial about Chicago becoming the Second City for Tech.  In it, they recognized that Chicago’s tech scene has become something.  John Pletz at Crain’s has been all over it for a long time.  I am glad …






Bayer and Monsanto

Last evening I saw Bayer made an “unsolicited” bid for Monsanto.  People should understand how Bayer can afford to swallow up a company like Monsanto. Bayer has a market cap of $73.6B.  Turns out selling aspirin is a good business! …






Be Clear and Clean

One of the things that venture capitalist Bill Gurley touched on in his epic post was the terms of deals. One thing that I always admire is really clean term sheets. I value them-and never try to be in a …






Half the Battle is Simply Being Observant

One of the things I like doing is simply shooting the bull with entrepreneurs.  Why?  They are idea people.  They look at the world differently.  What can’t be can become what can be. How and why are they like this? …