Posts in Uncategorized

Corporate Taxes Do Make a Difference

A friend of mine works for Ernst and Young.  He is an international expert on corporate tax policy.  He has been immersed in it for almost his entire career.  When clients ask, he takes them to better corporate tax jurisdictions. …

9 Trillion Gallons of Rain

Houston got hammered by Hurricane Harvey. 9 trillion gallons of rain. Wow. Alligators on people’s doorsteps. Already, people are going to help. The Cajun Navy is already there.  Grocer H-E-B already lined up trucks and is on the way. I …

Chicago Fin Tech Event on Sep 13 at MakeSpace

When Kenny and I started West Loop Ventures, we had three things we wanted to accomplish.  Obviously, making money for our LPs and ourselves was a goal.  But the two other goals were different. One of them was to educate …

Getting Children Hooked on Technology

There is a big movement for governments to get kids hooked on technology.  While I appreciate the initiatives it’s important to realize not every kid is going to get hooked.  People are different and they need to be free to …

Book Review: Jason Calcanis “Angel”

I read the book by Jason Calcanis on angel investing.  If you are going to angel invest, it’s a good read.  If you are angel investing, it’s still a good read.  If you are an entrepreneur and you are going …

Should You Pay Deal by Deal, or Total Fund?

There are more than a few ways to organize a fund waterfall. Fund waterfalls are how all the investors get paid. The return comes in, and then all the distributions happen. There are different ways to structure waterfalls, but the …

YCharts on the Inc 5000

Excited to announce @ycharts has been named #1158 on the @inc5000‘s annual list of the fastest-growing private companies! #Inc5000 pic.twitter.com/tR2Suv0kcl — YCharts (@ycharts) August 15, 2017 YCharts has been named to the Inc 5000. It’s the best stock and ETF …

Shutting Down

The shut down of a company is final. It’s the end. There are similarities to every shut down of a company. Some investors get mad. They argue that it shouldn’t be shut down. The dream is still alive. If it’s …

Should Valuation Be A Disqualifier For Investment?

One year I was at Stocktwits listening to Howard Lindzon talk about early stage investing.  Howard is a pretty darned good early stage investor.  He mentioned that some of his worst mistakes were passing on investments simply because of valuation. …

Your Word Is Your Bond

The title is an old saying from the floors of Chicago exchanges.  When people didn’t follow through with what they said or honor a trade, they were drummed out of the exchange.  The CBOT even did a documentary with the …

Don’t Make Your Board Competitive

One of the characteristics of successful people is that they are usually pretty competitive.  I am not any different.  You don’t go places in our society unless you have some internal drive that pushes you to get there.  Even the …

Decentralization vs Centralization

One of the most compelling things about Bitcoin and blockchain is the decentralized component of the blockchain.  It’s not controlled by a person, one entity, or an oligarchy.  It’s controlled by everyone. One of the things I am intrigued to …

A Suicide

Heard about another suicide the other day.  This person was a teen.  I remember when I was a teenager, my parent’s friends used to remark that they wished they were raising kids back when they grew up because it was …

The Networking Thing

How do you build a network? Slowly.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  Patience is a key to building a network Randomly.  If you don’t open yourself to randomness, you cannot build a great network.  Networks are about meeting new people and …

Tough Lessons

Dabble did a new round of financing the other day. I participated but I am going off the Dabble board. There are two reasons for that. First, since I am not a Hyde Park Angels member it seems pretty stupid …

An Example of the Strategic Use of an ICO by a Mainline Firm

Initial cryptocurrency offerings (ICO) have been used by a lot of startup firms to raise capital.  They have been successful, and they have failed.  One that has been interesting for WLV to watch is Ripple.  Their token is pretty transparent …

How Can A Pit Be Controversial?

Read an article in the WSJ about how Box Options wants to open trading pits for options. Currently, they are SEC regulated and an entirely electronic options exchange.  They want to open a pit for strategic and competitive reasons. Many …

Gender Discrimination in Venture Capital

Is there gender discrimination in venture capital?  A lot of people say that there is.  In my neck of the woods here in Chicago, I haven’t seen it.  But, at the same time, I am not going to say it …