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 Summit

Yesterday I went to a summit on early stage tech in the state of Illinois.  The first answer is that the tech ecosystem in Illinois is in pretty good shape.  The fervor around entrepreneurship is high. The consensus is some …

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 …

Bitcoin is a Teeny Market

tip of the hat to @twaintwain for the image. One of the things that people trading Bitcoin think is that it’s a huge market.  They look at all the volume, the ICO’s and all the press and confirmation bias skews …

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 …

Downsizing

My wife and I have had an interesting trajectory in our lives. When we got married, we had a townhouse in the far northwest suburbs of Chicago. My wife bought it with an inheritance from one of her aunts. Our …

Does Cheap Office Space Matter?

Our mayor in Chicago is starting a program to offer cheap office space to startups in order to entice them to locate here.   The co-work spaces participating are great spaces. If you are a startup, you’d like working there. …

Need Some Office Space?

One of the companies I invested in when I was doing angel investing was Build Truss.  They have an awesome team.  They are tackling a thorny problem.  CRE agents have no interest in leasing out spaces less than 20k square …

Calling All Fin Tech Startups!!!!

My friend and fellow former trader Alan Matthew of Tribal Ventures alerted me to this. It’s a good opportunity for fin tech startups to get some exposure to potential customers.  I don’t think this is a good opportunity to get …

Algorithms Can Be Messy

Algorithms don’t think. They just execute. A lot of jobs/services/functions that were done by humans are becoming algorithms. My job as a floor trader was basically eliminated because algos took over.  There will be a lot of jobs eliminated in …

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 …

Leadership is Hard

Yesterday the Senate which is barely controlled by Republicans failed to repeal and replace Obamacare. Too bad. To be honest, it had a hard time getting through the House. This shows you how hard laws are to repeal once installed. …

Blockchain Will Disrupt Everything

My friend Mike sent this to me.  It was a presentation at the Stigler Center over at Chicago Booth.  David Yermack is an academic at NYU.  They did a 3 day conference on blockchain, and here is a link to …

Some Manual Labor

Yesterday, I left Chicago at 4:30am. Drove to St. Paul, MN.  Picked up my IKEA order.  Drove it up north 6 hours to the cabin we are rehabbing.  Unloaded it all and then put it together today. I am thinking …

End of The Road

I turned in my resignation to Hyde Park Angels, the organization I co-founded back in 2007.  Most of my co-founders left in the first couple of years for a variety of reasons.  Some never were part of anything past Day …

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 …

Is An ICO Right For You?

Initial cryptocurrency offerings are the rage.  Don’t get caught up in the hype.  Listing a coin and raising money doesn’t do anything by itself.  Everyone can pat themselves on the back but without any meaning or use case behind the …

SAFES, Convert Debt, and Startups

There was an article in Techcrunch yesterday on SAFE notes and how they were surprising entrepreneurs.  The headline is a bit of clickbait.  I read the article and then emailed it to some attorneys in Chicago that really understand venture. …