Entrepreneur, Explorer, Angel.

Sometimes all at Once.

24TH September 2018

Business Tricks - Creative problem Solving - Good Story - Parenting - Timeless - Uncategorized

The Sharpless Method: We suffer more in imagination than in reality

The title quote is from Seneca. I grew up with a different phrase, but it still worked for me: “80% of the sh*t we spend time worrying about never happen anyways” ~Herbert “Sharpless” Spencer And it’s not that these guys were fearless. Rather, they broke down those fears, those worries, those paralyzing doubts and categorized them in bite sized pieces. My grandfather was a rifleman in WW-I; life expectancy in the trench wasn’t too good. But he survived to marry, to have and to raise twelve kids, to send some to college, and to comb the hair of his grandchildren… which numbered like [33] by the time he passed away. This was his system for dealing with worry and anxiety: Name each fear that keeps you up in explicit terms: […]

Continue Reading



28TH May 2018

Family and Friends - Parenting - Parenting - Social - Timely - Uncategorized

Fortnight and the next great Battle for Screentime

It seems the big parenting battle of the summer might be over FortNite. This survival-action game developed by Epic Games and People Can Fly is a bit like what you’d get if you combined a sandbox-building game like Minecraft with an action shooter like Call of Duty. On one hand, it’s getting major points with kids and parents alike for building teamwork and thoughtful collaboration. On the other hand, it’s a combat-based game with tons of guns and violence. And the designers were brilliant in the way they weave the elements of addiction into the action- thanks guys! So whats a Father to do? Here are a few ideas I’m working on: Set limits. Establish media-free zones and weekly screen-time amounts. Aim for a balance of activities throughout the week: reading, playing, exploring, and so on. Choose age-appropriate, high-quality media. Not […]

Continue Reading



01TH October 2017

Adventure - Cuba - Good Story - Incubator - Innovadores Foundation - Timely

What’s up with the Cuba Sonic Mystery?

(Washington, DC) I was at the WaterGate Hotel, the mecca of silly spycraft, just having a burger and catching up with John and Jono of Innovadores fame. The breadth of what their humanitarian accomplishments in two years is pretty amazing, as their regular updates will attest. It has been a breakneck sprint (relatively) since Obama loosened relations with Havana in 2015. The Foundation has sponsored three years of fantastic Cuban entrepreneurs to intern at Grand Central Tech, and everyone has returned to do good things in Cuba. Several have begun to launch businesses, and we stand ready to assist again. But recently, the US Embassy in Havana cut staff 60%, just two years after opening for the first time in 50+ years. Guidelines on doing business- mostly tourism– are expected to further curtail […]

Continue Reading



16TH June 2017

Adventure - Good Story - sport - Timely - Uncategorized

Hold my beer, #2. Free Solo of El Cap.

Here is my second crack at writing about someone that inspired me, and maybe some others. They are moments so utterly manly I call them “Hold my Beer”. Alex Honnold climbed the route known as Freerider on El Capitan free solo. That’s no ropes, no partner. It involves a complex system of cracks and a notoriously hard section about two-thirds of the way up with holds the width of a pencil.  Guides say to allow four days to do the climb. Mr. Honnold did it under four hours. (See photographs of his ascent.) One more time: Guides say to allow four days to do the climb. Mr. Honnold did it under four hours. You talk about a state of FLOW, this guy had it. If one could possibly set aside the fear, the […]

Continue Reading



15TH July 2016

Adventure - Creative problem Solving - Cuba - Entrepreneur - Geopolitical - Grand Central Tech - Havana Culture - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Interns - Uncategorized

Crushing it in Cuba

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead The Innovadores Foundation just completed the most amazing year of progress, thanks in no small part to that small team, and the support of donors like you who believed it could be done. ReBirth of our Foundation A year ago, our 501c3 was still named KFAC, a charitable hold-over from our many years crossing Long Island Sound to benefit our community and environment. Part of that journey led us to support young entrepreneurs who won internships at Grand Central Tech; we have placed more than two dozen kids in that enviable spot in the past two years. But when we began to make our inroads in […]

Continue Reading



16TH May 2016

Adventure - Choate - Entrepreneur - Family and Friends - Platforms - Timely

Start Up Choate Panel

Chloe and I hosted another Start Up Choate panel, this one at Alumni Weekend in Wallingford. I felt like I was home. The panel was really cool, and diverse. From first-timers to old timers. From old-school tech like Mobile (it’s ten years Alex!) to new stuff like trans-gender HR management (thanks for the heads up Natalie!). Here’s the whole panel: Jordan Bookey ’96, Co-Founder of Zoobean Jordan Lloyd Bookey is Chief Mom and co-founder of Zoobean. Her company’s flagship product, Beanstack, serves as a technology platform for public libraries’ reading programs across the country and in Canada. Formerly a teacher and Google’s Head of K-12 Education Outreach, Jordan is originally from Des Moines, Iowa, and now lives with her family in Washington, D.C. Natalie Egan ’96, Founder of trans.cafe Natalie is […]

Continue Reading



04TH May 2016

Adventure - Creative problem Solving - Cuba - Havana Culture - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Interns

I’d like to see what $40k clothes look like…

…Said my favorite designer in Havana yesterday, poignantly nailing the depth of the gulf between Cuban and American cultures. Idania, founder of a Design shop named Clandestina, may have been thinking what I thought; that blouse is like…166 years average salary in Cuba. And she actually said it! Chanel rolled in to Havana yesterday, on the heels of Usher, the Stones, Obama, Conan, and of course the Innovadores. No word yet on Britney or the Kardashians. And while everyone is taking inspiration from Cuban colors and culture, precious few are making something of the same in a way that benefits the Cubans themselves. Obviously, the market for Chanel blouses is a bit thin in Havana, where the average salary is $20.  And while the world has declared Cuba hot hot hot, […]

Continue Reading



30TH March 2016

Adventure - Cuba - culture - Entrepreneur - Geopolitical - Good Story - Grand Central Tech - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Interns

Innovadores Foundation, not of Langley LOL

Sometimes you hit it with a name. Often, you don’t. After much thought, we decided to rename our recently named CAA Foundation as the “Innovadores Foundation” . This was to not to confuse ourselves further with the CIA when dealing with an island nation whose last fifty years were spent not exactly loving that branch of our government. Seems prudent, no? We often would get looks in official meetings, and my partner John would spend too much time, in diplomatic Spanish, explaining the Choate T-Shirt of yesteryear to Cuban officials. My gaffes can be comical, in an idiotic kind of way. It kind of reminds me of when it took us eight years of paddling our kayaks south for KFAC that we got smart and paddled north into the greatest party […]

Continue Reading



30TH March 2016

Adventure - Cuba - Havana Culture - Incubator - Innovadores - Uncategorized

Havana is an Old Movie

People seem to use movie titles when describing Havana lately. Back to the Future. Time Machine. Jurassic Park. But Cuba is certainly this year’s favorite coming attraction. It’s a forbidden fruit that seems to be about ripe for American interests to come ashore. Again. Hopefully, this time we don’t leave legacies like that troublemaker Hyman Roth. Anyways, this past week it seemed everyone wanted to know what would be next, after fifty years of… not so much. Here are two of my favorite pieces, in old school media that seemed apropos: a newspaper clipping and a radio interview (WGCH- Greenwich; complete with shoutout to son Grayson and employee #Jono). Fun week!  

Continue Reading



02TH November 2015

Adventure - Legends and tales - sport - Timely - Uncategorized

Enough running from. Run to.

Personally, my summer pretty much sucked (how was yours!). The fact is amazing considering I wrote that last (2014) summer was the happiest of my life. As Victor Frankl wrote in Mans Search for Meaning (good one  BTW), we do not get to pick our challenges, though we can pick how we respond to our challenges. Besides cooking, I also began running. A lot. For anyone. Anyone from Pittsburgh, anyways. After a few consecutive 50 mile weeks, it was gently pointed out to me I was training for a marathon, without having actually entered one.  I quickly amended that error and entered on behalf of the MMRF in the NYC Marathon. I was stunned by the amount of support generated in just a few weeks: $5k worth. As for the running itself, I teamed […]

Continue Reading



Featured Tags

miles spencer blog Miles Spencer entrepreneur angel investor Vaux les Ventures Vaux digital media globalism creative destruction leadership