Entrepreneur, Explorer, Angel.
Sometimes all at Once.
25TH July 2019
Family and Friends - Good Story - Legends and tales - Timeless - Uncategorized - Vision
Squaring the Curve – A Quality Life Right Through the Finish…
My father sold life insurance. Actually, people said they bought life insurance from Big Art. He didn’t so much sell it. He did this by asking questions and listening empathetically. How old are you today? Where do you work? Tell me about your family. Does your spouse work? How many kids? Where are they in school. What sports do they play? Do you play with them? What other activities interest you? How much does it cost you to live here? What do you want to be doing later in life? Do you want to retire someday? Where and how? What do you really love about life? And so on and so on. He insisted on doing it at the kitchen table, with life going on all around. That was the […]
12TH July 2019
culture - Good Story - Timeless - Uncategorized
You can take the boy out of the neighborhood, but never the neighborhood out of the boy…
My boyhood home recently came up for sale. That would be 113 Windy Ghoul Drive in Beaver, PA. Flipping through the pics- which show a house virtually untouched (!) since we sold it in 1974- I was reminded of how much an impact my neighborhood had on me. I could see my bedroom, and the front yard where I played endless baseball. I could see the pool where we swam until our fingers looked like raisins. The wall where my Mom’s lilacs framed the garden that provided us with so many fresh vegetables. The terraced lawns my dad loved and I despised, because half my allowance was dependent on mowing the eastern quarter. The roof where we climbed and played tag. The piano room where my sisters practiced endlessly (and […]
20TH June 2019
Entrepreneur - Leftovers - MoneyHunt - Social - Uncategorized
Is Shark Tank “Real” Enough
It’s been 20 years since I was in the studio for MoneyHunt; not a week passes without the same question… “is that like Shark Tank (previously, Dragon’s Den). I explain the similarities, and the differences, and conclude… all that is worth, like, one Chai Latte at Starbucks, give or take. On MoneyHunt, we were nuts enough to write the check on the air. No broken deals, no weaseling out of agreements on arcane terms. We considered it a cost of business, and didn’t expect much from the outcomes (our expectations were met!). But we did a whale of a job marketing our little VC fund, a seminal outperformer in the dot.com rush. So what people ask me about SharkTank is this: Do they really do what they say they do? […]
21TH May 2019
Cuba - Social - Timeless - Uncategorized
Old. White. Male.
I think this will become the pejorative term of the 2020 election, if not commentary on our shifting cultural landscape itself. Outside of tech, finance, and maybe horse racing, is it possible for an Old White Male to “get it” anymore? Can they even see, let alone appreciate the needs and aspirations of the rising younger masses? Can they be trusted to represent the interests of the nation’s growing youth, let alone how they think and what they prioritize? The difference may lie in maintaining a youthful outlook. When I look at some of the current front runners in the US 2020 race, I see an average age of 77. You can add Congresspersons Pelosi (79) and McConnell (77) to this list of “spring chickens- not”. Bernie Sanders – (77) […]
20TH May 2019
Geopolitical - Good Story - Social - Timeless - Uncategorized
Hold my Beer #7- Riley Howell
Look, I don’t even know if Riley Howell would have a beer. But his actions inspired me to add to this collection of courageous people. He was exactly what the moment needed, even if that moment meant it was one of his last. In an alert that flashed across computer and phone screens all over the UNC- Charlotte campus, the instructions were spare but urgent: “Run, Hide, Fight. Secure yourself immediately.” Riley had everything to lose; a long future, a wonderful relationship, friends, family. There’s no way to know what went through his mind. No way to know if he paused and asked “why me? why now?”. He tackled the gunman and curtailed the carnage that was about to ensue. However it came down, the result was embodied in the […]
10TH May 2019
Angel Investor - culture - Entrepreneur - Entrepreneurs - Family Office - Incredulous - Leadership - Uncategorized
Introducing Incredulous… a little show about cultural shifts, discomfort and opportunity.
Over the past few months, I’ve worked with the best PR firm in the nation, Gregory FCA, to develop something we talk about at the dinner table each night. Incredulous is about culture, emerging trends, generational conflict… and some damn silly stuff we get upset about. Sometimes it’s an opportunity. Other times, it’s just something to laugh about. In this flight… For Boomers, the party never ends! Jimmy Buffett opening a Retirement Home Erasing History at Washington & Lee. Is that really what we want to do? Sign of the Times; Giuliani Gets Booed at Yankee Stadium Duh! English Teacher Corrects White House Letter Trumped; Social Media more powerful than White House visit. Teach your parents well. Mom Fired For Kid’s Instagram Antics FOMO built this. Beanie Babies Empire won’t […]
09TH May 2019
Angel Investor - culture - Incredulous - Timely - Uncategorized
Incredulous #1; The Boomers next party
For Boomers, the party never ends! And why should it… we did Woodstock, Wall Street, Dot.Com, and the Wall came down! Can we keep it going forever? Well, Jimmy Buffett’s opening a Retirement Home… Hey! If you liked that, you may like the next one: Erasing History at Washington & Lee. Is wiping out a military hero and leadership icon what we want to do? And if you really like what we’re doing, add something that made you Incredulous. We’ll put it to good use on the show soon!
30TH April 2019
500 Start Ups - Angel Investor - Business Tricks - Family and Friends - Geopolitical - Good Story - Incubator - Legends and tales - Social - Timeless - Vision
The Black Tulip…springtime flowers, trends & bubbles. Yeah!
Tulip futures, anyone? It’s tulip season around here; The New York Times had a wonderful story today on Rembrandt and dutch tulips. They’re pretty, but I love them for more than their looks… A very special person to me loves tulips. I do too, and I also love them as a reminder of bubbles- financial ones. Tulips are the first great bubble in modern recorded history, as detailed in the wonderful book called Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. It’s an early study of crowd psychology by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay, first published in 1841. It’s still in print, and cited by financial wizards from Bernard Baruch to Michael Lewis. Tulips had quite a run in in the 17th century. As the flowers grew in popularity, professional growers paid […]
18TH April 2019
Angel Investor - Business Tricks - Family and Friends - Timeless - Uncategorized
Busy could, sometimes, just be BS
We’ve been talking an awful lot about work norms. Goldman Sachs no longer requires suits. IBM allows flex time. MasterCard permits video attendance at weekly touch base calls. This is all terribly progressive, and probably helps with attracting, retaining, and motivating A Players. But one thing remains a fallacy; the common safe place called “being busy”. Maybe it’s the old puritan work ethic. Maybe it’s from back in the days when people- most- billed by the hour. Those warriors who worked on weekends. Brought files along on vacations. Always had a conference call, or a reason to burn the midnight oil. How impressive. What a workhorse. Such a team player. An animal. We gave you a pass because you were full on, all day. Frantically moving from one thing to […]
08TH April 2019
Business Tricks - Entrepreneur - Food - Good Story - Incredulous - Timeless - Uncategorized
Avocados also come with Values!
Entrepreneurs are mad for Avocados- in shakes, on toast, even guacamole. it’s perfect as protein, and even better as a value reminder. Yes, true! I caught Seth’s Godin mention the Avocado principle recently: it’s a well cited mantra in the Bay and especially at 500 where I learned so many incubator scale tricks. It goes something like this: If you wait until you really want an avocado, the market won’t have any ripe ones. You need to buy them in advance. But… If you eat an avocado that’s not quite ripe, you won’t enjoy it. AND, you won’t have a chance to enjoy it tomorrow, when it would have been perfect if you had only waited. If you live your life based on instant gratification and little planning, you’ll either never have […]
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