Entrepreneur, Explorer, Angel.

Sometimes all at Once.

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 […]

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19TH February 2018

Cuba - Entrepreneurs - Family and Friends - Food - Havana Culture - Leadership - Timeless - Uncategorized

On Celebrations and Cigars

The most appreciated gift I bring home from Havana is cigars. Wrapped by the best hands in the business, they seem to imply… “party coming soon”. I’m told this by aficionados because I certainly am not one. Usually, the reason to celebrate this way is having a baby, closing a financing, manifesting an exit. Sometimes it’s a personal best that takes a lot of work and has a defined moment worth savoring. They also combine very well with Cuban rum, which isn’t a coincidence either. So here’s my offer: tell me about your recent financing, exit, acquisition, or similar entrepreneur or life triumph in 100 words or less, I’ll send you a box of the best Cohiba’s I have. I’ll do it just for the happy story.  

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06TH January 2018

Angel Investor - Cuba - Family and Friends - Family Office - Havana Culture - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Interns - Leadership - Parenting

Fire and Fury? Well, Havana’s safe as ever, guys. (IMHO)

I don’t know much about the current book dominating the headlines, except for how it applies to my personal experience in Cuba. Last year, much was made about travel to Cuba being suddenly suspect or dangerous. With nearly a year to look back now, I see a few main themes that may explain 2017: Roll back on any Obama initiative one can find. Lob an unprovable grenade as justification. Even though “Sonic Attacks” sounds more like “Remember the Maine” each day, it got the job – confusion- done well. Exert pressure on Havana citizens by closing the US Embassy and closing off visa applications. This isn’t much fun. Poke the Cuban Military by blacklisting hotels and travel business they control. Since the State Department published it’s “no-go” list in November, […]

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01TH January 2018

Cuba - Entrepreneur - Family and Friends - Leadership - Parenting - Timeless - Uncategorized

An Entrepreneur’s Life

Honestly, it’s been hard to understand it [entrepreneurship] myself, let alone explain it to others.

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01TH December 2017

Family and Friends - Parenting

A man never forgets where he ran as a boy

A man never forgets where he ran as a child. I heard this quote somewhere in my teens, and it stuck with me. It stuck with me enough to be aware of it when I was running, and that this place, this run, this feeling may be a moment I remember later. That fact added a sense of self-awareness that I otherwise lacked. My first recollection of running as a child was in my front yard in Beaver, PA. It was unique because I would run alone, for hours I am told, on snowy winter days in a patch of grass left bare by a gas leak. It left a perfect miniature football field for me, and during half-time of any Steelers game I would throw the ball to myself, avoid tacklers, and dive […]

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30TH April 2017

Family and Friends - Legends and tales - Parenting - Timeless - Uncategorized

Oh Father, my Father… this is your success.

  I looked through some family pictures on my Birthday, and this one made me think of what my father has given me. He’s given me something more permanent than good hair, and more powerful than money. He’s given me values and meaning, though it took me years to discover that. And when I did, I was drawn to the story of what his father gave him. And the father before him, and the father before him, all the way back as far as Spencer legend will go. This is quite far when you are a Spencer, and you don’t let too many facts ruin a good story, which is the what is about to happen here…   It is was actually deSpenser to start, which means the steward or butler […]

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22TH December 2016

culture - Family and Friends - Parenting - Race to the Bottom - Timeless - Uncategorized

Santa is the Ultimate Marshmallow

I love the marshmallow theory and practice it with my kids wherever possible.

Marshmallow refers to an set of experiments on self control by Walter Mischell at Stanford in the 70’s. In these studies, a child was offered a choice between one small reward provided immediately or two small rewards

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03TH December 2016

Family and Friends - Parenting - Uncategorized

No David? No Thanks!

Kids test. Yeah and so… I got the book No David to check out myself. It’s a quick read… like less than 20 words. Kids are said to love the pics and I agree. I send my compliments to the illustrator. But thats the sum total of my kind words; the message of the book is crap. What a huge teaching opportunity is lost with this book. Yelling at them does next to nothing. Hearing their name next to a negative over and over builds nothing. It’s the same reason we never tell a customer no in business, instead we give them data and observations and we show them options. Telling them you love them is fine. Hopefully, that’s a message that is repeated dozens of times each day, no matter […]

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24TH October 2016

culture - Family and Friends - Food - Good Story - Leadership - Leftovers - Parenting - Uncategorized

Henkleman and Homestead; Elevated Sense and Soul

Henkleman is rated as one of the top ten restaurants in the US. But that doesn’t begin to tell the story. Really.

The place has a soul. A soul that can’t be conjured from a snappy logo, a celebrity chef, or a burst of social marketing

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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 […]

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