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 […]
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 […]
28TH March 2019
Entrepreneur - Entrepreneurs - Family and Friends - Geopolitical - Incubator - Leadership - Timeless
Passion can be Painful
I wonder if founders appreciate that the origin of the word “passion” . It’s the Latin word for “suffer.” I didn’t know that until recently, on a Founder touch base call, where a very passionate argument was made and didn’t land. [It makes perfect sense; passion requires a commitment so pure that mere suffering would not deter i]t. I hear about- and see- Founders everyday that are bursting with passion about their product, the problem it solves, and the business they are building around it. Problem is, many forget the suffering that comes with it. So here are a few of the pain points each founder must learn to stomach; Suffer the humility of defeat; by this, I mean the realization that it is time to quit pressing the idea as […]
07TH March 2019
AppTaris - Baseball - Creative problem Solving - Entrepreneurs - Family and Friends - Legends and tales - Uncategorized
Working from Home has its rewards.
Working from Home today… LOL I was working in Tampa last week, visiting a dear friend and successful founder (same guy). Naturally, we chose to meet at the Yankee game. Double bonus- I got to see my hometown Pirates play. Two things struck me as worth mentioning (the score was not one of them). It’s amazing to me how much Hope there is at the beginning. Spring training is a great example of that. Pitchers and catchers report in mid-March, fully expecting to make the team and to make a difference. Teams are there a week or two later, and scrimmages and spring games begin shortly after- probably too shortly thereafter. The weather is great, players smile and joke around. Veterans grab gloves and hats for rookies stranded at second and run them […]
08TH February 2019
Creative problem Solving - Family and Friends - Good Story - Race to the Bottom - Social - Timeless - Uncategorized
QED and the Bottom Line
I really can’t tell this story any better, and if I did, I would ignore the lesson that the story teaches. So here it is: Near the end of the Eisenhower Administration, the speechwriter James C. Humes was asked to help the president write a short address. After submitting a draft, Humes was called to Eisenhower’s office to discuss. As soon as he stepped into the room, he could tell that Eisenhower had a problem with what he’d written. “What’s the QED* of this speech?” Eisenhower said to him with only a little patience. Humes was confused. “QED,” he said, “what’s that?” “Quod Erat Demonstrandum,” Eisenhower barked. “Don’t you remember your geometry? What’s the bottom line? In one sentence!” Eisenhower was a brilliant man, but a simple and a straightforward one […]
08TH February 2019
Family and Friends - Leadership - Legends and tales - Timeless - Uncategorized
Prisoner AT War. Stoic lessons my Dad taught me.
My Father, aka Big Art, loved to teach us about perspective. He could take nearly any situation, and find some lesson, some thread of good in it. And usually a chance to learn and do better next time. He suffered hardships throughout his life, some by his own hand, but never lost that gift of self awareness and the thirst for improvement. The most extreme example he would give was about a man who would become Vice presidential Candidate under Ross Perot- James Stockdale– and the seven years he was held POW in Vietnam. AOM tels it well; Rear Admiral James Stockdale wasn’t a prisoner of war in that prison camp in North Vietnam. He was a prisoner at war. At war with his captors. At war with his own […]
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 […]
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.
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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