Entrepreneur, Explorer, Angel.

Sometimes all at Once.

28TH June 2018

Angel Investor - Geopolitical - Mobile - Parenting - Race to the Bottom - Timely

Ding. Look at me.

Digital addiction has gripped society in less than a decade. The smartphone era dates from Apple’s introduction of the iPhone in 2007… before that, the closest thing to a digital pavlovian response was hearing AOL’s goofy “You’ve got Mail”. Either way, it is a nanosecond in human evolution. No matter what we think we know now, we simply don’t know what the long-term effects of digital devices/smartphones are or will be, any more than generations past could glean the effects of all of those earlier technologies on moods, relationships, and cognitive development. Americans check their devices 80 times per day, which is more often than men think about sex (34.2 times according to Psych Today… I promise). Why? The secret is in the glowing notifications, likes and shares. Psychologists at […]

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13TH January 2017

Angel Investor - culture - Entrepreneur - Fashion Snoops - Food - Leadership - Mobile - Race to the Bottom - Timely - Uncategorized

Looking out, at the world.

“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Airman’s Odyssey Exupery has long been one of my favorite authors, and this is one of my favorite quotes. Amazingly, it took me a pair of Spectacles by the soon-to-be-public Snap, Inc. to reconnect with the thought. I think this is a tremendously exciting product, arriving at a moment we actually need a bit of a reset on perspective. Here’s the why: our look-at-me world is a race to the bottom. And the race to the bottom feeds upon the instant gratification that has taken hold of our world. No-one is really to blame. It’s just that hit of Dopamine that has become so addictive in segments of our society: […]

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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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11TH June 2016

Entrepreneur - Good Story - Leadership - Race to the Bottom - Timely - Uncategorized

Now I really want to be like Peter Thiel

I’ve taken a moment to think about the gawker/Hulk Hogan verdict, and the much bigger message behind it. Here’s my take on the backstory… If being gay means…demonstrating that actions have consequences, then I’m with Peter. I have experienced so much of this in the past five years, and it nearly make me sick up, as TEL would say. After a morally bankrupt act is committed, the refrain “that wasn’t the intent” , or “you’re being too sensitive” seems to follow in lock step. Thiel seems to have once again linked the intent and the impact such that the perp could not escape the consequences. And I love it. If being gay means… “when you have, give”…  then I want to be as gay as Peter. Call it the digital […]

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24TH November 2014

Entrepreneur - Geopolitical - Good Story - Race to the Bottom - Social - Timeless - Uncategorized

Washington is mostly Pandas

[This was just too good not to re-post. True then (2015) and true now] I was asked recently on the air, so here’s a straightening out of my opinion about how Washington helps (or hurts) entrepreneurship. I totally ripped most of this off from from a recent talk with David Rubenstein of Carlysle at a recent FOA conference. But I doubt he will mind. Washington reminds me of the Pandas, hanging out and occasionally mating in the National Zoo; Everyone wants them to do something, deliver something actually. Everyone agrees, within some tolerance, on what they should deliver. Pandas actually only are in heat like 4 days a year, so their DNA isn’t ideal for effective production Which means neither side gets much practice actually coming together on anything They go about […]

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19TH June 2013

Business Tricks - Creative problem Solving - Good Story - Leadership - Mobile - Mojiva - Race to the Bottom - Timely - Trust Cloud - Uncategorized

I am shocked, shocked that there is big data going on in this Establishment

So, the NSA has been snooping the data at most of the big Silicon Valley tech titans, who snoop the data of most of the planet. The former is looking for bad guys, the latter are looking for customers. What’s the diff? What cracks me up is the outrage. It reminds me of Captain Renault’s great line outside Rick’s Cafe the night he shut it down. How did we get to this place? Data used to be such a hard and fast thing. Name, address, and social security was plenty to get a verification going. It worked well for high stakes actions like getting a mortgage, a car loan, a college education… and it still does. The titans of big data and credit have built tremendous businesses based primarily on […]

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12TH April 2013

Business Tricks - culture - Entrepreneur - Good Story - Leadership - Race to the Bottom - Timeless - Uncategorized

On Youthful Exuberance, Candles and Start-Ups: Breakfast is at 8

The shots of DC mornings have been rolling in from friends this week with cherry blossoms in full bloom. Got me thinking. I once had a great mentor in Washington DC who simply adored Johnny Walker Red. Pounded the stuff, well into his seventies and deep into the night. Though we were 50 years his junior, we tried to keep up while he showed us around the social scene of DC in the 80’s: big ballrooms full of taffeta gowns, art auctions with amazing numbers, crazy black gas guzzling limos. We made a lot of noise. Thankfully, he paid. But, he had one rule: breakfast is at 8. Now matter how late the night went, no matter how far we walked with Johnny Walker the night before, we all got […]

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05TH April 2013

Business Tricks - culture - Entrepreneur - Family and Friends - Leadership - Race to the Bottom - Timeless - Uncategorized

On Mentoring and Trust / When Someone looks up to you

I recently read “On Raising Boys” and it brought out some very interesting points that I think apply to start-ups as well. One of the three key phases to development for a boy is having mentors in his teen years that are outside their main family unit, that have perspective, and come with authority in some field.  He can rely on this guidance to make important decisions outside of his direct family unit while building interdependence and confidence on his own. Same goes for mentoring entrepreneurs. I recently wrote about my mantra of Discover. Develop. Deliver. Which in very broad terms means I am always looking for young-at-heart entrepreneurs with fresh ideas. But equally important is the willingness to develop themselves  their product, the message, etc. So here are some experiences I have […]

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17TH January 2013

culture - Geopolitical - Good Story - Mojiva - Race to the Bottom - Timely - Trust Cloud - Uncategorized

You think the BCS data is bad? Turns out ND’s star linebacker was dating a digital ghost!

  I was saddened to hear of the death of Manti Teo’s girlfriend. It was a moving story of courage and recovery for Manti, and  demonstrated the empathy possible in a close knit nation called Notre Dame.  A truly moving story in time for the Heisman Media machine’s annual award. And after the fact, it turned out to be all bullshit. Manti was catfished in a hoax, whereby the girl he met online was… not what she appeared. I have written about this phenomenon extensively since the movie Catfish hit the screens a few years ago. Manti was focussed on x’s and o’s, she was all about 1’s and 0’s. If I recall, thousands of people wore lei’s to mourn the loss (of his mother as well) at a game, and the cameras couldn’t get […]

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11TH January 2013

Business Tricks - Creative problem Solving - Leadership - Mobile - Mojiva - Race to the Bottom - Timely - Trust Cloud - Uncategorized

An Open letter to Poachers: We already know who the good ones are

A recent post had me going on about my three word manta: Discover. Develop. Deliver. I’ve been fortunate enough to be around five companies from founding to past the Dunbar line, and that’s where the people stuff gets real interesting. (see the Develop section of the post). Well, 2013 started out with recruiters ringing employees and we decided to fight for what we value: A Players. Ironically, just as you are seasoning a team and kicking into growth mode, the rest of the market often takes notice and starts trying to poach your best. The more competitive the marketplace, the worse the soliciting gets (I’ll submit mobile ad-tech ranks right up there). It won’t stop, so what we have done is create every possible intangible and tangible benefit to being happy […]

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