Entrepreneur, Explorer, Angel.

Sometimes all at Once.

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 […]

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20TH September 2018

500 Start Ups - Angel Investor - Entrepreneur - Family Office - Football - Timeless - Uncategorized

Closing? Should be called Opening…

Closing is the most worst name in the financing dictionary. I know, it’s the day or week when money changes hands. Back in the day, Wall Street-ers would hold a dinner and, after the wire went out (or came it) at 4:31pm everyone would head to the bar to celebrate. But the world of start ups, and start up financing is so different! Funnel and Filter – for years, I have had the good fortune of a funnel of opportunities that keep coming my way, and I’m very grateful for every one. I’ve always followed the lead of [Bear Bryant from this epic post]- be nice, be helpful, and be quick about it. When it’s time to apply the filter, I stick to a couple of basic theses described on the […]

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11TH November 2014

500 Start Ups - Creative problem Solving - Entrepreneur - Timely - Trust Cloud - Uncategorized

500 Demo Day, from an Intern’s perspective

Guest post from Aitran Doan, Choate ’12. My name is Aitran and I’ve spent my freshmen fall interning with TrustCloud. I learned about TrustCloud as an intern at Grand Central Tech where I sat in on some of the business meetings. TrustCloud intrigues me because it presents a tangible way of quantifying trust, something so intangible. I wanted to follow the journey of this product and see how well it can solve the trust and safety problems we face in the online market. A fellow Choate Alum agreed to show me the behind-the-scenes of TrustCloud. So in early September, I visited the 500 Startups office in San Francisco. Seeing so many people working together in such a collaborative atmosphere excited me. I saw the experiential learning eseence of the start-up […]

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23TH October 2014

500 Start Ups - Business Tricks - Trust Cloud - Uncategorized

Where did you come from, where did you go

  I was at dinner with 80 or so batchmates from 500 Startups last night, and with half of them coming from overseas the discussion turned to “IS America still great”. While that’s pretty subjective, the consensus was that.. “it is still better than where I came from”. And I thought about that a bit. If talent is evenly disbursed all over the world, (let alone the US) then bringing them to places that could accelerate that talent is a great arb. Dave McClure knows this well, and GOAP seeks out talent from the most crazy places. My batch ten buddies included great entreprneurs from Jordan (Silk Road), Thailand (Yoga Trail), Tomsk Russia (Promolta). I came from Pittsburgh, and my Dad was a coal miner from Clearfield. Taking a look […]

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29TH September 2014

500 Start Ups - Business Tricks - Entrepreneur - Mobile - Trust Cloud - Uncategorized

The 500 Start Ups Dogfood: Try it!

Part of the experience of 500 Start Ups is discovering new ideas and processes that other batchmates have blazed the trail on. And yes, after 30 years of being an entrepreneur and an investor, I still learn new stuff every day. Herewith, my list of favorite shortcuts: Founder wall is a great hack for short terms memory people like me- pictures, faces and logos there on the wall just before meeting someone. Open the door with lockitron. It’s just so cool to walk into the ante room, put the phone up to your head and presto, something opens. The batch 10 email blaster is for founders with challenges- any challenges. And it rocks! We have solved for everything from free lance graphics to interviewing coders. (sorry-internal) Ping board is an in […]

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