Entrepreneur, Explorer, Angel.

Sometimes all at Once.

19TH May 2014

Business Tricks - Choate - culture - Entrepreneur - Family Office - Leadership - Mojiva - Timeless - Trust Cloud - Uncategorized - Venture Capital

Next Stop: Grand Central

My Mom used to answer the phone at our house : GRAND CENTRAL !@#$%^ STATION. It was nuts with activity; cats sleeping with dogs, kids not sleeping at all, random neighbors, dangerous art projects, three legged bunnies, ninja turtles- with real num-chucks, 1,000 ping pong balls, 60 foot tree swings, snakes in sleeping bags and ill-advised science experiments. It was an incubator of sorts, but all she was able to raise was a bunch of crazy kids and a few Estes Rockets (with pet mice aboard no doubt). The fact that four of us survived to adulthood was testament to her unique no-helicopter policies ( I am not sure how many she started with). To cry about anything short of a compound fracture was simply bad form. Cuts without stitches […]

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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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07TH May 2013

Angel investing - Business Tricks - Creative problem Solving - Food - Leadership - Leftovers - Mojiva - Operative - Timeless - Trust Cloud - Venture Capital

An Entrepreneur’s Diet: Ramen & PBJ

Being an entrepreneur is a lumpy business at best. And while I’ve written extensively about the mortality rate (95%), I’ve never written about how hard it is along the way for those 5% destined for greatness. It ain’t easy, and it ain’t easy on everyone. This is a basket of Ramen Noodles and Peanut Butter, presented on my Birthday by a very appropriate, thoughtful entrepreneur I backed; Xin Chung. Xin certainly has the moral authority to present the gift: he was liberated from Saigon as a child, spent time in an internment camp, and grew up in Valdez Alaska before settling into SoCal and pursuing his dreams as an entrepreneur. He is now Founder and CEO of TrustCloud which has emerged from a “walk in the wilderness” with 10k passionate users and a growing […]

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17TH March 2013

Adventure - Creative problem Solving - culture - Entrepreneur - Geopolitical - Mobile - Mojiva - Timely - Trust Cloud - Venture Capital

SWSX: Live in the Future, Build What’s Missing.

I hadn’t been to Austin for SX for awhile, and the differences are palpable. Each of these observations deserve a post on their own (blog tonnage warning), but here’s the brief from the plane 1: These kids won’t lap their Parents, but they’re over it UT Spring break notwithstanding, SXSW trends pretty young but not tragically hip. I’d call it self-sufficiently hip. Perhaps its a stack of student debts, lack of faith in future entitlements, or a crap job market but most everyone here lives and breathes self-reliance. Kinda reminds me of KFAC in some ways. No, they likely won’t end up better off than their parents but they have founds ways- ingenious ways – to have a share in interesting events, luxuries and experiences. It is the walking personification […]

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13TH March 2013

Adventure - Business Tricks - Creative problem Solving - Entrepreneur - Good Story - Leadership - Mobile - Mojiva - Timely - Venture Capital - Vision

Yahoo offers a Billion: WWYD?

Yes, Marissa Mayer is out there honing her strategy for a next move, and lots of buzz is around Mobile Ad-Tech. I’m quite keen to those developments, because of my activity in the space… you might say. But before her time, Yahoo made an offer that prompted one of the best “What Would you Do” conversations of our generation. I caught the gist of it at during Peter Thiel’s talk at SXSW, but Inc. does a better job of describing it here: …Facebook was just two years old. It was a college site with roughly eight or nine million people on it. And, though it was making $30 million in revenue, it was not profitable. “And we received an acquisition offer from Yahoo for $1 billion,” Thiel said.    “Both Briar […]

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01TH March 2013

A Line In the Sand - Angel investing - Business Tricks - Cellufun - Creative problem Solving - Entrepreneur - Geopolitical - Good Story - Leadership - Mojiva - Operative - Timeless - Timely - Trust Cloud - Uncategorized - Vision

On my Kindle: a few great books for entrepreneurs

My son stole my Kindle the other day and ordered a bunch of books because the button looked good. Not much more to add to that story, aside from he’s a digital maniac and I still like to read. So, I went back and looked at what I have read in the past decade and what stuck. As many of you know, I’m still not quite done with my college degree… but I’m still an enthusiastic learner and read a book or two a month. That’s a must-do for any leader who is looking to keep his mind fresh and his thoughts topical. But there are also some books that I constantly refer to, reread, and recommend. Some of them are great learning on outright effectiveness, others highlight specific processes, a few deal with […]

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29TH January 2013

Leadership - Mobile - Mojiva - Timely - Uncategorized - Vision

Against the Wind; An improbable story in Mobile Ad-Tech

This past month marked the fifth year of working together with my two co-founders at Mojiva: Dan and Krish. If I were a DJ spinning vinyl to sum up those days, I would drop the needle with Bob Seger’s Against the Wind. With a few edits… It seems like yesterday But it was long ago [Mobile] was lovely, she was the queen of our nights There in the darkness with the radio playing low And the secrets that we shared The mountains that we moved Caught like a wildfire out of control Till there was nothing left to burn and nothing left to prove Call it founder bias, nostalgic, or just plain sappy but it is amazing what’s has actually gone down in sixty short months. No one has been in […]

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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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05TH November 2012

culture - Entrepreneur - Geopolitical - Leadership - Mojiva - Race to the Bottom - Timely - Uncategorized - Vision

And the Victor is… Pyrrhic for President

This year’s Presidential Election will be the most important in my lifetime… as per usual. I was a fan of politics back in the day, when the process itself didn’t make me puke. I tuned in to the weekend talk shows eager to see who would say what, and even the most sold-out of hosts played it pretty middle of the road. I did the same this weekend: the most memorable prognosis was David Gergen who went so far as to say we may see a landslide, but he didn’t know for who… Though I’m just a guy from Pittsburgh, I ended up living in a data driven world, and dealing with a lot of coastals. So I’ve been fascinated with a few interesting graphs like the Path to the […]

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