Entrepreneur, Explorer, Angel.
Sometimes all at Once.
05TH January 2017
Entrepreneur - Leadership - Operative - Platforms - Portfolio - Timeless
Man plans. And God laughs.
[Public Excerpt] In the decade I have been dedicated to building Vaux as a platform, I’ve come to appreciate those words – man plans, god laughs- and more each day. I’ve seen over 5,000 opportunities in the past five years, and said no to 4,987 of them rather quickly. Those that stirred my heart and soul were ones I truly believed in, and I made great plans. The Deal Gods, of course, laughed at those plans, every time. It’s humbling. And that’s why I follow and preach the diversity program with angel investing; cherry picking the “best” only adds risk on top of risk. The way to get a good deal or two in this process is to start with ten… which are filtered from a few thousand. Ask me for a password to the five […]
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 […]
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 […]
06TH December 2011
Angel investing - Cellufun - Creative problem Solving - Good Story - Mobile - Mojiva - Operative - Timely - Trust Cloud - Uncategorized - Venture Capital - Vision
A sneak peak at how luck comes about, and shapes the world (of me).
I work hard to get lucky. I think most successful entrepreneurs do. But when luck comes, you rarely get to see what ELSE happened to make you lucky. It’s usually just some little thing clear on the other side of the world that started some sequence of events that ended with you on a good day. My friends who won the lottery last week would probably agree. You do a shrug of the shoulders and a high five before you move on, because there is just no explaining. For me, I have long known- and given total credit– to the fact the iPhone changed my angel career. But I never knew the back story of why it was launched in the first place. Walter Isaacson’s Jobs book had a fascinating chapter on just how it came […]
25TH May 2011
Angel investing - Business Tricks - Cellufun - Entrepreneur - Leadership - Mojiva - Operative - Timely - Uncategorized - Venture Capital
Old people suck at Start ups… ’cause kids don’t know about risk!
That ouchie brought to you by Michael Arrington at a recent Tech Crunch Disrupt Conference. It’s not as bad as it seems. I find myself initially defensive at this comment, made by the headline grabbing (headline making!) founder of TechCrunch. I fall on the other side of thirty. If you check out this graph, which represents 300 responses from startups financed by Ron Conway, repeat founders under the age of 30 get more $500M+ exits. So if this is true, are old(er) founders more cautious, prudent, and take earlier, cheaper exits for security? Possibly. Whereas a younger founder will let their company brew for a while, gaining value, or be more tolerant of the risk along the way. Older founders have also likely seen the game played before, and know how to judge incremental success, […]
13TH May 2011
Adventure - Cellufun - Creative problem Solving - Good Story - Legends and tales - Mojiva - Operative - sport
The Big Climb: High altitude, altered judgement, and near death for entrepreneurs
I was in Deer Valley recently for a Pelion LP meeting and the topic turned to high- altitude climbing. Entrepreneurs that I work with know that I constantly use the experience as an analogly for building companies. (I have analogies for everything, some more crazy than others. At least, that’s what I’m told). The basic premise is that, as you get to higher altitudes, your mind and body play tricks on you. Cognitive powers are altered. Moving carefully and deliberately is important, but so is having a guide to help you move quicker and avoid mis-steps. For a look into real-world mountain climbs, there’s a great book called Into Thin Air by Krakuer that covers it well. (and the rebuttal by Anatoly Bukareev is just as good). As for entrepreneurship, there are very few books […]
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