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The Hurdles facing Africa

This is the third of a series of blog posts where I’m sharing my learning from visiting Africa (specifically East Africa), to help my fellow Americans and like-minded Europeans. Part one was the visible energy part two opportunities, and this part three on the issues in the way of those opportunities. Issue #1 – 1 billion people, 85%-90% of which are farmers, and yet the continent of Africa...

The Opportunities in Africa

This is the second of a series of blog posts where I’m sharing my learning from visiting Africa (specifically East Africa), to help my fellow Americans and like-minded Europeans. Part one was the visible energy and part two, opportunities. I’ve spoken and written about how big the opportunities are in Africa, but that was based mostly on seeing the city of Nairobi. My view of the...

The Energy of Africa

I spent half of September touring Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, not to see the wildlife, but to see first hand seven succeeding startups, all of which have attended one program or another from the Fledge accelerator network. The big learning is that I’ve been underestimating the potential opportunities. Underestimating for orders of magnitude. In this and the next few blog posts, I’ll...

Popular Questions on Quora

I love teaching, but no longer have a class of MBA candidates to teach each week. To make up for that, I answer questions on Quora. Here are some of the most popular questions: Topic: Startups Why do so many startups fail?What do investors understand that many startup founders don’t?Why should I write a formal business plan rather than just sketch out my ideas if I am not seeking any...

What is Money (currency)?

A good question recently came up on Quora: What is the concept of currency? How am I simply able to buy things and services with just a piece of paper? You have an item or provide a service someone else wants. They give you a token in return. You have needs for other items and services. Those providers accept your token. Each token represents historic effort. The harder it was to produce or...

Investor Connect (podcast)

I’m on the other side of the microphone on the Impact Connect podcast, being interviewed about my unusual style of startup investing.

In this episode, you’ll get my unique perspective on questioning everything. Originally posted on investorconnect.org

The Softbank Vision Fund vs. Reality

The venture capitalists following the traditional model of California Capitalism have a thesis that there are billion dollar business opportunities, there are business models able to capture those opportunities, and teams which can create those businesses if sufficiently funded. Softbank’s Vision Fund takes that model to a new level. A Tokyo-Riyadh Capitalism model. But a model that seems...

A Whirlwind Tour of East Africa

I spent the first half of September in East Africa, visiting two of my fledglings in Tanzania, training 14 entrepreneurs in Nairobi, then headed off to Western Kenya and drove to and from Eastern Uganda to visit five more graduates of Fledge, my conscious company accelerator.

To share a glimpse of what all that was like, below are a series of video tours of each of the companies:

Busy elsewhere

Last month I promised a daily habit of creation. What I’ve learned since then is that you have have any two of: international travel, jet lag, and blogging. But that doesn’t mean a pause to the habit. In fact, the jet lag is from 35 hours of flying from Seattle to Nairobi, with a stop in Dar es Salaam. Below are two videos from my stop in Tanzania. And in a week or two I’ll post...

Broken Bargain

American banks fail when unregulated, and they fail when improperly regulated. That is the one sentence summary of Broken Bargain by Kathleen Day, the latest book in my series trying to understand how the financial system is failing. My key learnings from his book are highly unlikely what the author intended. She’s a bit too anti-bank for my taste. We’d seem to agree on 99% of what is...

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