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Bowie, Jazz, an Unplayable Piano and the power of Business Accelerators

What do David Bowie, Jazz, and an unplayable piano have to do with the power of business accelerators? All get you out of your comfort zone, and that seems to be a secret to success. This episode of Tim Harford’s Cautionary Tales explains how. Listen to the episode first. My analysis is that one of the powers of an in-residency, in-person business accelerator is that it gets entrepreneurs...

How to BCC

When you send an email, you have the choice of putting recipients in three places: to, cc, and bcc. Here’s what bcc is useful for… There is a bit of untaught business email culture that not everyone seems to have noticed or practices.  But should. When someone makes an email introduction to you, the best practice is to (a) Reply All, (b) move them into the bcc: line, and (c) thank the...

When Statistics and AI Go Wrong

Long long ago in Pittsburgh far away I earned a Bachelors in Mathematics. I then spent the first twenty years of my career as a “techie”, using that math and Computer Science to analyze and make sense of the world. Every so often that experience is useful here in the real world. Often that experience leads me to be cynical of the use of statistics in the news, especially when the...

The Most Popular Posts of 2019

What you learn from blogging is that you can never tell which posts will be popular: #1 – Selling the First TelephoneBy far the most popular post. Why? I’ve no idea. Not once has anyone every told me they read it. It’s read a few time every single day, and thus it can’t be some teacher somewhere who happens to assign it as a reading. #2 – The Next Step: PodcastThis...

Remembering the 2010s

This blog isn’t 10 years old and as such this is the first new decade that I can reminisce as a blogger. Inspired by Axios’ Pro Rata podcast, let’s do this year by year with one major story per year (or two if one isn’t enough): 2010 The Arab Spring began in Tunisia in 2010. Axios mentions that this was the first big movement communicated over social media. It seems like...

Airships

Changing topics… ever wondered what happened to the airships of the 1930s? 90 years ago they seemed destined to be the cruise ships of the skies. That all ended with the Hindenburg fire. How about the Goodyear blimps of the 1970s and 80s? They seemed ubiquitous on big TV sports events. Then a lot less so today. This is where I could describe the technology adoption curve or the way new...

Trade Treaties with Multinational Corporations

As the USMCA grinds its way toward replacing NAFTA, it is time to question whether the problems with NAFTA and WTO and TPP are due to the fact that the participants in those treaties are countries instead of companies? The idea of trade treaties with companies is one I had never heard of or considered, but an idea that popped out as an off hand comment at an unrelated meeting a few weeks ago, and...

Eating Tomorrow

A few weeks ago there was a talk on Agroecology by Timothy A. Wise. That term is widely used outside the U.S. for what we’d call sustainable or restorative agriculture. That part of the talk was good, but far more interesting were the stories from the book which the talk summarized, Eating Tomorrow: Agribusiness, Family Farmers, and the Battle for the Future of Food. The author traveled the...

Splitting Equity is Easy without the Humans

Someone wrote me today: I have taken a lot of time to ponder Rule #1 in your ‘Dividing Equity’, “Expect to be Disappointed”. I have also been diving into ‘Slicing Pie’ and talking to Mike Moyer about his ideologies as well. Similarly, I find the same disconnected energetic as he refers to everyone as “grunts”. I ask the question, why is it so difficult for humans to come together? My answer: For...

The Iron Nickel Rules

Most of us have heard of the Golden Rule and maybe some of us Singer’s Platinum Rule. Somehow, despite these ideas prevalently taught around the world, these rules are not prevalently followed. I propose two simpler rules, the Iron Nickel Rules, so-called as the core of the planet is made from a blend of iron and nickel metals, and these two simple rules can be a core to every relationship...

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