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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...

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...

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...

Popular Questions on Quora (II)

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. A few months ago I posted some of my most popular answers. Here are some more: Topic: Startups Why do so many startups fail?What aspects of the financial statements should an entrepreneur care most about when starting a business?How do you complete a bottom’s...

If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich? Turns out it’s just chance.

I came across this article and its opening line in MIT Technology Review: The most successful people are not the most talented, just the luckiest, a new computer model of wealth creation confirms.MIT Technology Review I said something similar in a blog post 18 months ago, What if 99% of success is luck? And given the craziness of WeWork in the news, this idea that success is due more to luck than...

Yellow Flags, Yes vs. No

A few times per year I attend conferences full of fellow fund managers, managers of family offices, and big impact investors. The rest of the year I share investment opportunities multiple times per week with other investors. From all these conversations, I’ve come to realize the power and benefits of running a business accelerator rather than a traditional venture capital fund. From 10,000...

The Tokyo-Riyhad Capital Bubble Bursts

When the WeWork IPO was still a possibility, the Tokyo-Ridyhad Capitalism paradigm seemed outrageous but not impossible. Two weeks later, the bubble has burst but the unwinding seems to be just as outrageous. According to TechCrunch, for all the harm and fraud Adam has caused his employees, landlords, and investors, SoftBank is rewarding him with $1 billion buy out plus a $500 million loan to pay...

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...

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

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