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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

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 Primer on America’s Startup Culture

Today I hosted a delegation of 8 Korean college students brought to Seattle for a week by Kickstart Investment, a Korean business incubator. Sounds exotic, but I host a handful of foreign delegations each year from all around the world, often hosted by the U.S. State Department. It’s a fun way to meet entrepreneurs and people who help entrepreneurs without the accompanying jet lag. We...

Semi-Weekly Newsletter

My daily creation habit includes quite a variety of creations: blog posts, podcasts, videos, books, and a semi-weekly newsletter for Fledge. A sample of the newsletter is below. Here in 2019, the key to building a brand is being seen online, and the key to being seen is publishing content. As often as you can. As widely disbursed as you can, to reach into all the various corners of the digital...

Just Ask the Author

I’m in the middle of yet-another economics history book and came across the fact that investors in the first Bank of the United States purchased their shares for $25 in gold, then the remaining $375 in a mix of gold and other means. The book then continued on to talk about how the bank functioned. But not me. I was sitting there wondering what other currency those investors were using, as...

Two types of problems

Startups suffer from two types of problems. Neither is fun. Both are stressful. You only want one type, but don’t have control of which you’ll get. One set of problems are the search for more customers, the search for more investors, the search for more talent to get you out of the current hole you are in. These are not the problems you want. The other set of problems are too many...

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