Former Vistage Coach

Vistage Coach… Why I Quit

Vistage Coach - why I'm no longer that Ten years ago, when I first started as a Vistage Coach. It was a new world for me. I fell in love with my new profession. The screening process was grueling, the training process challenging. Every day I learned something new about myself, people and leadership. I loved the science and the art of coaching. At the end of that process, I was deemed a Vistage Coach...

Okay Boomer – Mr Cranky Edition

Born smack in the middle of the boomer generation, this cranky old fart embraces the Okay Boomer responses I get from my kids, my mentees, and my business associations. For all you Boomers, Xrs, Millennials, Zrs and if there are any of you readers from "The Greatest Generation." what follows are my proud, "Okay Boomer," inducing pronouncements. For the uninitiated, I recommend you do a little, Okay Boomer, research. Start here with this Vox Media article, “OK boomer” isn’t just about the past. It’s about our apocalyptic future. It’s not really about age — and it’s more complicated than just memes. Okay, you all with me now? Groovy <---- Okay Boomer inducing expression. Here's Mr. Cranky's Cranky snap-back at you Boomer haters!!!! Stop texting me and pick up the damn phone and call me --Okay Boomer Stop DMing me. If it isn't worth a phone call, then email it to me. - Okay Boomer Get the hell out of the house and meet some people. Make some real friends and talk to them, don't type to them on the firggin phone - Okay Boomer Don't tell me you're a vegetarian because you love animals and not admit you hate plants - Okay Boomer WeWork is not...

Is My Idea Worthy of a Startup

Today I had the privilege of discussing with a group of researchers, students, professors, and technology commercialization professionals a subject titled, "Can My Innovation Become a Startup?"  As a conversation starter, I put together the following slides. Product vs Feature - Is the innovation a product or a feature? A Product has a shorter less complicated path to monetization since it had fewer interdependencies than a feature. Product - A product provides sufficient value on its own to be used by an end-user. It stands-alone on its own merits. Feature - A feature enhances a product and can't stand on its own. As an example, car brakes stop a car...

No Offense But…

I just noticed for like the 8th time in the last few weeks some guy who is famous for accomplishing nothing with the exception or receiving numerous trivial awards has humbly bragged about these awards by expressing, "I'm humbled." No, Douchenozzle. You're not humbled. You're humble bragging. So I thought I'd just review some of the simple lines that signal the deliverer of said lines is a tool...

Startup Business Plan

Corporate Governance Requirements For Angel Investors

Angel Investing is inherently risky. Startups, in general, aren't for the weak at heart. It is even more perilous when investing with minimal leverage that comes with a small investment of $25 - $50 thousand. Over a 10 year period, I made 7 investments that returned 180 percent. Over the same period of time, the S&P returned 250 percent. Yes, I took 50 times the risk to get a fraction of the return. How could I have improved the returns? I should have insisted that companies followed certain corporate governance norms. And if I didn't have the leverage to dictate good governance, I should have invested alongside someone who had the power to mandate good corporate governance terms. Let's look at my investments to illustrate what I mean? Winners With Responsible Leadership Social Tables - Great Management Team, Frequent Credible Business Status, and Financial Reporting and Regular Board Supervision Veenome - Great Founder, Frequent Credible Business Status and regular investor conference calls seeking input. Sideways With Responsible Leadership TalkLocal - Great Management Team, Frequent Credible Business Status, and Financial Reporting and regular investor conference calls seeking input. Winners With Leadership Issues none Losers With Leadership Issues SpotFlux - Not sure, I invested...

Marcus Bullock – A Real Startup Founder and Ex-Con

Marcus Bullock is the real deal. The deck is stacked against him from achieving anything of note. Yes, this man, conquered the odds and has built a life of value. I often write about the phony startup founders and future convicts. The conman and clowns of DCTech. Today I'd like to go the other way, with a real man, the real deal who has sinned and paid for his sins and today is working to change the world. Marcus Bullock is an activist for criminal justice reform. He's a man who spends his time giving back to the community by teaching entrepreneurship to the incarcerated. This man started a home contracting business and hires ex-cons. He gives them the chance to live productive lives. Ex-convicts with purpose and careers have lower rates of recidivism. Marcus's company Flikshop fills a critical need to help incarcerated citizens keep in touch with their families. These are the kind of connections that give people hope and the motivation to leave prison and never return. I'm proud to call this man a friend and an inspiration. Watch Marcus's Ted Talk and learn how he as a 15-year-old made a monumental mistake and yet didn't let that define him. See...

In with Amify and Out with Trustify

Remember back a few years ago, when Trustify was a thing? Back then Danny Boice and Jennifer Mellon were spending their investor's money like drunken sailors. With big fanfare and much press, these two crooks announced their big office opening on the 8th floor of 201 12th St. South in Crystal City. Then all of a sudden, the companies phones were turned off and one day, people showed up for work and the locks were changed. Trustify was evicted for non-payment. Boice, Mellon and the company were sued by their Landlord, JBG Smith and smith was awarded $263,477.21 by the courts. If you aren't up to date on the Trustify Debacle, it's a long story. Trustify was a start-up that got lots of local and national hype for being the next Uber. It was the Uber of Private Investigators because just like Uber, a thing that users use multiple times a month, everyone needs a private eye two or three times a week. This company raised $20 million dollars and cheated investors out of all that money. Founders Jen Mellon and Danny Boice did not try to build a legitimate business. They built a company that looked shiny, allows them to...

Are You A Business Chef Or Cook

In business, there are many buckets in which we can categorize people. One of my favorites is Chef or Cook. Chef (AKA Strategist) - A Chef is creative. They are motivated by intrinsic forces That is they are driven by satisfying the internal need to discover, to learn, to do that which has never been done, to create. They do what makes them happy. Great startup, entrepreneurial CEOs are usually Chefs, they have a unique vision, the need to do what hasn't been done. They don't follow the well-worn path, they blaze the new path. Cook (AKA Executioner) - A Cook is an operator. They are extrinsically motivated. They are motivated by external rewards or avoidance of punishment. A cook doesn't mind doing the same thing over and over again. If there is a pot of gold at the end of the task, they will do that task over and over again and do it well. Being A Chef is a good thing. Being a Cook is a good thing. One is not better than the other just like an Apple isn't better than an Orange or just like a 3rd baseperson (there goes Mr. PC Cranky) s not better than...