Blog: Forward Thinking

Often snarky, sometimes funny, thoughts and musings from Glen Hellman about Executive Development, Leadership, Startups, Washington DC Business and more.

Tim Lee – Wolf of Startupland?

Who is Tim Lee? That is the question. Late last year, I started getting tips from multiple founders regarding a strange duck, called The Sabotage Institute. Depending on who you talk to, Sabotage Institute is a VC, a Dumpster Fire, an Incubator, a Pretangel or an aptly named company designed to sabotage the reputations of companies and people. Many of the Sabotage tipsters urged me to look at one of the founders, Tim Lee. Described as a high-pressure, huckster. More than one and less than ten entrepreneurs referred to Tim with harsh epitaphs, relating tales of Tim's used-car salesman approach to...

Competitive Strategy: Value Discipline

Imagine you were building a football team from the ground up. Would you just go about willy-nilly picking the best available players?  Do you think after you filled your roster and realized you had 10 quarterbacks, and no running backs or receivers you’d ever win a game? What is your value discipline? No, when you build a team, you build a team around the best talent available to execute a particular style of play.  You choose a style of play, build a team around that style. You build a strategy around the optimal path to exploit your resources and compete against...

Pulling Weeds in the DC Startup Garden

If the DC Startup ecosystem was a garden and all the startups were plant life, the good companies would be flowers, especially Urban Stems and Bloompop that happen to sell flowers. If the DC Startup ecosystem was a garden than the DC Startup Tech "Journalists" would be the farmers who shine sunlight and spread manure in our gardens. "Journalists" from Tecnical.ly DC and DCInno do a great job of spreading the crap. They indiscriminately spread life-giving nutrients to all plants be they flowers or weeds. That's great because every garden needs fertilizer. If the DC Startup ecosystem was a garden it would...

Connectpreneur with Mr. Cranky and Social Tables, Dan Berger

Where will you be on the morning of September 2oth? If you have a bone to pick with Mr. Cranky, if you want to throw tomatoes at Glen Hellman, if you're a process server and you haven't been able to pin me down, you can find me at Connectpreneur. I'll be there to sit down with Dan Berger, CEO one of DC's startup gems, Social Tables. On April 5th, 2011, I received this tweet. @glehel hey! Let's try to connect at the end of the meetup. — Dan Berger (@danberger) April 5, 2011 A week later, I found myself sitting down with Dan in a...

The Heisenberg Institute is Seeking Nominations for the 2019 #DCTech Heisenberg Fellowship Cohort

The prestigious Heisenberg Institute is seeking nominations for their 2019 Heisenberg Fellowship DC Cohort. As many of you know the Heisenberg Institute has been sponsoring leaders of Innovation with their IOTA Heisenberg Fellowship program. The IOTA Heisenberg Fellowship is annually granted to four deserving fellows. The IOTA Fellowships are granted in the following four areas: I Fellows - Innovators O Fellows - Outside the Box Thinkers T Fellows - Thought Leaders A Fellows - Change Agents Former fellows include some of DC's best and brightest including, EverFi's - Tom Davidson, Proresource's - Judy Schram, nVite's - Marty Ringlein (See the complete list here). Fellows...

What A Crock Of Startup Bullshit

I can't take it anymore. I can no longer continue ignoring Paul Singh's startup bullshit disguised as wisdom. Folks in the know keep forwarding to me ridiculous articles, stupid investments, and silly tweets of Paul's. One of his latest gems, a blog post titled, "You (probably) don't need a MVP, You need a list"  forwared to me with the subject line, Do You Believe This Shit? Yes, I sure as shit do because I consider the source. It's Paul Singh, the "prestigious," prestidigitating street performer from the traveling medicine show of startup bullshit. The man who packed up all his...

Stupid Investor Definition Danny Boice

New Tip: Dumpster Fire Trustify

File this in the for what it's worth file for Trustify.  What follows is a transcript from a voicemail, I received at 6:05 PM, EDT on August 27, 2018. Signs of more layoffs and cost-cutting at Dumpster Fire Trustify. "Hey Mister Cranky, I've got something for you on Danny Boice, anonymous please. Mr. Boice has now lowered himself to firing via text the last above board employee he had. This employee was working endless hours. Fired late Saturday. As a direct result of that this employee is in ICU. All the while Mister Boice is sending Cort Furniture to try to empty the employees apartment...