A History Of Malfeasance – Turn Of Century #DCTech Part 2

When we last left our protagonist (see part 1) he, as in me referring to myself in the 3rd person as if I'm some kind of hero, had just stepped into a pile of poo called Ikimbo. Ikimbo at one time was one of those magical acts of reverse-alchemy where mismanagement, misdirection, and misrepresentation spun gold into a pile of turds (see turd to gold ratio). The first day I went to work with the following priorities: Earn team trust and limit the loss of talent Take stock of assets and liabilities Cut burn rate As I arrived in the office for my first day as boss I went about working the list: Address the troops - "Folks, we are in a bad place...

Malfeasance - Sailboat Stuck on a Sandbar

A History Of Malfeasance – Turn of Century #DCTech Part 1

It was May, 2003. I had just finished my first "turn-around" as the President of Astracon, a Denver-Colorado/Brisbane-Australia-based company that had raised over $70 million from Cisco Systems, Geocapital Partners, The Edgewater Funds, Cross Atlantic Capital Partners and Australasian Media & Communications Fund. We sold the assets of that company with a less than stellar result. In the end the investors realized a $2 million return on a $70 million investment. I was pretty sure that was my last "turn-around." Looking back on Astracon I'd blame the poor results on sub-par execution, specifically, a lack of attention to results, inattention to culture creating division and distrust between teams, constant shifting focus, and way too much money too soon. There was no maleficence. With that behind me I moved into the consulting phase of a Turn-Around exec. Consulting phase? One thing I learned doing turn-arounds is you spend a lot of time as a "consultant." You know what a consultant is right? That's a thing you do in between jobs. So during my "consulting" time, I was lucky enough to land a non-paid, room-and-board-only, consulting gig as a crew member on Atlantica. A $1.5 million, Hinckley Southwester 42 making its way from its winter home in Annapolis Maryland...

Business Focus on Bean Soup

Business Focus – The Soup Lady

Business Focus Introduction In business, especially in small business, the importance of business focus can't be overstated. In small business the rule should be first things first and second thing never. Enter Susan Trivers, the Soup Lady. Last week I met Susan at an event where we shared respective business stories. Susan's business, The Trivers Consulting Group, is revenue focused consulting practice. As I asked her how she got started, Susan related an interesting story. The Soup Lady Many years ago, sometime between when dinosaurs roamed the earth and prior to the explosion of the world wide web, Susan purchased a carryout restaurant. In those days most carryouts were sandwich shops. Serving quick, low quality food. Susan's business, located in Alexandria specialized in more substantial, high quality meals for the family. One of their specialties were soups and everyday they would serve a cream-based, a bean-based, and a broth based soup. Susan was concerned because at the end of the day she would often have to dump a large amount of unused soup. She decided to fix that problem. So she decided that she would track and gage soup consumption, statistically and scientifically instead of the gut-feeling methodology used by most businesses. So she bit the bullet and...

Jonathon Perrelli Bottle

Jonathon Perrelli Epilogue Part 3 (revised)

Prologue to the Jonathon Perrelli Epilogue Two weeks ago, I posted the first of a 3 part series Jonathon Perrelli Fortify VC Part 1 with a follow up Part 2 last week. Yup there goes Mr Cranky picking on a poor pioneer of DC's Startup Ecosystem. Not one of the people who protested about the series did so by refuting any of the facts presented in those posts. JP didn't respond to my request for information, nor did he reply in comments, except possibly under a the pseudonym "goonsquad" in the comment section of the first post. All of the folks who protested my first two blog post, protested with the same response...

ethical referrals

Ethical Referrals

Ethical Referrals Being a business coach exposes me to hundreds of business owners hungry for referrals. I meet butt loads of people a month. I have a huge network of contacts. I'm a connector. But I'm not a indiscriminate referrerer. I'm careful with the products, services, companies, and people who get my Mr Cranky seal of approval. There are three types of referrals: 1) Ethical Referrals, 2) Relationship Referrals, 3) Transactional Referrals. So let's evaluate referrals as a sales development strategy. Every business thrives on sales. New leads drive new sales. There's a ton of bad ways to get sales...

DC VC vs CB Insights Map

DC VC vs CB Insights – Fake News

DC VC vs CB Insights. That's today's story. Why is it that there are so few sources of real facts in the Startup World. CB Insights is a company that tries to sell and monetize data displays their total lack of understanding of data. They serve Data without Insight. Is CB Insights an arm of the Russian Government hired to distribute fake news? Data without wisdom is worthless.  Give a list of tables and data to this little monkey here and he will derive the same value from CB INsights list of Most Active VCs in Each State as a founder looking to raise money in DC. It's worthless to both. What should people do with a list that says a company that has not made a legitimate new investment in 3 years and has no office in DC or anywhere else for that matter do with this information? I guess this is the danger of small numbers...

The Fort - Jonathon Perrelli Fortify VC

Jonathon Perrelli Fortify VC Part 2

Jonathon Perrelli and Fortify VC Part 2 (see part 1) It was April 23rd and I had just posted an article about questionable startup investors titled, Pretangel Alert – Beware Fake VCs And Angels. That post was a warning for founders to be on the lookout for faux investors that pretend to be interested in investing with the true intention of garnering paid consulting engagements. In this post I non-derogatorily mentioned a couple of Investment Funds, including Fortify that were in a Zombie state...