All Eyes on Jonathon Perrelli and Fortify

So there's this guy in town (DC) who likes to play dress up. While all the other kids were playing Cowboys and Native Americans, this guy dressed up like he was a Venture Capitalist.  I'm talking about Jonathon Perrelli and Fortify. Back in the day, he played big venture capitalist boy. Today, all the other kids are playing astronaut, but little Jon is playing big-time CEO of a hot, water-bottle startup (not hot water but a hot startup and regular water). Nine years ago, there were some people in town who gave little Jonny P, real money which he spread around DCTech like cash was apple seeds and little Jon was Jonny Appleseed. Dressed up like a VC, he indiscriminately spread the cash randomly with no thesis, strategy or plan, throwing some here and there. Ninety percent of JP's investments were or are dogs. But just like a blind squirrel...

Fireside Chat with Dan Berger, Social Tables

Thank you to Tien Wong and Connectpreneur for hosting my fireside chat with Founder and CEO, Dan Berger, Social Tables. If you've never been to one of Tien's Connectpreneur conferences he puts on a great show and you should check it out here: Connectrpreneur If you can't see the video you can link to it here: https://youtu.be/O3i_CIuB7Dg The transcipr of the interview follows: Me: Don, this is probably the first time we've been together since I last sat on your board probably four years ago. Dan: Yeah it's been it's been roses ever since. Me: True, so let me let me let me replay to you and to the audience how we first met. I was at a DC tech meetup, the date was April 5th 2011.  I had put out a tweet that the Dingman Angels were looking for good companies to possibly invest and I received this tweet back, @glehel hey! Let's try to connect at the end of the meetup. — Dan Berger (@danberger) April 5, 2011 Signed, Dan Berger, I was later to find out that then that Dan is pronounced Don and we then met at a Starbucks. Can you tell us a little bit about that? A week later we're at Starbucks you your partner and what did we talk...

Cockroaches and Hand Grenades

When I was a young man, my first job out of Sales and Sales Management, was National Sales Operations Manager, which basically meant I was the VP of Sales, executive assistant (National Sales Operations Manager is to the Executive Assistant to the VP of Sales as the Chief of Staff is the Executive Assistant to the CEO. Its title inflation). Now, this VP was a former senior manager at Xerox, a notorious hyper-political organization and this guy, let's call him Jeff because Jeff was and probably still is his name was a puppet master extraordinaire. He would take a circuitous path to any goal...

Trustify Missed Payroll

According to a tip, Trustify missed payroll yesterday. The few remaining employees just got stiffed. If they are surprised, well then that explains why they were employees of Trustify. They were completely blindsided. Danny Boice's personal lawyer Craig White, of the Leesburg firm of Sevila, Saunders, Huddleston & White, P.C. stopped working for Danny due to non-payment. If Danny kept paying him to intimidate and lie about his wife, Craig would still be doing it. Craig, if you're reading this you deserve to be stiffed! Today, October 2, Danny Boice will be heading to New York to try and convince the stupidest investors in the world to give him more money. Not so he can make payroll but so he can make car payments, house payments, and continue to fly on his Net Jets private jet to the Italian Riveria. It appears that Cruella Jen Mellon is washing her hair of the affair and is nowhere to be seen. Stick a fork in this Turkey...

Culture Evolves

Culture alignment is the single best predictor of career success. When a human is aligned with the culture of their employer, team or tribe, they care more, they feel at home, they are family, and they perform at high levels. As circumstances in healthy growing companies change, culture evolves. Family businesses, small companies, startups may begin as a loyalty culture to a culture of owed-respect. When a company is growing, has more resources and puts a premium on growth, culture evolves from owed-respect to earned-respect, from a loyalty culture to a performance culture. In living, breathing, healthy companies, culture evolves. I was reminded of this during the ConnectPreneur Conference last week where I had the opportunity to sit down for a fireside chat with Dan Berger, the dynamic founder and CEO of Social Tables, one of DC's most healthy growing companies. I first met Don in 2011 and I was one of the first Angel Investors to stroke him a check. I sat on his board and for a while, he was a member of my peer advisory group. In one of our coaching sessions Dan, and I discussed a methodology to define and get team buy-in to a well-defined, intentional corporate culture. Dan was wrestling with...

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 recruiting founders. Fortunately, my friends who were approached by Tim were in well-positioned companies and did not feel the need to sabotage their companies,  careers, and reputations by aligning with Tim Lee and Andy Powers. Others, like Armortext, took money from Sabotage and the CEO, Navroop Mitter wrote to me to defend Sabotage when I referred to them as a possible Pretangel in this post. I was unable to find enough verifiable facts positive or negative to confirm these reports, so I filed the information away in my Tim Lee, possible wolf of startupland file. Then Communiclique (doing business as CliqueAPI because changing your name...