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...

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...

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...

Wolves of Startupland

Wolves Of StartupLand – #DCTech-style

The Wolves Of StartupLand What's wrong with Mr Cranky? Why is he always crying Wolf? Is he like Peter in Peter and the Wolf? Are there really Wolves in StartupLand? Is he just crying Wolf? Absolutely YES and on Thursday's for the next few months I'm going to make my episodic case to that end in a series of blog posts that detail what puts the Crank in Mr Cranky. Why is he so mean to that poor startup founder.  Why is he such a bully. Although I prefer to think of me as more of a Proceed With Caution Sign than a bully but that's just me. You make up your own mind. Over the next few months, I'm going to be dedicating my Thursday Blog Posts to multi-part stories telling the tales of The Wolves of StartupLand.  I'm talking about the people who game the system, fudge the truth, may have squirreled away with the money of others...

Dumb Startup Ideas

King of the Startup Apps

King of the Startup Apps Mr Cranky is the new King of the Startup Apps because I've got a bunch of great ideas. that I'm proud to announce will join the new incoming cohort of the Brake Decelerator. Brake for those who are unfamiliar, is a Super-de-duper 1776 DC-like decelerator.  Like 1776 we say we're a Venture Fund and we're not. In fact the only thing holding Brake back from being a 1776 rival is that unlike Evan Burfield, the guys who run Brake actually have had profitable exits and not a record of being booted by investors from the only companies they ever founded. Oh and we don't unintentionally invest in crappy companies...

Buzz to Biz Fool

Mr Cranky’s Buzz to Biz Ratio

What is the Buzz to Biz Ratio say you? It's the ratio that measures the correlation between company buzz and the value of a business. It's the fact that real companies understand that time, money, resources are precious and any resources dedicated to things other than designing, building, selling and supporting the best damn product possible is wasted energy. The Buzz to Biz ratio is the metric that separates a great company like ZoomData...

DCTech STartups

Revisiting the 100 DC Tech Startups I Don’t Hate

Aww those  DC Tech Startups. Got to love them or hate them. In today's post we ((we love calling me we) look back at the 100 #DCTech Startups we as in I don't Hate. Way back in April 2014 I made a friendly wager with the Washington Post's Steven Overly that I could name 100 DCTech companies that didn't make me want to vomit. Thusly (he said with grand pomposity of one who refers to himself as we),  the 100 #DCTech Companies I Don’t Hate: The Steven Overly Challenge was born. I lost that wager because at the time I was only able to come up with 42 companies. Probably because most of the good companies aren't stupid enough to be constantly yelling, "Hey! Look at me!" at the local tech press like DCInno or Tech.co or Techally.Dc.(look for the upcoming Mr Cranky post on the Buzz to Biz Ratio). Most of the good companies hide in the isolation of caves and come out when they've made it. Now 3 years after the challenge, I...