Mr Cranky’s Most Read Posts of 2017

In 2017 Mr. Cranky published 130 blog posts. Some created a little bit of excitement… none more than uncovering the financial collapse and acquisition of 1776 and when Conman Danny Boice and his conwoman accomplice Jen Mellon made the Trumpish Idle Threat to stop telling the truth about them.  Other popular posts revolved around the fools and crooks of startupland series known as Wolve’s of Startupland. In this recap of 2017, I highlight the 10 most read posts of 2017.
Evan Burfield The Spirit of 177 DC
Super Deduper Uber Startup Accelerator 1776 DC… What do you get when you: Take one smarmy serial startup entrepreneur failure. A guy who founded two prior  companies and was fired from both (NetDecide and Synteractive, see notes below) Take a shared office space that brands itself as a Coworking Space, Venture Capital Fund, an accelerator, incubator, peanut butter restaurant and a frat house Mix in a bunch of shady deals and investments from the shady former Mayor of DC That’s a formula for success if you judge success by the noise level and not forward motion. That’s a formula for distraction, chaos and wasted effort. That’s the formula for a gold-plated turd that should never have lasted 12 months. To my surprise, this turd has made it for more than four years and only appears to be caving in under the sheer weight of its turdatude… (read the article here)
Danny Boice Trustify Legal Issues

#2 The Danny Boice Trustify Demand Letter Affair

Danny Boice Trustify Demand Letter So there I was. Minding my own business. When out of the blue. A knock on the door. The FedEx guy hands me one of the greatest gifts I’ve received since my grandma bought me socks and underwear for my birthday. Here was a poorly constructed, Demand Letter from someone who claims to be an “attorney,” representing Danny Boice Trustify (See Scanned Copy of Demand Letter here). I’ve requested permission to reprint the letter in full and sadly I have received no such permission so under the doctrine of fair use I will highlight some of the more ironic passages of this long rambling 5-page letter. The letter came from Anthony M. Conti, esquire of Conti Fenn & Lawrence PLLC of Baltimore. Mr. Conti’s letter dated April 12th was ominously labeled: URGENT – FOR IMMEDIATE REVIEW. The subject: Re: Demand to Cease and Desist Defamation of Daniel Boice and Trustify And very respectfully addressed to: Dear Mr. Helman: The opening: “I am writing on behalf of my client, Daniel Boice, to demand that you immediately cease and desist from continuing to publish false and intentionally disparaging statements about Mr. Boice and his company Trustify.”… (read the article here)

Stupid Investor Definition Danny Boice
Want to know the definition of a stupid investor? Anyone who invested in Danny Boice and his Dumpster Fire excuse for a company, Trustify Why? Because unless you’re looking for a tax write-off, you could have gotten a better return by pouring gasoline on your cash and setting a match to it. Why? Because if you had done any cursory research, you would have found that Danny is thief and a liar. Why? Because had you handed the money to me, I would have been upfront and told you I was going to use it to fund my luxurious lifestyle instead of putting it to work for you… oh and I would have said thank you. The definition of a stupid investor is anyone who would invest in a company run by a guy like Danny Boice. The definition of a stupid investor is a Trustify investor. Why would I say that? Let me count the ways: Cheater – Danny Boice was fired from The College Board – according to multiple sources his transgressions included: inflated expense reports including expensed visits to strip joints (2 sources) hiring contractors that were employed by a company of Danny’s at inflated prices (1 source)… (read the article here)
The Fort - Jonathon Perrelli Fortify VC
Meet Jonathon Perrelli Fortify VC I first met Jonathon Perrelli (commonly referred to as JP) in late 2011 at a Founders Institute (FI) graduation. Twelve companies graduated and pitched that day. After many of the pitches, JP provided, what seemed to me at the time, expert commentary. He was electrifying, funny, talked about all the big things he had done in the past — his friendship with Sean Parker (as in — you know what’s really cool, a billion dollars — played by Justin Timberlake in the Social Network Sean Parker… that guy), his connections with 500 Startups and other big Silicon Valley icons. So I approached JP, introduced myself, and talked for a while. I was impressed. He told me about his fund, Fortify.VC and why it was like bringing Silicon Valley to DC. We both liked one of the companies that pitched, HugeFan. In my excitement to do a deal with this guy (who I mistakenly assumed was a sophisticated investor)…. I decided to place a bet on HugeFan and that I’d rely on this “professional” to do the due diligence. JP went on to invest in two of the companies presenting that day, HugeFan and Feastie… (read the article here)
Benjamin's Desk and Evan Burfield

#5 Benjamin’s Desk… Where The 1776 Revolution Ends In DC

Benjamin’s Desk in Final Negotiations to Purchase 1776 Let’s start with the end and work forward. Want to know where the 1776 Revolution Ends in DC? In Philadelphia at a place called Benjamin’s Desk. Badly mismanaged and out of cash…. 1776 as we know it, was up for sale. Recently I got a call from a Philadelphia VC who asked what I knew about 1776. He continued and asked me if I knew a local Philadelphia company he’d been tracking, Benjamins Desk (BD)… I then dug into Benjamin’s Desk and boom. there it is! BD is a coworking space like MakeOffices or WeWork… that partners with 1776 on EvanFest, commonly referred to as the Challenge Cup. They are users of 1776’s Union Software product. Most importantly BD is in expansion mode. They’re growing. Unlike 1776, BD was bootstrapped with no government handout in June 2012. According to Crunchbase, they raised a mere $150K of outside investment in August of 2013. Word on the street in Philadelphia is that BD is expanding to Washington DC and are committed to turning the 1776 Frat house into an actual business.  BD just may be able to pull it off. While 1776 couldn’t decide if… (read the article here)

#6 Chalant Health To Invest Or To Investigate

Chalant Health is out raising money. Their mission according to their website… Our Mission Chalant Health, Inc. (CHI) is an innovative medical technology and services company located in the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. Our medical solutions include a unique telehealth medication and medical management device that will enable organizations to: improve medical compliance for better patient outcomes; lower patient support costs through telehealth products and services; and provide a transparent way for providers to conduct additional patient visits in a chartable manner. That’s a laudable mission… I want to invest in this puppy! Let’s check them out on the web: Chalant Health Website Pretty handsome web page….. no? They look legit! I hear that last week, they hosted an event at the Tower Club where about 30 potential investors were treated to a presentation of this unbelievable opportunity. There were all kinds of impressive existing investors there to add credibility to the story. This is such a deal. So again I ask the question, Chalant Health, to invest or investigate… that is (as Shakespear once said) the question. Hmmm, should I go on? Should I investigate further? In times of indecision, I default to WWSD? What would Shakespeare do? Whether ’tis nobler in… (read the article here)

#7 3rd Not Quite Annual 100 #DCTech Companies I Don’t Hate

Back in April of 2014, Mr. Steven Overly, formerly of the Washington Post, presently of Politico challenged me to name 100 DC Tech companies that I did not hate.  Well, I came up with only 42. Last year, I tried it again and still couldn’t come up with 100. Well this year, I’m closer. I’ve come up with, 78 companies I don’t hate. Not being listed doesn’t mean I hate your company. It only means that I don’t know of or forgot to mention your company. In the interest of specificity, I’ve included 9 companies that  I do know of and didn’t… (read the article here)

Part 4 the final episode of A History of Malfeasance – Peter Noce Peter Noce, AKA Peter J. Noce, AKA Jay Noce, AKA Peter Joseph Noce The first 3 parts of this story focused extensively on Ikimbo, throughout the story a shadowy figure Peter Noce keeps popping up. Ikimbo Part 1 – I replace a CEO who threatened to quit if we didn’t, in his words “sell,” in reality give away Ikimbo to a company DDLabs run by Peter Noce Ikimbo Part 2 – I discover an email documenting a deal where the Ikimbo CEO would get partial ownership in Peter Noce’s company DDLabs if and when the DDLabs “acquired” Ikimbo. Ikimbo Part 3 – Peter Noce’s, DDLabs, Ikimbo’s outsourced software development company gives away Ikimbo’s Intellectual Property to a competitor. Part 1 – 3 have one thing in common… documented malfeasance related to Peter Noce. In the finale of this Episodic Adventure into the Wolves of Startupland, we’ll look into this shadowy character, Peter Noce… one of DCTech’s original Wolves of Startupland. Part 4 of A History of Malfeasance – Turn of Century #DCTech focuses on Peter Noce, Etensity, DDLabs In 1999 Peter Noce a former Consultant at Arthur Andersen Consulting (now Accenture)… (read the article here)
Former Vistage Coach
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… referred to as a chair (I rather be a love seat than a chair which would be a much better Paul Simon song than I’d rather be a hammer than a nail). Over the years with Vistage, I honed my craft. The company offered numerous continuing education programs in the art of coaching. Then in 2012, a PE firm, Tower Brook Partners took a controlling interest in the Vistage and everything changed. The company focus went from an emphasis on the art of coaching to the business of coaching. Education dollars seemed diverted from creating a better Vistage Coach to creating a Vistage Salesperson, from educating coaches to sales and marketing training. The focus shifted to recruiting new chairs and starting new groups at the cost… (read the article here)
Wolves of Startupland

#10 – Wolves Of StartupLand – #DCTech-Style

The Wolves Of StartupLand What’s wrong with Mr. Cranky? Why is he always bemoaning that the sky is falling? Is he chicken little? Is he like Peter in Peter and the Wolf? Are there really Wolves in StartupLand? Is he a 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… the Beltway Version of Wolf of Wallstreet… serialized… startupized…and DCTechicized. Why Mr. Cranky? The State of the Business or Startup Tech Press 15 years ago there was a robust business press corps. Then budgets got slashed, the… (read the article here)