Open Letter To The Washingtonian Magazine

The December issue of the Washingtonian features a story titled “Meet Mr. Cranky.” While the story appears balanced, it is less than fair. The article ignores the groundwork and research that goes into my posts. For example with regards to Danny Boice and Trustify, I have interviewed well over 30 people including, former employees, former current employees, relatives of traumatized former employees, vendors, co-workers, partners, startup executives who shared office space with him in two separate accelerators and family members. These interviews cover Mr. Boice's employment with Trustify, Speek, and The College Board. The Washingtonian ignores the fact that I have 40 years of experience and training which includes years as a turn-around CEO employed by private equity investors to clean up messes created by irresponsible CEOs like Mr. Boice. The article ignores that I served as the President of a leading Proxy Advisory Firm, consulting to Institutional Investors on corporate governance matters regarding their publically traded portfolio companies. The article does not mention the fact that I have over a decade of formal training and experience as an executive coach, or that I am certified in personality and behavioral assessments. The article implies that I don't have the qualifications to assemble and analyze facts in...

Personal Branding BS

Enough already with the video-blogs from people who might have had something to say but after the 5th video blog it's just noise. It's all about personal branding and yet the problem with personal branding is that it typically winds up looking like a camel.. you know what a camel is, right? It's a horse designed by committee.  Most personal brands are built to attract everyone and therefore repel no one. Take it from a man whose personal brand is a repellant: If you are not focused and highly targeted regarding your personal brand audience...

Things That Make DC’s Mr. Cranky Cranky

I'm not quite sure if it's become evident but lately, Mr. Cranky is kind of acting just a smidge Cranky. What the hell is sticking in my craw besides having something stuck in something like a craw of which I have no idea what the hell it is until looking craw up in the dictionary right now and finding out that it is a noun describing either the crop of a bird or insect or the stomach of an animal and yet the term stick in my craw means stick in my throat. So instead of just venting by seeing how many words, I can pack into one sentence let me just proceed with the list. LinkedFrigginIn - Everyday I get four or more people who I don't know requesting to connect with me on LinkedIn. By some weird coincidence, most of these schmucks come up with the exact same invite message, "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn."  What are the odds? What this message tells me is that these folks don't know, don't care if they impress me and don't care that I ignore them. Hey, if you want to connect, write me a message explaining to me...

Sorry DC… this isn’t the big one.

You know the definition of a slow DCTech news day? Every business day DCInno reports on everything that nobody needs to know in DC. Each day there is a feature called The Big One. Now I don't know about you but the big one to me means something.  It's like the earthquake that sinks half of California into the sea or the Heart Attack that ends a life. But not a pretend heart attack like this one from Sanford and Son: If you can't see the video link here. But according to DCInno, the big one on November 1, was an App that keeps you posted on the happy hour deals offered by bars. That's a cute little feature. Maybe Groupon could use it to delay their slow death. There are over 60,000 restaurants in the US and all of them are on yelp...

Executive Coaches Light Bulb Whoopass

World of #DCTech Update

Hi, #DCTech Mr. Sunshine here with a World of #DCTech Update. If you've been reading DCInno then you probably have no idea what's happening in the startup community in this town so it's time for a #DCTech update on what's really happening. Social Tables - The big news is a sweet exit for Social Tables. Congratulations Dan Berger on an exceptional job. The deal should certainly be labeled a win returning 7X to most investors. This investor is very happy. I'm sure the VCs are pleased and yet not ecstatic because the deal falls short of the 10X plus target of most investors. Yet as a #DCTech Update, this is a big win and a cash deal at that! This is a glass fully full as far as I'm concerned. Trackmaven - The Trackmaven "merger" on the other hand...

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...