Heard Around DC Startups

Ah DC Startups, the red-headed, bastard, stepchildren of the startup world. For instance, the other day I read a quote by a guy. In terms of DC Startups, this guy is a successful founder with a good, relative to other DC Startups exits.  I like and respect this guy and his current company.  Yet, the quote was a perfect example of the ridiculous, over-the-top, kind of sound bites it takes to get ink or bits in the startup press in the wastelands of DC Startups. This quote inspired me to pick on all the pronouncements and predictions from DC's "prestigious" prognosticators. Here's the quote that inspired me, "We have the DNA of a billion dollar company" I have the DNA of a Neanderthal (2.7 % of my DNA to be precise) but that doesn't make me a caveman. Nope, I'm a caveman because I have failed to evolve. So to the CEO of the double-helix DNA company, you have the DNA of a decent company but you aren't the next Uber of Uber. On the other hand, you aren't Lifefuels...

Is Robert Katz a Deadbeat?

Robert Katz, is he a deadbeat? That's the assertion made in a GoFundMe campaign opened-up in December 2018 by 22 people who say Mr. Katz owes them a total of $79 thousand. Deadbeat? That's the opinion of these 22 people who may be biased because Robert Katz stiffed them.  To get an unbiased opinion I went to the one man who knows Rober Katz like no other...

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...