Mia Culpa Jason Calacanis

Mia Culpa Jason Calacanis which I think translates from the original Italian to "That's my Coffee Jason Calacanis." For those of you who don't know, Jason Calacanis is a guy who heard the words of Horace Greeley, "Go West Young Man." Yes, one day this guy from Brooklyn, prior to the hipsterfication of Brooklyn, you know when Brooklyn was still inhabited with urban hillbillies, struck startup unicorn gold and then packed up his bags and moved about 400 miles north of Beverly (that's a Beverly Hillbillies reference). Why Mia Culpa? To catch you up from our last episode of Mr. Cranky is an Asshole in which I trashed Jason's Angel University (see episode one here) and took some cheap yet self amusing shots. You know self amusing, which is to comedy what masturbation is to making love. The Jason Calacanis Empire Jason Calacanis is one of many startup gurus who has built a startup conglomerate consisting of multiple branches: Launch Accelerator - a startup accelerator which competes with my Brake Decelerator Launch Angel Investment Syndicators - this is similar to the kind of syndicates that Paul Singh puts together except, Jason Calacanis is not an idiot, he's not full of shit,  he has...

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...

Offering Free Investment & Investor Due Diligence Service

For the last few years, I've been researching and reporting on, clowns, scammers, schemers, and scumbags. I've been doing due diligence for investors and founders seeking investments. Sometimes it's as simple as a google search, sometimes, it's a tip from a source, and sometimes, I have to reach out to my sources.  My due diligence has uncovered: Clowns - The Incompetent Imbelishers Paul Singh Evan Burfield Jonathon Perrelli Jason Feimster Alexandra Stanton Crooks - It is my opinion that these folks are crooks or had long-term close relationships with criminals Danny Boice - Cofounder and former CEO of a company under investigation for fraud Jen Mellon - Cofounder and former President of a company under investigation for fraud Andy Powers - Charged with multiple federal counts of fraud Ram Reddy - Vigourously asserts he is a victim and not a criminal Matthew Pugsley - Convicted Felon In the course of my day, I do research to promote my blog which promotes my business. The blog is designed to gain an audience and demonstrate how I apply knowledge, experience, and critical thinking to work with my coaching clients. Readers frequently send me notes of: thanks from those I've helped from getting in trouble - Before the Fact ...

Pulling Weeds in the DC Startup Garden

If the DC Startup ecosystem was a garden and all the startups were plant life, the good companies would be flowers, especially Urban Stems and Bloompop that happen to sell flowers. If the DC Startup ecosystem was a garden than the DC Startup Tech "Journalists" would be the farmers who shine sunlight and spread manure in our gardens. "Journalists" from Tecnical.ly DC and DCInno do a great job of spreading the crap. They indiscriminately spread life-giving nutrients to all plants be they flowers or weeds. That's great because every garden needs fertilizer. If the DC Startup ecosystem was a garden it would be a small garden and unfortunately, this garden is over-fertilized with poo and is infested with weeds. The weeds you ask? They are companies like Trustify, Chalant Health, Union, and LifeFuels, with "Venture Craptial" firms like 3Si, with false prophets like Paul Singh, Evan Burfield, Jonathon Perrelli. they are the second tier, phonies who don't even qualify to the 1st class huckster status like, Jason Feimster, Matthew Pugsley, and Janet Ridgely. To the outright abusive criminals like Andy Powers, Danny Boice, and Jen Mellon. If the DC Startup ecosystem was a garden, this garden would need a gardener willing to get his or her...

executive coaches - whoopass

Startup Community Leaders or Leavers?

I've always been suspect of startup community leaders. In fact, when Tien Wong accused me of being a startup community leader the other day, I was so offended I almost asked him to turn in his can of WhoopAss. Let's look at a history of startup community leaders in DC and keep score: Startup Community Leaders Who Are Leavers: Mario Morino - DCs first startup community leader at the end of the 90s and beginning of the aughts. He left town for his hometown of Cleveland over 15 years ago. LaunchBox Digital - How could these guys fail with such a strong first cohort (see article) Frank Gruber - Ran DC-Focused Tech Cocktail and left town in 2013 to become a Las Vegas community leader in 2013 Jen Consalvo - Also ran DC-Focused Tech Cocktail and left town in 2013 to become a Las Vegas community leader in 2013 Justin Thorpe - Was a force behind DC-Tech Meetup, DC-Tech Facebook Group left town in 2013 to work with Frank and Jen and came back a year later as a civilian Michael Myernick - Co-founded Proudly Made and a DC-Tech Meetup organizer raised $1.2 million for his "startup," Spinnakr and then snuck out of...

3Si Phony VC

Everyone Who Knows Anything, Knows 3Si Phony VC is a Sham. Well, everyone except the local tech rags. With them, when it comes to that "knowing" thing, there appears to be a problem. These Tech "journalists" either don't know much or don't care about sharing letting what they know to get in the way of a story on deadline. The problem in DC is that too many of the "journalists" at rags like Technically DC and DCInno simply reprint bullshit without doing research. So when they post an article like this one, "WeWork’s veterans-in-residence program expands to DC," by Technically DC or this one, "The 10 Entrepreneurs in WeWork’s First D.C. Veterans in Residence Program," by DCInno the damage the very ecosystem of which they claim to be supporters. I reached out to one, count them, one, of the listed "Team Members" on the 3Si Web Page to ask about his relationship with 3Si. His response, "I Read your 3Si expo. I’m unfortunately linked with them and can’t seem to distance myself. One of the comments you posted came from my client. I Also have a second client that 3Si attempted to screw." I'm no journalist, yet, in doing a modest amount of research I...

#DCTech 1776 Merger or House Cleaning?

Is the Benjamin's Desk, 1776 Merger a merger or is it something else? The deal that has been in the works for 2 months finally closed today. After much consternation, wrangling and negotiated face-saving for the vanquished 1776, Benjamin's Desk kindly allowed Evan Burfield to pretend he's not been pushed out of that which he's burned to the ground. My sources report that Evan's face-saving measures have been a contributing factor in the delay of closing the deal. Is it a merger of equals? Well, it's a merger of equals if you don't take in to account 1776's dire financial straights and incredible operating losses under Evan Burfield's stewardship. It's a merger of equals if you want to insult Jennifer and Anthony Maher who appear to be growing a credible business.  It's a merger of equals if sick equals healthy. Here are the facts we know about the Benjamin's Desk - 1776 Merger The press release says it's a merger Press releases report spin...

Startup Funding: Who To Blame for the Lack of #DCTech Cash?

Who should we blame for the lack of startup funding in DC? Angel Investors - Let's blame the Angel Investors! Why aren't people like Mr Cranky investing in startups anymore? After all, wasn't Glen Hellman the #1 Angel Investor in the United States according to Tech Cocktail (tech.co) readers? Actually, no he wasn't and he, who is I, never was the #1 angel anywhere. He who is I, is (or am) also no longer an Angel Investor and the rest of this article describes why. Venture Capitalists - Let's blame the lack of startup funding on all the VC's who just don't "get it." Which isn't true if "it" is not understanding the value of a groovy app like Sick Weather. There is no it to get with apps like Trustify and Sick Weather.  The it that VCs do get however is the actually it that is the problem.  The it that is keeping them from actively investing in this region is that too few its have proven themselves to be worth it in DC as of late. That's why there used to be over 40 active VC's in this town and now there's only 4 or 5 or 6. The Government...