Amazon Schmamazon – DC Don’t Need No Stinkin Amazon HQ2

The DC Tech Scene is all a tizzy over the possibility that Amazon will open its second headquarters, or what all the cool kids are calling Amazon HQ2 somewhere in the DMV. For those of you who are living in a hefty bag, let me catch you up. In September 2017 Amazon announced it's intention to spend $5 billion in construction cost for a second headquarters that would employ 50,000 people somewhere in North America. They invited economic development authorities and local governments to join a beauty contest for the honor to host Amazon HQ2. On January 19th Amazon made their decision. Based on all the tax incentives and other corporate welfare offerings from all the bidding parties, Amazon narrowed their choices to 20 finalists from 17 major metropolitan areas. They are: The DC region has 3 bites at the 20 bite apple. Washington DC, Montgomery County, and Northern Virginia.  And all of a sudden the press went a flutter! Well, not the Journalists, let me rephrase that. The link baiters at DCInno and Technial.ly.dc better known as (Technically not Technically) all have Amazon fever. Well, folks, I'm not all aflutter...

Evan Burfield Fail – 1776 Part 3

Welcome to Evan Burfield Fail Part 3, in which I will trace Evan's creation of 1776 to his demotion to CEO of Union (to catch up you can read parts 1 and parts 2 here). In whole these 3 posts track the rise and fall of Burfield or Evan Burfield Fail. In an upcoming post, I will track the Burfield Effect on the DC Ecosystem and make some predictions about his future. If you are keeping score at home: I predicted the failure of 1776 years ago, albeit they breezed past my failure prediction of 2015 I predicted that 1776 would be bought out by Benjamin's desk I predicted that this so-called merger was an actual buy-out of a failing 1776 by Benjamin's Desk DC's Mr. Cranky or DC's Nostradamus? Stay tuned! Evan Burfield Fail - 1776 Coworking In 2012 Startup DC, enabled Burfield to cozy up to the DC Mayor's office. Mayor Gray. As the Startup America initiative was winding down, Evan developed his plan to leverage his relationship with Startup America's, Donna Harris, Mayor Gray and David Zipper, the Business Development Director for DC. In a process that took place in a darkened smoke-filled room of DC's version of Tammany Hall, Evan and Donna proposed the...

Evan Burfield – Startup America – K Street Capital Part 2

When you meet Evan Burfield, he looks you up and down and runs a quick algorithm. If the results indicate you can serve his short-term goals, you're a friend. If you have no apparent near-term value, even if you had helped him in the past, he deems you not worthy of his attention. That appears to be the formula. See a person, judge them from high to low in terms of the value they can perform in terms of his next goal. He's a brilliant analyst of short-term value and knows how to push the accelerator to get people to serve his goals. In this post, as in part 1 (seen here) and in upcoming Part 3 we follow this pattern and track the list of bodies that were pushed aside when value was extracted. Startup America - 2011 After Evan's second experience being fired by investors in the only companies he'd ever led and founded, he was once again, made available to industry. Yes sure, he'd been "promoted" to "Chairman of the Board," of Synteractive, a company that had no board supervision, but let's just say he was underemployed. In 2011, we find Evan, on the street, looking for some way to remain relevant....

The Rise and Fall of Evan Burfield – Part 1

How The Hell Did We Get Here - The Evan Burfield Story Evan Burfield is arguably one of the smartest people in any room. He's also proof that IQ points don't directly correlate with the ability to build and lead a company to a successful conclusion. 1995 NetDecide In 1995, Burfield was a freshly minted, 19-year-old, high school graduate of one of the countries most prestigious High Schools, Thomas Jefferson in Alexandria Virginia.  Post graduation, he skipped college and founded his first company, NetDecide. According to Burfield, he raised a million dollars in angel funding and eventually $20 million in total funding. To set some context of that period, this was after the big exits of AOL, Netscape, Yahoo and many other lottery winners. Everyone wanted in on the gold mine that was the World Wide Web and startups. There were 4 times as many VCs in DC who were 10 times more active and 50 times less discriminating than today's VCs. In 2000, Evan went out in search of institutional investors at a time when every kid with a business plan and a napkin could get funded.  Amed with a pen and a napkin, Burfield found himself a passel of soon to be out-of-work VC's...

1776 Woes – Benjamin’s Trouble With Benjamins

As 1776 faces more financial pressure, more employee attrition, the DC-based "coworking" space's savior Benjamin's Desk, a Philadelphia-based coworking space, is having trouble raising the Benjamins to close the deal. According to sources in Philadelphia, the deal was slated to close early this week but people at Benjamin's Desk are having trouble raising the capital. Word is that Steve Case wants to stop the bleeding cash and would like to see new leadership at 1776, a company presently run by Evan Burfield, DC's undisputed, inarguable, #1 nonprofit executive of...