Death By Venture Capital – Angel & Venture Capital Part III

Many Startups fail caused by Death by Venture Capital. Here's the deal. Imagine you are a parent. You have three kids. You don't give a crap about the kids as individuals. You take a portfolio approach to the family.  It doesn't matter what happens to any of the kids individually as long as one of them grows up to cure cancer, it's a win! The other two could wind up dead or in jail, but the portfolio of kids is highly profitable. Venture Capital is like that, except VC's eat their children...

Revisiting the Startups Turd to Gold Ratio

For startups, the Turd to Gold Ratio is a measure of quality density. It isn't enough to just judge the number of startups in an attempt to gauge the vitality of any startup ecosystem. One must separate the wheat from the chaff. Crunchbase and AngelList are simple non-prioritized, unfiltered, non-vetted lists of startups. There is no pretense of a measure of quality.  Alternatively, Technical.y DC and DC Inno are vacuous frauds pretending to analyze and report on the quality of a startup while loving everything and rarely spotting a gem. They are more heavily weighted to turds than gold...

Angel Investing Is Broken Part 1

Angel Investing is Broken and there are multiple factors that cooked the Goose that was never really golden. To evaluate the change, let's look back in history. In the 1990s there was a much higher bar to start a company. Every bozo with an idea did not get to call themselves a founder. To start a company, real capital was required. There was no cloud, so software founders were forced to use real cash, $100's of thousands of dollars on expensive computer equipment. There was no open source so software had to be developed from scratch costing more time, man-hours and mullah. The infrastructure didn't exist to facilitate a geographically dispersed team which meant that products were developed with expensive in-house, on-shore resources. The result? In the 90s if you couldn't raise $6 million from a Venture Capital firm, you were a dreamer and not a founder. This meant that few companies with similar ideas got off the ground, the competition was limited and a Venture Capital blessing significantly increased the odds of a win. In the 1990s, raising six million dollars was a serious barrier to entry to enter a market. Just the fact of raising enough money to build a product made the...

Real Entrepreneurial Bible Verse

A friend of mine, who apparently frequents only the best bathrooms found this entrepreneurial bible verse written on the walls of a bathroom, somewhere in America. It should be the bible of startup entrepreneurs everywhere. It says, stop worrying about getting a pat on the back. Stop spending time on Glitter Traction. Get some shit done! Kudos to the unknown author of this Entrepreneurial Bible Verse: Set some goals. Be quiet about them. Smash the shit out of them. Clap for your own damn self. Author Unknown,  photo by Scott Stephen's in a bathroom somewhere in America. This rant reminded me of another entrepreneurial rant posted by Stephen Candelmo a few years ago. Are you focused on meeting real tangible goals that make a positive difference in your business? As an executive coach, I work with people who run businesses and help them make decisions, set goals and then get them to meet those goals. Want to know what that feels like? Try a no-obligation, complimentary, online coaching session. Schedule your executive business coaching session now by pressing the little red button and we'll get you on the road to entrepreneurial success....

Consumer Electronics Show 2018 – Joshua Konowe Guest Correspondent

A few years, in 2014, one of my favorite commentators or commenters of cronies or whatever, who calls himself Skippy went to CES and agreed to share his impressions (see here). Today, Joshua reports from his latest experience at the show. It's definitely the place to try something new. Lots of spaghetti throwing, like the attached first screenshot I'm calling marketing message No. 347, or as a good friend put it, "random meta observations". This was from one of the big 3 car companies.  The second photo was Samsung's 2-story VR booth. The booth had VR skiing competitions and several immersive swivel chairs that maneuvered 360 degrees in all directions, especially upside down. So much confusion generally between AR and VR and the need to showcase why one is better than the other. Even what seems to be clearly defined already is not to the rest of the world. Lots of plugged in vehicles of all kinds. The first one is a foldable electric moped from Luxembourg and the next picture is a Chinese company trying to be Tesla-like. 50% of all the software and hardware products at the show are paring or trying to pair with Amazon's Alexa and Google Home. Apple may have lost this battle somehow. TBD. Very...

Michael Riemer on Startups

The other day I read a Facebook post that seemed spot-on. It was a post by Michael Riemer on Startups, titled "10 Quirky Musings After 30 Years of Start-Ups." I asked Michael for permission to reprint and I'll let you guess whether it was granted or not. So without further ado, I present Michael Riemer on Startups! If you don't know where you are going, you will never get there - start with a roadmap and an exit strategy, adjust and refine as you go. The light at the end of the tunnel may be an oncoming train - be prepared to fail and keep going. You can't teach curiosity or passion - hire good "athletes" with drive and add domain expertise as needed. If you don't like roller-coasters, get off the ride - the hourly, daily, weekly and monthly ups and downs are not a fit for everyone and it always takes twice as long (or more) than you think. Customers are "never" right - they only know what they know but not what is possible so always work with them to focus on "the why." There are lots of things you can manage, but you can't control time - it...

Malfeasance - Sailboat Stuck on a Sandbar

A History Of Malfeasance – Turn of Century #DCTech Part 1

It was May, 2003. I had just finished my first "turnaround" as the President of Astracon, a Denver-Colorado/Brisbane-Australia-based company that had raised over $70 million from Cisco Systems, Geocapital Partners, The Edgewater Funds, Cross Atlantic Capital Partners and Australasian Media & Communications Fund. We sold the assets of that company with a less than stellar result. In the end, the investors realized a $2 million return on a $70 million investment. I was pretty sure that was my last "turn-around." Looking back on Astracon I'd blame the poor results on sub par execution, specifically, a lack of attention to results, an inattention to culture which resulted in division and distrust between teams, constant shifting focus, and way too much money too soon. There was no maleficence. With that behind me, I moved into the consulting phase of a Turn-Around exec. Consulting phase? One thing I learned doing turnarounds is you spend a lot of time as a "consultant." You know what a consultant is right? That's a thing you do in between jobs. So during my "consulting" time, I was lucky enough to land a non-paid, room-and-board-only, consulting gig as a crew member on Atlantica. A $1.5 million, Hinckley Southwester 42 making its way from its winter...