Trying to understand the madness of the masses

Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Monday, September 25, 2017

Tulip mania hit its peak in 1637 when a box of 40 bulbs sold for 100,000 florins or the equivalent today of approximately one million euros. Seeds from tulip bulbs flower after seven to 12 years, but when they die, the buds become bulbs of . . . → Read More: Trying to understand the madness of the masses

Networking not just about who you know but what you’ve done

Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, September 18, 2017

I am a gigantic fan of Adam Grant, professor of management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In other words, he is on my list with whom to have a last dinner before I kick the bucket. Recently, he wrote about one of . . . → Read More: Networking not just about who you know but what you’ve done

The allure, and insanity, of investing in a start-up

Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, September 11, 2017

Why does an angel investor do something as stupid as invest in a startup?

I have considered this insanity for the past 22 years, over nine companies as founder or co-founder or CEO and another eight to 10 years as a straight investor and sometime board . . . → Read More: The allure, and insanity, of investing in a start-up

How do so many CEOs get apologies wrong?

Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, August 28, 2017

I believe in second chances. It is one of the reasons that I spend time teaching entrepreneurship in the prison system.

My experience with the inmates is that the vast majority exhibit a deep sense of remorse; they both understand and can say that they are . . . → Read More: How do so many CEOs get apologies wrong?

Get outside the bubble and see some inspiration

Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, August 21, 2017

Long ago, I had a lawyer who told me you have to do the road work. Get out of the bubble and travel. And so I went down to southeast San Diego a couple weeks ago where I was dazzled. Everyone talks about innovation and STEM, . . . → Read More: Get outside the bubble and see some inspiration

Bad behavior gets a pass in today’s world of tech

Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, August 14, 2017

No place to run, no place to hide.

Unless you live on Pluto, you cannot help but be immersed in, astounded by and connected to politics. Politics is not my normal beat, but what interests me at this point in history is the intersection of technology . . . → Read More: Bad behavior gets a pass in today’s world of tech

Understanding dynamics of corporate dysfunction

Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, August 7, 2017

How did we get into this mess?

I spend a lot of time consulting with business puzzles and serving on startup boards. The other day some young entrepreneurs came in to get worked over, and I was lamenting and bemoaning a particular board mess. And one . . . → Read More: Understanding dynamics of corporate dysfunction

Mel Brooks, The Producers and entrepreneurs

Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, July 31, 2017

I recently did a survey asking who was the greatest entrepreneur of them all. As you would suspect, many of the usual suspects turned up on the list, but in the final tally the winner by a wide margin was Max Bialystock. Max’s creator was Mel . . . → Read More: Mel Brooks, The Producers and entrepreneurs

Some entrepreneurs like to take the path of least resistance

Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, July 24, 2017

Certainty is “perfect knowledge that has total security from error, or the mental state of being without doubt.” Fat chance. No such thing.

So the question is what role does uncertainty play in our decision-making process? And (at no time will my hand leave my arm) . . . → Read More: Some entrepreneurs like to take the path of least resistance

What Bernie Madoff can teach all of us about accountability

Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, July 17, 2017

“Behind every great fortune there is a crime.” — Honore de Balzac.

I am fascinated by people. I study them carefully in making investment decisions, and I am always looking for something — a window into their psyche, a reveal of their weaknesses and their strengths, . . . → Read More: What Bernie Madoff can teach all of us about accountability