Fear and hope– two different sides of the same coin

Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, May 22, 2017

Consider your girlfriend. The relationship is not going as you hoped. There seems to be some disconnect, some awkward silences, a lack of spontaneous passion — and so to avoid being the one dumped, you pull the plug.

But it turns out that your darling Betty . . . → Read More: Fear and hope– two different sides of the same coin

Planning for the breakup that may never happen

Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, May 15, 2017

Partnerships. We were happy once, we were in love, and you could do no wrong.

I overlooked your burping, you overlooked my OCD personality and then you decided you were too good for me, that I no longer met your needs, that you wanted someone else . . . → Read More: Planning for the breakup that may never happen

San Diego’s brand unclear, but we need to have faith in ourselves

Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, May 8, 2017

Recently, I attended an event sponsored by the San Diego Venture Group. It was supposed to be a feel-good networking rah-rah, but when the question-and-answer time came around, there were some dark sentences and laments.

After you dismiss some of the usual suspects (we need venture . . . → Read More: San Diego’s brand unclear, but we need to have faith in ourselves

Anatomy of a deal in progress

Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, May 1, 2017

I have always been suspect when the famous entrepreneur tells his tale and makes it sound like success was simply a matter of connecting the dots. Let me tell you about dots. There are a way big lot of them, and they operate under the Heisenberg . . . → Read More: Anatomy of a deal in progress

Not everyone is meant to be a start-up investor

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

Over the past few weeks, I have lunched with a few new “investors” — or more accurately, wealthy people who want to move out of what they know really well and have made a lot of money doing in order to start “investing in some startups.” . . . → Read More: Not everyone is meant to be a start-up investor

The successful are never afraid of missing out– or going all in

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

I’m a big fan of “Billions,” a series that airs on Showtime. I am fascinated by the characters and the strategies, and my bride thinks that the lead character, played by Damian Lewis, is gorgeous. (I agree). Recently, the show presented an interesting puzzle that I . . . → Read More: The successful are never afraid of missing out– or going all in

How do you hire for great customer service?

Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, April 10, 2017

In one of my presentations, I have a slide on the subject of customer service that shows a video clip from the 1970 movie “Five Easy Pieces,” starring Jack Nicholson. The scene is in a restaurant with Nicholson trying to order some toast. The waitress explains . . . → Read More: How do you hire for great customer service?

Chief executive should be guide as well as a leader

Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, April 3, 2017

“Don’t step to the left, don’t step to the right, or you’re going to die.” Those are definitely words to live by if you happen to be mountain climbing, and your guide says that to you.

Christopher Maxwell, a senior fellow at the Wharton Center for . . . → Read More: Chief executive should be guide as well as a leader

Successful CEOs must manage the tendency to compensate

Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, March 27, 2017

I have a friend who recently was given a used Tesla by a wealthy woman (she had just bought a new one) whom he had befriended over many years. I asked him how he liked the car, and his answer, “Nice car, but I am uncomfortable . . . → Read More: Successful CEOs must manage the tendency to compensate

In business, what’s the difference between the odds and risk?

Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, March 20, 2017

When I play golf with a couple of my cronies, this is what I hear at the first tee. “The bet is a $5 Nassau, automatic two down presses, shut up and tee the ball.”

At this point I have learned (painfully) to ask my associate . . . → Read More: In business, what’s the difference between the odds and risk?