Posted on November 25, 2015 by

Fidelity Did Not Make A Snap Judgement.

In mid-November, we learned that Fidelity marked down the value of its Snapchat investment by 25%, which instantly reignited the tech bubble conversation. We may be in a bubble, but this event is not an indicator. What this mark down does reveal is a shift in investment strategy for large investment funds. “Fidelity lowered the Read More

Posted on November 23, 2015 by

On-Demand — The New Daily Deal.


I received this email today from Handy, an on-demand booking service for home cleaning: We have entered into the new deal economy. Deeply discounted service offerings that are now delivered on demand instead of to your inbox. But daily deals — in their original form — failed. It started five years ago with Groupon. Subsequently thousands of clones emerged. Read More

Posted on June 19, 2015 by



Maybe. Maybe Not. The Wall Street Journal reported that Airbnb is closing an uber financing round of $1BN at a $24B valuation. A valuation that factors in a projected loss of $150M and estimates revenue of $900M in 2015. Tech bubble? Maybe. WSJ compares AirBnB to Marriott, specifically citing that Airbnb’s valuation is comparable to Read More

Posted on May 14, 2015 by

Value-Add[itional] Investing

It’s more than just table stakes. I’m hearing increasingly more dialogue about value-add investing (or maybe that’s just from reading every post in my daily Mattermark emails). But there doesn’t seem to be a consensus yet on what value-add is. So, here’s how I build-up value-add investing: Investors: Invest capital in exchange for equity (or Read More

Posted on May 16, 2014 by

How PackBack Books Created Their Own Startup Accelerator

I love accelerators.  I have witnessed their impact first hand on Dashfire startups and as a mentor for TechStars, DreamIt, and Impact Engine companies.  These highly selective programs enable early stage startups through mentorship, networking, and fundraising to leading angels and VCs.  AirBnB, Dropbox, and Digital Ocean are just three of the many extraordinary accelerator Read More

Posted on October 25, 2013 by

Invest in Introductions.

Last Wednesday, I spoke to the inaugural Startup Institute class in Chicago about how to “introduce” themselves to startups.  This reminded me of an introduction I gave for Georgetown’s business school head, Dean David Thomas.  I’ve copied the intro below and included a few takeaways on what I did right and could have done better. Read More

Posted on March 20, 2012 by

A Chicago Fear Experiment.

potluck chicago

Late last year, I participated in Potluck 2.0 and quickly realized that I was unaware of an incredible underground Chicago scene.  Potluck is a speaker series (see: Ignite) where people from very diverse backgrounds speak undisturbed for 6 minutes.  After presenting about taking the leap into entrepreneurship, I listened to a group of amazing and eclectic Read More

Posted on January 16, 2012 by

Customer Acquisition is Not a Field of Dreams.

field of dreams for startups

Next week is the fourth edition of Tech In Motion** (TIM), an event at which a startup “pitches” its product, and panelists and the audience analyze the business.*  In November, I participated in TIM III as a panelist along with Troy Henikoff, CEO of Excelerate Labs, Bob Sell, a Partner for Seyfarth Shaw, and Matt Cobb, VP of Product Read More

Older Posts