For a week I have endured close association with that foul animal, Loop Lonagan. The more I learn about the man, the more I like my dog. Now, Old Man Ludditis wants a rundown on our trip to Chicago’s hottest startup, so we’re both here at his bar, drinking his liquor. Continue reading
Category Archives: Characters
THIS AIN’T CHICAGO
TAKE YOUR FOOT OFF THE BAG
I’ve asked it before, “The way you conduct business—is it meaningful to those left behind?” Is it?
I’m here at the Levy Entrepreneurship Group, talking with some of the most brilliant business minds in Chicago. This group’s been meeting for over 60 years. It’s the genius of Joe Levy, the prolific entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist—the son of a south Michigan Ave car dealer. Joe was an endless entrepreneur—constantly learning, constantly experimenting—the quintessential gentleman who gave everybody an at-bat—who spoke quietly but directly and told the truth as he saw it. He pushed people off the bag. “You’re lousy at this. What are you good at? Contribute. Help somebody.” People found inspiration and hope. Never a disparaging word about Joe. “If you don’t have a satisfied customer, you’re compromising your future.” He was the original automobile mega dealer, angel investor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. “God put me on this earth to produce, not to consume.” Joe Levy is dead at 92. Continue reading
Filed under angel, angel investor, Business, Characters, Death, Education, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Giving, Influence, Relationships, Startup Companies, Startups, Story, vc, venture capital
We catch 647 fish here in 4 days. On average, that’s a pike every 2.8 minutes. This place is wild, unspoiled, perhaps like this continent a thousand years ago and summer feels like spring.
Huge northern pike. Gorgeous scenery. What man can resist a fishing expedition?
Filed under angel, angel investor, Characters, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Startup Companies, Startups, vc, venture capital
TOP OF THE LIST
“Admirable! Superlative! Top of the list! Gentlemen, you are indeed fortunate that I invited you here!” I study the greedy faces of my two compatriots—the estimable Donatas Ludditis (good old Don) as well as the execrable Loop Lonagan and his stinking bull terrier, Clamps. (Claims it’s a therapy dog.) We are here as judges, along with a crowd of luminaries from Chicago’s startup community for the finals of the tenth annual POWER PITCH competition. Today we will hear pitches from a host of exciting new companies. Yes sir! The enthusiasm is riveting.
Filed under angel, angel investor, app, Characters, Conflict, Education, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, High Tech, loop lonagan, mark t wayne, Startup Companies, Startups, Story, vc, venture capital
Remembering the Olympics
by John Jonelis
“That’s just wrong!” says Loop Lonagan as he grabs his remote control, skips ahead on the DVR, and a major Olympic event flashes by the screen too fast to recognize. We immediately voice our outrage—all of us: Mark T Wayne, William Shakes, Donatas Ludditis, and me.
T.WAYNE – “Go back—go back you idiot!”
ME – “What’d we just miss?”
T.WAYNE – “The entire race—that’s what we missed! Execrable!” Continue reading
Filed under angel investor, Characters, Conflict, Games, loop lonagan, mark t wayne, Relationships, Story, vc
A STOLEN STORY
“Tell me a story, Uncle John!”
“A story eh?” My pal Loop Lonagan got in big trouble telling stories to Jim Kren’s little girl. “Y’know, Princess, in this case, maybe discretion’s the better part of valor.”
“But I always get a bedtime story. I can’t sleep without a bedtime story. Please, Uncle John! Pleeeeeeeeeze!”
How can a guy turn this kid down? “Okay Princess, just lay back and pretend you’re sleepy.”
“Make it a Christmas story!” Continue reading
Filed under angel, angel investor, Business, Characters, Death, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Faith, Giving, High Tech, Jim Kren, Relationships, Startup Companies, Startups, Story, vc, venture capital
GET YOUR OWN ‘BOTS
OR RISK BEING PUT OUT OF BUSINESS BY THEM
by Howard Tullman
Don’t fear the bots. They’ll free your company from unprofitable and tedious work. Yes, some jobs are going to be displaced. But the ones that are left and the new ones the bots will create will be more productive and way more interesting. Continue reading
Filed under angel, angel investor, Business, Characters, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, High Tech, Low Tech, Startup Companies, Startups, vc, venture capital
STARTUP OF THE YEAR
Here’s a Chicago Area startup that brings pleasure, relaxation, and satisfaction to tired business people, gets them out in the open air, away from the pressures of the big city, and teaches them to smile again. Does that sound like a worthy goal?
I think so. Continue reading
Filed under Business, Characters, Games, High Tech, Low Tech, Startup Companies, Startups, vc, venture capital
SECRETS DARK AND OLD
“I still say da guy deserves what he got. He ran down dat poor animal on purpose! Hates squirrels. Says so in da papers.” So proclaims Loop Lonagan regarding Alderman Brookins of Chicago’s 21st Ward. Continue reading
Filed under Characters, Conflict, Death, Influence, Jim Kren, loop lonagan, Mystery, Story
TO BE OR NOT TO BE HACKED?
alias Moises J. Goldman and John Jonelis
Hamlet—To be or not to be hacked? That is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of phishes, gouged by creatures who boast no scruple, nor affect any purpose higher than foul destruction—and by opposing, end them?
[Editor’s translation—Hackers are a bummer. This is war.] Continue reading
Filed under Characters
CHICAGO—THE BEST INCUBATOR IN AMERICA?
Recently, Inc.com published an article about the best cities for early-stage companies. The premise: Chicago is the surprise winner.
Why would that be? San Francisco and New York are both beautiful, thriving cities that dramatically represent the diversity of American ideas. San Fran—younger, more venture-oriented, with beautiful natural vistas. New York—the classic, bustling private and public equity concrete jungle.
What do they have in common? It costs a kidney to pay rent for a closet. Continue reading
INQUIRY AND INNOVATION
by John Jonelis
What happens when you invite the community into your high school and send your high school students into the community?
Amazing things! You create a THIRD SPACE in people’s lives.
Filed under angel, angel investor, Business, Characters, Education, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, High Tech, mobile, Startup Companies, Startups