YOU MIGHT AS WELL DANCE

help-t-ms-officeIT Guys—Stop Playing Defense

by Howard Tullman

Not feeling enough love? Yes, techies are under appreciated until spit hits fan. But if you’re one of them, you’ve got a bigger role to play than you think. Here are three ways to raise your profile. Continue reading

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BILLION DOLLAR UNICORNS

unicorn-from-ms-office-tKenneth M. Freeman

The world seems captivated by the growing number of unicorns – private companies theoretically worth more than $1 billion based on their latest round of funding. There are now more than 100 unicorns, led by Uber with a valuation of $66 billion. Continue reading

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DRIVING VALUE WHEN FUNDING RUNS LOW

funding-tDavid Johnson

Overview

The funding environment for early stage startups has been shifting for some time, but as shifts accelerate, founders, executives, and investors should look to reassess their strategies to ensure that they remain optimal in a capital constrained environment. Q2 2016 saw the lowest rolling 12-month average deal flow for early stage investments since Q2 2013, this in spite of actual early stage dollars invested having increased by 127% over that period. Increasingly, early stage investors are looking to place fewer but more sizable bets on startups that are perceived as having the most promise. This can, and likely will, lead to a widening gulf between early stage startups that have a clear path to additional funding and those that may struggle to generate investor interest. Continue reading

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BEST GIFT

20160619-20160619-_jaj5955

by Mark T Wayne

“Whaddaya think is da best Christmas gift o’ dem all?” Loop Lonagan puts this puerile question in a peculiar verbal form he calls the American language just as Donatis Ludditis and I innocently raise a Christmas toast at that notable Chicago landmark, Ludditis Shots & Beer.  The place offers several distinct advantages.  Our host never presents a bill for our proclivities and the back room houses our magazine offices.

“I got best gift! Is this!”  Ludditis states his case in his Lithuanian accent, and passes fancy boxes across the table.  “This one for you, Mr. Wayne. Is Christmas!” Continue reading

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Filed under Characters, Conflict, Faith, Giving, loop lonagan, mark t wayne, Relationships, Story

INVESTING: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CASH

cash-tby Scott M. Anderson

Angel investing is influenced by many factors affecting the startup including: technology, unmet demand, scalability and, most important, the founding team. These and many other factors will have a critical impact on the success or failure of the investment. However, there is one common factor to them all: Cash.

An investor and founder are in the elevator together. The investor says “Nice idea, how much capital do you need?” The founder says “$750K”. Investor says “Why $750K?” Founder says “We believe it’s the right amount based on other startups I’ve heard about.” Or she might say “It seems like the right amount based on the size of other angel investments.” Or she might say “It just seems like the right amount.”

Those responses are all wrong!! Continue reading

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TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM

20161201-_jaj0288tby Mark T Wayne

Howard Brookins Jr, the alderman for Chicago’s 21st ward, was biking along Cal-Sag Trail on Nov. 13, when a squirrel darted into his path. The squirrel wrapped itself in the spokes of the alderman’s bicycle. [The Washington Post.]  According to the alderman, “I can think of no other reason for this squirrel’s actions than that it was like a suicide bomber, getting revenge.” [The Chicago Tribune.]

If this is revenge, there is good reason for it. Yes sir!  As the Post also reports: “Brookins denounced the eastern gray squirrel in a Chicago City Council meeting and has publicly spoken out about a toothy menace.” He complains of “aggressive squirrels that undermine efforts to overhaul the city’s trash carts.” [Chicago Sun Times]  He claims that squirrels are gnawing through garbage cart lids at a cost to the city of $300,000! Continue reading

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Filed under Characters, Conflict, Death, Jim Kren, mark t wayne, Politics, Story

TRUMPED

donald-trump-tby John Jonelis

Political outsider elected president! Nationwide shock!  Emotions run wild!  Markets in turmoil!  Worst riots since Orson Wells’ WAR OF THE WORLDS broadcast!

Loop Lonagan watches the mayhem on television. People on the streets shout lewd obscenities—carry hate signs—crawl over cars—destroy businesses—throw bricks at police. “Da theater o’ dee absurd,”  Lonagan mutters, “Did deeze folks even vote?” Continue reading

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Filed under Business, Characters, Education, Influence, Jim Kren, loop lonagan, Politics, Relationships, Story, The Economy

NO GOAT

no-goat-tby John Jonelis

This thing still replays in my mind. And the news is everywhere!

“The last real American sports story—the story of the team that couldn’t and seemingly never would—is gone for good…  [Rick Morrissey – Sun Times]   Now I watch in shocked delight as the Cub’s sleeping bats come alive! A leadoff home run…

“…ending more than a century of flops, futility and frustration.”  [Ronald Blum – Associated Press]  …now more runs—a lot more runs, but way too many innings left to go… Continue reading

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ALIEN ABDUCTS FISH, THROWS FISHERMAN BACK

20161004-_jajdscn0159tby Jim Kren

Avid fisherman John Jonelis was enjoying some late night fly-fishing on the Pere Marquette River in Michigan when he had a close encounter with something not swimming upstream.

“I’m casting a fly called a Crystal Bullet with a number 4 hook on a sink tip,” said Jonelis. “This beautiful Chinook Salmon practically bends my number 10 Recon in half but after about an hour, I land it. Al snaps a picture, then all this happens.  Me and my salmon get lifted by a glowing ray into some giant saucer-like ship that smells of fish inside.” Continue reading

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IN YOUR FACE RISK

fear-color-tby John Jonelis

“Oh, you’re an angel investor! Isn’t that risky?”  I hear such drivel all the time.  Are people afraid of outsized returns?  Or perhaps they don’t understand risk, don’t know how to measure it, or how to take control of it.  Yet all that is quite easily done and it’s a real charge to play the game using a Monte Carlo simulation (MC).  I’ll show what’s likely to happen if you follow three simple rules.  Then I’ll break one rule—just a little bit—and we’ll use the simulator to see what happens. Continue reading

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HOW BAD IS IT

bobs-bad-poetry-swtby Loop Lonagan

Lotsa people keep tellin’ me good things about Bob’s Bad Poetry so I’m checkin’ it out. Yeah, yeah, I know what yer thinkin’.  But there’s no law against an angel investor goin’ in fer high culture.  That’s right, I like literature ‘n’ modern art too—’specially the abstract stuff.  You got some problem with that, bud?  Hey, me fodder and me mudder’s both Irish ‘n’ both poets, so’s I got it in da genes.  Maybe you already figured that out from da way I talk. Continue reading

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Filed under angel, angel investor, Business, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, High Tech, loop lonagan, mobile internet, Startup Companies, Startups, Story, vc, venture capital, wireless, wireless internet, Writing style

IMAGINED HORRIBLES

Investor from MS OfficeSourcing Strategic Investors, Part II

by Laurence Hayward

Make a wish—that the corporate venture investment world continues to grow. Strategic investors are an increasingly vital source of capital for many entrepreneurs. Who else will put up the cash? Ask yourself, “How many financial venture capitalists are investing in material science these days? Or cleantech? Or hardware?” Not many, right? So let’s discuss finding corporate investors that understand an entrepreneur’s needs for flexibility and ubiquity. Continue reading

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