Venture Capital 2018

Oh Venture Capital, you evil mistress of every startup founder or executive. Your song is so sweet but sting can be deadly if handled without care. So the question for 2018 is where will the big boys be placing there chips in 2018? Where will the promise of being the next Unicorn be told? Here is my take on the VC outlook in 2018 as I see it. One thing is certain, the supply of capital is still plentiful. The record-high fundraising activity of the past 19 months has been driving the growing amount deals. One differential, and I believe it to be a good thing, is that valuation as a discipline has returned as seen in the total investments as to raised by VC's themselves. The investment thesis has shifted from “growth at all costs” to “growth with fundamentals.”  continue here: 

Leadership Behaviors Drive Continuous Innovation

Original Article Avoid the assumption that current gifts will keep on giving. This is a trap of the past to be avoided at all costs. The best leaders selectively forget the past, and are constantly on the lookout for the future’s raw material of new ideas. They overtly set out to create the future as a mission distinctly separate from their performance engine of today.Be alert to “weak signals” of non-linear shifts and trends. To do this, leaders must eliminate the noise of obsolete ideas and activities, by creating protective structures, including dedicated teams focused on innovation. They need to regularly listen to a few mavericks and outsiders who routinely generate nonlinear ideas and trends.Create the future as a day-to-day business process. The future needs to be treated as today by a team and a process that is insulated from interference, but empowered to draw on necessary performance engine resources. The trick is not to sweep everything aside, but to balance relevant aspects…

Is Your Advisor a Critic Posing as a Mentor?

Every startup needs a couple of advisors with deep experience and connections in your business domain or financial skills to complement your technical focus. Advisors need to be mentors, looking ahead and directing you on key actions to take or avoid. Unfortunately, many prefer the role of critic, looking backward to highlight your mistakes. These people don’t help you or your startup. The same considerations apply to every constituent inside and outside your team, including co-founders, investors, strategic partners and every team member. Here are some clues that will help you see and attract the best advisors, as well as the right team members: Is there a sense of trust and mutual respect? The most productive business relationships are built on trust and respect, where both parties have the other’s interest at heart. The results are win-win relationships. Mentors have no interest in win-lose relationships.Do advisor credentials include practical experience in the domain? Critics ten…

8 Key Ingredients to a Profitable Consulting Business

Original Article
Implement real competitive differentiation. If your business card and website come across as just another advisor, consultant, or accountant, then don’t be surprised if price is the only focus. Internally, you also need to do things differently to rise above your peers. This includes how you find leads, close clients, and minimize free work or rework.Shape your business by design, not by default. Announcing that you are a consultant, and hoping demand will set your focus, is not a good strategy. Focus on your passion and your vision of what you want to accomplish, and make that come alive in the design and delivery of everything you do. Picking a niche is another good way to focus.Proactively build relationships with target clients. Passively waiting for transactions only makes you a commodity. Clients need to see you as a trusted value add, rather than just a service provider. Use your knowledge of evolving needs and technology to add more value than competitors, and …

7 Rules For Turning Business Conflicts Into Win-Win

Know what type of conflict you are in. The first step is to assess whether the conflict is win-lose, win-win, or mixed (some competing and some shared goals). Each of the three types requires different strategies and tactics. Learning how to identify and respond to each type is central to success. Try a good business mentor to get you on the right track.Not all conflicts are bad. Most often, conflicts present us with opportunities to solve problems and bring about necessary changes, to learn more about ourselves and the business, and to innovate – to go beyond what we already know and do. Avoid the ones that are irrelevant to your startup, but don’t hesitate to engage in the others.Whenever possible, cooperate. Research has consistently shown that more collaborative approaches to resolving win-win or mixed-motive disputes (the majority of conflicts) work best. Therefore you should always approach conflicts with others as mutually shared problems to be solved together.Be flexible. Try …

BitCoin, Bubbles & Wisdom

Article: I have been through two bubbles: 2000 and 2008. The first one knocked me down. The second; knocked me out. With decades of knowledge accumulated I finally found the true meaning of wisdom while curled in the fetal position on the floor after after the government took over AIG and diluted the stock to $2 from $30 the previous close. I had everything in AIG because the Chairman of the Board and Bill Gates came out saying the company was fiscally sound and after all it was the biggest Insurance company in the world. What could possibly happen? I did my due diligence, macro environment analysis and technical chart studies, but like life one sometimes needs to peel the onion a little more. I found that knowledge alone is not always enough. There is something profoundly mystical about the intelligence learned from experience. Hence: Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom So, here we are in 2017. I see the charts and…