Archives / November, 2005

Feed for Thought

They guys at FeedBurner (note: Mobius portfolio company) have put up a great post entitled Feed for Thought: How feeds will change the way content is distributed, valued and consumed. The article is a great read – very thoughtful about where RSS has come from and where its going. I was going to highlight a few points they made here, but the entire piece is a highlight and pulling stuff out won’t do it justice.  Click over and read it.

Gobble Gobble

Last week a few of us played a little joke on our colleague Chris by putting a 6 foot tall inflatable lighted turkey in his driveway for him to find late one night as he came home.  He returned the favor a few days later by leaving it on my desk (fully inflated) early one morning. See the pictures of what we’re now calling the ‘giant turkey’ below. All this spurred a few turkey haiku’s which I thought in the spirit of the season I’d share with you (these were authored by me, Chris, my wife Greeley and friend Laura): great turkey surprise oh where will you show up next in some neighbor’s yard gobble gobble great turkey arrives each…

M&A Part IV – Timing

When I worked at Morgan Stanley in the mid 90’s we used to have a joke about the relationship between VP hours and analyst hours. The ratio of these hours was in the neighborhood of 7 to 1, so when your VP asked you to do an analysis or create something for a pitch book and said something like “ok – I know its 10pm, but this should only take you about an hour” you knew that you’d working until about 5am, give or take. I’ve found this relationship to be true of many lawyers as well (as in “I’ll get you this document in a few hours,” which typically translates to “I’ll get you this document at 11:59pm tonight”)….

The downside of technology

Brad sent me an article a few days ago that described the very unplugged world of Warren Buffett (according to the article the most technologically advanced device he has in his office is a telephone, which he uses sparingly). It’s a pretty amazing read and reminded me of another article that was sent to me recently – this time by Dave Jilk – describing how technology is changing (negatively) the way people work (too distracted, shortening our attention span, ruining our vacations, etc.). Rather than rant about people using cell phones in restaurants or checking e-mail in meetings, I’ll relate a personal story that reminded me that it’s not the technology that’s to blame, of course, its how you use…

In your mind’s eye

I love the way the mind works. I spent years studying cognitive psychology, which was my college major (I was the psych geek who paid you $3 to sit in front of a computer for 10 minutes and take a test where what I told you I was testing for was not what I was testing for . . . ). My dad sent me the following link, which is pretty fun.

Treat capital raising like a sales process

I’m involved in a lot of capital raising conversations – companies looking for money. One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how narrow minded many companies are in how they approach this process. Forget the obvious stuff about doing research on local VC firms and their investment focus to make sure you are a match before sending them your “next generation toaster oven/microwave” business plan (yes –  I actually received this plan) or targeting VCs that are particularly knowledgeable about your industry or have made money investing in businesses with similar characteristics – I’ll assume (wrongly) that most people already do that. I’m talking about treating interactions with potential funders as relationships – listening to what they have…