Archives / February, 2006

Where was that you went to school?

I’ll admit that I have a bit of a complex about business schools. I never went (sorry – no “Seth J. Levine, MBA” on my business card . . . ) – probably because all of the schools I wanted to go to wouldn’t accept me for college, so I don’t see any reason to give them money for business school. Plus it was the rock and roll late 90’s and I still had dreams of getting rich in the internet bubble (which I did not, although I do continue to receive class action notices for various companies whose stock I owned at the time, much to my amusement). So with that as my clear bias, I have a pet…

The missing step

This post is part of my ongoing series about mergers and acquisitions. You can take a look at the rest of my m&a posts here. So – you have a term sheet/letter of intent/memorandum of understanding fresh off your e-mail from the other party (this could for be an acquisition, partnership,  join venture, financing, etc.). Now what? If you follow standard operating procedure you’l  call your lawyer, mark up the draft and send some kind of response back to the other side. Sounds logical, but you’re missing a key step. I wrote a post a few months back about the importance of listening when you are around the negotiating table.  The same is true before you even get to that…

Sand Hill Slave

Here’s a different view of venture capital – from someone who has clearly seen quite a bit.  Very amusing!  Be sure to check out the worst ever VC names. (from Paul Kedrosky’s Infectious Greed)

The old paradigm

It’s funny that network news programs remain popular. Why get your news from such a limited source – and to boot, one that knows nothing about what you’re really interested in? Take, for example, the nightly reporting of the Dow and Nasdaq. Is that actually relevant to most people’s lives? The answer is no – but it’s a proxy for something more specific that you’d otherwise want but the new isn’t in a position to give you. Same thing with the news – you don’t really get what you want, but it serves a proxy for what you do. Not for long . . .

Welcome back

I guess it was inevitable – the government started selling the long bond again today. First time since 2001. Guess that’s what deficit spending leads to . . .


I’ve put up a back page on my blog where I can play around with new stuff — called etcetera. There’s a permanent link to it just below the ‘e-mail me’ on the top of the left nav bar. I’m just starting to put some things up (tag cloud, a swicki and my cloud). If you bump into stuff that looks fun, send me a note about it. I’ll put up some reminder posts as I populate the page with new ideas.

Slowing down

Check out the 10 mph project. I bumped into them when they passed through my neighborhood (attracted by its funky architecture and bright colors). They spent a couple of months traveling across the country on Segways and filming their experiences. Browsing their site is a kick. You can also check out a clip from their video by clicking on the big ‘trailer’ link at the top of the page. It’s a great reminder that slowing down often gives you a completely new perspective.

What your business does in fewer than 5 sentences

I had a chance to sit through the practice session for a handful of the companies that are presenting at this year’s VC in the Rockies conference (not too late to register, by the way – it’s a great showcase of Colorado venture deals, not to mention world class skiing). Many of them had one common trait: they sucked at actually describing what it is their business does. Som  just seemed to forget to mention it, while others appeared to try, but either get bogged down in the complexity of it or just fell short of the mark.  This was surprising but amazingly consistent. Maybe they had all practiced their pitch too much or perhaps they were just too close…