Category Archives: Business

Seattle Angel Conference IX Recap

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Friday marked the 9th Seattle Angel Conference. I spent the day at Impact HUB, watching the pitches and mingling in the crowd. This is the second SAC I’ve volunteered at, and I noticed an increase in attendance from November’s event. The day started off with several alumni updates previous events, a few open remarks by John Sechrest, and then Bob Crimmins laid out the agenda for the rest of the day. Wade Brooks, executive director of Angel Resource Institute, spoke about tracking angel returns. He had a data set of 136 complete investments, and shared some findings from the HALO reports (released quarterly). Average deal size was $915,000, while the median was $505,000. 70% of outcomes in the Halo dataset are failures. … Continue reading

The Big Short

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Pretty damn interesting movie about the events leading up to the financial crash/crisis of 2007 and 2008. I highly recommend watching if you’re looking for a film to see in the next couple weeks.

Thoughts from the Seattle Angel Conference

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Last Wednesday, I volunteered some time at the Seattle Angel Conference at Impact Hub (where I am a member) to man the front desk for a few hours, and wanted to put a few thoughts down on paper (or, into a database with a keyboard technically). The turnout was impressive; I’d say about 100 people in total. I, of course, am not an angel investor – so didn’t know much about the Seattle Angel community in Seattle that John Sechrest has cultivated over the years. The energy in the room was great. Josh Maher, a longtime friend, was the keynote speaker. Josh recently published a book, Startup Wealth, and touched on a wide rang of topics related to angel … Continue reading

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Facebook Groups: The Next Craigslist for Startups

If you’re a tech entrepreneur, you have probably seen the following graphic by Andrew Parker: Entire multi-billion dollar companies have been started by building a far superior experience around one tiny link on Craigslist. There is a new Craigslist. It’s Facebook groups. Over 700 million people use groups monthly(reported as of late last year). That’s massive, massive potential distribution for startups (and proof of supply & demand). I’ve spent A LOT of time with groups over the past year, since Horizon’s goal is to put hospitality exchange inside existing groups. Buy Nothing is one movement with massive scale entirely built inside Facebook groups. I recently moved to Queen Anne in Seattle, and numerous friends told … Continue reading

When Money Becomes Not Real

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I watched the following TEDx talk by Adam Carroll this morning. The topic? Money when it’s not “real”. Cash is tangible. You can hold it. If you spend it, you don’t have it anymore. Credit cards, less so. You swipe, and digitally you have more debt you need to pay off at some point in the future. But, 10 minutes later, you can go to a different store and go farther into debt. The next iteration is digital payments. Apple Pay. Tap, and be done. I’ve long worried about what will happen to consumer debt once you can put a $100, or $1000, transaction onto your credit card in less than 1 second by swiping your … Continue reading

Building for the Long Term

My friend (& Horizon advisor) Shannon sent this article to me the other day. I love it. Particularly: What if, instead of focusing on exits, we focused on sticking around? What if the focus wasn’t on selling up and moving on, but instead was on handing down and passing on? Many entrepreneurs build companies because they see a financial opportunity. They fully expect to exit by selling the company. That’s fine of course. But that’s not me. The goal with Horizon is to build a long term company that is passed down to the next generation. Which, of course, is why that blog post resonates with me…and why Shannon sent it.

Changing the World

The desire to “change the world” is common among entrepreneurs. Via Seth Godin The public square is more public than ever, but minds are rarely changed in 140 character bursts and by selfies. If you ask me, there’s still far too much time, effort, and money going into the time suck economy. That’s okay, since it’s not my time, effort, and money — everyone has the right to do what they want with their lives.