Category

Management

The Industry Analyst Evaluation Game

Over the past 25 years, I’ve invested in many startups that sell products to large enterprises. Many of these companies end up either creating or helping to create a new category. As the startups (or the category) become visible, they inevitably attract the attention of industry analysts, who write reports on the categories and the…

CEO Problems

Recently, I was talking to a CEO of a company I’m on the board of. We were discussing a problem in the category of something new Is fucked up in my world every day He gave me a great idea. He apparently plays a game with his young (I think around 10 years old) daughter. When…

Does Every Senior Leader On Your Team Have A Backup?

I said some version of the following statement several times in the past few weeks. Assume aliens came down and one of your senior leaders was taken away to their home planet. Do they have a person reporting to them who could step into their role, even if it’s only temporary? If you are the…

Sandpaper Only Works If It Is Rubbing Against Something

I recently heard the line “sandpaper only works if it is rubbing against something” and loved it. From Wikipedia: “The first recorded instance of sandpaper was in 1st-century China when crushed shells, seeds, and sand were bonded to parchment using natural gum. Shark skin (placoid scales) has also been used as an abrasive and the…

Good Bad Like Dislike

There’s a magnificent exercise that I like to do for myself on a periodic basis. I’m sure it has a more formal name but I call it “Good Bad Like Dislike.” I create a two by two matrix that looks like this: I then go through my calendar for the next few months as a…

Do You Reduce Stress Or Increase Stress?

Mark Cuban had a great line a few weeks ago at the interview I did with him and Charlie Ergen at Denver Startup Week. He said: “I like to invest in people who reduce stress and avoid people who increase stress.” As I was dealing with something yesterday, this reappeared in my brain but slightly…

Scott Dorsey’s Attributes of Great SaaS Leaders

A few weeks ago I was in Atlanta for Techstars Atlanta Demo Day and the Venture Atlanta Conference. I had a great time and it’s fun to see the vibrancy of the Atlanta startup community. My brother Daniel came with me and we had dinner with our cousin Kenny, who lives in Atlanta, so we got some…

Men, Sex, and Power

I had a long conversation with a friend last night that included a segment about men, sex, and power. I had just finished Ellen Pao’s book Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change which I thought was phenomenal (more in a separate post soon) so there was a lot in my mind about this topic. I…

Contentment

Amy and I were at a delightful dinner with friends (new and old) last night who are deeply involved in Naropa. After a very long couple of days where I was very tired, it was nice to sit in a cozy house, eat home cooked food, and just talk about life. Near the end of…

Munger’s Psychology of Human Misjudgment

I’m a huge Charlie Munger fan. I spent the weekend stewing on a few things, including why human beings do what they do. Andrew Wilkinson sent me this animated and abridged video of a famous Charlie Munger speech called The Psychology of Human Misjudgment. It’s well worth a quiet 15 minutes of your day to…