Welcome to

For the first twenty years of my career, I (co)founded a series venture-scale software companies, growing each from an idea to a company earning millions in revenue, collectively serving tens of millions of customers.

I now use the knowledge gained from those twenty years to help new entrepreneurs.  My goal is to have them increase their odds of success by not repeating the common mistakes that I and my peers once made.  I do this in many ways:

Books

The Next Step series of books guides entrepreneurs step-by-step through the process of getting from idea to operational startup, breaking the paradigm of startup investing, and explaining years of lessons teaching entrepreneurship.

Podcast

The Next Step: podcast shares the lessons from the books plus other advice, anecdotes, and interviews, all in bite-sized audio pieces.

Accelerator & Investments

Fledge is a global network of conscious company accelerators, providing intense guidance, mentorship, investment, and support for a small set of entrepreneurs.

Africa Eats is an investment holding company focused on lowering hunger and poverty in Africa through for-profit solutions. The first spin-off of Fledge, it builds upon the work of a few dozen Fledge alumni who are building the food/ag supply chain across Africa.

More

Answering questions from entrepreneurs on Quora.

Plus in these various efforts, I do my best to uncover hidden assumptions, break investment paradigms, and seek solutions to income/wealth inequality.

And despite writing checks to entrepreneurs, I still consider myself first and foremost an entrepreneur, and as such every so often I simply have to create something new, such as:

The philanthropic investing service at Realize Impact, a 501c3 public charity that I co-founded, which lets any philanthropist turn a donation into an impact investment.

I hope something from this long list is of help to you.

Latest blog posts

Ah Ha! Assembly code

While reading about nostalgic computing on the Chip Letter, I came across the following picture of hand-written assembly code for the IBM S/360. What caught my eye wasn’t the paper spreadsheet, but the ah ha moment of clarity explaining why assemblers assume anything in the first column of text is a label, i.e. why assemblers require mnemonics to be prefixed by a space or tab. I’m an...

$105 Trillion Global Economy

GDP is not the best of measures but it is what we use to meaure economies. Globally, (in 2023) that totals more than $100 trillion. My post-pandemic work is primarily focused on the bottom left slice of this big pie, in Africa. That continent’s GDP is more than $3 trillion, and even 1 trillion dollars is a lot of dollars, but in comparison to the rest of the world, is tiny. Smaller still as...

Sometimes Good Enough Wins

There are so many lessons in startups, startup investing, and technology adoption that come from looking back a few decades. For example, I’m out of the 1970s nostalgic computing rabbit hole, but that journey has subsequently led to reviewing the technological progress of the late 1900s and early 2000s. This week, that was the rise of the RISC-based CPU, which was then obviously going to...

The AI Hype Cycle

The buzzword of 2024 is “AI” and like social, mobile, cloud, fintech, and blockchain, every startup is claiming to have it and every big startup fundraising is claiming to expand what can be done with it. Or in short, we’ve been here before. A Grand Unified Theory of the AI Hype Cycle does a very good job explaining how this will play out in 13 steps, and how it already played...

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Podcast

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