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In-Person vs. Virtual (2021)

When the lockdowns began and all meetings, conferences, and training programs moved online, I knew what to expect, as I had purposefully experimented with virtual programs back in 2015. After nearly two years with everything virtual, this week was my first in-person gathering. One that gathered together the founders and managers of the 27+ companies of Africa Eats. One that was a gathering of...

Naming is hard… ask Alphabet and Meta

Naming is startup is hard. Harder than naming a baby you’ve yet to meet. Back in 2017 I posted a lesson in how to find a great name. Today (2021), Facebook shows us just how difficult it is to brand a company, especially an established company. Back in 2015, Google demonstrated the same mistakes. Mistake #1 – Naming by Committee No good name has ever been created by committee...

Salt water, lighting… bad journalism or fraud?

I keep seeing stories about a new lamp that is “powered” by salt water. The claim is that you’ll get 45 days of lighting using nothing more than half a liter of salt water… What I want to know is why none of these journalists ever check with an engineer or physicist or high school science teacher on whether such a claim is possible. If it’s not obvious to you, the...

Sequoia sees the light

Over at The Angel Accelerator I’ve been teaching new startup investors the history of venture capital. It’s one of those industries that feels like it’s been around forever, maybe inherited from the Roman or British Empire, but in reality, in its modern form, was created in my grandparents generation, after my parents were born, and wasn’t a mature, robust, big industry...

Where does the food (we grow) go?

The world grows enough food to feed over 10 billion people. How much do we make of each category of food and where in the world does that food get consumed?

That is just the top of the amazing infographic over at Information is Beautiful.

informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/global-food-supply-where-does-all-the-worlds-food-go

The state and future of vertical farming

As a startup investor (and fund manager), there are themes that appear repeatedly in the dealflow submitted by startups. The entrepreneurs typically can’t see these patterns, and thus end up wasting their time repeating the same business plans that others many have tried and failed. I’ve written about this information asymmetry before and included a short list of business ideas Fledge...

Growing Impactful Companies with Luni Libes – Ted Teo Podcast

On today’s episode, Luni shares about how he grows impactful companies, his work with Fledge and Africa Eats (which is formed by the graduates of the Fledge program), and why storytelling is such an important skill for any entrepreneur. Key Actionable Advice 1. One can create impact with a company by embedding the mission into its products or solutions. Like Wholefoods, the mission to provide...

This time is (never) different

An oft-repeated phrase before an economic or market-based bubble bursts is “this time is different”. A few months ago I asked what the consequences of the Federal Reserve printing $8 trillion. Best anyone can say is that the one clear result of that is a highly inflated stock market. I stumbled upon the Current Market Valuation website to find all these graphs. Above is Warren...

Shareholder Value

I saw this cartoon on Twitter and was reminded that I’ve not posted about the real purpose of business in years. A few posts on that and related topics:

675,000

The influenza pandemic of 1918-1920 killed at least 25 million people globally. Here in the United States 675,000 people are known to have died from that massive outbreak of flu. As of this last week (middle of September 2021), more people have died of Covid-19 in this pandemic. 682,000 as of today, with another 2,000 Americans dying every single day. While 675,000 is the population of a city and...

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