Debt: A Virtuous or Vicious Cycle, you choose

Over the last decade I’ve spent much of my time managing funds (plus one investment holding company) investing in young companies (a.k.a. startups, a.k.a. SMEs). This includes not only equity investments, and revenue-based investments, but also traditional loans. Most of the borrowers understand what a loan is, and how loans work. For those that understand the follow the expectations, debt...

Properly scaling images in PowerPoint

PowerPoint (and Google Slides) are ubiquitous in modern business, but techniques such as properly scaling images are not. This post is a quick guide on scaling images without distorting those images. For example, the image on the left is taken from a real pitch deck. From the shape of the man’s head it is clear this image has been resized, but in doing so the image has been distorted...

VCs and Capital Efficiency

Capital Efficiency

Hypothetically, if you could invest in any of the following three companies, which would you choose: ABCorp, which is raising $10 million, and with that promises they’ll have a new version of their product in the market, a bigger sales staff, plenty of marketing, 5x growth to $2 million of revenues, a loss of $1 million, and be ready for the next round of $45 million in fundraising. GHInc...

The Forest of All Knowledge

The Forest of All Knowledge

Every year or so I find myself lost on a hike through the Forest of All Knowledge, and, so far, have enjoyed those journeys quite a bit more than one my the best YouTubers, CPG Grey. If you’ve never seen his videos, start with Rules for Rulers and Airport Codes and the State Flags. If you want to understand the Forest of All Knowledge and the wayfinding needed to reach the other side, watch...

Kindergarteners Beat CEOs at This Engineering Challenge. The Reason Why

INC Magazine, Luni Libes, Kindergartenders beat CEOs

Imagine I gave you pasta, marshmallows, tape, and some string, and told you to build the tallest tower possible in 45 minutes. As a business leader, how would you do? Certainly better than a 5-year-old, right?  But when researchers actually tried this experiment, pitting kindergartners against CEOs, lawyers, and MBA students, it was the kids that came out on top, building towers averaging 26...

Why is there just one Berkshire Hathaway?

Why is there just one Berkshire Hathaway?

There are dozen automobile companies. Dozens of airlines. Over a thousand banks. Hundreds of venture capital funds and thousands of mutual funds. There are even two stock markets in the US, and the old rivalries of Coca Cola vs. Pepsi, Visa vs. Mastercard, and Mac vs. PC. But there is just one Berkshire Hathaway. Why? Why after sixty years of near-continuous success is there not just a distant...

Keeping busy in 2022

The big shift I’ve seen in 2020, 2021, and 2022 is that the default mode of business (in impact investing) is meetings on Zoom vs. meetings in-person. The new normal for my workday is spending a few hours talking to people around the world via Zoom, with 99% of those meetings set by All those people have the option of a phone call, and maybe once per month someone choose a...

Filling in the Missing Middle

Filling in the Missing Middle of Capital -- Luni Libes

“The Missing Middle” is what we call the gap in finance the majority of entrepreneurs face in getting from a viable prototype or early customers to a full-scale proven business. In Part 1, Luni explains who he is, and how he came to fill in this otherwise missing middle.   In Part 2, Luni jumps back to the history of venture capital to explain the pervasive paradigm that leads to...

Better is Better


Newer is not better. Older is not better. Better is better. Just because something is old does not mean it is bad (or good). Just because something is new does not mean it is good (or bad). Evaluate each proposal on its own merits. – Unknown (internet)

When Kindergartners beat MBAs

Kindergartners beat MBAs

@mattschnuk on Twitter shared an anecdote on teamwork. It’s a good story, but Matt’s conclusion is wrong in an interesting way The thread goes on to explain an experiment where team of kindergartners, CEOs, lawyers, and MBA students are challenged to build the tallest tower out of pasta, marshmallows, tape, and string, presumably in a reasonably short amount of time. The result is not...


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