Expanding Your Frame of Mind and Thinking Bigger

I recently attended a conference for one of our fund managers and the keynote speaker was none other than Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and Co-Chair and Trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. For the 0.0001% of you who may not know who Bill Gates is, he co-founded Microsoft in 1975 with Paul Allen and the two of them grew it to become … Continue reading Expanding Your Frame of Mind and Thinking Bigger

Improving Your Critical Thinking Skills Will Make You a Better Leader

One of the skills I’m trying to hone are my critical thinking skills. I majored in civil engineering and have been formally trained on the process of solving complex problems. When I worked as an engineer, the problems I was solving needed to have a definitive answer. Otherwise, there could be catastrophic failure. But now that I work with venture capital firms, the process of … Continue reading Improving Your Critical Thinking Skills Will Make You a Better Leader

How Saying “No” Makes You and Everyone Around You Better

When I was in the seventh grade I had just started to develop an interest in sports and decided I needed to find a sport to play. I had never played organized sports before, so I decided I would keep an open mind and just start trying things out. The first sport I attempted to play was baseball. I had never played before so naturally … Continue reading How Saying “No” Makes You and Everyone Around You Better

Pattern Recognition

Over the last several weeks my team and I have been in the process of marketing our next fund. Collectively, we have probably traveled over 10,000+ miles (by plane) in the last 60 to 90 days talking to potential investors. We’ve been to Boston, Chicago, Tulsa, London, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Austin, Oklahoma City, Houston, Baltimore, Portland, and Vancouver (WA). In each place we go we normally … Continue reading Pattern Recognition

The Art of War Series – Part II – Move Only When You Have the Advantage

It has been tremendously difficult to choose one topic per week to write about from the Art of War because the book is filled with SO many different topics to choose from that I think are all worth writing about. One theme from the book that I have been pondering is the strategy of staying in one place and not moving until you have a … Continue reading The Art of War Series – Part II – Move Only When You Have the Advantage

The Art of War Series – Part I – “Preparation”

At the start of the new year I made a decision to formalize my reading practices by committing to read a minimum of one hour each day. So far it has been going great and I find that I’m reading a lot more than the minimum each day. I start reading at 6am and usually wrap up about 7:30am or 8am. I find it relaxing … Continue reading The Art of War Series – Part I – “Preparation”

Venture Capitalists Must Be Globally Minded

I attended an annual meeting this week in San Francisco for one of the venture capital funds in our portfolio and I came away very impressed with not only the content shared at the meeting but by the people I met there as well. There were investors there from all over the world including China, Spain, Canada, Israel, India, and several other countries. What I … Continue reading Venture Capitalists Must Be Globally Minded

Entrepreneurs Who Are Shooting For The Stars

I attended a conference this week in San Francisco and had the opportunity to briefly talk one-on-one with several entrepreneurs that are in my opinion “world-changers.” One of the first conversations I had was with Payam Banazadeh, CEO and founder of Capella Space. Capella Space has developed a miniature, cube-shaped satellite that provides hourly, reliable, and persistent imagery of any location on the globe delivered … Continue reading Entrepreneurs Who Are Shooting For The Stars

Starting Your Own Venture Investment Fund

The reason I started blogging was to contribute my small part to the entrepreneurial/venture capital ecosystem by sharing knowledge, insights, and experiences. I am not famous and I don’t know if I care to be. There are several individuals who have become widely known for their success and contribution to the ecosystem. People like Eric Ries who wrote the Lean Start-up; Ben Horowitz who wrote … Continue reading Starting Your Own Venture Investment Fund

The Challenge of Making Tough Decisions

  In 2008 I was working as a financial advisor in Chicago for a large insurance company. The job was 100% commission-based and I was responsible for paying for absolutely all of my expenses. The company didn’t provide anything to its advisors, not even basic necessities like printing paper or paperclips. I was 27 years old at the time and enjoyed what I was doing. … Continue reading The Challenge of Making Tough Decisions