Do Angel Investors Make Money?

Do Angel investors make money?  An interesting question for sure!  Well, I can tell you from first hand experience that being an angel investor is sexier than it sounds!  It’s not easy, requires a lot of study, and most importantly – time.  So, if you are looking to make a “quick” buck, Angel investing isn’t it – you may have better odds winning the lottery!  What’s even more interesting is that most angels aren’t really qualified to be angels – sure, they have money but they don’t have the knowledge to define what constitutes an investment worth making.  Now, add the ever changing dynamics of the entrepreneurial tech industry and you’ve got variables that can be challenging even for an experienced VC.

The venture capital industry, of which angel investing lives as part of the ecosystem, is very interesting and there is a lot more to it than most people understand.  (To read my posts on becoming a VC, click here.)  Remember, for every Google or Apple, there are 100 companies out there that don’t provide any real returns and that is all factored as part of the “bet” angels (and VCs) have to make.

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Back to Basics…

Back to basics has to be one of my all time favorite expressions in today’s business, and even, political jargon. 

It’s beautiful!  Things aren’t going the way you’d hoped and along comes a knight in shining armor who proclaims with utmost certainty – “We will get through this time!  We will go back to basics and restore ourselves to greatness!”  Tell me that image doesn’t conjure up Camelot and everything that’s right in this word?

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To MBA or Not To MBA? Part II

So what is the “hidden” value of an MBA program?  My hint, in my previous post said, “it has nothing to do with education”.

Let’s try to look at this objectively.  As part of an MBA curriculum, a student is required to learn the core functions of a business.  Now, depending on the program itself, a student can specialize in a particular subject (e.g. finance), but generally speaking, the program will still need to cover other topics including, but not limited to, HR, Marketing, Finance, Ethics, Economics, and Strategy thereby providing the student with a broad knowledge base needed to operate a company.  So, regardless of whether you go to Columbia, Berkeley, Stanford, or Pepperdine, you’re going to have to learn the same topics.

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How to E-mail Busy People…

It’s no secret that today’s world is highly interconnected and more interdependent than ever before.  And, in order to succeed in this world, obtaining the right guidance is more important than ever before.  The challenge, however, is that many times, the people you seek guidance from are not directly connected to you – so, how do you ask for help?  In many cases, we do what we feel most comfortable with – e-mail.  It provides us the ability to reach out while still remaining in our comfort zone.

The challenge with e-mail, as with many initial communication methods, is that there is an art behind getting what you want without burdening the other person.  All too often, we’re a mixed bag of information and rarely communicate all that we want to on the first attempt.  In fact, many times we find ourselves reflecting back on the conversation either regretting something we said, or worse, didn’t say.

I came across a great post by Jason Freedman who outlined some tips on how to e-mail busy people… below are the key points.  Valuable stuff.

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Schools Killing Creativity?

The concept of “education” has always been of great interest to me and its importance in my life is, and will remain, paramount.  The beauty of learning is that it comes in many forms – through formal study, through conversations with others, through experiences – it’s all around us and all we have to do is allow the power of osmosis to work its magic.

I recently came across an amazing TED video by Sir Ken Robinson discussing his position on why he believes schools are killing creativity.  It’s incredibly insightful and definitely makes you think.  This video was originally published back in 2006 but, true to its form, has tremendous merit even today as we look upon our dwindling educational system. Continue reading →

Blue is the new Black!

For starters, it’s good to be back on the blogging scene.  I spent most of May traveling to Asia (Hong Kong, China, and Bangkok) getting an whirlwind overview on their economies, doing business in these booming markets, and what we can expect over the next few years.  Needless to say it was a great education…

Now… back to the topic at hand.  To clarify when I say “Blue is the new Black”, I’m not referring to fashion – in fact, I’m the last person that should be writing about that topic!  I’m talking about business… in accounting slang, it’s understood that when your business is operating in the “black”, the company is actually operating above the bottom line – in other words, doing well.  Conversely, when the company is operating in the “red”, it means the company is on fire and may need to be saved (or shut down – depending on which is more prudent). Continue reading →

Yes, No, Maybe So?

Of the many decisions a start-up company founder has to make, “to sell or not to sell” ranks right at the top of the list.  With the underlying assumption that the founder has arrived at this point because the company is doing great (or on the verge thereof), not only is this is a good problem to have, but it can mark a critical point in not on the entrepreneur’s life but also in the company’s legacy.  Selling at the right time to the right partner could bring tremendous value to both the start-up, acquiring company, employees, and shareholders.  Continue reading →