Friday, December 4, 2015

What We Learned From Angel Week

The 2 Themes that Emerged from the Weeklong Conference: Angel Protection and Useful Technology
Angel Investing was never easy but you can win. You could be smart and lucky - or you could find a resource that was underused. You could also be useful – and increasingly, Investors are seeking that out.
Keynoter Kevin Harrington, one of the original sharks on Shark Tank, who opened up on the Gathering Angels day, talked about the Infomercial and how he came to invent it. It is a reminder to us all about how to discover value. He saw test stripes on the cable channel screens after prime time programming. That gave him an idea about a cheap, underutilized resource. But it was when he stumbled upon a great pitchman with a new kind of knife - the Ginzu knife – and a circuit of pitchmen just like him, that he saw the potential for a new world of selling. And so the infomercial was born.
How many Investors are on the look out for that type of combination? Kevin believes he sees that again on your cell phone and so he is introducing Starshop – a celebrity based sales channel on your mobile.
Brian Cohen, Chairman of the New York Angels, discovered Pinterest by dint of smarts and luck, and yet his keynote was all about caution in Angel Investing. There are only a few good deals and many, many more that could go astray.
While Angel Investing goes on and innovation continues, Brian talked about how few Angel Investors profit from their risk. There was even a hint of push back by Angels. It is hard to imagine a million Angel march or even the unionization of Investors, but there clearly was a sense that they need to organize in some way to reduce risks and minimize dilution. That is part of the mission of a Gathering of Angels at Angel Week!
In our award to the Angel of the Year, Bernard Rudnick of MidAtlantic BioAngels, who not only profited for his group by over 5x but also instituted a startup dividend pool forcing a payout back into the Investors.
In my opening, I celebrated Angels by remarking that it is not government that drives innovation but the hopeful entrepreneurs and the Investors willing to back them.
That became one of the themes of the day – the kinds of investments being made which were a renewed interest in infrastructure innovation and confronting real problems solvable by technology and other innovations.
Now that the never-ending search for a paradigm shift is focusing on real world and infrastructure problems, we are working on a kind of X-Prize for Startups that solve problems that matter. Stay tuned. www.angelweekny.com
We thank all of you who helped make Angel Week a success:
Microsoft
Syzygy3
Medstartr
Private Equity Forum (Innovation and Investment)
IEEE and IoT Central
We expect to be back with an even bigger and better Angel Week in Q2!

Have a Happy Holidays.

Intro & Keynote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVfeZLaN-Tw#t=234    http://bit.ly/1lzcVb0

Interview:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJpeVYyNiRI#t=60   http://bit.ly/1OAv57Z

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Steve Case, the 3rd Wave & Taxis Going Uber


Last week, Steve Case, the legendary founder of AOL spoke at the NY Media conference about his investment group Revolution Growth, which is focused on 3rd Wave investments.

He sees this as the next frontier for the digital revolution: transforming older, traditional and infrastructure industries. This is not sexy and it requires partners in disruption. Often, the required partners are those who would reflexively resist progress with all their might.  Therefore changes are likely to be slower and more complex but they also run deep.

These changes are also likely to be more transformative than anything we have seen before. Or perhaps not. They just might become the new normal for traditional industries – adapt or die. The floor has just risen. There may be a race for who is most innovative and so the stumbles may be in the direction of innovation and not resistance.

The perfect example is Uber, which has been rocking the transportation industry worldwide. For years, the taxi industry fought them in courts, legislation and in street riots. But never with technology. Until now. New York now has two apps than can order your yellow cab exactly the same way as Uber. The cabs come at about the some time, you pay less and maybe the taxi industry has chance to survive, sending the value of medallions back up – just a little if too late.

The two apps Way2ride and Arro take Uber head on. Arro is said by the Wall Street Journal to be better than Way2ride and seems to be more of startups product while Way2ride has more of the corporate development origin. This is probably the signature story, the public case study of the old empire taking adapt and survive via technology vs. the old Luddite sue ‘em, legislate and agitate approach.

We could compare this to VW’s diesel division which used adapt and die via technology the wrong way. Instead of fixing their diesel emissions they simply faked it through software. That was a devastatingly bad idea that only an entrenched company might come up with. But they would not be alone in trying to rig the system rather than fix the problem. U.S. Railroads, are mandated to fix their safety system by 2015 through a technology paradigm called Positive Train Control. The vast majority of railroads including most of the commuters either couldn’t do it or just didn’t try. So they went back to Congress and told them to push back the deadline and in some cases threatened to halt their trains and cause and estimated $30 billion in economic damage.


In the Railroads case, which may be emblematic of most infrastructure fixes, the protocols were so overdesigned and obsoleted by the time they came out in 2010, that they we overpriced beyond reason. Today, they could simply leverage existing technology, Elon Musk-style and do everything plus a few extra things like adding genuine safety to their antiquated railroad crossings, for pennies on those federally mandated dollars. Smart sensors with WiFi, Bluetooth, RFID, webcams and communications are cheap tech commodities now. A group of enthusiasts from Maker Faire with $40 Raspberry Pi's could fix almost everything in about a month.

So it goes for bridges and roads. Do we not have new liquid graphene technology that can shore up rusting old bridges? Is there no new polymer that can resurface roads or fix potholes so that post-winter driving is no longer driving through the jungle?

I’ll bet there is a startup in some remote part of country with a laptop full of solutions and none of the right connections. Naturally, government isn’t looking there - they want their familiar suppliers and their trusty old pals. Then they have entrenched stakeholders, union members and civil servants whose main mission is to rack up overtime and accumulate pensions. Not all, of course, but enough that they have zero interest in improvement for the public interest.

The good news, if we have any, is that innovators are running out of new Social Media and Ad Tech wrinkles and will be forced to look at real industrial issues. For example, when we run our Startup events in Boston we see some of this - like Concrete Sensors, a startup that puts sensors into poured concrete so engineers get a real time readout of its curing rate – essential before proceeding to the next stage - which is currently being done with expensive pilot drillings. Innovations like these could push the entire industry forward.

Typically, these ideas are resisted at first. The big players don’t think they need them or fear disrupting their systems. Then, a competitor somehow breaks through. The old-timers pull off every dirty trick they can think of to resist it. Finally, they capitulate and start begging for innovation. That is generally when they lose leadership, go under or get acquired.

If we don’t learn how to introduce innovation into public works, we will become a new kind of  economy – an ex-first world country with an antique infrastructure, a massive public payroll and a culture that lost its way.



© Alan Brody 2015


Monday, October 12, 2015

AcuteIQ Wins the September Pitching Event in NY

September's event was a typically hard fought event with one clear winner that captured the judges’ imagination and a host of close contenders behind.
Ian Foley of AcuteIQ making his winning pitch
Winner: AcuteIQ
This company mines customer data for better value and relationships

Runner Up: Lybberation

Coming Events - Startupalooza will be back on October 20th.

iBreakfast returns on Nov. 10 - VCs Talk Deals - Listen and ask VCs


Launching on Dec 1st: ANGEL WEEK - the 1st weeklong series of events dedicated to Angel VCs and he Entrepreneurs who follow them.


  • Gathering of Angels  - Dec. 1
  • Super Startupalooza - Nov. 30
  • Healthcare 2.0 Startups - Dec. 3
  • Cannabis Investing - Dec. 2
  • Private Equity Forum  - Dec. 2
  • Moonshine Over Manhattan (Craft Spirit Startups Tasting Event & Concert)
    - Dec. 2

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What I Said about Trump as President in 2011


My original article, predicting that Trump would be welcomed by the public


Why Donald Trump Could Win in 2012
By Alan Brody   


We don’t elect politicians any more. We elect Superheros. At least, that’s what we are looking for.  Ordinary politicians need not apply.

Guess what, Donald has started to look like one.

Needless to say, Trump could be doing this for the publicity – he certainly has done it before. But this time its different. Not only because he might be at a point where he means it - but because the public could insist on it.

Trump may be tapping a perfect storm of trends that have never really occurred before.

1.     We want mythic creatures – not politicians. In that case, Obama – who has never actually run anything, let alone a country, comes to us as the persona prophesied by Bill Cosby and then Nelson Mandela and godmothered by Oprah Winfrey.

Donald Trump comes to us by way of The Apprentice, with his remarkably sensible progeny and godfathered by Mark Burnett who somehow turned Trump the bombast into Trump the Solomon of managerial talent.

2.     The Age of the Entrepreneur. Nations are a product of who runs them: this country is run by lawyers. Once, we were about robber barons and lawyers. Then we became mostly about corporations and lawyers. Thanks to the Democrats, we are now labor and lawyers - as well as Wall Street or high value companies that can afford to reward their employees handsomely. Corporations are now global and they can sidestep the lawyers if they choose. They no longer control the majority of jobs – small business does. I other words, if this country is not really about corporations or labor all that remains re small business and lawyers. Since small business is by nature fragmented, that leaves us with lawyers. Obama is not merely a lawyer but an academic lawyer a professor of constitutional law. No only is he lacking experience in the rapid decisionmaking of executive leadership – although he is not doing a bad job. He has no idea how to create the future of jobs. Trump is not just a businessman, he is an entrepreneurial figure. He has invested in many kinds of self employment companies like ACN. These are often controversial but they also create masses of independent moneymakers. No politician knows about these kinds of businesses and they are the fture. Politicians can only dream of a better GM. Good luck, there!

3.     World Leadership. Once America stood for something. It may have been wrong at times and it may have been called ugly at others, but it was the alpha male of world countries. Not any more. We are so inept at deciding our economic reality that we are both deeply in debt, exporting jobs and importing people to do many of the remaining jobs. We are ravenous users of energy but have neither the courage to live with the environmental risk of our own energy and are terrified to stand up to the foreign countries that sell it to us. It is quite possible to ague that at a moment when a bunch white republicans came to the conclusion that a multiracial world just hate them, Obama looked like just that person to put everyone not at ease. Heck he evn got a Nobel Peace prize just for showing up.

Yet his projection of the US on the world is not leadership. Its comradeship. When he went to Egypt to show the Muslim world a conciliatory face of America, he prattle on about freedom. Guess what – they believed him and two years later when they revolted, he stood back. His one symbolic moment came with Qaddafi. Here one was the one dictator that we owed a bullet, whom nobody supported and he couldn’t make up his mind to take him out. Instead, he waited until he could put together a posse of NATO countries. This was not hasty leadership and the waste time cost us a quick victory and has delivered a slow, bloody struggle.

Tue leaders have to pick a few moments to strike fast and hard and he missed that. One could argue he did that with health care but so far the results have been a joke. Our rates have gone up dramatically and his supporters have been given free passes.

4.     So Rich You can Trust Them. As voters look at the future we are in a strange place. Wall Street has come back but unemployment is still high. We now compete on the world economy and regular politicians don’t seem to have a clue about dealing at a high level of strategy in the world game.

   

Thursday, August 6, 2015

How I Predicted Donald Trump's Current Success

Several years ago, I wrote a column for a local newspaper about why promoting Entrepreneurship was important for the economy's future. The editor was so impressed, he asked what else I would like to write about.

Since this was at the beginning of the last election, I said my next column would explain why the people will be begging for Donald Trump to run. I never heard from the editor again and then Trump chose not to run after all (something about his financials).

The editor obviously thought this was the most ridiculous thing he'd ever heard.

So why was I willing to go out on a limb about the Donald for that column?

First, let's understand that I wasn't saying that Trump would make a good president, that he would win or even that I supported him. I was just saying that people would be begging for Trump to run. The editor may have heard what he wanted to hear, but that is all I said.

Why?

The answer is that Trump spoke at the global level and he did it with big, but simple concepts. In particular, he spoke about how other countries see us. He talked about how they take advantage of our pieties, our political correctness, our petty fears, our blind spots and, most of all, the way we have backed off from a once fearless leadership.

We have gone from being a nation of doers, backed by laws, to one lead by lawyers who just talk about laws as a proxy for actual rick-taking leadership.

I have nothing against lawyers. We need them. But they live in a special, cautious kind of world. Just because they write and argue laws doesn't make them leaders any more than accountants should be CEO's or scientists should be salespeople. They could be, but not all of them.

Most politicians are lawyers and behave not, surprisingly, like lawyers. The better they are, the slicker their speech and we have gotten all too used to it. But once a plain-speaking, popular and successful person shows up, you see the difference.

My point was that once people hear Trump's big talk - his plain language schpiel - they will hunger for it. And they did.

My background with Entrepreneurs tells me that we see exactly the same with Startup pitches: a clear, boldly spoken pitch will win over a slick, incomprehensible mish-mosh that offends no one while sticking to some preconceived party line.

I can't say that I would actually support the Donald for President although I would definitely support for him long enough to keep the game of political refreshment going.

Trump may be the genuine bearer of America's future - unlikely as that may seem - or simply the jester who brings truth to the king's court. You decide.

What I can say is that, whatever he is, his is a voice we welcome.

In fact, people are begging for it.

My original article, predicting that Trump would be welcomed by public
-->

Why Donald Trump Could Win in 2012
By Alan Brody   

-->
We don’t want to elect politicians any more. We want to elect Superheros. At least, that’s what we are looking for.  Ordinary politicians need not apply.

Guess what, Donald has started to look like one.

Needless to say, Trump could be doing this for the publicity – he certainly has done it before. But this time its different. Not only because he might be at a point where he means it - but because the public could insist on it.

Trump may be tapping a perfect storm of trends that have never really occurred before.

1.     We want mythic creatures – not politicians. Take Barack Obama – who had never actually run anything, let alone a country, comes to us as the persona prophesied by Bill Cosby and then Nelson Mandela and godmothered by Oprah Winfrey.

Donald Trump comes to us by way of The Apprentice, with his remarkably sensible progeny and godfathered by Mark Burnett who somehow turned Trump the bombast into Trump the Solomon of managerial talent.

2.     The Age of the Entrepreneur. Nations are a product of who runs them and this country is almost entirely run by lawyers. Once, we were about robber barons and lawyers. Then we became mostly about corporations and lawyers. Thanks to the Democrats, we are now labor and lawyers - as well as Wall Street or high value companies that can afford to reward their employees handsomely. Corporations are now global and they can sidestep the lawyers if they choose. They no longer control the majority of jobs – small business does.

I     In other words, if this country is not really about corporations or labor, all that remains are small business and lawyers. Since small business is by nature fragmented, that leaves us with lawyers. Obama is not merely a lawyer but an academic lawyer - a professor of constitutional law. He is he lacking experience in the rapid decisionmaking of executive leadership – although he is not doing a bad job. He has no idea how to create the future of jobs. Trump is not just a businessman, he is an entrepreneurial figure. He has invested in many kinds of self employment companies like ACN. These are often controversial but they also create masses of independent moneymakers. No politician knows about these kinds of businesses but they are the future. Politicians can only dream of a better GM. Good luck, there!

3.     World Leadership. Once America stood for something. It may have been wrong at times and it may have been called ugly at times, but it was the alpha male of world countries. Not any more. We are so inept at deciding our economic reality that we are both deeply in debt, exporting jobs and importing people to do many of the remaining jobs. We are ravenous users of energy but have neither the courage to live with the environmental risk of our own energy and are terrified to stand up to the foreign countries that sell it to us. It is quite possible to ague that at a moment when a bunch white republicans came to the conclusion that a multiracial world just hates them, Obama looked like just that person to put everyone not at ease. Heck he even got a Nobel Peace prize just for showing up.

Yet his projection of the US on the world is not leadership. Its comradeship. When Obama went to Egypt to show the Muslim world a conciliatory face of America, he prattled on about freedom. Guess what – they believed him, and two years later when they revolted, he stood back. His one symbolic moment came with Qaddafi. Here  was the one dictator that we owed a bullet, whom nobody supported and Obama couldn’t make up his mind to take him out. Instead, he waited until he could put together a posse of NATO countries. This was not hasty leadership and the waste time cost us a quick victory and has delivered a slow, bloody struggle instead. [This was written prior to Benghazi.]

True leaders have to pick a few moments to strike fast and hard and he missed that. One could argue he did that with health care but so far the results have been a joke. Our rates have gone up dramatically and his supporters have been given free passes.

4.     So Rich You can Trust Them. As voters look at the future we are in a strange place. Wall Street has come back but unemployment is still high. We now compete on the world economy and regular politicians don’t seem to have a clue about dealing at a high level of strategy in the world game.

 
[This was never completed after it became clear that editor x wasn't going for it.......]
 

Boston Startup Winners: SeedCX: Medical Marijuana "Seeds" the Future in Boston


Winner: SeedCX

Finalists: Human, Spot, MyLumper and Irhad.com

The winnerSeedCX will be participating at the Private Equity Forum at the Yale Club in October.

HUMAN presents at Startupalooza Boston
Commentary:

SeedCX is a new futures exchange for hemp & marijuana growers and traders. They won because of the combination of excellent planning, appropriate background and the offer to participate in once-in-a-generation opportunity at its moment of substantial growth.

MyLumper was a finalist because they represented domain experts in an entirely fresh, payment processing field - truck loading - that had significant potential upside with minimal competition with the introduction of a disruptive solution and significant pain point. However, it is an unfamiliar area to most investors and so requires more due diligence.

Spot is the “AirBnB” of parking spots and lets people and companies rent out their underutilized parking spots - thereby turning empty spaces into hard cash and preserving city resources. This is a very well executed plan that is showing real numbers in the Boston area and could scale nationally. It may not work in all cities and it is not always clear there where the best opportunities lie are, but they are nevertheless, a close runner-up.

HUMAN offers a better way for users of Virtual and Augmented Reality to interact with all emerging platforms as well introduce the element of collaboration - especially in high value business and medical fields. There are patents pending and the team has much experience. Nevertheless, it is a crowded though growing field, where many competitors abound and their positioning is still not quite focused.

Irhad.com is a travel website and mobile app for Muslim travelers in the west with a special focus on visitors from the high value Gulf States. It has special features that offer unique value to these well-heeled travelers. However, the financial model is all advertising and therefore limited, while there is a clear opportunity for a higher value “Freemium" model offering specialized high cost services for the higher-end travelers.

Next Boston Startupalooza: Sep. 29th Register here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Order "Are You Fundable?"

Are You Fundable?

How to prepare your plan - and yourself - for funding.

Now available online.


Digital or Print

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Treasure in Truckloading: Winners from our June Startup Event

Here are the full results from the June Event:


Winner: MyLumper

Finalists: Vipsie, Augmented Reality, Cosign, SimplyCalled


Commentary:

MyLumper won because they represented domain experts in an entirely fresh payment processing field - truck loading. It offered a disruptive solution with significant potential upside and minimal competition.

Cosign was a very close second which monetizes visual interest through online sales. While there is a potentially bigger market with greater viral growth potential there are also likely to be more technologically empowered competitors.

Augmented Reality this is a fascinating but unproven area that requires high capital infusion to test. If deliverable in an affordable package, could change ambiance design for interior spaces everywhere.

SimplyCalled great solution for call centers with disruptive potential for phone systems everywhere - with some fine tuning of offering.

This was a very tightly contested event with a high overall standard of pitches.

As a result, the finalists were very close and these are a list of special mentions.


BuyMyOrder’

DreamForwardVentures

FixIt

Linute

PageantRentals

Story2

Voom


Book + Free Workshop
Please note that we have a book that explains the Investor process - what they are really looking for, how they evaluate Entrepreneurs and how to make yourself fundable - entitled Are You Fundable? (order at AreYouFundable­?)


Fundable Workshop. From time to time, we run workshops on this process and help you shape the essence of your pitch. We will be doing one again in July.

  • July Event on Thursday, July 30th at Edison Community.
  • If you want to work at Edison Community free for a week contact Karen White­

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Sandal Success: What a Real Guru's Shoe Taught us about Targeting

I met a former employee who had gone on to succeed in the New Age business. She credited her success to a lesson she once learned from me.

I called it the “Guru’s Shoe.” It explained how a cult leader was able to build his following and attract donations by identifying his true prospective believers. 

It’s a lesson every entrepreneur should learn. Ditto: artists, writers and all salespeople.

The guru did this by having his devotees hold elaborate initiation ceremonies. At the end, the head initiator would say, "the Guru couldn’t make it today but if you would like to connect with his spirit you may kiss one of his sandals.” 

Most people were reluctant to do this and just walked away. The few who did were whisked away to a special meeting where they we elevated to higher level of welcome and identified as true supporters of the Guru’s mission. At least, that was my understanding of the lesson - that, and the fact that having only to provide a left sandal probably meant they could be bought at less than half the price of a full pair. 

However, it turns out that my one-time employee benefitted because she saw it completely differently.

“The power," she said, "is in the guru’s feet. That’s what the sandals are all about!”

That's she’s big in the New Age biz while I most assuredly am not - my cynicism was her catalyst to fame and fortune.

You take off when your beliefs match your marketplace - and you identify the people who get your story.

It is also how cross-pollination in entrepreneurship works.

Monday, May 18, 2015

May 21 Invite - "Are You Fundable?" Public Presentation

Please join me for one of my rare public presentations on what it takes for a Startup to get funded.


Register for free by clicking here




Learn more about the
Market New York Expo: Sales & Marketing for Small Business
Event Management | 866.44.EVENT (38368)

Monday, January 19, 2015

What Bushmen can Teach You about Finding Money & Bootstrapping

How Startups can Survive the Drought and Find Investors

All Startups will endure "the drought" - when customers are scarce and investors non-existent.The more you can successfully bootstrap the company, the more you impress potential Investors. If you want to know how to endure “the drought” and find the money, think of the Bushmen or San of the Kalahari Desert. They get rain during one season of year, and conserve what they can with little technology - for the rest of the time, as desert insiders, they know how to find water through alternative sources.

What if you are a newcomer - a Startup in the desert? How would you find water?

You do this by what might be called "Salting the Monkey."

San drinking from a tuber
After they have run out of watering holes, wet sands and water stored in buried ostrich eggs, the San extract moisture from tubers growing beneath the ground. It is about as close as this desert comes to a water cooler but only a native could find its sublimely subtle shoots and live off the moisture they have to scrape from it. Anyone else would expire, which explains why desert Insiders have an advantage.

How to “Salt the Monkey” to Find Money and Business

How would an Entrepreneur, stuck in this wilderness, tap the resources of the true insiders? Tribesmen from surrounding areas who find themselves in this situation use other animals like baboons to help them find these sources of water. They do this by trapping the baboons or monkeys and feeding them salt so they get thirsty enough to lead them to water.

All it requires is finding a monkey hangout, an anthill, some seeds (a shiny object works too), twine and the aforementioned salt. First, the visitor makes a hole in the cement-like anthill at about crouching height. Next, the visitor appears near the monkey and plays with his seeds, making sure to get its attention. With great showmanship that ensures the monkey observes, he places his hand in the amply sized hole and drops the seeds. Then he walks away. The monkey, being a highly curious creature, will head for the anthill once the tribesman has left the scene put his hand in and grab the seeds. However, in making the fist, the monkey finds the hole is not big enough to remove his hand bulging with the seeds. Since the curiosity of monkey so consuming, he cannot let go of the seeds - and so he is trapped. He feeds the monkey the salt and soon enough the thirsty creature leads him to an underground lake.

Finding a champion in the desert and inspiring them enough so they lead you to the critical resource is they way every savvy Entrepreneur has launched their Startup.


                                                                http://bit.ly/1DNYIO4

Saturday, January 17, 2015

"Salting the Monkey": What Bushmen Teach us about Bootstrapping & Finding Money.



As the long-awaited Are You Fundable? is about to be released, here are some excerpts.
(This is not your typical Entrepreneur how-to book.)

How Startups can Survive the Drought and Find Investors

The more you can successfully bootstrap the company, and progress through your own financing or machinations, the more you impress Investors with your ability to deliver. So consider this a test you must pass – whether you get funding or not. If you want to know how to endure “the drought” and go on to find money, think of the Bushmen. Now generally referred to as the San, they live in the Kalahari Desert where there are no camels and few oases with springs or even wells where they can pump water out of the ground. They get rain during one season of year, and conserve what they can with little technology beyond filling ostrich egg with water and burying them in the sand.

For the rest of the time, they find water through alternative sources.

San drinking from a tuber
It turns out that water can come from many places other than a faucet or a pump. After they have run out of watering holes, wet sands and water stored in buried ostrich eggs, the San extract moisture from tubers growing beneath the ground. It is about as close as this desert comes to a water cooler but only a native could find its sublimely subtle shoots and live off the moisture they have to scrape from it. Anyone else would expire, which explains why Insiders – especially the pedigreed variety – has an advantage.


To Find Money and Business: “Salt the Monkey”
Since a real Entrepreneur may require the same ability to survive what is metaphorically a desert, how can they do it if they are an outsider or a visitor to this terrain? While the San have their proprietary ways of storing and finding these tubers, what would a newcomer – a disruptor - do? One famous example is how visiting non-San tribesmen from surrounding areas use other animals like baboons or monkeys in the desert to help them find these sources of water. They do this by trapping the monkeys and feeding them salt so they get thirsty enough to lead them to water.
How they do this is quite astounding. It requires finding a monkey hangout, an anthill, some seeds or any shiny object, twine and the aforementioned salt. First, the visitor drills a hole in the anthill at about crouching height. Anthills are built with a mixture of sand and mucus and have the virtual strength of cement, so making the fist-sized hole takes work. Next, the visitor appears near the monkey and plays with his seeds, making sure to get its attention. With great showmanship that ensures the monkey observes, he places his hand in the amply sized hole and drops the seeds. Then he walks away. The monkey, being a highly curious creature, will head for the anthill once the tribesman has left the scene put his hand in and grab the seeds. However, in making the fist, the monkey finds the hole is not big enough to remove his hand bulging with the seeds. Since the curiosity of monkey so consuming, he cannot let go of the seeds - and so he is trapped.

If all of this sounds eerily like the way you attracted your first customer, sponsor, corporate champion or Investor, so be it. But there’s more - the monkey is yet to do its real work. The patient visitor then walks up to the self-trapped monkey, attaches the twine to its neck and shakes the seeds loose from his hand, thereby freeing the monkey. He then ties the monkey to a tree and hands him the salt. The monkey devours the salt and quickly develops a hellacious thirst. At that point, the visitor undoes the leash and follows the parched monkey to his stored water source, which is typically an underground pond or lake.

That is how you survive the desert and “develop” a champion. With a little imagination, you can see that launching a Startup may not be all that different: you may have to find alternate sources of funding that can sustain you and ways to salt the monkey – that is, getting other people to lead you to the resources needed for sustenance. This is the kind of resourcefulness that tells Investors you belong in the business. It separates the Entrepreneur who will simply feast on the Investor’s money hoping for good fortune and the ones who will use that money to get up and go build a business!  http://bit.ly/1DNYIO4












Monday, January 12, 2015

NY's Police Slowdown – Opening the Door to Tech/Social Media

Like the Last Strike of the Toll Workers….Before EZ Pass?

If you drive in New York you will notice that cops are no longer harassing cars with tickets. Yet, the city is working is just as well as it did when they were out in full force. The same applies to the regular cops.

Maybe 20 – 30% of New York policing was really about “toll-collecting” from the public.

If that’s the case, maybe we are better served by technology. It is cheaper to run street parking with EZ Pass systems, The same with speeding and traffic lights.

Police turn their backs on image of Mayor DiBlasio
Any number of low-level crimes can be monitored by remote cameras and police sent as needed. This not exactly news, but instead of leveraging new tech, the city has been flooded with cops, who are largely put to work ticketing the citizens.

Maybe they have just proven we don’t need their presence until summoned. That is better served by harnessing the public through social media technologies like Waze and Twitter, which capture real time issues as they happen by direct messaging from the public, or indirectly by suspicious activity.


http://nypost.com/2015/01/11/nycs-business-elite-in-a-panic-over-cop-strike/