Entrepreneurship Series: Men With Hats

From time to time I write articles about the tenets of good entrepreneurship qualities and guidelines, and this article definitely fits within that category. In teaching entrepreneurship classes, one thing that often is discussed is the need for professionals to wear many hats. This is especially true with start-ups and very early-stage companies. Typically these firms just do not have the resources to attract and compensate a full compliment of…

THE FIVE MOST COMMON MISTAKES MOST STARTUPS MAKE

THE FIVE MOST COMMON MISTAKES MOST STARTUPS MAKE In working with startups and early-stage companies for two decades, there are a few common mistakes I have seen these companies make that can be highly damaging to their chances for success. Statistics show that more than 90% of all startups fail within their first year. While there are many reasons for failure, these common mistakes are heavy contributors to the percentage…

Amazon Buys Whole Foods for $13.7B in Cash – Is this the end of brick and mortar grocery?

Amazon announced today that it will acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in cash. Following this news Whole Foods was up almost 30%, a great day for shareholders of both Whole Foods and Amazon, but not so great for the rest of the retail grocery segment (Kroger is down about 9% today). The grocery segment is nothing new for Amazon – they have been selling a multitude of typical grocery…

Has Black Friday Lost Its Significance? – Published in Noozhawk on Monday, December 1, 2014

Black Friday — the first official shopping day of the holiday season — has historically been the most important shopping day of the year for retailers. But with the emergence of Cyber Monday, and the loss of pricing pressure that has resulted, particularly since the Great Recession of 2008-2009, is Black Friday no longer relevant to retailers or to the economy and financial markets? Black Friday, so-called because in the past the…

Employment Stumbles Nationally, But Local Signs Encouraging for Long Term – Published in Noozhawk on Monday, September 8, 2014

The Commerce Department reported last week that U.S. job growth faltered somewhat, with the country adding just 142,000 jobs overall, versus the consensus estimate of 228,000.  Although the six-month trend of 200,000+ new jobs per month was broken, the jobs picture looks encouraging, especially on a local level, for the longer term. The U.S. economy had been adding more than 200,000 jobs each month since December 2013 — the best streak of…

After an Impressive Debut, Arlington Tavern Continues to Impress – Published in Noozhawk on Monday, July 28, 2014

About three years ago, when Diego Barbieri first approached me about writing a business plan for a new restaurant concept he and business partner Ron True were contemplating, I was not sure what to expect. The restaurant business in Santa Barbara is highly competitive, and requires a significant up-front investment to have any chance of success. But the more I spoke with the Arlington Tavern team the more impressed I became with the project,…

Crowdfunding Appears to Have a Bright Future, But It’s Not Ready for Prime Time – Published in Noozhawk on Monday, July 14, 2014

Recently, I began working as interim CFO with two companies to assist them with fundraising. One of the avenues we’re pursuing is a crowdfunding round — an equity round for one company and a convertible note for the other. While there are certainly some positives to crowdfunding as a concept, unfortunately, the current capabilities of crowdfunding companies are strictly limited. As with most startups or early stage companies, the two…

Winning? Was Charlie Sheen Right?

Many will remember the painful saga of Charlie Sheen’s battle with CBS that resulted in him being dropped from the hit TV series Two and a Half Men; a series that he basically made popular with his star power.  While it can be argued, quite effectively, that his behavior off screen, and his handling of the “negotiations” were in large part responsible for the outcome, in the end, was Charlie…

3D Printing Creating Explosive Growth Industry as Applications Multiply – Published in Noozhawk on Monday, June 2, 2014

The 3D printing industry has seen rapid growth, and huge gains in stock values for the industry’s top companies. Companies are increasingly turning to 3D printing for new product development because it saves time and money compared with traditional prototyping methods. Despite the growth so far, the future looks exceptionally bright for this burgeoning industry. 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of…

Angel Investors Can Mean the Difference Between Startups’ Success, Failure – Published in Noozhawk on Monday, April 7, 2014

Throughout my 25-year career, I’ve been working with entrepreneurs, with a specific focus on early stage businesses. In that time, the emergence of angel investors as a primary funding source for these companies has changed the landscape for startups. Today, angels serve as more than merely a source of capital, providing advice, guidance, connections, customers, suppliers and sometimes direct management service, in addition to seed capital for early stage businesses….