03/19/17

CEO — Learning To Walk

Big Red Car here in the ATX during SXSW, Texas bluebonnets, azaleas blooming, March Madness, and a bit of spring skiing? Is this a great country — Texas, I mean — or what?

IMG_1766

Bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush co-existing in the Hill Country west of Fredericksburg. Peak bluebonnet is a few days away.

OK, so The Boss is talking to a youngish CEO.

“I may not be cut out to be a CEO,” says the youngish CEO. “Maybe, I’m just not CEO material.”

This CEO is actually quite brilliant but the CEO-ing gig is kicking his ass right now.

The Boss listens. A lot of dealing with momentarily troubled CEOs is letting the poison out and that requires a lot of listening. Sometimes, they need to be talked in off the ledge.

Continue reading

03/14/17

Point of View — Entrepreneurs v Funders

Big Red Car here on a sunny SXSW Tuesday in the ATX. On Earth as it is in Texas. No sign of snow, but it’s early.

So, the world is divided into three basic camps:

 1. Entrepreneurs and founders — consumers of capital

 2. Funders of all kinds — angel investors, venture capitalists, friends & family

 3. Ballerinas & poets — folks who are not in the startup world and are gloriously happier in their ignorance of it

Each understandably has a unique point of view depending which role they undertake. Forget about the ballerinas & poets for this discussion.

Continue reading

03/13/17

NCAA Tournament Conflict — No Official Presidential Bracket 2017

Big Red Car here, y’all. So the first game in the NCAA Basketball Tournament is on tap for Thursday, 16 March 2017 — said the basketball junkie posing as a Big Red Car.

But, what I want to talk about is way more important than our annual fix of basketball (which is important as Hell, don’t get me wrong).

What I want to talk about is this: President Trump has not held a public event to fill out his bracket!

As you know, his predecessor, President Obama, was a huge bracket filler-outer (seems a bit awkward, but go with me).

President Barack Obama participates in an ESPN interview with Andy Katz regarding the President's 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament bracket, in the Map Room of the White House, March 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

President Obama billing out the Official Presidential Bracket with ESPN’s Andy Katz. Nice Presidential seal and must have cost a lot of YOUR money.

So, I called President Trump and tried to get to the bottom of things. He graciously gave me permission to quote directly from his comments (provided by the NSA and CIA who are conveniently tapping his phones currently).

Continue reading

03/8/17

CEO Reflections

Big Red Car here in the ATX feeling a little cloudy — ooops, that’s the weather. Me, I feel marvelous. Let’s talk about the first time CEO, shall we?

So, I catch The Boss talking to a pal the other day. They were Second Lieutenants in a combat engineer unit in the Republic of Korea back in the early 1970s.

 

The Proper Young Lieutenant

The proper young lieutenant, having just landed in a rice paddy fertilized with “night soil.” If you recognize those “soiled” boots as Corcoran Jump Boots, then you have a sharp eye. Stroke of good luck, landing standing up, because of the aforenoted night soil.

 

It was a dicey time and they were both platoon leaders. Both of them would end up as Captains within 18-24 months, which was pretty damn fast even for those days.

“So, when did you first think you knew what you were doing?” asked The Boss’s compadre.

“I’ll get back to you when that happens.”

They laughed.

Continue reading

03/6/17

Texas Bluebonnet Season

OK, y’all, I’m giving you fair warning. We’re getting close to Bluebonnet Season in the Texas Hill Country west of Austin By God Texas.

Last year and in 2015, I got a lot of push back for not warning folks of the impending bluebonnet blooming.

So, here it is, dear readers. Get ready to take a trip to the Willow City Loop.

20160413_171318

Do not blame a Big Red Car if y’all miss the Bluebonnet Season in the Hill Country just west of Austin By God Texas. On Earth as it is in Texas!

Continue reading

03/6/17

Advice Redux — CEOs Only

Big Red Car here working on a few wire taps, wait, no I’m not. I’m getting ready to give y’all some free advice.

We talked about advice a lot in the past few years, but it’s probably alright to update our thinking just a little, why not?

So, CEOs need advice from time to time. Why, you ask? Because a lot of startup CEOs are in their twenties and do not have a deep font of life experience upon which to draw to develop their own thoughts. This is not fatal. This is just being young and being young is good. Most of the time.

Experience is expensive. Renting experience — advice — is cheaper. Plus, you can get someone who’s been a CEO for two or three decades to lend you their advice.

Big takeaway — get advice from someone who has actually been a CEO.

Not your dentist, your shrink, some accountant (unless it’s accounting advice), father-in-law (unless he’s an experienced CEO), not a lawyer (unless it’s legal advice), not a VC (unless it’s pitching or funding advice and even then someone who has been seated n your side of the table may be more helpful) — someone who has been a CEO.

Continue reading

03/3/17

IQ v I Will — Tale For the Ages

IQ v I WILL, really, Big Red?

Big Red Car here on a bluebird Colorado day in Steamboat Springs (channeling the experience with the Samsung Tablet) with a nice snowfall and some nicely groomed skiing.

So I’m thinking about two of The Boss’s CEO pals. Very different guys.

One is someone The Boss thinks of as being, perhaps, the smartest human he has ever met.

The other is a plodder — Big Red Car’s opinion, not The Boss — and is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Who gets the better outcomes?

Continue reading

03/1/17

Politics, Not Everything Is Political

Big Red Car here and I’m really angry. Vexed. Irked. Pissed off. I have waited until almost noon to write this so my anger might dissipate and my calm might temper my comments. It has not worked.

Last night during President Trump’s State of the Trump talk to a joint session of Congress, the President honored the widow of SEAL Ryan Owens.

carryn-owen-trump--1280x720

The press reported it as the longest sustained standing ovation in the history of such things. Watching Carryn Owens cry on public display was a touching moment. If you were untouched, then go see your doctor and ask him, “Do I have a heart?”

It was heartbreaking, because when everyone else went home last night to their loved ones, she did not. Her husband SEAL Ryan Owens was killed on a raid against terrorists in Yemen.

Continue reading