05/17/18

Experience, Addressable Experience

What is addressable experience? Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here on another glorious Thursday in the ATX in which the sun shines, the breeze blows, and life flourishes. On Earth as it is in Texas, y’all.

So, I’m visiting with a gray haired eminence former CEO who is an old pal. We get on the issue of experience.

How much is enough?

How much is too much?

How much is relevant?

How much is addressable?

It was an interesting conversation. Between the two of us, we have more than seventy years of CEO-ing. That is a lot of time, a lot of experience.

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05/16/18

CEO Shoptalk — Great Startup CEO

Are you a great startup CEO?

OK, so the Big Red Car gets asked often, “Tell me, wise and red Big Red Car, what makes a great startup CEO?”

Like most things in the startup world, there is not a single, correct answer, plus the Big Red Car is lazy and doesn’t want to do the work.

But, now somebody asked the question in a way I cannot dodge. So, here goes.

What makes a great startup CEO, Big Red Car? Tell me.

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05/16/18

Sanctions Work – ZTE

Sanctions, Big Red Car? How dreary for such a sunny, lovely day in the ATX, yawn! OK, Big Red Car tell me about how sanctions work. Maybe a real world example?

Dear reader, let us take up the case of Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment, known as ZTE. They are a maker of inexpensive smartphones and other telecom equipment in more than 160 countries and employ 75,000 workers.

ZTE is no small fry on the international scene. When the Chinese government wants to wiggle into bed with a country, they often provide loans as an economic development tool.  Those loans? What are they used for? To set up a nationwide cellular network built by … wait for it … ZTE!

ZTE is an important element of Chinese international policy.

The Chinese also see that a large company like ZTE can break the stranglehold that American tech companies have on China. It is a nationalistic undertaking.

But, ZTE ran afoul of American sanctions. How?

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05/15/18

The Battle of New Market

Big Red Car here on the anniversary of the Battle of New Market on 15 May 1864. It is a touchstone of the Virginia Military Institute whose cadets stormed Yankee artillery batteries with bayonets across a muddy field which came to be known as the Field of Lost Shoes.

Related image

A vignette from a painting which stands in Jackson Memorial Hall at VMI depicting the successful bayonet charge of the Virginia Military Institute Corps of Cadets on 15 May 1864 in New Market, Virginia whereat they captured Union artillery batteries thereby driving the Union forces from the Shenandoah Valley.

The cadets lost 10 KIA and 47 WIA, but drove Yankee general Franz Siegel out of the Valley of Virginia. The Shenandoah Valley was the “breadbasket of the Confederacy” and its loss would have doomed the South.

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05/12/18

Jerusalem and President Trump

Big Red Car here on a lovely ATX day. Nice and sunny, but cool.

This Monday is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. It is also the day that the United States will convert its Jerusalem consulate into the mother ship — the United States Embassy in Israel. [The US has had a consulate in Jerusalem for decades. They are simply renovating and re-flagging the consulate.

This was first directed to be done by the US Congress in 1995 during the Clinton administration. The law provided that the executive branch could waive this directive every six months for a “good reason” which Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump did until President Trump announced – “That’s it, y’all. The US Embassy moves to Jerusalem. Now. I promised I’d do it and by God I will.” [Note: This is one of the reasons why a lot of people support him. He does what he says he’s going to do.]

Bibi and Don with their wives meet to discuss Jerusalem, March 2018. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

 

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05/12/18

Founder Fog

Founder fog. Weather report in startup world is calling for founder fog? Huh?

Big Red Car here on a glorious Saturday morning in the ATX – Austin By God Texas.

Up early with contractors arriving to do some renovation work and the new granddaughter, Tempe, known as Baby T. She is a Southern girl from Savannah.

Baby Tempe and Gwantpa discussing Founder Fog with red-headed momma on her second startup at the elegant and delicious Tiny Boxwoods, Austin, Texas

So, I have had four conversations with founders in the last month in which there is a common issue which I shall call the fog of founderdom.

How does it manifest itself, Big Red Car, you ask? Let me tell you.

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05/9/18

CEO Shoptalk – Plan B

“Wow, that plan really sucks. What’s plan B?”

Big Red Car here with a conversation with a couple of CEOs swirling in my head. What got me thinking was my recommendation to “burn the boats” meaning making a total and irrevocable commitment to a plan.

One of the CEOs said, “What’s plan B?”

It was an interesting conversation.

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05/2/18

Leaving NYC

Leaving NYC, Big Red Car, who’s leaving New York now? Financial enterprises.

Big Red Car here in the slightly gray ATX – still, On Earth as it is in Texas, y’all!

A recent announcement that NYC headquartered AllianceBernstein Holding LLC was moving its headquarters and 1,000 jobs to Nashville caught my attention.

It is a phenomenon which is playing out right here in Austin and Texas, in general. Firms and individuals are leaving California, Chicago, and NYC to relocate to Texas and its pro-business, nice weather, no taxes environment.

Nashville has some of that Southern mojo working in its favor, but this is all about money – real estate, taxes (state and city), employment expense, and flight from an ever increasing burden.

Green Mesquite the Big Red Car’s favorite BBQ joint. Come on down, y’all. BBQ on the Big Red Car!

It is about the money, y’all.

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