10/19/18

Uber Uber Uber alles

The hype has begun on the Uber 2019 IPO – initial public offering of stock.

A Wall Street Journal article suggests that underwriters are whispering that the number is $120B – $120,000,000,000.

Of course, this is what’s called the “courtship” proposal — guys (the usual suspects Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs) looking for the assignment telling the prospective client what they want to hear to get the job; still it is a huge number.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has said the company is aiming for an IPO in the second half of 2019.

New CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, likes the big number and says, “Bring it.”

Why does this trouble you, Big Red Car, you ask? Let me tell you.

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10/18/18

Senators Writing Books

Big Red Car here in soggy Austin By God Texas, y’all. It’s still raining.

So, the Big Red Car has a bone to pick with Senators, Senators who spend all their time in Washington, District of Columbia writing books.

[Talking to you, Senator Ben Sasse.]

We send Senators to DC as part of the legislative branch to write laws, not books. But, some — talking to you, Bennie boy — just go up there and write books.

Let’s break it down, shall we?

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10/17/18

Hill Country Texas Flooding

Big Red Car here with a wet top, but feeling sympathy for the Hill Country.

Image result for llano bridge flooding images

The Colorado River Bridge between downtown and Coopers BBQ yesterday. Water still rising.

Same bridge during normal flows.

Image result for llano bridge flooding images

Stop praying for rain, y’all.

Updated photo 10-18-2018.

Image may contain: cloud, sky, ocean, outdoor, water and nature

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Stop raining.

 

10/17/18

Strategy Report Card – Better Next Year

Big Red Car here in rainy and flooding Austin By God Texas. The flooding situation is getting very serious in the Hill Country to the west of Austin. Lake Travis – an enormous body of water, 30 square miles in surface area – is full to overflowing. It is at the sixth deepest depth of water since it was inundated in 1942.

Image result for images hill country flooding 2018

Floodwaters topping Max Starcke Dam on the Colorado River by Marble Falls and upstream from Lake Travis. Lake Travis is a flood control dam — thank you, Lyndon Johnson and Sam Rayburn.

So, today we talk about planning your strategy for CY 2019.

But, first, we have to take stock of how the strategy fared in 2018. Now is the time to begin that reflection.

Here is a guideline to begin the process.

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10/16/18

The Employment Agreement

Big Red Car here on another rainy ATX day. Whoever has been praying for rain, enough.

So, I get several emails from lazy folks who say, “Ahh, Big Red Car, yesterday you talked about Voting Trusts and referred to Employment Agreements. Can you give me some info on Employment Agreements?”

They didn’t bother to use the search function or they would have found it on the website. Over on the right side is the SEARCH function. If you had used it, you would have found a lot of information.

Also, if you had looked at the “Series by Subject” tab at the top, you would have found the whole list.

Not to fret, your Big Red Car organizes the info for you yet again.

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10/15/18

Voting Trusts

Big Red Car here on a rainy Monday in the ATX. [Whoever has been praying for rain locally – you can stop now.]

So, a founder calls me and says, “I read where you recommend a voting trust for a startup. Do tell?”

A voting trust is a good idea right from the founding of a company. It is something which should be in your founding documents:

 1. Articles of Incorporation;

 2. Corporate Bylaws;

 3. Option Plan;

 4. Founding Shareholders Agreement;

 5. Voting Trust; and,

 6. Employment Agreements.

[You do have the Big Six, right? Haha, half of y’all couldn’t find these docs even if you made them. Sorry, that was mean.]

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10/14/18

The World is a Dangerous Place

Big Red Car here on a glorious Sunday morning thinking about the strange doings in L’Affaire Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist who has come up missing in Turkey at the Saudi Arabian consulate under suspicious circumstances.

It is alleged that Mr. Khashoggi has been murdered by the Saudis for having written columns in the Washington Post critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and the government.

Khashoggi is documented (video) as having entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on 2 October and was never seen exiting thereafter. His fiance was waiting in a car across the street from the consulate.

What is alleged is that the Saudis dispatched a fifteen man assassination squad who murdered him and dismembered him within the consulate.

He was, apparently, set up by being told to return four days later after an earlier meeting. In that interim, the Saudis dispatched their hit squad. The hit squad departed immediately after Khashoggi went missing.

The Saudis deny all allegations – in fact, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman himself made the denials, which greatly elevates the stakes – and say that Khashoggi left by a rear entrance which was not covered by a camera. [OK, so he didn’t hook back up with the fiance waiting across the street in the Mercedes?]

The Turks, who claim to have a recording and video of Khashoggi’s last minutes taken through his Apple watch (a technology which the American NSA has kept secret for years), say that the story is fiction. The Turks also note that the local Turk staff was given an unscheduled day off on the day Khashoggi was scheduled to come get some papers. WTF?

In any event, Khashoggi, who was seeking paperwork (proof that he had been divorced from a previous wife) to be able to marry a fiance, Hatice Cengiz, showed up and disappeared. These facts are not in dispute.

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10/11/18

The Founder Note Receivable

Big Red Car here musing about how founders can get paid for the uncompensated work they do in launching their business.

A startup may cycle through bootstrapping, friends & family, angels, syndicated angels, seed VC funding, Series A/B/C/D funding.

At some time, they will be able to pay themselves some kind of living wage – the question is when?

Today, the Big Red Car shares an idea whose time has come: the Founder Note Receivable.

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10/11/18

Labor by the Numbers

Big Red Car here looking for some labor love. Nah, I’m way overstocked in love, but I do want to talk about how the labor picture looks in the United States.

The top line shout out is — low unemployment, wage gains, and more job openings than people to fill them, but the real picture requires us to look a little deeper. So, we shall.

Image result for images labor day

OK, I get it. It’s not labor day, but we’re talking “labor” right? If you have a job, every day is labor day.

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10/10/18

Execution Advantage

Talking about execution advantage, y’all.

Big Red Car here on a slightly grayish day in the ATX. ATX just hosted the famous ACL festival and had Paul McCartney in town crooning. Ahhhh, on Earth as it is in Texas.

Image result for paul mccartney images acl

Sir Paul rocking it in the ATX at ACL at age 76 years young. Big deal in Austin, but just another day in the Live Music Capital of the USA.

So, I have been thinking about the advantages a company — startup or otherwise — has in executing its strategic plan. One of the most overlooked advantages is simply being good at executing their day to day operations.

What got me thinking about this was two things – some comments on the Amazon Advantage and a comment from a Berlin based venture capitalist, Max Niederhofer. I call him Mad Max.

He recently wrote an interesting piece which merits your review: Fear and Loathing in Venture Capital <<< go read this Read it and leave a comment. Tell him the Big Red Car sent you.

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