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.

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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.

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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.

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10/23/16

Inspiration, a Thimbleful, Please?

Inspiration, Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here on a crisp — 54F at 5:00 AM — Texas morning. Ahhh, fall in Texas is a grand thing.

So, a year ago, The Boss is talking to one of his CEO clients and they get talking about a new hire.

This CEO runs an excellent company which he has for more than ten years. He is not a typical startup CEO and the company is profitable (always a good thing), routinely dropping 20% to the bottom line for years and years.

The company is growing at a steady rate but is poised for higher growth.

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09/24/16

Exemplars and Role Models

Exemplars? Role models? Met any good ones?

So, The Boss and his wife are at dinner last night enjoying some friends and some great Italian food at Juliet’s on Barton Springs Road in the little townlet of Austin by God Texas.

The night is filled with good food, good drinks, and good conversation. The kind of conversation that folks, who have known each other for a long time and watched their kids grow up together, engage in with all barriers lowered and minds in gear.

The Boss ponders the question — who would a young person today look to in public life as an exemplar? As a role model? If you say Hillary or Donald, I will come to your house and do donuts in your flower beds, y’all. I am a Big Red Car and I can be very dangerous when provoked. Do not trifle with me.

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08/23/16

Simple v Not Easy

Simple v Not Easy? Really, Big Red Car? That simple, huh?

Big Red Car here. It’s still a little rainy in the ATX but it sure is cooler and greener and cooler. More rain today, maybe.

So, The Boss is talking to four different CEO clients and they all stumble on the same bit of wisdom.

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05/6/16

Think Like A CEO – For CEOs Only

Think like a CEO? Do you?

Big Red Car here. Getting back to business in the aftermath of all things Trump. Nice break.

So, The Boss is talking to one of his best CEOs and the Big Red Car is eavesdropping. They’re eating breakfast, the All American Breakfast, at Texas French Bread on 29th Street close to the University and right next to Breed Hardware.

The CEO says, “For the first time, I think I’m starting to think like a CEO.”

The Boss, wanting to concentrate on his scrambled eggs, says, “Do tell. What exactly does that mean?”

Scrambled eggs bacon

There was bacon involved and it was crisp and hot. Thick cut. Maple cured. The scrambled eggs could have been a bit softer but The Boss forgot to suggest that to the waiter.

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04/25/16

CEO Prep — How?

CEO prep. Big Red Car here in a gray and foreboding ATX, y’all. Talking CEO prep today.

Folks are not born having the skills and aptitude to become a CEO. It is a learned skill and that raises the question — how do we learn to become a CEO, Big Red Car?

CEO learning image, CEO prep

Let me ‘carsplain it to y’all.

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01/30/16

Not my circus, not my monkeys — Advice for CEOs

Big Red Car here in the ATX where it is 51F at 4:00 AM and it’s going to be 80F this afternoon. Sunny to boot. A day to remember one’s sunscreen.

Ah, winter in the ATX. Hey, I’m sure it’s nice where y’all live. And what a blessing to be able to get a good workout shoveling snow, no? Blessings upon y’all!

So, the Big Red Car wants to chat with the CEOs and aspirants about the issue of delegation.

“Not my circus, not my monkeys.”

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