04/28/19

Great Moments in Entrepreneurship

Bit gloomy in the ATX, but who doesn’t like a few clouds? So, I have been reading several interesting books about the American Revolution. Two of my favorites are Ron Chernow’s biographies on Washington and Hamilton. They are both worth a read. I have read them both at least three times, but I learn something new every time I re-read them.

If you think these are beach books, plan on at least three months at the beach.

In both of them, George Washington and Alexander Hamilton come up for detailed scrutiny of their role at the First Battle of Trenton whereat George Washington undertook a Christmas Day, double envelopment, river crossing and attack on the Hessians in Trenton. It has been recognized as one of the most audacious military strokes in the history of the world.

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10/5/18

Elon Musk and the US SEC – Shortsellers Enrichment Commission

Big Red Car here, following the unending saga of Elon Musk of Tesla fame and his continuing dialog with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Just want to [say] that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work. And the name change is so on point!” Tweeted by Elon Musk.

Is this the smart play?

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Elon Musk taking a toke to release his inhibitions?

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06/22/18

Twitter, Square and Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey is an American entrepreneur who co-founded Twitter and Square.

Sun is just coming up over Austin By God Texas, delivering on the promise of another spectacular sunny, summer masterpiece, y’all. On Earth as it is in Texas!

From time to time, there are those who have taken issue with Jack Dorsey’s dual roles as CEO of both Twitter and Square. Hard to believe, actually, but let’s take a look at the most important report card – RESULTS.

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Name’s Jack, Jack Dorsey, and I co-founded Twitter and Square. Now, I’m the CEO of both of them. You have a problem with that?

[This is a guy named by 24/7 Wall Street in 2017 as one of the Worst CEOs in America, following on the heels of Fox News similarly picking him as the #4 Worst CEO of 2016. TechCrunch picked him as the Founder of the Year 2012. More importantly, Forbes picked him as the World’s Most Eligible Bachelor 2013. Guy’s been on a roll!]

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09/23/17

Facts & Strategy

Facts are nice things. Not as nice as a root beer float, but nice.

Big Red Car here on a cool Texas morning with the Fahrenheit set at 72. Hello, Fall!

So, I am in the midst of helping a bunch of CEOs either craft their first crack at strategy or to revise something they did some time ago.

Writing strategy is an exercise in storytelling. It is fiction. It is the future and all writing about the future is fiction. It is fiction you intend to make come true, but it is still fiction.

It is, however, based on facts.

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08/30/17

Entrepreneurial Energy — CEO Shoptalk

Entrepreneurial energy, Big Red Car? What is that?

Stay with me, beloved readers, all in due time.

Big Red Car here in the ATX in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey — son-of-a-bitch. Fifty inches of rain?

Lots of leaves in the swimming pool, lot of rain, trees down in the hood, the ATX endured nothing compared to the Coast and Houston. God bless Port A, Rockport, Corpus Christi, Houston. It will be a long recovery, but this is Texas and Texas will recover.

I particularly want to compliment Mayor Turner of Houston (all mayors), Governor Abbott, President Trump, the Texas National Guard, the Cajun Navy, and everyone who got wet in Houston serving their fellow man. Y’all are what makes Texas Texas.

Good luck, Godspeed, God bless Texas!

So, entrepreneurial energy, what is it?

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07/21/17

Risk — A Four Letter Word, CEO Shoptalk

Today, we talk RISK, y’all. It is a four letter word and it can be profane, if you let it.

Big Red Car here on a sunny, Texas day which will give rise to a 103F temperature during which the BRC will be hanging in the pool, floating.

OK, so today we talk about risk. Risk is what drives startups. When you overcome a risk, you wander into the Winner’s Circle and collect your winnings at the mythical PAYWINDOW.

But, what is risk? Risk is different to different people. If you are a green, first time founder/CEO, then everything is risky after you have tied your shoes (the reason why new CEOs should wear slip-ons).

If you are a fifth time, serial entrepreneur, then your view of risk is different.

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06/16/17

Razors — Attracting Lightning

Razors, Big Red Car?

OK, Big Red Car here talking about when a successful small company competing with a bigger company attracts the attention of the bigger company and the bigger company takes action.

Big Red Car, what are you talking about?

OK, it’s about the razor business and entails three companies:

 1. Dollar Shave Club (first mover in the space) — razor blade subscription service;

1. Harrys (with Warby Parker vibe) — makes their blades in Germany where they own a factory; and,

 3. Gillette — which just re-launched its own subscription blade service, Gillette On Demand. Gillette is the “bigger company” of which we spoke. [Cue the ominous, dark, Darth Vader music in the background. Please.]

Each company is a little different, but at the end of the day (cliche alert) they want to get you to join a “club” so they can sell you razor blades. They will almost give you the razor itself if you will just become a faithful purchaser of their subscription based blades.

There are others in the subscription razor business, but these are the big three, y’all.

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05/7/17

Risk and the Slavery of Fear

Big Red Car here, y’all, talking risk, fear, slavery and other deep stuff.

So, entrepreneurial endeavor is a risky business by its very definition, no?

When an entrepreneur faces risk, she will generate some resultant fear. Perfectly normal. Sorry.

That fear is pervasive. Never takes a vacation and lives in her brain like an African safari worm.

So, what does one do, Big Red Car?

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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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03/3/17

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?

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07/3/16

Storytelling for Entrepreneurs

Storytelling or a 4th of July hot dog, Big Red Car, which one?

Big Red Car here with a hankering for a 4th of July hot dog. You?

So, today, we talk about how entrepreneurs makes presentations — storytelling.

Unless you have been living under a rock [the Big Red Car is not judging y’all, it’s hot out there and living under a rock may be the right play], you have been hearing how the entrepreneurial world has discovered storytelling. Yawn! Sorry.

So, the other day The Boss is checking out a presentation on his favorite blog and the content was fabulous but the presentation — the storytelling — not so much.

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05/26/16

Lobsters, China, International Trade, Entrepreneurs, Maine Lobster Hustle

Lobsters? Really, Big Red Car, lobsters?

Big Red Car here. Bit dark and rainy in the ATX today but it is almost Memorial Day when we get our torrential floods.

Today, we talk about lobsters. OK, lobsters are your friend and if you go to Red Lobster, you know what I mean. [Pro tip: Go hungry. Go early. Go big. Eat the cheese biscuits but don’t get too full on them.]

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Hello, I am a Maine lobster. I am headed to Red Lobster. See you there?

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01/18/16

The Struggle — Talent & Character

Big Red Car here, y’all. Well, it’s winter here in the ATX.

Of course that means it’s 39F right now but it’ll be 62F this afternoon. Oh, well, it’s still winter. Sunny, too.

So, The Boss is talking to a couple of his brilliant CEOs and they get on the subject of “The Struggle.”

Sayeth The Boss, “The essence of starting a new business is The Struggle.”

So, the Big Red Car is going to ‘splain it to y’all. Listen up and pay attention cause I’m going to go fast today. Continue reading

01/9/16

Founders, Co-founders, Sub-founders

Big Red Car here on a wintry but sunny to be day in the ATX. Little before dawn in that quiet moment when the wind is blowing and the house is creeping and The Boss is typing.

It is 50F headed to a high of 52F. Brrrr, Big Red Car, winter is here.

Haha, winter in the ATX is 52F and sunny. Sorry.

So, The Boss has been hearing a lot of chatter about founders and how they are going to work with co-founders. Today the Big Red Car invents a new category of founder, the sub-founder.

Read on, dear readers. Continue reading

04/5/15

Inevitability — The Final Four

Big Red Car here in the glorious ATX where it is the best time of the year because of the azaleas, the weather, the bluebonnets and the Final Four.

Inevitability anyone?

In all of this is a lesson for entrepreneurs struggling with their startup businesses — an excellent lesson. A lesson of hope.

As an aside — Easter? Happy Easter! Talk about a lesson of hope, y’all? Easter is the big one — the triumph of life, love, redemption over sin. Wow! Continue reading

04/2/15

Entrepreneur Addiction

Big Red Car here. Please accept my apology for being MIA for the last two weeks. No excuse. To those who sent the death threats, I looked up your TCP/IP addresses and I will be coming to see you shortly.

No weather report today but the azaleas are in full bloom. Wow!

So The Boss is talking to a couple of his favorite CEOs and they get on the subject of addiction.

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02/23/15

Entrepreneurial Privilege — Celebrate It But Medicate It

Big Red Car here. It is freakin’ cold in the ATX. It is 32F and it feels like 25F. We are hot house Texas tomatoes. We are not this tuff. Please, God, deliver us from this evil.

Hell, ain’t nothing for a climber. Brrrrr!

So The Boss hears a damn good sermon at church on Sunday that gets him thinking about several subjects. One of them is the privilege y’all receive as entrepreneurs. Let’s talk about it. Continue reading

02/20/15

Entrepreneurial Storytelling

Big Red Car here. It’s going to be another nice day in the ATX. Going to be 72F — remember to wear a dab of sunscreen on your daily outing.

Folks in NYC and Boston don’t realize we’ve got our own problems but then we do have sunscreen. The only thing you can really count on in life — sunscreen.

So The Boss is talking to a couple of up and coming entrepreneurs. They get talking about Vision, Mission, Strategy, Tactics, Objectives, Values and Culture. [Boring, Boss, boring! Get a new shtick. Haha, don’t tell The Boss.] Continue reading