Hard Lessons Learned from a Gifted Entrepreneur

Karim Abouelnaga is one of the brightest and most inspiring entrepreneurs I have ever known. We met at the Atlanta-based Points of Light Civic Accelerator, CivicX, which is in the shadow of the Georgia Tech campus. After my presentation on angel investing, I talked with several of the accelerator’s participating entrepreneurs, including Karim. Karim’s company […]

Why Early Stage Involvement Is Critical for Success

What I Have Learned in 24 Years of Angel Investing

“What do you see as the responsibilities of a Chief Operating Officer?” he asked. “A COO’s mission is to execute on the company’s strategy,” I replied. This was a high-level question. I gave a high-level answer. We then slowly moved our discussion to some useful advice. The kind he could act on when he got […]

5 Steps to Finding the Right Business Partner

How to Know You’ve Found “The One”

“I am not going to join you unless we can become partners,” I said to Richard Brock. I was a twenty-two-year-old with no experience in business and lots of ambition working as a junior accountant in a CPA firm. Was I nuts saying that? When I think back to that moment, I can’t believe I said […]

How to Become a Legend in Football (or Business)

Monday night I saw one of the most incredible displays of leadership. Plus, it was the best college football game I’ve ever seen. There was tension right from the beginning. In spite of the 13-0 score at the end of the first half, we all knew the second half was going to be amazing. And […]

Founding Entrepreneur’s Key to Priority Setting

“There is just too much to do,” said Mike, Jim, Tyce, Greg, Robert, Kristin, and all the other entrepreneurs I am involved with. I hear this all the time. They will come to me with a problem. It all starts with fundraising. After fundraising, it is all about growth. This quickly gets to strategy and […]

The Entrepreneurs’ Guide to Building a Winning Team

4 Critical Employee Traits Necessary for Success

“I want to keep people out, not let people in. I only want people who will be highly productive. The last thing I need is to pay someone $10,000 per month and get nothing for it,” said my brilliant entrepreneur friend Jim Grady. Jim Just Got Funding Jim closed his seed round at $1.4mm, which […]

One Thing That Could Radically Impact Your Business Success

“Whose office is that?” I asked the secretary. “That is Don Thompson’s office,” she answered. “Who is Don Thompson?” I asked. Sterling Software, led by Sterling Williams, had just completed the unfriendly takeover of Informatics General Corporation. Sterling was a $20mm public company, and they completed a leveraged buy-out of a $140mm public software company. […]

How an Article in Fortune Changed My Life

On a business trip in 1986, I was flipping through Fortune magazine, and I came across an article about Ronald Perelman. Here’s how the article began. REVLON CHAIRMAN Ronald Owen Perelman has a penchant for contrasts: a tangy personal life and the practice of Judaism, fancy restaurants and junk food, earsplitting rock music aboard his […]

How Do You Fire Innocent Employees?

And Get Those Left to Trust You

This is the second in a three part series on trust. “You have to do a layoff,” said Jim Porter. We were a fast growing company and an icon of success. In fact our byline was “We are success.” Cracking the market was exciting. We experienced amazing growth through market acceptance. When a market is buying, there […]