Lispian Random meanderings on whatever catches my fancy

Entrepreneurship: Unwavering Focus

One of the things that our VCs went on an on about was focus. Focus on the bottom line, focus on spending, focus on employee morale, focus on the competition, but mostly focus on the vision and attaining that vision. Focus, focus, focus. It’s easier to say than it is to do. There are just […]

The First Year from Hell

Continuing on with the saga that was my life as an entrepreneur, we come to the end of 1999 and the dreaded Year 2000 (Y2K). Suddenly it was nearing Christmas in 1999 and Y2K hype was everywhere. According to analysts and experts the world was about to end. I had my doubts, but it was […]

The Move and the Big Start

Returning to my recollections on Texar, we come to the latest installment on the aspects of being an entrepreneur at Texar. An investment from VCs in the bank and visions of grandeur. That’s where we were in the Spring of 1999. We needed office space and found 3500 sq. ft. of it in the west […]

RIM No More?

Although I’ve never wanted a RIM device I’ve appreciated what they offered way back when, mainly the 90s when it was a very handy device for sales people or those on the road. An easy way to stay connected. But I could never own one because the device made little sense to me as a […]

The insanity of “shareholder value”

I’ve been saying this for years. Many times those with “MBAs” have told me I’m wrong. Yet, deep down, I knew something was remiss. Something was just absolutely, 100% wrong. Why? Because it made no sense to have a company focus on guessing what their balance sheet was going to look like a year from […]

Thoughts… on plans

I’ve been having discussion regarding plans with some folks recently. It got me thinking and I’ve come to the conclusion that you should keep Eisenhower and Powell’s Axioms in mind, namely: Eisenhower’s Axiom: “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” Powell’s Axiom: “No battle plan survives […]

Darth Vader: Venture Capitalist

I’ve been through a number of start-ups and friends of mine are still toiling through theirs. And although I have rejoined their ranks as a CTO in a research-oriented startup I don’t miss the turmoil associated with trying to please investors, customers, and employees all before you have a product. Especially when it seems that […]

Sales, Salespeople, and Salesmanship

In my prior entrepreneurship entry I talked about the key hires that a company had to make early on in its life. I purposely left out one of the most important: the sales team. This could be a VP of Sales, a Director of Sales, whatever, but for a company to succeed it needs to […]

Entrepreneurship: Staffing a CEO

I tend to view things fairly simply. From coding to business I’ve found that this works exceedingly well. There are always special cases, but I tend to handle those on a case-by-case basis. I try to keep the general workings of my code, my life, and my business fairly straightforward. It’s saved me from a […]

Entrepreneurship: Who to Hire

When a company is started it’s crucial to ensure that the right people are brought on board at the right time. All too often a company starts up with a slew of techies with little or no business acumen and even less understanding of markets and market drivers. And since every successful company must sell […]

Entrepreneurship: Due Diligence

Continuing on with my occasional writings on entrepreneurship, let’s move on to due diligence. As mentioned in an earlier blog entry, I’m opting for entries regarding my forays into entrepreneurship by focusing on subject matter as opposed to chronological order. Perhaps at a later date and if it makes sense I’ll place these into a […]

Rules to Live By

If you are or want to be an entrepreneur, go read The 11 Harsh Realities of Being an Entrepreneur. Definitely worth your time!

Tom Peters on Innovation

Tom Peters gives a mini-rant on what truly drives innovation. I would definitely agree. But, to be successful, being angry about something that’s stupid is only half the battle. The other half is finding those people who similarly believe a given system is stupid and are capable of assisting in change. Otherwise, you can be […]

The Real Work Begins

During the Winter of 1998-99 I had spent time discussing the possibility of having certain people join me at Texar. I had my sights on a number of people who I had known from prior interactions and with whom I’d hoped to reconnect. One of my primary targets was Tony, who I had met at […]

First Mover? Fast Follower?

Just a quick note to point out Steve Blank’s latest, Why Pioneers Have Arrows in Their Backs. Awesome. Read it if you’re thinking of starting a company. Especially if you think it’s revolutionary.

Your Software is Crap, Get Used To It

I’ve rather grown tired of some software developers and companies who don’t seem to comprehend the simple fact that all software is crapola. And that the definition of a good programmer is one who knows his software is crap. By definition, a good programmer will immediately know a better way to do something right after […]

Blackpad … Playbook

I saw the demo of the new Playbook by RIM powered by QNX. It looks impressive. Which, to be honest, is exactly what I’d expect from the crew from QNX. They are truly an impressive bunch of techies who comprehend their market and whose software is superb. I’ve had the pleasure of working with QNX […]

Riding the Rollercoaster
Riding the Rollercoaster

In 1998 I graduated with another degree in Computer Science, this time a Master’s degree. If nothing else it proved I had enough perseverance to get to the end game. Even so it was only the start of my intentions. My wife and I wanted to take the technology I had developed and take it […]

The Beginning: Becoming an Entrepreneur
The Beginning: Becoming an Entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur all starts with a single desire: to change the world. You think you can change it by coming up with a cool piece of technology, something no one else has. Something that will fundamentally change and challenge the way the world functions within a particular arena. My arena of expertise is computer […]

Good Enough to be Great
Good Enough to be Great

I’ve just revisited Good to Great by Jim Collins again thinking about how it ties back to startups. Although the reviews are all over the map I do wonder how many reviewers have tried to start a company or work at a mediocre firm with people that just don’t care? After reading the book I […]


I pointed out the great video explaining what truly motivates people before. The book just goes into more details, highlighting research and what it takes to truly motivate people. The irony of much of the book is that the answer to how to motivate is simply “Get out of the way.” Throw in some trust […]

Do It Again

The question every entrepreneur gets is: “Would you do it again?” Although many waffle on the answer they do usually agree that they would do it again, but that they would definitely change a number of things. Founding Texar, hunting down and securing venture financing, hiring dozens of people, and unexpectedly riding the dot com […]

The Venture Cafe
The Venture Cafe

I’m catching up on posting on a slew of excellent books I’ve read recently. One such book is The Venture Cafe by Teresa Esser. It documents the road taken by a series of high-tech entrepreneurs in the Boston area. The book was an easy read and, after having started and run a VC funded start-up […]

What I Could Never Articulate

For years I’ve tried to articulate the notion of it’s not about the money but you have to pay people well and give them autonomy and failed. And today I came across the following video and it all made sense. To put it into Daniel Pink’s words: When it comes to motivation, there’s a gap […]

February 2018
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