The Blade

Thoughts for entrepreneurs from someone who's been in the trenches.

How the New Tax Plan Will Affect Startups


The newly proposed tax bills are making their way through the House and Senate. Let’s look under the hood and find out how they may affect your startup. I’ll be breaking down the main changes by Read More

1-Minute Rant: “Quality vs. Quantity Quandary”

One of the main goals of being a founder is to get stuff done. But getting stuff done and getting it done right means quality often suffers. Learn about balancing quality versus quantity in this week’s one-minute rant.  Read More

Where’s Our $90,096? Where Is Yours?!


Founders, we should be outraged over unfair economic incentives.

From January 1, 2007 to June 30, 2017, the North Carolina Department of Commerce report announced 803 economic development awards exceeding $1.5 billion. One of its funds, the Job Maintenance and Capital Development Fund, announced the cost per job created is approximately $5,631. Read More

Four Revenue Growth Challenges Within My Angel Portfolio

Sparse vector illustration of a of a generic cartoon character up an exponential growth chart. EPS-10 with transparensies. Line-art, Shadow, Color & Drop Shadow on separate groups for easy editing.

On August 2, 2016, I posted “13 Observations from a Part-Time Angel Investor.” Since then, I’ve invested in three new startups, making eight total investments. Here is an update of their progress.

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1-Minute Rant: “Play Something I Can Win!”

Discovering sales and marketing success is about incessantly trying different techniques. Otherwise, how will you know which processes will work best? Read More

Six Attributes of Explosive Growth Startups

A common growth path for most successful startups is taking five years to grow their revenue from zero to one million—and then growing 10-20 percent annually thereafter. A solid result, but certainly not an explosive growth result. Their founders begin to bang their heads against the wall wondering: “My company is successful, but why isn’t it hugely successful? Where’s the explosive growth?” Read More

Four Reasons Every Startup Should Hire College Interns

NATIONAL LAMPOONS ANIMAL HOUSE, John Belushi, 1978. ©Universal Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection


We have entered a golden era for finding part-time and contract workers! Throughout my years of starting companies, I’ve had the most luck hiring interns. They have offered a higher return on investment than any other investment I’ve made. Read More

1-Minute Rant: “The Blade Years”

Successful startups experience four stages of growth. The most fascinating stage that is the least attractive and most crucial is “The Blade Years”; the first three years when revenue and growth are low. Read More

Don’t Run Your Startup Like The Dean’s Office



My father, who for 50 years has worked as a mathematician at N.C. State, recently exclaimed, “When I arrived at N.C. State, the dean’s office was comprised of the dean, a secretary, and a part-time associate dean–and that’s it. Read More

Cold Calling Works; I’m Just Sayin’



Cold calling is out of vogue – basically uncool. Marketing and startup pundits bash cold calling as a waste of time and “pushy.” Instead, they say you should pursue partnerships, content marketing, public relations, social media, request referrals, or other cool methods. (By the way, content marketing is really cool!) Read More