The Blade

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

6 Reasons I’m an “Angel Investor” Who Chases Dividends Instead of “Exits”


You might think asking startups to pay dividends is odd. But hey, I’m a realist. Let me explain.

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1-Minute Rant: “Stop Raising Money”

Despite my bad hair day, I stand beside my point that too many founders try to raise capital too early- Read More

1-Minute Rant: “You Will Always Blow Your Budget”

No matter what kind of product you’re making or how detailed your plan is—even if it’s fairly far into your development—and no matter how well you manage the process, expect that your costs will escalate and the time it takes you to be ready to launch your product or business will stretch out. Read More

1-Minute Rant: “It’s What You Learn That Really Matters”

An aspiring entrepreneur recently told me about his idea, which involves creating online contests for personal home videos. (Nothing inappropriate—just good, clean fun.) He was walking me through the complexities involved with getting it going, telling me, “To even start this business, I’ll need at least $50,000. It’ll require secure hosting. Advertising is critical to getting enough customers to break even. I’ll need a business plan. I figure I’ll need X content entrants to break even at Y revenue per entrant.” He’d clearly put a good deal of thought into the concept, and he was already thinking seriously about its scalability.

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1-Minute Rant: “Impatience is a Virtue”

If you start a company with a new product, it’s important that you keep up a fast pace of development and get feedback from potential customers, suppliers, and retailers early. To do that, you’ve got to stress the speed of activity. Check out my video about how Julie Pickens, cofounder of Boogie Wipes, did just that:

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1-Minute Rant: “I’m in Charge! NO, I’m in Charge!”

This week’s VLOG

My decisions when managing my first start-up, First Research, weren’t perfect ones, but at least I made them quickly. Speed was my mantra! But if you want to do things slowly, log-jam your governance with fifty-fifty partnerships. Check out my rant.

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1 Minute Rant: Pivots Big and Small

This week’s “VLOG” rant discusses

Hockey Stick Principle #49: When pivoting, it’s best to start small.”

Pivoting is changing direction or trying something new when some aspect of your business model isn’t working (i.e., market, price, sales method, product features). Read More

1 Minute Rant: Be Like a “Devilish” Start-up or Just Part of the Pack?













In 1999 my beloved Wolfpack from NC State SOLD OUT. They took originality and became the expectedness. Remember, going after money isn’t always the best formula so when it comes to your start-up, stick to your roots and live by the mantra of The Beatles “I don’t care too much for money, for money can’t buy me love.”

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1-Minute Rants from a Master Complainer

Hi everyone! I’ve started filming “1-Minute Rants” and posting them on my Vimeo Channel. Check them out. These rants offer my succinct thoughts about how to start a company and discover hockey stick revenue growth. They are a blast to produce! In the meantime, I’m occasionally posting written blogs and summaries of my 1-minute rants.

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The Most Important Lesson I Learned from Revel Systems’ Lisa Falzone

The Most Important Lesson I Learned from Revel Systems’ Lisa Falzone

While writing The Hockey Stick Principles, I interviewed dozens of founders. This blog is part of a series, “The Most Important Lesson I Learned from…” Look out in the coming weeks for others like this one. 

Lisa Falzone, age 31, is cofounder and CEO of hugely successful retail point-of-sale system Revel Systems. She is quick-minded, candid, and matter-of-fact in conversation. Lisa, a Stanford grad, spent much of her twenties unhappily working for corporations. A former collegiate swimmer, Lisa notes, “My passion in life was to race. When I stopped swimming, I was pretty lost. I knew I had to find that passion with work somehow.” Read More