Uncle Saul

Need straight-talking advice from a serial entrepreneur? Ask Uncle Saul and the answer may be posted here.

Last week’s question:
Dear Uncle Saul, How far should I go with developing my new business before seeking to raise venture capital?
- Brian

Go as far as you can! By bootstrapping your business during the early stages you will attain a far greater valuation enabling you to raise more money while giving less equity away. For more advice about VCs read "Brian Epstein is Not John Lennon, and Neither is Your VC."
- Uncle Saul



Tom and Huck

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, Act 5 scene 1
In Mark Twain’s masterpieces, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn“, Huck is portrayed as a ‘fool’, whereas Tom is considered ‘wise’. In actuality, Tom’s actions are […]

Are You an Entrepreneur?

Friday, December 21st, 2007

“You are forty, out of a job, a newlywed, your wife is expecting a baby, you don’t own your own home, you have no specialized qualifications, the only company you ever launched went bankrupt and you have just been sentenced to one year in jail.”
Source: Harold Evans, They Made America
Pop Quiz: Who was this person […]

Where Have All The Ideas Gone?

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

“Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope of further developments.”
Julius Sextus Frontinus, 10 A.D., Roman Engineer
It happens to every generation - the feeling that there are no new frontiers. The inevitable gloom that comes knowing that everything worth doing has been done. It even happens to people who should know […]

Entrepreneurial Enterviewing

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

They smile, they laugh on cue and they have a pat response for every conventional interview question. They profess to be entrepreneurs, but are they actually Wantrepreneurs?
A Wantrepreneur is a good intentioned person who wants to be an entrepreneur, but does not have the skills, personality and or risk profile to be successful. When the […]

What If?

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Did I ever tell you about the young Zoad
Who came to two sides in the fork in the road?
He looked one way then the other way, too.
So the Zoad had to make up his mind what to do.

If I go to place one, that place may be hot.
So how will I know if I like […]

The MBA Education And Other Oxymorons

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

Once early stage entrepreneurs learn that I earned an MBA from Wharton, they usually ask, “Should I pursue an MBA as well?” My initial response is, “If you want to be an entrepreneur, why would you possibly want an MBA?”
In certain instances, an MBA may make sense. However, for most entrepreneurs, the time and money […]

Pattern Matching

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

Gestalt - an organized whole in experience which explains psychological phenomena by their relationships to total forms rather than their parts.
A Venture Capitalist friend of mine once told me that, “Venture Capital is really a game of pattern matching.” He noted that whenever he met an entrepreneur in search of funding, he did his best […]

Turncoats are Turncoats

Monday, July 16th, 2007

It is 1783 and the Revolutionary War just ended. Benedict Arnold applies for a job at your adVenture. Your patriotic leanings aside, and assuming he is highly qualified, would you hire him?

Founderitis - A Ten Step Recovery Program

Monday, July 9th, 2007

Everyone around you knows that you have it, but you are in denial. You say things like, “I am open to giving control to the right person at the right time”. However, the reality is that the “right person” does not exist and the “right time” never arrives.
Founderitis, Founder’s Disease, Founder’s Syndrome; by any name, […]

Bank Robber or ATM Operator?

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

A Fortune 500 CEO once told me that I was a Bank Robber. Initially, I was offended. However, once he explained what he meant, I was flattered.


Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

Along with Dr. Suess’ “Green Eggs and Ham” and Marcia Brown’s “Stone Soup”, the seemingly innocuous board game “Monopoly” has played a pivotal role in the United States’ rise as an economic superpower.

Be Like Sam

Monday, June 18th, 2007

Many voluminous books have been written about sales, some technical, some strategic and some tactical. However, there really is only one book that you need to read on the subject of sales and that book comes from a very unlikely source, Dr. Seuss.
Without realizing it, Dr. Seuss drafted the salesman’s manifesto in the form of […]

Making Stone Soup

Friday, June 15th, 2007

Pop Quiz: Why did the Berlin Wall fall?
Some say Reagan orchestrated the Soviet Union’s demise. Others surmise that Communism was a doomed economic model bound to eventually fail on its own accord.
However, I believe that Communism failed because the West possessed three very powerful “secret” weapons: the board game Monopoly, “Green Eggs and Ham”, and […]