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


Team Building

Great Expectations

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

“Now, I return to this young fellow. And the communication I have got to make is, that he has great expectations.”
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
A: You win a $20M lottery. Several days later, you learn that four other people also had the winning number and thus your actual winnings are reduced by $16M to a total […]

Finding An Entrepreneurial Gem

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
- George Bernard Shaw
In the early stages of your adVenture, everyone you hire must be unreasonable.

Listen - Do You Want To Know a Secret?

Friday, October 19th, 2007

Do you want to know a secret?
Do you promise not to tell?
Let me whisper in your ear.
Say the words you long to hear.
I can help you sell.
My apologies to John and Paul, but I am sure they will get over it.
The secret to effective Networking, Selling and Negotiating can be summarized in a single word. […]

Do They Believe?

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Each generation, a few magnetic personalities emerge and generate a mania of public interest. Before Elvis, there was Sinatra. Before Sinatra, there was Bing. Before Bing, there was Caruso and before Caruso, there was Blondin.
Jean Francois Gravelot, who wisely abandoned his given name and dubbed himself The Great Blondin, was a true rock star of […]

Be The Beatles Not The Flock Of Seagulls

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Two bands, both heralding from Liverpool. Each with a unique look, hip contemporary sound and significant initial success. So what happened?
Why did The Flock crash soon after their initial hit while the Beatles’s career has spanned nearly 35-years, including a number one CD (”Love”) as recently as 2007. Is this dichotomy merely an issue of […]

The Tribe

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

You may not realize it, but your adVenture’s Core Team is akin to a primitive tribe. The Core Team is of the three to five key individuals upon which your company’s leadership and direction is derived.
Thus, understanding the tribal organizational structure is vital to gaining an appreciation of the various roles played by your Core […]

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?

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.

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 […]