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


Corporate Culture

Two Brothers

Friday, February 1st, 2008

There were once two brothers whose father owned a large ranch in Northern California, in an area that would one day be known as the Silicon Valley. AdVenture ranch had been passed down intact through multiple generations and the boys’ father wanted to ensure it would pass to his heirs undivided. As such, he devised […]

Bro Factor

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Bro - abbreviation of “Brother”, meaning friend or dude. A term of endearment used to denote a familiarity beyond a casual friendship.
In the world of Big Dumb Companies (”BDC”), there is little likelihood you will establish a professional relationship with someone outside of your company that goes beyond a casual friendship. At large companies, such […]

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.

Frugal Is As Frugal Does

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

Richard White, author of The Entrepreneur’s Manual, surveyed a number of venture capitalists, asking them to identify the characteristics of successful, serial entrepreneurs.
One of the attributes identified by all of the venture capitalists questioned was, “Frugal use of capital”. In fact, several of the venture capitalists pointed out that successful entrepreneurs often have to be […]

Bang A Gong - Entrepreneur infoChachkie

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

Marc Bolan, lead singer of T. Rex, was a modestly talented glam rocker from the early 1970’s without much to say. Even so, when he sang “Bang a Gong, Get It On”, he hit upon a key entrepreneurial principle without even realizing it; words for entrepreneurs on The Fringe to live by.

Private Means Private or How To Avoid Dropping Trou - Entrepreneur infoChachkie

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

One of the few advantages you have as a small company is that you can keep your cards close to your vest. A major disadvantage of a public Big Dumb Company (“BDC”), as well as one that works closely with governmental agencies, is the degree to which they are forced to publicly disclose otherwise confidential […]

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.

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 […]