Looking Ahead

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In Portland Oregon, the Pacific Northwest (I just love that phrase) and America, the year will be a continued focus on building the momentum in executing the vision to make the new economy model deliver prosperity for those fixated on bringing their dreams to reality.

This post is simply about giving my comments of hope, caution and encouragement to all of my friends and colleagues; and even a few I haven’t met yet.  Let’s make great thing happen this year, let’s engage the community for social good and make some change.  And let’s do it a way that champions the cause of free enterprise; ethical capitalism that executes in a way that provides pathways of opportunity for every one of those folks who has a dream and needs a lil bit of support to get there.

That’s it. May all your dreams come true.

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The Funk Brothers, a tremendous influence

Cover of "Standing in the Shadows of Moto...

Cover of Standing in the Shadows of Motown

Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002) – IMDb.

I watched this film today.  Wow, what an emotional experience for someone who grew up through the influences of Motown and their artists.  Memories ran through my mind with a warmth of feeling reminisce of Grandma’s soft cheek.

The tracks, the expressions, the stories of the people behind the scenes make this movie a great journey and an absolute must see for anyone who has ever felt heat in their soul through the sounds of the Motor City.  One of my favorite all-time blues artists gets mentioned in the film, John Lee Hooker, and some of these guys played with him.

The  rhythm & blues influence of these men has been pivotal to American pop culture, their contributions having given rise to many US & European artists that defined rock n roll in the 60s, 70s, 80s and well beyond; I am thinking about the Rolling Stones at this moment.  These are the guys that gave Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Night, Four Tops and many others the funk, the groove, and the back beat that made us jump, made us boogie and made us go out and buy records.

Members of the Funk Brothers were real creatives of their generation, and Berry Gordy the quintessential entrepreneur; together they were innovative, they disrupted their markets with a new musical genre that enabled Motown to redefine and capture a new market opportunity.  Another success story of a great enterprise founded by a few guys working in their garage, like Apple and Hewlett-Packard but just a different sense of purpose.

Parallels run through Silicon Valley and the Motor City:   start-ups are exciting,  emotional and energizing.  Was Detroit’s Hitsville USA “Studio A” America’s first start-up incubator?

If there is a business take-away from the movie – don’t forget your Term Sheet!

Watch this movie.

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Celebrate Global Entreprenuership Week: Nov. 14, 2011


Fall is always a time for reflection, a time to refresh your ideas and a time to update your goals for the next year.  Most enterprises go through a formal planning cycle this time of year to rebalance and refresh.  What about your new ideas?  How are you going to better enable your organization to become more innovative and entrepreneurial to advance the ball?

November brings Fall to a close and what better time to celebrate entrepreneurship.  Global Entrepreneurship Week brings a celebratory atmosphere to being creative and striving to harness that next breakthrough innovation that can transform something.  Through the spirit of being entrepreneurial, we can each advocate for constructive, positive change in our community.  We can promote beneficial things, perhaps philanthropical, socially, commercially, and equality.

You may even launch a new company, or make plans to; so that your boldest ideas have a way to seek reality.  It is better to dream, and to seek to make it happen in some way than to look back next Fall upon a weathered hope.  And if you fail, celebrate the fact that you reached out there with enthusiasm.

Entrepreneurship, the mindset and activity of being entrepreneurial, is all about advocating and promoting something you feel passionate about.  Yes, its primary links are to creating new business ventures, and its great to harvest a commercial success with something you create; but it is not limited to business, money and the pursuit of wealth.  It is also about enabling good things to happen in your community.  It is the way to promote social well-being in a manner that can generate opportunities for better lives for all. Things like sustainable job creation, the opportunity to scale new businesses that contribute taxes for infrastructure and services, rebuilding and revitalizing local economies and the promotion of indigenous technological strengths of the community around which other economically beneficial support systems emerge.

What are you doing during GEW?  I hope it is something inspiring.  Something that gives air and light to your ideas, and in ways that advance well-being in the community.  Give it shot, it is funtastic!

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The State of Venture Capital and the Internet | TechCrunch

The State of Venture Capital and the Internet | TechCrunch.

WikiWorld comic based on article about Disrupt...

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The slide set contained in this article cleanly captures the current affairs of the VC market and Start-up community.  Though rather lite on how the disruptive technology eco-system can better foster development of emergent opportunities, it does contain very interesting projections of disruptive transformation within content-based TV programming and what is beginning to happen in this space.

It will be interesting to see if Mark Suster is right with this call, I believe he is.  I will be looking to further enable this trend to gain traction in my local market.

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The Fed says: no more QE, that ship has sailed ?

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Ben Bernanke, Existentialist | Daniel Gross – Yahoo! Finance.

for the Cliff Notes and here for a little more substance:

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke Hints At Potential Need For Additional Stimulus

Maybe there will no QEx, lets hope not.  We do not need any further taxpayer subsidized underwriting of major bank profits.  They won’t fail, so says Warren Buffet.

It appears that Bernanke’s speech was a clear indicator that the Fed is finally poised to enable a ‘free-market capitalist’ economy to function in line with its mantra:  a free market where financial resources always seems to find the most efficient path along its way to the other exploits of capitalism, that being the most efficient use of labor and land.

We will rebound, and reinvent along the way – that is our nature.  Innovation through entrepreneurialism, unbounded by unfair advantage to the corporate oligarchs that has been the Fed purpose these last few years.

Let it go. I am very happy the Fed is taking a long-term view of our macro economic scenarios; this is exactly what we need to recover.

Now if we can just convince Washington to keep out tax dollars at home, you know for little stuff like stimulating investment by entrepreneurs to rebuild our true GDP production capacity by having businesses invest in capabilities that make and sell things that employee people, we might get a macro-economic fiscal program that works.

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Which Portland? America’s Best Cities for Young Professionals

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See This Story:  http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/power-your-future/america-best-cities-young-professionals-185412024.html

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

Portland, Oregon should be on this list. We are a  mecca for young people, including young professionals.  There are significant industry players in the technology community that are based here,  and we have a great presence in medical sciences, financial services, global trade, sustainable energies, did I mention sports among others; and we have a great urban university and a couple more just South.

Why is there no jobs growth? Actually, here in Oregon we have continuing job reduction.   We need to get more companies applying the cash in their idle bank accounts by making investments in innovation via incubating new ideas and creating market breakthroughs which in turn creates jobs, profits and wealth.  Building a company though should be as much about investing in the community for the longer term to create a sustaining economic contribution through employment and the local tax contributions, not just a quick exit play.   And too many legacy, mature companies today are sitting on huge piles of cash, doing nothing, and instead of investing for innovation they continue to carve out jobs en-masse; this decimates  communities, bringing them to stagflation. This is rapidly becoming our National problem.

I read a story yesterday about one of our hot local exciting start-ups in apparel.  Here was (is) a great opportunity for the local entrepreneur to create local jobs and build community; sounds great but the founder should rethink the idea of manufacturing offshore and invest locally in the community to produce the goods.  I believe the economics of local production will even out and it will have greater impact to the local jobs market which we desperately need.  Take a truly global view of what it means to build a company in a community.

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Tri-Met’s Open Source App Gets Media Attention from Government Technology Write-Up

Kudo’s go out to the programmers, designers and innovation leadership folks at Tri-Met for taking risks to create community focused solutions in a very cost-effective manner.  The OpenTripPlanner application gets good reviews and a Top Story billing at that.

Through creativity and a collaborative culture, Tri-Met managed to address technology and fiscal constraints in a way that enabled public-sector services delivery to the community in a very admirable way.  Good Work!

Government Technology: State & Local Government News Articles.

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$20B Brand Advertising Opportunity for U.S. Consumer Internet

TC Teardown: Who Is Best Positioned To Win The $20 Billion Brand Advertising Prize?.

I found this article very valuable in breaking down the business opportunity for web social platform providers (apps, services, interactive etc)  to capture greater share of corporate ad budgets.

The transforming consumer web space (e.g. fb, tw, 4sq, grpn and more to come…) provides a new and unlimited greenfield opportunity for web software pioneers to create unique attention-capturing online products that provide superb consumer web experiences which in-turn will give incentive for traditional brand marketers to direct their ad spend to these online consumer-focused platforms.


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Today’s Big Iron: Some Computing Problems Don’t Change – Like the Network Bandwidth Constraint to True High Performance

How Hunch Built a Data-Crunching Monster.

Latency remains a big problem for social platform innovators creating new software systems that very rapidly produce user profile dimensions and recommendations from very large indexed data sets.

Notice the fall back to assembler and C programming languages for fast execution, and coupling this with internalizing all of the processing within a massive server to reduce latency via a single system bus versus network of servers.  Good Stuff!

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The Browser vs. The Mobile App, Who Wins?

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How Dead Is the Web? – Jared Keller – Technology – The Atlantic.

This is a quick read published by Jared Keller of the Atlantic on the current state, and prediction,  of the consumer’s internet experience in light of all the chatter about displacement of the static browser vis-a-vis the more fluid app-laden mobile device.

It seems advancements brought by HTML5 and related tools may evolve, extend and regenerate the life of the “web-site” through greater accessibility, interactivity and functionality; and how this enhanced capability will target the users’ desired qualities of sharing, socializing and engagement.  Thus, we will likely continue to evolve the converged internet experience through the web browser as much as we do the mobile app.

I found a bit humorous the moderator’s comment that “people will pay the for the opportunity to share”.  This statement sure does make us sound desperate … Nonetheless, to me, the consumers’ significant desire to “share” through a digital dialogue really further extends the concept of creating enterprise value beyond social networking as a way to monetize relationships by selling ads into content.  This incrementally emphasizes the paid subscription as a key component of value determination.

I enjoyed the article enough to share it with you.

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