Book Review: Jason Calcanis “Angel”

I read the book by Jason Calcanis on angel investing.  If you are going to angel invest, it’s a good read.  If you are angel investing, it’s still a good read.  If you are an entrepreneur and you are going to raise money you might read it because it can help you both pre and post the raise.

Jason is a great investor.  He made a lot of money doing it.  Can you?  It’s certainly possible.  Jason was fortunate that a couple of his investments, particularly Uber, went to the stratosphere.  As with most venture investors, it’s relatively few companies that make up most of your gain.  I wrote a post on angel math a while ago.  I don’t think the math has changed.

There are a lot of great points in the book.  One point that Jason brings home over and over again that I don’t think can be Continue reading "Book Review: Jason Calcanis “Angel”"

A Sensible Discussion on Race

I have avoided posting on my blog about what’s happened in America over the past week.  Safe to say, I am not on the side of any white supremacists.  I am also not on the side of anyone that wants to end the system of government in America, like Antifa.  Ben Franklin replied to the question of “What did you do in there?” by saying,  “We created a Democratic Republic, if you can keep it” on his way out the door of Independence Hall.

Our Democratic Republic has suffered all kinds of threats over its lifetime and today is not any different.  I will say that we have a lot of different groups that would love to dismantle our democratic republic.  They’d like to dictate to us what to do, and eliminate choice from individuals.  They are engaging in violent means to repress and oppress people.  That can only Continue reading "A Sensible Discussion on Race"

Should You Pay Deal by Deal, or Total Fund?

There are more than a few ways to organize a fund waterfall. Fund waterfalls are how all the investors get paid. The return comes in, and then all the distributions happen.

There are different ways to structure waterfalls, but the typical way is after all investments have exited, the investors (limited partners) get 80% and the managers (general partners) get 20% after the LPs are made whole.  Typically, the investing life of the fund will be 5 years, and the fund will continue to exist for another 10 years before every investment has exited.  Today, LPs are realizing returns from funds started as far back as 2002-2005.  Our current fund is structured this way.

Recently I read that more and more general partners want to be paid on a deal by deal basis.

This is more akin to “angel style” investing. Angels get paid on a deal when it Continue reading "Should You Pay Deal by Deal, or Total Fund?"

Rainy Day

This summer up north in Minnesota they have had a lot more rain than usual.  It’s lead to a lot more mosquitoes than usual.  Mosquitoes are the state bird here.  We have been doing a lot of work this summer.  We moved apartments and we are rehabbing this place.

My wife likes to wake up and have a cup of coffee on the dock. But, we haven’t been able to do that for a few years since we haven’t had an operational dock.

I guess this is a subtle hint I should have the dock in by now

A post shared by Jeff Carter (@pointsnfigures) on

It seems like every late afternoon, we get a storm.  It could be that the ground in the forest is so saturated that it’s creating its own weather system.  Yesterday I finally got the dock in and the Continue reading "Rainy Day"

YCharts on the Inc 5000

YCharts has been named to the Inc 5000. It’s the best stock and ETF charting service on the internet.  You can do all kinds of things with it, and it’s easily imported to Excel.  That makes data really easy to share with clients.  What I particularly like is all the different ways you can do research on a stock.

YCharts gives you and edge and insights that you cannot get from other charting services.  The service is great for wealth management to explain strategy to clients and give them comfort they are doing the right thing.  I find it’s especially great for set ups for options trading.  They have been adding customers and scaling.

YCharts was one of the earliest Fin Continue reading "YCharts on the Inc 5000"

Chicago And Food

I go back and think about the first meeting we ever had of Hyde Park Angels, the angel group I spearheaded, in April of 2007.  It wasn’t a pitch meeting, but a “meet us” meeting at the Gleacher Center in Chicago.  We introduced ourselves and had some hors d’ouvres and cocktails.

The audience that was there were people who were interested in doing things with startups in Chicago.  Setting up an ecosystem had been tried a few times and always failed.  It failed for a number of reasons.

  • People had their hands out rather than lending entrepreneurs a hand up.
  • They tried to remake Silicon Valley in Chicago.
  • They charged entrepreneurs and they charged funders to participate.

When I was at the podium speaking, I was asked “Are you going to be like Silicon Valley?”

I was adamant.  “No.  We are going to be building companies that stand Continue reading "Chicago And Food"

Remote Work, Can You Do It?

I have followed the remote work movement ever since I spoke with Sam Rosen and Pat Griffin at a breakfast in January of 2012.  That conversation lead to investments in Deskpass and into Nextspace.  Nextspace didn’t make it but Deskpass chugs along.  They are expanding and growing into new cities.  If you do remote work at all, you need to look into Deskpass.  It can be a game changer for you.

However, not all companies can be remote.  At least in their beginning.

My daughter works for an agency, One Design Company.  They have had remote work incorporated into their culture for a long time.  For a while, the company operated out of The Coop in Chicago.  Sam and Pat started The Coop, which was the first co-work space in Chicago.

My wife works for The Policy Circle.  They get together at least once a week.  For this month, Continue reading "Remote Work, Can You Do It?"