We help small businesses accelerate growth and become more valuable to all stakeholders. This means taking a long term approach to compounding while implementing the most impactful next step.
We are business owners with significant portions of our net worth aligned with you.
Get the latest blog posts delivered straight to your inbox.
Latest Blog Posts
For a number of years I wondered why Warren Buffett used the phrase “Investment Ideas” in his early partner letters. While I still don’t know exactly, I think the Oracle was saying, “buy & build” or “acquire & innovate.” Buffett is known as a value investor from Graham-Doddsville. “Investing” is about buying with a margin Read more about Investment Ideas[…]
Today a friend came into our office to seek some free advice. His question: how do I start a business with no cash? After a long winded series of questions and answers, I should have just said, “you can’t.” Mikel said that pretty quickly. Perhaps I’m a slow study. Maybe I like a good challenge? Read more about The No-Risk Entrepreneur[…]
This morning I held the door of our building open for a woman walking behind me. She in turn held the elevator for me and asked what floor. [Side note: I love midwestern niceties.] After telling her I needed to go to 5 she asked, “What’s on 5?” I said, “Little Engine Ventures.” She looked Read more about The LEV Elevator Pitch (Literally)[…]
Last year I had a bit of an obsession with power law distributions (people naturally apply a normal distribution or classic bell curve to situations.) Recently I have come to appreciate the phase change to a greater degree. The most common phase change we are all familiar with is the conversion of water to ice, Read more about Tipping Points & Phase Changes[…]
Following a portfolio company board meeting yesterday I decided to linger and observe a sales staff huddle. Present were the CEO and two salesmen. (They each wear other hats but the focus of this agenda was on sales.) The CEO kicked off the meeting and began with a review of territories and key accounts. One Read more about A Small Business Sales Meeting[…]
Earlier today I was reflecting on the distinction between expectations and exposure. Most of us naturally assume normal distributions. We look at a few data points, plot the minimum, maximum and compute a rough average in our head. We then draw a virtual bell curve in our mind. This works for things like human life Read more about Expectations versus Exposure[…]
Some blog posts are silly. Have you seen our post about buying a stapler? Some blog posts are very serious. We post details about our Annual Meetings. This post is somewhere between silly and very serious. I’ll let you decide which way you want to read it. Today, I was updating my OKR’s and made Read more about Daryl’s “Rule of 30”[…]
We just purchased our first stapler. That’s right. We bought businesses before we bought a stapler. Today is a monumental day. As I loaded it with staples and put it on the shelf I happened to think, “this is weird… and somewhat revealing.” At our Annual Meeting I had a slide that compared Conventional with Read more about Buying Our First Stapler[…]
Smart people like to solve hard problems. But success often goes to the disciplined person with the right temperament for the circumstance. I’m often guilty of making things overly complicated. I get fascinated with the beauty of complex adaptive systems and the challenge available in trying to tame it to my liking. However entertaining this Read more about Pruning Your Decision Trees[…]
Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” supposes that economies will develop most fruitfully near navigable waterways. This is because no method of transportation is cheaper. Raw commodities will be manufactured into processed goods and both raw and finished goods, in excess supply, can be shipped inexpensively to other regions cost effectively. This will support growth of Read more about Digital Rivers[…]