Reflections & Reminders

After a rocky 2020 the following guidance to myself sort of fell onto the paper. I thought I’d share in case there are other business owners who didn’t set performance records this year either. Humble thyself. People matter. Improve. Maintain room for error. Share in success. Build an asynchronous foundation. Install remote operating system. Prepare Read more about Reflections & Reminders[…]

When Owners Design Management Incentives

Following my Q3-2020 report a partner inquired on management incentives. He indicated some internal debates in his own business. I shared some rules of thumbs I’ve picked up over the last few years. I wanted to try and bulletpoint my thinking such that it helps my future self, and possibly other business owners. Here are Read more about When Owners Design Management Incentives[…]

Common Practice Too Often Replaces Common Sense

This week a prospective business seller said he didn’t run his business according to traditional cost accounting methods. (I had asked about gross margins to get a sense of gross profit. This is an important indicator to me because it often reveals intellectual property and annual growth ceiling.) He gently said, “that’s just not how Read more about Common Practice Too Often Replaces Common Sense[…]

Introducing “Little Engine Information”

Little Engine Ventures (“LEV”) has conducted research on private companies since 2016. After thousands of direct and indirect records have been organized privately, we thought it was time to share a few insights about our community with our friends and neighbors without breaking confidentiality. Early feedback has been promising and so we thought we’d name Read more about Introducing “Little Engine Information”[…]

Updated Investment Criteria for Little Engine Ventures

Our basic investment criteria has not changed since we launched: get paid for the risks we take. We are not seeking guarantees. We provide guarantees and accept risk. Our guarantees often come in the form of cash and simple agreements. The risks we are willing to accept are diverse but of like kind, and of Read more about Updated Investment Criteria for Little Engine Ventures[…]


A whistle blower calls “foul.” Little Engine Ventures Complaint Submission Form A company manager once told me I remind him of a protective father warning him with a firm handshake and stern words before taking the daughter out on a first date, “She means a lot to me. I trust you. Bring her back safely.” Read more about Whistle[…]