Those Who Do it All… Shouldn’t

Paul Jones, co-chair of Venture Best, the venture capital practice group at Michael Best, has been selected as a regular contributor of OnRamp Labs, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel blog covering start-ups and other Wisconsin technology news. Paul’s most recently contributed piece, “Those Who Do it All…Shouldn’t” can be found under their Business Tab in the Business Blog section: Click here to view his latest blog.

A short excerpt can be found below:

“In more than thirty years in and around the high impact entrepreneur and investing space, I’ve come to the conclusion that every entrepreneur, even and in fact particularly the most successful, has at least one serious personality flaw.

One of the more common flaws is the “I can do it all” personality: the entrepreneur who insists that they are not only good at, but the best at everything involved with making their business a success.

What really makes the “I can do it all” entrepreneur so frustrating is not so much that they are almost always wrong about their capabilities. Rather it is that even if an entrepreneur really is the best at everything actually doing everything is still a bad idea.”

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What Good VCs (Don’t) Do

Paul Jones, co-chair of Venture Best, the venture capital practice group at Michael Best, has been selected as a regular contributor of OnRamp Labs, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel blog covering start-ups and other Wisconsin technology news. Paul’s most recently contributed piece, “What Good VCs (Don’t) Do” can be found under their Business Tab in the Business Blog section: Click here to view his latest blog.

A short excerpt can be found below:

Venture capitalists are not the most popular folks in the entrepreneurial community, for a lot of reasons, some of which are understandable if not necessarily good.

At least one reason for not liking VCs is clearly a good one, albeit one that doesn’t apply to most VCs. The reason is this: Some VCs take compensation – cash, equity, etc. – for serving on the Board of Directors of their portfolio companies, or for providing the kind of “value added” mentoring and networking that good VCs routinely provide. That’s just wrong.”

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Freedom is Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose — sung by Janis Joplin, “Me & Bobby McGee”

Paul Jones, co-chair of Venture Best, the venture capital practice group at Michael Best, has been selected as a regular contributor of OnRamp Labs, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel blog covering start-ups and other Wisconsin technology news. Paul’s most recently contributed piece, “Freedom is Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose – sung by Janis Joplin, “Me & Bobby McGee” can be found under their Business Tab in the Business Blog section: Click here to view his latest blog.

A short excerpt can be found below:

High impact entrepreneurs come to the arena with a wide range of handicaps their bigger, established competitors largely don’t face.

Startups are notoriously short of capital, talent and time. They typically compete with better-armed, established businesses with ample capital and human resources, and substantial brand equity. It is a wonder, to me, that even a small portion of startups succeed.

But they do. And so you have to ask how. How can small, undercapitalized startups with nothing but ideas and small overmatched teams, in the space of a few short years, not just compete in, but win sizeable markets. They must, it seems to me, have some advantages; some assets that, when properly deployed, more than make up for their obvious liabilities. What are those assets?

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Two Cheers for Cheerleading

Paul Jones, co-chair of Venture Best, the venture capital practice group at Michael Best, has been selected as a regular contributor of OnRamp Labs, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel blog covering start-ups and other Wisconsin technology news. Paul’s most recently contributed piece, “Two Cheers for Cheerleading” can be found under their Business Tab in the Business Blog section: Click here to view his latest blog.

A short excerpt can be found below:

Esprit de corps is a good thing. Building strong morale is an important part of building a winning team, on the battlefield, on the playing field and in business. And cheerleading can be a worthwhile part of plans for building esprit de corps.

Celebrating high performance is a good way to encourage high performance, and encouraging high performance is, finally, the ultimate objective of cheerleaders.

So far, so good. There is a problem, though, when the folks doing the cheerleading go overboard, in the sense that they confuse the role of cheerleading with the role of honest assessment and communication. It’s bad enough when people – including entrepreneurs – start believing their own press releases. It’s worse when they start listening to cheerleaders who confuse enthusiasm and energy with success.”


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You’re So Vain

Paul Jones, co-chair of Venture Best, the venture capital practice group at Michael Best, has been selected as a regular contributor of OnRamp Labs, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel blog covering start-ups and other Wisconsin technology news. Paul’s most recently contributed piece, “You’re So Vain” can be found under their Business Tab in the Business Blog section: Click here to view his latest blog.

A short excerpt can be found below:

I am often asked what some of the big obstacles are in terms of building a self-sustaining high impact entrepreneurship and investing sector in the Badger State. Two of the popular candidate answers, not that popularity means a lot, are a lack of capital and a lack of talent.”

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First Billion-Dollar Exit for Crowdfunding. Well, Sort Of.

Paul Jones, co-chair of Venture Best, the venture capital practice group at Michael Best, has been selected as a regular contributor of OnRamp Labs, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel blog covering start-ups and other Wisconsin technology news. Paul’s most recently contributed piece, “First Billion-Dollar Exit for Crowdfunding. Well, Sort Of.” can be found under their Business Tab in the Business Blog section: Click here to view his latest blog.

A short excerpt can be found below:

Enthusiasts for the brave new world of equity crowdfunding got some good news recently when various media outlets, including Forbes reported on the first billion-dollar exit by a crowdfunded startup. And so the crowdfunding revolution rolls on: power to the people.”

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What if the Age of the Unicorn is Over?

Paul Jones, co-chair of Venture Best, the venture capital practice group at Michael Best, has been selected as a regular contributor of OnRamp Labs, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel blog covering start-ups and other Wisconsin technology news. Paul’s most recently contributed piece, “What if the Age of the Unicorn is Over?” can be found under their Business Tab in the Business Blog section: Click here to view his latest blog.

A short excerpt can be found below:
The years 2014 and 2015 were good to high impact entrepreneurs. VC investments soared, and pricing and other financing terms were as friendly as they have been since the dot-com bubble burst.

It’s the age of the Unicorn. And conventional wisdom, supported by some recent data (declines in venture funding, particularly startup and early stage capital, and the “de-horning” of several Unicorns) suggests that it is coming to an end. What will that mean for high impact startups in 2016?”

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