In the mid 1990s, I was running a large angel capital group in Greenville, SC. An associate heard about an organic grocery store chain in Asheville, NC seeking to grow. We called on the founder, Roger, who gave us a tour of his store and convinced us he had a strong concept. We had folks with lots of grocery experience in our investor group.
After investing we opened a second store in Charleston, SC. That didn’t go well. We took a step back and asked a series of questions that defined the company’s future.
What is essential to achieve our…
I had the privilege late in her career of interviewing Virginia Uldrick, the long time founding President of the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities.
From early in her life Virginia wanted to be a performer. Her mother inspired her to be an out-of-the-box thinker and pursue her dreams, while instilling in her a strong sense of personal accountability. She attended Greenville High School, where her chorale director and the drama teacher helped develop her craft. …
"As long as people keep telling me what I wrote made their lives better, I’ll keep writing." I absolutely agree. I have been doing a weekly update on South Carolina Public Radio for about fifteen years. Just about the time I get bored and decide to quit, someone will tell me how impactful a recent broadcast was to them. That keeps me going.
There’s a great line in a country song, “I was country before country was cool.” I was a successful social marketer long before it was cool. The digital tools are new. The reach of the Internet is enormous. People were social creatures before the Internet came along. The basic social marketing concepts that work aren’t new.
I’m a pretty good amateur photographer living in the beautiful town of Greenville, SC. We have a wonderful 120 acre Cleveland Park downtown that I walk through regularly.
The park has a memorial to favorite son Major Rudolf Anderson, the only American killed during the 1962 Cuban Missle Crisis. His death may have prevented a nuclear war that killed millions of people. Justifiably there is a lot of local pride in the ultimate sacrifice Major Anderson made for his country.
The Honda Legend is the first production Level 3 autonomous car. 100 are available in Japan for a cool JP¥ 11 million (about US$ 102,000).
What it is not is fully autonomous. There are six levels of autonomy, ranging from Level 0, which is manually controlled, to Level 5, in which humans are optional. Obviously, Level 3 is in between.
Level 3 is the first at which vehicles drive themselves so humans can take their eyes off the road, for example to text or watch a movie. The vehicle detects its environment and handles immediate responses, like emergency braking or…
A young entrepreneur started a manufacturing company to introduce an innovative superabsorbant gel to the market. He had one customer, who repackaged the gel into a potting soil mixture sold through garden shops. The product’s appearance as white crystals was very important to selling it at retail.
Since this customer was so important to the company, as a part of my investment due diligence I flew to his Boston headquarters to ask the customer in person,
If I invest in the company, you are going to buy the product?
I won’t commit to buying your capacity, but I…
One of the least appreciated elements of outstanding leadership is empathy for others — the ability to connect with people and understand their needs and desires before asking for anything from them. Most people are hungry for validation from someone they respect. The creative culture that feeds that hunger launches people into pursuing their passions with gusto.
I was a tiny spectator in one of the most enduring lessons in leadership in my life. A renowned business leader, Buck Mickel, was the former CEO of the global construction company Fluor Daniel. …
Jim Anthony was an insightful lineman for the phone company. He talked to new residents moving into the beautiful Upstate of South Carolina as he installed their telephones. He built relationships with construction and real estate development firms as he strung telephone lines to their properties.
Because of his passion and lifetime of experience and relationships, Jim saw an opportunity to develop high-end resort golf communities more clearly than others around him. …
The woman in Eugène Delacroix’s painting Liberty Leading the People is leading her compatriots to either a glorious resolution or a military debacle. Which it is will be obvious after the fact.
In searching for the next new thing, Belinda Lanks said,
I am looking for one gobsmackingly clever idea executed with awe-inspiring skill.
Nothing describes the next new thing better than “gobsmackingly clever.” The challenge is in Version 1.0 “gobsmackingly clever” isn’t obvious and likely needs a lot of work though before it’s ready for prime time.
Veteran venture capitalist Thomas J. Davis said,
The principle for picking a…
Serial entrepreneur sharing 40 years of insights to control your destiny in our turbulent times