March 27, 2011

I'm There For You, Baby; The Entrepreneur's Guide to the Galaxy

Unfortunately, few real entrepreneurs will read this excellent book!

Real entrepreneurs will be too busy starting, building and selling their businesses, then doing it all over again. They don't have time to read books; they're fighting for survival, riches, and Global Domination.

It's unfortunate for them because they could earn the equivalent of a Doctorate degree from the School of Hard Knocks in just a few hours of reading this extraordinarily well written and entertaining story of the adventures of a highly successful serial entrepreneur.

I couldn't put it down. Loved it. Highly recommend it for all future Masters of The Universe.

March 19, 2011


Yesterday I was approved for membership in San Diego Tech Coast Angels. TCA is formed for the purpose of investing in early stage startups. One of my primary purposes of joining was to learn more about how professionals evaluate the potential for success of business ventures.

While I am now a member of the club, I guess I'm not a real "angel" until I actually write a check to invest in one of the startups that have applied to TCA for funding. So far, I participated in 7 "screening sessions" and 3 "post-screening" sessions of different companies who have applied to TCA for funding.

It's quite the intellectually stimulating process! The members are very intelligent and experienced in a wide variety of businesses.

As a member, one of my responsibilities is to be on the lookout for startups that would be appealing investments for TCA. So if you are, or know of, a startup that would like to apply, please let me know!

March 17, 2011

IdeaGrinder™ - solving the world's problems, one at a time...


solving the world's problems, one at a time...

Got a great idea?  Run it through IdeaGrinder for a second opinion.  It could save you a lot of time and money, or it could give you the Green Light.  Privacy assured.

Free unlimited use for individuals. Business versions are $4.99 per use.

This version of IdeaGrinder (A-2.2), is designed tor the professional "angel" investor who must make quick investment decisions from among multiple and varied businesses that continue to evolve.

It's smart to run your options through IdeaGrinder!

Other versions are available for the startup entrepreneur, the VC, bank, broker, and many other vertical markets.

IdeaGrinder is browser based and  runs now on PC and Mac, iPad, and even iPhone and Android.  Multiple users can share the same IdeaGrinder document for only slightly more.

Current IdeaGrinder versions and pricing plans are available at

IdeaGrinder is in beta. We're focused, determined and adequately funded.  It's a sure formula for success!  (We ran it through IdeaGrinder!)

Continued after this:

------ advertisement------
Wanted: software geniuses who are motivated by greatness and stock options.

Call     858-523-8811

This is another fine product brought to you by The Art and Science of Success in Business, in Del Mar, CA.  (

Coming soon:
Network effects database -continuously improves the value of IdeaGrinder to the ever-growing community of users ("IdeaGrinders").

Other opportunities available with IdeaGrinder:
Editorial content
Private Label Branding

March 16, 2011

IdeaGrinder™ - The Startup Opportunity Analyzer

I have for some time been impressed with the absence of any generally available system for evaluating the potential success of a business.  There are people who spend a lot of time looking at lots of different businesses, and at different stages of development, from startup to mature cash cow or IPO.  But there seems to be no system, no organized, structured way of looking at a business.

To complicate this matter of developing a standard System, there are different perspectives of evaluating the potential for success of a business. The startup entrepreneur is different from the 4th generation owner, and they have different views than the early stage angel investor or the series A venture capitalist.

It seems reasonable that professional investors would have a proprietary method, but what about the rest of us?  There should be a generalized System...

In 2003, over a series of meetings with good friend Alex Wenz, I developed a simple methodology to choose the best among his surplus of ideas.  We looked at the various elements of a business that were important to him, and built a little spreadsheet in Excel, and called it the IdeaGrinder.   Recently I ported it to Google Documents (Spreadsheet) and now it is available to a wider audience, not just those who pay Microsoft for Excel.

The design criteria for the IdeaGrinder are as follows:
  1.   Intuitive
  2.   Simple, easy to use, fast, fun  
  3.   Helpful, solves a problem
  4.   Inexpensive ("Freemium" model)
  5.   Social, viral
  6.   Secret sauce
  7.   Customizable, easily, by user
  8.   Browser based, no special software required
  9.   Multi-platform (can be used now, as is, on iPhone, Android, iPad, Mac, PC)
  10.   Multi-user - can view and update among multiple users simultaneously
  11.   Crowd source - collaborative development, none of us is as smart as all of us.
Several different versions are planned:
  1. Student
  2. Startup entrepreneur
  3. Mid stage entrepreneur
  4. Exit track entrepreneur
  5. Serial entrepreneur
  6. Accelerator/Incubator
  7. Manager
  8. Employee
  9. Angel investor
  10. VC
  11. Broker
  12. Banker
Humor may be found in some of these products...  no extra cost.

To discuss opportunities to help with development and/or content, please email me.

March 9, 2011

Living on the edge


Home is in Del Mar, a small beachfront village just north of San Diego.  Home is filled with the sounds of the surf, the colors of sunset on the Pacific, the view to the far horizon, the fresh seaside air...  Home is filled with healthy plants of great variety, splashing fountains, hummingbirds.

Home is planned to perfection, a magical place for business meetings, providing maximum comfort, superior to any restaurant, or meeting room, or coffee shop, or other public place.

Home is Mikie's Fun House.

At the edge of a cliff, at the edge of the sea, at the edge of two tectonic plates, at the edge of mountains and desert, and the open sky above all, it is the meeting of multiple ecosystems.  The weather is always great and yet always changing, here at the edge. There is a great energy about this place.

March 8, 2011

Founder is the toughest, and easiest job

Founder is the hardest job in the world to be good at, 
but it is the easiest job in the world to get – 
you just have to start.

To Achieve Great Things...

‎To achieve great things, 
two things are needed: 

A plan, 
and not quite enough time.
Leonard Bernstein

March 7, 2011

Twitter bonus...

The great hidden bonus to using Twitter as one of many channels of communication is that it focuses the mind on abbreviating the message to its core.  The more brief the message, the clearer to message can be.

You need to get attention, fill a need, and urge a specific action, and do it in 140 characters or less, probably a good bit less for maximum results.

This is a medium which is ripe with possibility for research.

Rest: A thing done in peace exceeds ten in panic.

‎Work when there is work to do.
Rest when you are tired.

One thing done in peace will
most likely be better
than ten things done in panic.

I am not a hero if I deny rest;
I am only tired.
Susan McHenry

via Kathleen Shelton

March 3, 2011

On the challenges of life among the General Population

Over the past few months I have been getting out of my cave (Mikie's Fun House) and mixing with the General Population in ways not experienced in a long time.  Some of the reasons for this include:

1.  a modicum of notoriety due to the publishing of my book (The Spirit of Adventure), which has attracted visits from/to fellow aviators

2.  new transportation (check it out) that is way more fun than the pickup truck that I was experimenting with for the last year.

3.  renewed interest in a couple of stealth-mode startups I have been mulling for some time, which has, remarkably, put me

       a.  back in school, at UCSD, to learn about startup financing from highly experienced Venture Capitalists Neil Senturia and Barbary Bry.  No one could be more impressed with me than me, who knows me quite well, that I would willingly endure sitting in a room with 30+ students (all geniuses), for 3 hours at a clip, not just one time, but for a schedule of 9 weeks (with perfect attendance no less, and doing ALL my homework).  This ends next week, but since I have found the re-education of Mikie to be intellectually stimulating, I am planning on continuing with courses in physics, chemistry, and other subjects I intentionally skipped in college (because my priorities at the time were girls, business startups, girls, cars, and girls).

       b.  on the networking circuit, attending "Meetups" of budding entrepreneurs, seminars put on by Venture Capitalists and angel investors

       c.  even (gasp!) joining various groups in the VC and angel communities.

It may seem to those who have known me for many years that I have taken leave of my senses, but in fact these behaviors are simply evidence of being highly motivated.

However, because of the Law of Cause and Effect, there is a dark side to all of this public life stuff:

1.  The first thing to go is my highly treasured solitude, of course.  Rather, my many hours of solitude have been dramatically reduced, and therefore my time for yoga, meditation, writing, reading, and breathing have all been reduced.

2.   Exercise has been reduced.  It was already at a minimum, so any reduction is unacceptable.

3.   Food quality has been reduced.  While I still have the same vegan cook (and have for the past 26 years), I have taken more breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings and therefore consume the less than ideal meals found in public places.  Additionally, I am exposed to more impulse foods during meetings at Starbucks, etc.

4.  The results of the above have been to increase my weight and metabolic age somewhat, and a general decline in muscle tone.  Not a dramatic change in these areas, but changes nevertheless.

5.  Slight increase in stress due to a busy schedule.  My stress levels have been at or near zero for years!

So, the challenges are there, but as I am fond of saying: "It's not what happens to you, it's what you do about it that counts."  Well, the first step is in recognizing the situation for what it is.  Next is to reaffirm my overall goal of radiant good health.  And then, of course to create a Plan of Action, and execute.  (Think-Plan-Do-Repeat).

I am a master at creating Perfect Days, one at a time, and I will continue to focus on that.