Subscribe: Olson's Observations
Preview: Olson's Observations


Strong Opinions, Loosely Held

Last Build Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2015 00:49:43 +0000


Warren Buffett on People: Three Things to Look Forceolson7

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 15:00:24 +0000

Just a short post that includes some words of wisdom on people from Warren Buffett. While Buffett’s thoughts are generally applicable they are also very applicable to entrepreneurship and venture capital. I look for Buffett’s three qualities in any entrepreneurial team we look to back and, as Buffett says, if they don’t have the last […](image)

Media Files:

Some thoughts on networkingceolson7

Wed, 20 Aug 2014 01:50:25 +0000

Crain’s Chicago Business recently asked me to pen an article on networking and I obliged even though it isn’t a subject I like writing about. You can read more over on the Crain’s website, but the summary is this: Take a genuine interest in others and find ways to help them. The rest will follow.(image)

Media Files:

Employee Stock Options – The Big Catchceolson7

Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:26:34 +0000

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, the compensation discussion is in full swing. This morning, Dan Primack wrote about one of the key issues with employee stock options in his Term Sheet newsletter (if you aren’t subscribed – go do it now): If the employee leaves the company after his options vest, he often […](image)

Media Files:

The Compensation Question: VCs, Entrepreneurs, Employees, etc.ceolson7

Mon, 18 Aug 2014 18:08:25 +0000

Every so often a discussion ensues about compensation in the tech space. This conversation has picked up again after a tweet from Jonathan Abrams where he quoted a recent HBR piece on venture capital compensation: “several VCs support idea that entrepreneurs be paid $100k until profitable. What if LPs structured VC comp that way? — […](image)

Media Files:

Venture Capitalists: Entrepreneurs Misunderstood Best Friendsceolson7

Thu, 31 Jul 2014 13:45:44 +0000

“Entrepreneurs are not here to serve venture capitalists. We are here to serve entrepreneurs.”  – David Hornik, August Capital * David’s quote above says it all. All too often it feels like entrepreneurs are here to serve venture capitalists, but that is just not the right way to think about things. VCs exits to serve […](image)

Media Files:

Kubrick on the Meaning of Lifeceolson7

Wed, 30 Jul 2014 14:00:24 +0000

I recently came across a 1968 interview with Stanley Kubrick where he discusses the meaning of life. I really enjoyed his thoughts on the matter. I hope you will too. The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning. Children, of course, begin life with an untarnished sense of wonder, a capacity […](image)

Media Files:

Why now? A key question for new venturesceolson7

Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:18:28 +0000

Whenever a pitch deck comes across my desk I have a handful of key questions running through my mind. One of those is: Why now?  I am continually surprised by how many entrepreneurs don’t have an answer for this question or have not thought it through. Often, ideas have been tried in the past and […](image)

Media Files:

The Golden Triangle: Three things to do every dayGolden Triangleceolson7

Fri, 18 Jul 2014 18:01:30 +0000

Growing up my dad always talked about the “Golden Triangle.” It was a concept that one of his mentors passed on to him and it was a concept that he wanted to make sure he lived himself and passed on to his children. Honestly, I am not sure why it is a triangle other than […](image)

Media Files:

Skill vs. Luck: Why process matters when outcomes are based mostly on luckceolson7Antifragile Options Graph

Wed, 09 Jul 2014 13:30:56 +0000

The topic of luck has always fascinated me. In particular, I find it interesting that people don’t seem to want to explain outcomes as being influenced (heavily) by luck even though we all know that luck plays a big role in outcomes in business, investing, sports and other activities. In his 2012 Princeton commencement speech (topic: […](image)

Media Files:

Does operational experience make for a great venture investor?ceolson7

Mon, 07 Jul 2014 17:55:21 +0000

Sarah Lacy put out a piece over the 4th of July holiday on PandoDaily that asked the question: Is everything we know about what makes a good VC just wrong? In particular, Lacy is wondering if operating experience is central to being a great venture investor. This theory has seemingly permeated Silicon Valley and the […](image)

Media Files: