This segment is a wide-ranging discussion about current trends in business and society with a focus on recent developments in the the field of technology. Howard Tullman, the CEO of 1871, the largest tech incubator in the United States, stopped by the studio to talk with Tom and Tony.
Howard recently penned an article for Inc. Magazine regarding the "build to be bought" mentality that some entrepreneurs have adopted. While Tom, Tony and Howard agree that it's unproductive to hold onto something you're no longer passionate about, they also explained that if they hear a pitch for capital that unnecessarily includes an exit strategy, they're less likely to invest.
However, there are still some exceptions to Howard's investing rule. He explained how many firms “invent by acquisition” and why accounting rules and corporate culture have increased this type of activity. Tom sought help in identifying why he had never succeeding when funding a venture. Howard said that it was likely that Tom fell in love with the jockey instead of the horse. The entrepreneur can be great but if the venture isn’t in the right sector it is unlikely to thrive.
The discussion wrapped up with a focus on venture capital firms in Chicago and the differences between VC here and on the coasts. Firms here are smaller and are much more likely to band together to make deals, which Howard mentioned practically never happens on the coasts as competition on the coasts can be more cut-throat.
Watch this segment of “What I’m Thinking” featuring Howard Tullman,and for an interesting an in-depth discussion of technology and cultural trends.