Entrepreneur Educator, Program Developer, UTexas Prof

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  • The Upside of Getting Screwed Over

    The Upside of Getting Screwed Over

    I’m an advisor to a company that makes beef jerky. The founders are Bolivian and their product has done well down there…but the market is small. They relocated the business to Texas and I’ve been helping them get the business in motion. One of the founders shared a story that I can’t stop thinking about…

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  • Where Nobody Wants You to Become a Millionaire

    Where Nobody Wants You to Become a Millionaire

    A “one that got away” shady business deal in Russia…Nine years ago, a colleague-of-a-colleague had a connection to someone who worked under Putin. Putin wanted to beef up Russia’s economic presence in the East as a hedge against the West’s global business dominance. Putin had selected Vladivostok—a port city abutting China and the Pacific—as the next big thing for Russian entrepreneurship.

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  • Ask For More

    Ask For More

    MBAs, psychopaths, and natural-born salespeople are experts at making the big ask. A position outside of their experience level, the phone number of someone out of their league, free guac at Chipotle, things that others would never consider possible, they do with aplomb.

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  • Big Ideas Aren’t Enough

    Big Ideas Aren’t Enough

    One of the cruel realities of the world is that a good idea won’t go far on its own. A good idea—especially one that is novel, original, and unproven—needs a persuasive, resourceful person pushing it forward.

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  • The Time We Turned Down NBC’s The Office

    The Time We Turned Down NBC’s The Office

    I took my first office job in 2001 working the customer service desk of a company called Despair, Inc. (Yes, that is an actual company name). Despair had built a nice little business making products that parodied a specific type of motivational posters.

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  • The Magic of the First Few Cohorts

    The Magic of the First Few Cohorts

    In certain communities of practice (participants in startup accelerators, students in courses, attendees of conferences) something special happens before things get too big. This piece is for people wanting to find—and benefit from—these cohorts. In 2009, some grad students and I started a student group because we were confounded.  Why, we wondered, were so few […]

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