July, 2022

OK. Let’s AMPLIFY your three levels of leadership.


Another leadership development bit? But if you have no time or are impatient, here are the three levels: visionary, strategic and tactical. Skip or stay with me; but think about your balance in your leadership methods either way. The conundrum of competing needs.

Upfront Ventures Raises > $650 Million for Startups and Returns > $600 Million to LPs

Both Sides of the Table

Photo by Scott Clark for Upfront Ventures (no, Evan is not standing on a box) Last year marked the 25th anniversary for Upfront Ventures and what a year it was. 2021 saw phenomenal returns for our industry and it topped off more than a decade of unprecedented VC growth.


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Piestro Pilots Pizza Robot In Vegas


El Segundo-based Piestro, which is developing automated, pizza making robots, said today that it is rolling out a pilot of its "Piestro Pod" piza robot at Capriotti's Sandwich Shop. The startup said that Capriotti's will run a pilot of its technology at its flagship Las Vegas location, and that Capriotti's intends to purchase up to 100 of the machines within five years, after the pilot. Piestro is backed by Wavemaker Partners, and is led by CEO Massimo Noja de Marco.

All New Venture Opportunities Come With Unknown Risks

Startup Professionals Musings

Outside of dreams, there is no real business opportunity without risk. Serious entrepreneurs know that, but too many “wannabes” still fall for that elusive get-rich-quick scheme with no risk.

Can You Ask for Office Rent Relief? How to Manage Your Lease During COVID-19

Office leases are one of companies’ largest expenses, and if your whole team is working from home with no clear end in sight, you may be wondering what to do about your lease.

Holey Grail Donuts bites into $9M for Los Angeles retail expansion


Holey Grail Donuts started selling its hand-fried, made-to-order taro donuts on Sunday mornings out of a little red burger trailer in Kauai in 2018.

Are you the leader if no-one follows?


Here is a variation of the “tree falls in the forest” question. . In past insights, we’ve looked at leadership skills, ways to enhance effectiveness, and how to develop creative ideas that motivate and propel your organization to greatness. Here is the ultimate question for a leader….

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Employee vs. contractor: Here we go again.


Why revisit this issue now? Several years ago, I wrote an extensive article on the ten most important tests of a company in classifying a person as an independent contractor. See [link] for that important insight.

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GITAI Plans Space Robotics Test On ISS In 2023


Torrance-based space robotics startup GITAI says that its robotics technology will be test on the International Space Station (ISS), on an upcoming mission to the space station in 2023. According to the company, it expects its extra-vehicular autonomous robot to be deployed externally on the Bishop Airlock. The company says its robotic arm is aimed at in-space servicing, assembly, and manufacturing in the vacuum of space. gitai space robotics robot international sation aerospace

5 Key Steps For Launching A Successful Startup Today

Startup Professionals Musings

Perhaps sparked by the recent pandemic, I’m seeing a new era of the entrepreneur, with startups springing up all around. Based on my own mentoring and investing experience, the best entrepreneurs are pragmatic problem solvers.

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7 Business Leadership Traits Persuade Customers Today

Startup Professionals Musings

We are living in a new generation of business, where customers drive the experience, and highly engaged employees are required to keep up with customer expectations. Traditional business leadership practices, including autocratic, reactive, and narcissistic, aren’t good enough.

6 Lessons Startups Can Learn From Military Principles

Startup Professionals Musings

You have to be extra tough mentally to start a new business venture.

8 Initiatives For Disruptive Change In Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Does your business always seem to be trying to catch up with new competitors and changes in the marketplace? One of the things I learned from my years in Silicon Valley is that you must always focus on three steps ahead, as well as on what exists today.

5 Keys To Building A Positive Culture In Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Throughout my career in small companies and large, I’ve always been appalled by the number of people who have a negative attitude or complain all the time.

6 Sources Of Purpose To Drive Business Success Today

Startup Professionals Musings

Today more than ever, the evidence is clear that business people need to find and communicate a purpose that goes beyond making a profit, in order to ensure customer engagement, as well as your own, and drive results in the marketplace.

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7 Modern Day Business Strategies For Long-Term Growth

Startup Professionals Musings

I have learned from experience that scaling any business is difficult. You may feel good when that first burst of customers arrives, but don’t assume that “ word of mouth ” and those early adopters will grow your business to match your dreams of success.

5 Ways To Make Innovation A Priority In Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

In my experience with business leaders, real innovation thinking is rare, compared to the urge to add just one more feature to an existing product, or make a small tweak to an existing business model. I call this linear thinking , and it’s a sure way to be ultimately overrun by your competition.

6 Reasons Earned Social Engagement Surpasses Paid Ads

Startup Professionals Musings

Isn’t it frustrating to think you finally understand something in business, like marketing with social media, only to realize that the landscape changed while you were looking at other priorities?

5 Current Technologies Still Have Room For Innovation

Startup Professionals Musings

A common request I get while mentoring entrepreneurs is for a copy of the startup checklist they need to follow, in order to build a successful new business. I wish it was that easy.

Should You Negotiate Ownership Options In A Startup?

Startup Professionals Musings

Wouldn’t you like to be one of the lucky people who joined Google and Facebook when these were startups, and now be a multi-millionaire or better? So people ask me “How many shares should I ask for or expect when I join a startup today?”

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8 Sure Signs Of Self-Doubt In Starting Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Getting out of your comfort zone is always a challenge, but more and more evidence indicates that it is necessary for growth and success in your business and career.

7 Keys To Balancing Business Against Personal Demands

Startup Professionals Musings

I know some entrepreneurs with successful businesses, and others who seem to have a great relationship with their family, but I can’t think of many who have both. Some people would argue that these two successes are mutually exclusive, but I’m not convinced.

6 Motivations That Lead To Key Market Transformations

Startup Professionals Musings

Real innovation in the business world is still rare.

7 Technology Entrepreneur Examples You Should Emulate

Startup Professionals Musings

By most definitions of the term, an entrepreneur is someone who starts a new business, incorporating innovative changes to existing products, services, business models, and creating new markets.

10 Ways For New Ventures To Survive The Perfect Storm

Startup Professionals Musings

A perfect storm is an expression that describes an event where a rare combination of circumstances aggravates an environment drastically.

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10 Sharing Principles Propel Many Current Businesses

Startup Professionals Musings

Too many customers have long felt distanced from many successful brands, seeing them as closed and mysterious environments, focused only on profits and killing competitors. They may not have noticed the wave of “open businesses,” spawned by the Internet and social media.

10 Keys That You May Not Be Happy As An Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

Some people are not cut out to be entrepreneurs. This is a good thing, or the business world would be chaos, with everyone trying to do their own thing. So what about you?

11 Leadership Practices To Solidify Team Engagement

Startup Professionals Musings

In my many years of experience in large businesses as well as startups, a key lesson I have learned is that personal leadership is most often the differentiator between success and mediocrity or failure.

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7 Reasons To Think Globally While Still New And Local

Startup Professionals Musings

New entrepreneurs who want to survive, and optimize the growth of their startups, need to think globally, and act locally, from day one.

You Need A Strategic Process For Long-Term Survival

Startup Professionals Musings

Your business can’t be all things to all people, and excel at anything. Every entrepreneur and every business needs a strategy to keep them focused. In fact, in this new world of pervasive interactivity, it’s time to rethink even how to develop a strategy.

Yardi Launches Coworking Lead Gen Site


Santa Barbara-based Yardi, which develops property management software, has launched a new, coworking lead generation site called CoworkingCafe.com. The company also said it has acquired CoworkingMag.com. The new service provides information on coworking and "flex" locations, and also allows for real-time booking of conference rooms and private offices. Yardi did not say how much it paid for CoworkingMag.com, which also provides searches for coworking spaces in the U.S.

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10 Keys For Developing A Great Mentoring Arrangement

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur can learn from a mentor, no matter how confident or successful they have been to date. Most people don’t know that billionaire Mark Zuckerberg , for example, gives real credit to the inspiring mentorship of Steve Jobs for Mark’s Facebook success.

TRNXN Invests In Tabski


Newport Beach-based payment and point-of-sale software company TRNXN announced on Wednesday that it has made an investment in Tabski, a developer of QR code ordering software. Financial details of the investment were not announced. TRXNX said that Tabski's technology allows restaurant patrons to manage and pay their bills from their mobile devices, while providing operators with two-way communication to update guests on when items are being prepared and delivered to their tables.

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Kitchen United Raises $100M In Series C


Pasadena-based Kitchen United, which develops technology and operates "ghost restaurants" which exists only on food ordering apps, has raised $100M in a Series C fundraising. The funding came from Alimentation Couche-Tard / Circle K, The Kroger Co., Restaurant Brands International, B.

Kofax Now Owned By Clearlake, TA


Irvine-based document automation software developer Kofax is now owned by private equity investors Clearlake Capital and TA Associates, the companie said this week, after a sale of Kofax by prior owner Thoma Bravo. Financial details of the deal were not announced. Thoma Bravo has owned Kofax for the last five years. The deal was financed by J.P. Morgan, along with Credit Suisse, UBS, Jefferies LLC, Blackstone, PSP Partners, Security Benefit, and Brinley.

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VyTrac Adds Strategic Advisor


Los Angeles-based VyTrac Health, a developer of remote patient monitoring tools, said this week that it has named Dr. Venktesh Ramnath, MD as a strategic advisor to the company. Dr. Ramnath is an Intensive Care Unit Pulmonologist at UC San Diego Health. VyTrac is led by co-founder and CEO Zachary Fink. vytrac remote patient monitoring software executive venktesh ramnath

LogicMonitor Names CIO


Santa Barbara-based LogicMonitor, a developer of software-as-a-service for managed service providers, says it named Ryan Worobel as the company's new Chief Information Officer (CIO). Worobel was most recently Executive Vice President and CIO at Incora, and also served at Maersk Line, Zuora, Dell and Salesforce. logicmonitor executive saas software ryan worobel

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