Grays Sports Almanac for Venture Capital

Picture of Grays Sports Almanac and Eisaiah Engel's head going into a worm hole.
Picture of Grays Sports Almanac and Eisaiah Engel's head going into a worm hole.
Read this investment hypothesis before it disappears on 10.21.18.

Executive Summary

Grays Sports Almanac for Venture Capital proposes a new risk management model for venture capital. In this investment hypothesis, I outline why a venture fund might beat the odds by purchasing 2,208 to 4,416 warrants on startups. Startups would operate under a governance framework called the Founder Friendly Standard, which gives entrepreneurs control of their companies. In exchange, the venture fund would have the option to exercise warrants for 15 years—purchasing discounted equity only in the startups that become successful.

Beat the odds with a new asset class of warrants on the Founder Friendly Standard.

Credit Suisse discovered that companies where founders have a large ownership interest—like Nike, Alibaba, Berkshire Hathaway, and Google—outperform their peers by 400 basis points per year. Credit Suisse calls these companies the CS Family 1000. They are an “asset class with a compelling investment case” (Klerk et al., 2017).

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Fortune 500 board member tip for improving customer experience (CX): MAP IT OUT

map-customer-experience-journey

I own a single share in a handful of public companies. Each share gets me into the annual shareholder meeting where I can ask questions to Fortune 500 CFOs, CEOs, and board members. 2018 is my second year going to the meetings, and the strategy is effective at putting me in a room of  15 difficult-to-access people for 30 minutes. Anyone can follow this strategy. If you’re interested in replicating it, check out my portfolio here.

At last week’s shareholder meeting for a major consumer products company, I ran into a former CEO that once worked with a colleague of mine. This CEO was highly focused on the customer and led a Fortune 500 company through a significant growth period—all the way to an acquisition. Now, he’s on the board of several Fortune 500 companies. We’ll call him Mike.

My colleague and I planned a question for Mike about how to keep a company focused on the customer as you transition from an operator (CEO) to an advisor (board member).

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What is the Ray Dalio “All Weather Portfolio” for individual investors?

ray-dalio-all-weather-portfolio-eisaiah-engel

I imagine you landed on this page because you read the Ray Dalio interview in the Tony Robbins book, Money: Master the Game, and you’re trying to remember what percentage (%) of stocks, treasury bonds, gold, and commodities are in the All Weather Portfolio – adapted for individual investors.

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I’ll be the Sean Parker to your Mark Zuckerberg

Sean-Parker_Mark-Zuckerberg

When I was in my 20s, I met Gk Parish-Philp, a co-founder of DivX. I asked him how to get investors for my startup. He said, “You don’t want investors. They’ll take too much control.”

“That can’t happen to me,” I thought.

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Companies invest 4x more in M&A than R&D in the USA

I’ve been zooming out to gain a broader perspective of how finance and innovation interact in the economy for my work with the #FounderFriendlyStandard.

I asked the question: How much more money do companies invest in mergers & acquisitions (M&A) than in research and development (R&D)?

Here is the statistic that I found:

Graph showing corporate investments in R&D vs. M&A from 2008 to 2016
This graph shows that between years 2008 and 2016, companies invested 4x more money in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) than in research and development (R&D) in the United States.

The above stat comes from merging two data sources.

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Celebrity moments from the #ATTBizSummit

I’ve tucked away in a break room right now to write this post from the #ATTBizSummit. The event is a shared moment with some of AT&T’s most popular innovations, partners, and customers.

During this morning’s interview, Anderson Cooper asked Thaddeus Arroyo where he could get a pair of AT&T socks. Shortly after, Thaddeus came through.

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4 insightful tweets from #BISummit Dallas

The Brand Innovators Summit stopped by Dallas on October 12, 2017. It was a valuable event for marketers in Dallas. We heard from speakers from AT&T, State Farm, Mary Kay, Yum! Brands, Mimi’s Café, On the Border, and Ted Rubin.

The audience took to Twitter to share insights heard from the stage. Below are my favorite four tweets from the event.

Ted Rubin served as the master of ceremonies. John Stancliffe pointed out two qualities that I also admire in Ted, his candor and insights.

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What makes a thought leader?

Blue fish going one way, being redirected by red fish.
Thought leaders change people’s questions.

Three weeks ago, I told a teacher of mine that I was working on a thought leadership project. “What makes a thought leader?” he asked.

His challenge led me to search for a common thread. I studied titans like the IBM Institute for Business Value, Think with Google, and the US Federal Reserve. Then, I discovered what they had in common. Each changed a predominant question in their field.

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If you build it they’ll come moments

Baseball field at night being built

Baseball field at night being built

Lowell McAdam, the CEO of Verizon, told analysts, “This is going to be one of those if-you-build-it-they’ll-come moments…” He was explaining at the JP Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom conference why Verizon plans to keep investing in microcells and attaching them to buildings.

It’s the same reason John Donovan told analysts at the Citi Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference why AT&T was boosting its network capacity. When network speeds get faster, new technologies spring up to consume that speed. According to Donovan, “5G is different because its performance is so much better that it’s going to enable a whole bunch of new-to-the-world use cases, whether it’s live maps, autonomous cars, virtual reality.” We are indeed witnessing an if-you-build-it-they’ll-come moment for telecom.

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Your best hire is an entrepreneur—how this unique candidate creates value

Illustration: 2 bright light bulbs swinging on the left. 3 regular bulbs hanging straight down

Illustration: 2 bright light bulbs swinging on the left. 3 regular bulbs hanging straight down

Can entrepreneurs make great employees? Randy Skattum, Global Marketing Communications Director for Celanese – a Dallas-based, Fortune 500 diversified materials company – thinks so.

I sought Randy’s advice about integrating my entrepreneurial skills into a big company. Here’s what Randy had to say about my career pivot.

Eisaiah: Great to meet you, Randy. What has been your experience with entrepreneurship?

I started my career in strategic consulting. In that business, you have to be an entrepreneur. You are selling yourself as a solution to colleagues and clients.

Your intellectual capital is your product – your skills, your network, and your experience. You put that capital to work – and if successful – you continue to grow in your capabilities across projects and leverage your investments in yourself with new opportunities.

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