FEATURE STORIES

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THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF STARTUPS

by Howard Tullman – Getting a business off the ground is difficult enough. Don’t commit the mistake of making it more complicated, too.

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KILLER SHILLER

by John Jonelis – Loop slams his empty glass to the table. “Them guys never agree on nothin’. Fama gave us that crazy Perfect Market Hypothosis.” He spins his index finger around his temple—an unmistakable and insulting gesture.

Ludditis raises his voice a notch. “Perfect Market Theory—it settled science.”

Loop: “Well, I guess a guy’s gotta believe in somethin’. I hate t’ contradict a good Chicago boy but that theory is a load o’ bunk. Shiller proved it.” Loop stops. Cocks his head. Switches to a conciliatory tone. “Okay Don—Why doncha explain it to us in simple terms, so’s we understand?”

Don raises himself erect in his chair. “I try. With you, is not so easy. It go like this:”

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PAVLOVIAN PT

by Loop Lonagan – Ever’body’s gettin’ new knees, new hips, and what not. It’s an epidemic of elective surgery. And I’m talkin’ big money. An investor definitely wants in on a trend like this, but what’s da best play?

Take Jonelis, my good friend and boss. Da guy up ‘n’ gets two brand new knees—AT DA SAME TIME! Seems crazy, don’t it? What’s he s’posed to use fer legs?

So right away I gotta play bigshot. I invite John to my penthouse fer da whole rest ‘n’ recovery thing. Yeah, you guessed it—I wanna play Da Good Samaritan over Christmas. I figure they’s gonna carry him in on a stretcher ‘n’ I’ll be da hero that arranges fer all sorts o’ people t’ help out while he’s bedridden. Shows how much I know.

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THE VENTURE CANOE

by John Jonelis – Out on the water, I sing THE WRECK OF THE EDMUND FITZGERALD. I often belt that out when afloat. It never fails to elicit loud whining, accompanied by hands clasped to ears and impassioned shouts of, “Stop it—stop it!” What’s wrong with these people? Can’t folks face the inherent risks of investment? Let me explain…

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DON’T ASK WHY—ASK WHY NOT

by Howard Tullman – When we’re born, we’re only afraid of two things – falling and loud noises. From then forward we learn to be afraid of other things and too often allow those fears to keep us from stepping out and taking the kinds of risks that are essential to succeed.

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APPLESAUCE AND APPLE

by Tom McBride and Ron Nief – The students who began college this past fall have a forty percent chance of graduating in four years, and a seventy percent chance of graduating in six. They are all too keenly aware of how easily a sophisticated algorithm can replace human beings in the performance of even high-tech tasks. They are more interested in money than in love…

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THE PRICE OF THEIR TOYS

by John Jonelis – The radio crackles, “Cherokee Six, rock yer wings and rock ‘em good.” Jim Kren ignores the command. We’re no Cherokee Six. Is the controller looking at another airplane?  The sky is lousy with traffic converging on one tiny airport and special rules apply. Keying your mike is tantamount to declaring an emergency.  Aviation is full of moments like that. The entire air transport system won’t function unless responsible people break the law in just the right way.

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THE DRAGON LADY AND THE BIG BAD DUCK

by John Jonelis – This big bully shows up. All da little kid’s call ‘im da Big Bad Duck ‘cause he wears a funny thing on his head, sticks out like a beak. He wants to play fer da Elephants. Pretty soon, he says he oughta be captain. He’s got a real regulation soccer ball instead o’ that cheap kickball they been usin’.

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RAW TALENT

by John Jonelis – Ever want to be a Shark on the popular reality TV show? Wish you controlled a billion dollar investment account? Wonder what it’s like? I’m here at Chicago’s 1871 incubator doing it. Emotions run high. Hey, mine are running away with me. That guy on the end keeps grabbing all the deals!

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CROSSTOWN CLASSIC

by John Jonelis – Where do subversive attitudes fester and bloom into conviction? Childhood! Between 1st and 6th grades, I grew up in a demilitarized zone populated by Sox fans AND Cubs fans. I loved the Cubs. But the Sox shot off fireworks, so I loved them too!

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HOW TO TREAT THE OLD MAN

by John Jonelis – A huge part of the value of this excursion is the solitude of the north woods. Solitude has no price tag, so shoot the works! Surprise the old man! RENT THE WHOLE LODGE! Sure, the facility holds 25 guests. So what? It’s only money!

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HAWKS

by Mark T Wayne – “Quit talking business!  This is important!”  A shocking pronouncement coming from one’s employer!  I go mum.  Jonelis and Lonagan both jump to their feet and beer sloshes onto my fine white flannel suit. “Goal!” they scream in rough unison, and the stadium erupts in opposing voices of victory and outrage.

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KIDNAPPED

by Mark T Wayne – Weeks have passed since my last conscious memory. Weeks, I say! A man can lose his hat and perhaps even his pants, but to lose several weeks is inexcusable. Think what mischief might transpire over such a span of time!

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Twenty Questions You Will Be Asked By Venture Capitalists

by Laurence Hayward – Most likely you’ve played the game 20 questions. This game shares some common traits with a venture capital interview. So, in order to help you prepare, outlined below are 20 questions that venture capitalists most frequently ask entrepreneurs.

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YOUR BUSINESS AND YOUR CHILDREN

by Nick Arvis – “Why am I doing this?”   That’s the question dominating a President’s Advisory Committee board meeting (PAC).  None of the members—all business owners—intend to give or sell their business to their children.  Instead, in a reversal of traditional social norms, all of them plan to use their wealth to empower their children on whatever paths the kids happen to choose.

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OIL FROM WATER

by John Jonelis – What if you can make oil out of water? What if, you also end up with more water? That discovery will benefit our country and the world.  The technology now exists. Commercialization is beginning.

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THE HIDDEN DANGER IN YOUR DATA

by Howard Tullman – You need to be exceedingly careful these days that you don’t let the ease of access and the ubiquity of massive amounts of quantitative performance data cause you to over-emphasize the math and measurements—and thereby lose sight of the far more important qualitative attributes of what’s going on.

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SABBATICAL

by Mark T Wayne – Jonelis ain’t here. He announced a sabbatical and disappeared. That is correct, sir! I am in charge! That is my hat on the hook. Those are my boots resting on the WWII Air Force desk. I will take this opportunity to exercise my power as I see fit. Any fool that criticizes my splendid white suit or magnificent mustache may face instant dismissal!

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UNDERESTIMATING THE COMPETITION

by Robert Jonelis – Ever face a crisis situation? Raw panic? Of course you have. We’ve all been burned by miscalculation, greed, and shoddy research. People have been making the same mistakes for quite a long time and a young woman from the 10th Century can teach us a pointed lesson about the importance of accurately sizing up the competition.

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YOUR WORK IS NOT YOUR LIFE

by Howard Tullman –You can’t be all things to all people; you can’t dance every dance; and, throughout your life, you’ve got to make hard choices, sacrifices, and compromises, and then you’ve got to live with them through thick and thin for a very long time.

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INJURIES TREATED BADLY

by John Jonelis – Kids are dropping dead on the athletic field. Dead! These are our kids—those highly cherished and precocious little brats, grades K-12. Just a few years back we suffered a miserable year—120 deaths. Here’s a huge problem waiting to get fixed.  Tonight I get to see Tyrre Burks, founder of TEAM INTERVAL tell us what he proposes to do about it.

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THE GIRL WITH THE BLACK LEATHER PANTS

by John Jonelis – This is a winner. You wanna wow the judges? Win the crowd? Get your game face on, kiddo! Hit ’em with real passion, overflowing personality and a canon shot of enthusiasm.

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TURN THE PAGE

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© 2011, 2012, 2013 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved