The Most Famous Lean Startup – EVER!


Detroit; We got our Ford, Dodge, Durant and Chrysler.  We got our Strohs, Illitch, Karmanos & Gilbert.  We got a whole slew of up-and-comers, most all had modest upbringing and rose to success through vision, risk, and hard work.  True entrepreneurs. However, my favorite Detroiter-turned-entrepreneur of all time is the one-and-only Berry Gordy. I am fortunate to have grown up in Detroit listening to Motown music.  I am even more fortunate … [Read more...]

Top-10 Things I’m Thinking About When ‘Catching’ Your Startup Pitch


When I was a kid in little-league baseball, I played the position of catcher.  I loved being a catcher because it kept me in the action of the game.  I knew that the catcher was a very powerful position and important because I was not only evaluating the competition, but also the performance of the pitcher.  My job was to evaluate, mentor, collaborate and consult.  Don't believe in the power of the catcher?  Just watch the movie Bull Durham! OK. … [Read more...]

What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

Coding in Higher Education -

I am THE Venture Technologist Nice, maybe I should start referring to myself in the third-person. Thirty-six years programming, testing, architecting, operating, managing…  After thirty-six years working for startups, founding startups, performing due-diligence for M&A work, and now mentoring startups and doing due-diligence and consulting for private-equity investments, I have finally defined myself.   Funk Brother, Rock-&-Roll genius. … [Read more...]

A Plethora of Programmers


"Well, you told me I have a plethora. And I just would like to know if you know what a plethora is. I would not like to think that a person would tell someone he has a plethora, and then find out that that person has no idea what it means to have a plethora." Thank you, El Guapo, for setting me up on my mission for 2012. But I'm talking about programmers, not piñatas.  And right now, there is NOT a plethora of programmers, in fact it's just … [Read more...]

Open-up! Technical Due-Diligence For Your Start-up


  I've been involved in dozens of mergers and acquisitions, mostly for technology due-diligence.  It's a lot of fun because you get to meet smart people, review a lot of code, and generally no one listens to your advice when you're finished! OK, that's just sour-grapes because us techies are many times brought in at the final hour to 'validate' the technology long after the deal is done.  I've seen it all.  Great architecture, horrible … [Read more...]

“Starting Up” Disruptive Technologies

Consumers drive feature/functionality adoption, but true technical innovation come from visionaries in companies who follow their own instincts. Run as many customer focus groups you want, but the really cool tech innovations do NOT come from a study or committee. Startup companies are in the unique position to drive technology innovation because: They have nothing to lose Newer technologies are generally cheaper They are not weighed down by … [Read more...]

Ten reasons why a mobile-startup is like a garage-band


Not THE Garage Band by Apple but all the garage-bands I played in the 70's.   During my 'missing years' I played in a lot of rock-bands.  We all talked about what life would be like when we 'made it', meaning signing a BIG record contract.   If you measure success by how many friends I had, I did pretty good.  If you measure success by how much money I made, well... Pretty much the same goes today for technical start-ups, minus the fame.  A lot … [Read more...]

Serendipity for Startup Success


At Compuware Ventures, we get very excited when we listen to pitches from entrepreneurs.  What they all have in common is a passion for their ideas and their belief in imminent success.  What they all don't have in common is the ability to understand the scope of work involved in building the success that eventually occurs.  Putting together an 'executable' business plan is a challenge that many entrepreneurs just don't seem to have the patience … [Read more...]