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16TH May 2017

Creative problem Solving - Fashion Snoops - Timely - Uncategorized

Opportunity and the Retail Apocalypse

Alexa- I need to reorder my shirts. Make it so. No more chilling words could be spoken to an outdated- one might say outmoded- industry. It might as well be a eulogy to Fashion Avenue. Vaya con Dios, Garmentos. You had flair. There have been nine retail bankruptcies in 2017—as many as all of 2016. J.C. Penney, RadioShack, Macy’s, and Sears have each announced more than 100 store closures. Sports Authority has liquidated, and Payless has filed for bankruptcy. Last week, several apparel companies’ stocks hit new multi-year lows, including Lululemon, Urban Outfitters, and American Eagle, and Ralph Lauren announced that it is closing its flagship Polo store on Fifth Avenue, one of the several brands to abandon that iconic thoroughfare. From what I see, it happened in five subtle steps. Here […]

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09TH May 2017

Cuba - Geopolitical - Havana Culture - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Uncategorized - Venture Capital - Vision

Innovadores and Family Office Association White Paper on Investing in Cuba

I’m proud to say that, two short years after Family Office Association put us together, John, Jono and I produced this sweeping historical overview and going-forward plan for investing in Cuba, which we called “Ready Set Go: Cuba!” . Anyone headed to Havana to discover business opportunities should read it. Those are Innovadores Interns Raynel Gonzalez (GCT Intern Class 2016) and Gabriel Garcia (GCT Intern Class 2015) on the cover. Enjoy the read, and hope to see you in Havana soon! Download the report here.      

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09TH May 2017

Cuba - Culture - Fashion Snoops - Geopolitical - Grand Central Tech - Havana Culture - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Interns - Timely - Uncategorized

Three Big Indicators Cuba will Ignite soon… (and that’s a good thing)

I’ve just returned from hosting another delegation of entrepreneurs and investors in Havana, and this trip was particularly enlightening. On previous trips, I’ve lamented the fact that things seemed to move slowly, while one of my co-founders John often reminds me “this is fassssst”. In any event, we’ve held a view that Cuba is 2-5 years from kicking in to growth mode, and one of those years has passed. We also hold the view that once it begins, it will be too late to catch some of the big opportunities as it will move very fast. (The Innovadores/ Family Office Association White Paper has more on the actual opportunities themselves.) So, what indicators does one look for? At an embassy briefing, I heard the first time about Control and Change. Cuba […]

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04TH April 2017

Baseball - Good Story - Sport - Timeless - Uncategorized

As baseball begins… Respect

As baseball begins again, all teams have hope. At least for the day. What caught my eye this year was this NY Times story about a kid named Frazier.  Since George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees in 1973, players on the team have been prohibited from wearing beards and long sideburns, and have been required to keep their hair above the collar. In recent years, the policy has been adhered to largely at the insistence of Jennifer Steinbrenner, one of the four Steinbrenner children who now share in the ownership of the team. Call it the Yankee code. Call it old fashion. Call it out of touch with today’s society. But, if you do, keep on eye on the scoreboard: the Yankees’ clean cut locks have been as much a part […]

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23TH March 2017

Baseball - Cuba - Havana Culture - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Leadership - Timely - Uncategorized

Back from Havana 

I got a memory reminder from Facebook- I generally hate them- but this at least helped me place a watershed moment in Cuban-American relations… the day I met John Caulfield. In the two years since, the Innovadores has blossomed under John and Jono’s efforts, and I have played a small part in assisting them. I’m back from Havana this time feeling so alive with optimism. Ok its measured, long term optimism, but optimism because of how many things progressed in two years. First, the mere fact that I did get a notification on Facebook means there was wifi, with increasing coverage. The fact that we had a dozen investors and entrepreneurs with us discovering ways to work in Cuba seemed unfathomable two years ago. Sitting in on a fabulous diplomatic […]

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07TH March 2017

Good Story - Leadership - Legends and tales - Timeless - Uncategorized

Gladiator is a love story

I like to write about being a man’s man, maybe because I think it’s a lost art today, and it shouldn’t be. Charlemagne had it. So did Bonaparte, despite his complex. Robert E. Lee makes the list. Winston Churchill for sure. But examples of this behavior are so singular today they deserve calling out, even if they only lived on a screen and 17 years ago at that. I remember seeing the movie in Ohio with a friend, and it was so impactful. Which is why today I write about Maximus… “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife… (you know the rest) […]

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07TH February 2017

Football - Good Story - Leadership - Legends and tales - Sport - Timely - Vision

Hold My Beer.

Ok, you are down 25 points in the third quarter. You need to score two touchdowns, two two point conversions, win a coin toss and engineer a touchdown drive to win the seminal event of your chosen profession. A profession from which you were suspended earlier in the year. Ok. Got it. So… Hold my beer. So said a man’s man in last night’s Super Bowl. And then he went out and completely ignored the probability chart. Tomas T. said it perfectly: The problem with predictive analysis like this is they never capture all the variables. They don’t account for great players like Tom Brady can increase their level of play, the emotional swing of a team building momentum, those moments when people enter what Csikszentmihalyi called Flow.  Brady and […]

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13TH January 2017

Angel Investor - Culture - Entrepreneur - Fashion Snoops - Food - Leadership - Mobile - Race to the Bottom - Timely - Uncategorized

Looking out, at the world.

“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Airman’s Odyssey Exupery has long been one of my favorite authors, and this is one of my favorite quotes. Amazingly, it took me a pair of Spectacles by the soon-to-be-public Snap, Inc. to reconnect with the thought. I think this is a tremendously exciting product, arriving at a moment we actually need a bit of a reset on perspective. Here’s the why: our look-at-me world is a race to the bottom. And the race to the bottom feeds upon the instant gratification that has taken hold of our world. No-one is really to blame. It’s just that hit of Dopamine that has become so addictive in segments of our society: […]

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