Napa Valley Wine Bus Apology is World-Class Vintage

An unfortunate event on a Napa Valley Wine Train on August 22, 2015 led the CEO to issue an apology. Employees of the Wine Train kicked a group of African American women, members of a book club, off the train after other passengers complained of too much noise and laughter.  Given the sensitivity […] Read more

48 is the New 50, But Who’s Counting? My Encounter with Chinese Censorship

My latest book just got published in China.  With the subject of investing and entrepreneurship so huge in China, I hope the book sells well.  I wrote the book with Brian Cohen. It’s called What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know. I’m glad it’s available to readers in China.  I […] Read more

The Ethics of Ghostwriting

Every few months I receive an email inquiry asking me if I would ghostwrite a term paper or dissertation. My answer is always no. To me, that’s totally unethical. But why? What makes it unethical for me to accept a fee to write an essay for a graduate student who […] Read more

Can You Apologize to Yourself?

One of the frequent questions I get when I speak about effective apology is some variant of, “Can I apologize to myself?” If I press the questioner, the question generally takes the form of, “Well, I really am sorry–believe me!–but for various really good reasons I really can’t offer a […] Read more

Apologize as the First Resort

Apology is not a get-out-of-jail-free card, but it’s less costly than the alternatives What exactly should leaders do when they make a mistake or suffer a setback? The surprising answer is to apologize. Apologizing, accepting responsibility, and acting in a transparent manner yields significant benefits. Leaders who apologize just have […] Read more

Angels are in the Exit Business

What Business Are Angel Investors In? This is the question that I sometimes ask startup founders. Usually I get blank stares or quizzical looks. Some founders attempt to sputter something about recognizing value or getting returns on my investment. Not quite. It’s not a theoretical question. What is the business […] Read more

Seven Questions All Startups Should Ask

If you want better performance, ask better questions. Evidence shows that reframing the questions you ask inspires the kind of productive and insightful ideas that animate the most resilient and successful startups. And by questions, I don’t mean questions like: • What’s your business model? • What do your customers […] Read more

Seven Early Warnings Signs of Startup Failure

Angel investors have learned to run the other way when they see certain warning signs in the entrepreneurs that approach us for funding. This two-part article describes the most common hazard signs that make angel investors say “Thank you. Next!” The newbie angel bubble is beginning to burst. And as […] Read more