≡ Menu


Never confuse being a large fish in a small pond vs being a small fish in a large pond. The former defines the area, i.e. technology and Silicon Vallery. In the later situation, Silicon Alley will never get the respect as the areas defining industry. Truth be told there are probably five times as manay technology workers here then there. They are just absorbed into larger entities and do not get the press attention.

Does anyone know the second largest industry in Silicon Valley today? Do you know what used to be the largest industry in Silicon Valley? I dont know the answer to the first question but i know that fruit orchards used to be the largest industry in Silicon Valley.

Thirty years ago i read a book called “The Entrepreneurs Manual”. One Texas investor would never invest in New York because of the additional cost. Period. He questioned why anyone would start a NYC based business.

There is only one reason you have to be in New York. Your customers are here. You don’t have to write code here.

If you are customer facing and your customers are in NYC you have to be here.

Wall Street has outsourced most of its back office functions to lower cost areas. So have the banks.

Personal reasons? You should be so lucky. If you are here you should really want to win and win big. Those who succeed aren’t necessarily the best they just want it more.

In the last twenty years NYC rents have increased eight times while saleries have increased less then three. Will there be an entire generation of NYers who will never buy a couch? Have a living room? Does living in NYC mean you work in NYC but commute 1+ hrs one way daily. Paying dues are one thing but to what end.

The biggest supporters of New York are the real estate people. They can’t move their assets. Its economics. It works for them, it doesnt have to work for you. They don’t have a choice, you do.

Reality is everyone who does something in demand and do it well will always be able to afford to live in NYC. But you don’t have to be here. Sure its the energy capital of the world. And thats a high.

Most people who live and work in NYC don’t have the time to enjoy it.

When times get tough and they will jobs will leave NYC for less expensive areas. It happens before and it happens more often then you think.

Ive lived or spent considerable time in Boston, Washington DC and state, Portland Maine and Oregon, Los Angeles and San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, Houston, Dallas and Austin. No place has the energy of NYC.

Many friends, former New Yorkers, reside in these places.

You don’t have to be here. But if you area n energy junkie I havent found anywhere in the world with similar energy and intensity.

It’s the best tasting show on Earth!

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 1.21.43 PM

Its the best tasting trade show on Earth, its the Fancy Food Show starting Sunday at the Javits Convention Center in NYC. Not for the calorie challenged. For most of us its first look and more importantly first taste of whats new in specialty food. Both me and the Fancy Food Show were started in 1954. I don’t know if I have improved as they have but I’m glad I attend. There are a lot of new startups. Some interesting tastes and new technology.

For those of us who spend way too much time in front of a screen to get out in the real world and challenge yourself to an everexpanding taste palatte. Your tongue will thank you.

Show Link https://www.specialtyfood.com/

The Specialty Food Association is the engine behind the Summer Fancy Food Show. The Show,
established in 1954, is now the largest marketplace devoted exclusively to specialty foods and
beverages in North America. The Specialty Food Association, a not-for-profit trade association
for food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs, owns and produces the show. Today the
Association has 3,200+ member companies worldwide. The Fancy Food Show has helped launch
such brands as Popchips, Honest Tea, Ben & Jerry’s, Stonewall Kitchen, Walker’s Shortbread,
Tate’s Bake Shop, ZICO Coconut Water and Vermont Creamery.
Dates: June 26 – 28, 2016
Location: Javits Center, New York
Total Square Footage: 363,000
Number of Exhibiting Companies: 2,670
Number of Attendees Expected: 25,000
Partner Country: Tunisia
Exhibitors from Across the U.S.
From New York to Hawaii to Louisiana to Maine, more than 1,370 U.S. specialty food
companies will present the latest chocolate, cheese, olive oil, baked goods, jams, salsas, tea and
other products. New York boasts the largest state presence with more than 267 food companies,
followed by California, New Jersey, Texas, Massachusetts and Florida.
U.S. Pavilions
 Kansas
 Massachusetts
 Minnesota
 New York (with Brooklyn Goes
 North Carolina
 Pennsylvania
 SUSTA- Southern United States
Trade Association
 Vermont
 Virginia
Tunisia in Spotlight
Tunisia is the 2016 Sumer Fancy Food Show’s partner country sponsor. Some 40 food
companies will present Tunisian olive oil, pasta, dates, biscuits, confections, spicy harissa,
candies, jam, tuna and organic products in a special pavilion. There will be chef demonstrations
and tastings each day throughout the show.
Exhibitors from Around the World
The best in specialty food from 1,300 exhibitors from 55 countries will be on display. The largest
international pavilions are from Italy, Spain, China, France, Canada and Turkey. International
newcomers include pavilions from Latvia, the Netherlands, Vietnam, Denmark and Lithuania.
Taiwan is back after a long absence.
Countries include:
 Argentina
 Australia
 Austria
 Azerbaijan
 Belgium
 Bolivia
 Brazil
 Bulgaria
 Canada
 Chile
 China
 Colombia
 Costa Rica
 Cyprus
 Denmark
 Ecuador
 Egypt
 France
 Gambia
 Germany
 Greece
 Hong Kong
 India
 Indonesia
 Israel
 Italy
 Japan
 Jordan
 Korea
 Latvia
 Lebanon
 Lithuania
 Malaysia
 Mexico
 Morocco
 Netherlands
 Pakistan
 Peru
 Philippines
 Poland
 Portugal
 Russian Federation
 Saudi Arabia
 Senegal
 Spain
 Sri Lanka
 Switzerland
 Taiwan
 Thailand
 Tunisia
 Turkey
 Ukraine
 United Arab
 United Kingdom
 United States
 Vietnam
Who’s Attending the Show
Registered attendees represent top names in specialty retailing, restaurants and foodservice
including Whole Foods, Kroger, Formaggio Kitchen, Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, UNFI, KeHE and
Southern Season. Others signed up include Dean & DeLuca, Barnes & Noble College,
Zingerman’s, Marriott, and thousands of buyers from local specialty food markets.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 9.14.16 PM

Its 420 time. Not really its conference time. Its business time. Its cannabis time. Its a new market. Like to process of overturning prohibition both state and federal laws have to be changed. Its similar in that alcohol taxes before Prohibition were a large part of federal tax receipts where as government can look to cannabis tax revenue to replace the decreasing revenue from cigarette taxes.

As they say no one ever went to war on pot its increasing being looked at as a perfect opportunity, increase tax revenues with a new vice tax, lessen opioid usage and create new jobs and business. Its the fastest growing business today.

Who is there. Its a business event. Its workshops. Do the attendees touch the plant or don’t they? Is it a lifestyle or are they hard core capitalists. Or both.

You increasingly make money at the beginning and at the end of cycles. Either be first or be last. Those here want to be first. At the beginning of the journey its not managing a p&l its managing your imagination. Its much more fun. Like the internet 20 years ago.

What are new and next opportunities?

What problems still have to be solved?

What are the changes necessary so that cannabis as a class is in more investors portfolios.

When at what size in sales or profits do companies get acquired?

Todays Growth Capital Conference was comprehensive in answering investors question. Randy Shiply has an encyclopedia knowledge of cannabis investing and his speakers are knowledgebale in their areas of expertise. All in all, Randy runs a great event. The biggest surprise about events are the fellow attendees. Thats the surprise and the magic. Among the investors I met were a gem merchant and a honey maker. Such different skill sets sharing this new opportunity.

The first day was great. I took a video of the Harbinger Group presentation. Nice, well done presentation for those who are looking to build their brand’s digital assets. LINK BTW the video quality is terrible but the graphics and words are worth sitting through my lousy camera work.

Like the army, where only about 10% of troops fight at any one time, there is a lot of support, “I don’t touch the plant”, associated busineses, see the list below.

The Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo (CWCBExpo) is the definitive business event for the cannabis industry. Exhibitors and sponsors bring cutting-edge solutions to owners and managers of businesses in this fast-growing industry, and a wealth of opportunity and knowledge to those looking to enter the market with potential partners and investors.
The Annual Cannabis World Congress & Business Expositions feature the latest technologies, solutions and resources for your cannabis-related company.
Exhibits, products, services and seminars available at the 2016 CWCBExpo will include:
* Accounting & Insurance Services
* Advertising & Marketing Agencies
* Banking & Payment Processing Services
* Botanicals
* Containers, Bottles, & Packaging
* Dispensing & Vending Machines
* Displays & Fixtures
* Grow Lights
* Hemp Products
* Hydroponics & Cultivation Products
* Infused Edibles & Beverages
* Inventory Tracking
* Lawyers & Legal Resources
* Licensing Services
* Medical Resources
* Paraphernalia (Head Shop & Smoke Shop Goods)
* POS & Management Software
* Private Equity & Investment Resources
* Professional Training & Education
* Security Services & Equipment
* Seed Banks
* Testing & Lab Services
* Tinctures, Tonics, & Topicals
* Vaporizers
* And much, much, more…

There are many reasons to attend this event. Do it.

www.cannabismeansbusiness.comScreen Shot 2016-06-15 at 9.14.16 PM

Day 1: Cloud iOT Expo, Javits Center, NYC


Today is the first day of this conference. All conference, the exhibits open tomorrow. Sort of like a discotheque, the action is in the over flowing rooms.

Keynote is about bitcoin. It’s not just monetary value it’s an additional level of trust which may put you back in control of your digital data and digital life.

Watch here

Amazon will eat your lunch. Did you know that Amazon is one of the five largest software companies? Their AWS service books $10B annually. Amazon Prime is $5B annually. They are getting stronger in logistics. That business could be a $400B business for them. They are really smart.

Chris Kocher from Grey Heron lively presentation explains the how and the what’s next for Amazon. Smart man, good presentation. www.greyheron.com

Watch here

The reason to go to conferences and events is the surprise of who you are going to meet, seeing where are the crowds and you just don’t know if you don’t show up.

iOT, Cloud its at Javits center June 7-9

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 8.07.56 AM

Check out “Cloud Expo 2015



For me the cloud just keeps expanding. Its the virtual closet that you don’t see but you need for your digital life. iOT is whats in your real life, your real 3D life. Its early in its development. Thats why I’m going. How will these two technologies play out in our immediate future? Who knows. The best surprises will be those strangers who you meet, who become friends, there for the same reason, to try and figure out whats next.

Some scheduled highpoints

Day 1 keynote speaker, Andrew Keys, as he will be talking about blockchain and Ethereum – the single top-of-mind issue for the financial services industry in New York at the moment.

Two related Meetup events. Dave Nielsen, who will host a Redis meetup on Tuesday night, Cloud Foundry meetup Wednesday night.

And last a tribute prior to the Day 1 keynote to the late Jeremy Geelan, who served as Conference Chair of Cloud Expo for years, and was a beloved member of the Cloud Expo and technology-business families.


Walk this way.

It was 30 years ago the problem for Run DMC to get radio play and for Arrowsmith was how to stay relevant in an ever changing business of music.

Talk about Rick Rubin’s creativity see the link below is Washington Post article today about run DMC Aerosmith collaboration and walk this way the second link is to the original video.

This is one of the great things why America works, its ability to be creative.


90% off for 3 years of what is new? only $10

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 1.56.13 PM

Shark Tank will be there, will you? NYTech Day

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 1.03.26 PM

TechDay has grown and grown a lot. This year Shark Tank is holding auditions. Over 500 startups. Need a new job, new business partner, new vendor, or looking for new interesting investment opportunities. Go.

One trick is to see where are the crowds? Which company booth has more visitors. Numbers do matter. Law of large numbers everyone will find a good surprise.

Travels with Charlie

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 5.00.24 PM

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 3.02.55 PM

Travels with Charlie. its an interesting journey, Charlie’s philosophy is simple: Be fearless and unapologetic in the fierce pursuit of your goals and be just as passionate about helping people. Charlie’s day job is discovering the new and empowering clients to accomplish their goals. Its always interesting selling services to clients who don’t have degrees in what they are buying. But Charlie doesn’t do whats easy, she does whats right. Good for her.

Charlie’s company Served Fresh Media (in partnership with Tribeca Film Festival and The Hatchery) for Innovation Day 2016, featuring visionaries behind the mind-blowing technology that will power our lives in the very near future!  
Every breakthrough is born in the imagination.

This special event (hosted by 2016 Tribeca Festival® Hub) will feature some of the most influential, provocative, and groundbreaking creative minds for an all-day summit on what happens when our wildest dreams become reality, and what that reality will be in the not-so-distant future. Experience, hands-on, the wonder and inspiration of new technologies (including artificial intelligence, virtual reality and more) as tech’s thought leaders reveal what is just beyond the horizon. The full day lineup (10:30am – 7:00PM) will include presentations, demonstrations and discussions on: 

->  Tools of Creation: Reorienting Humanity’s Identity and Aspirations
->  From Metropolis to Her — Artificial Intelligence in Film and the Real World
->  World Without Wires — the potential for truly wireless power and the impact this technology will have on the world.
->  The Final Medium: Humans in the Machine
->  The Extreme Future of Medicine: From Prediction to Longevity
->  Virtual Reality in Sports: Immersive Performance Training and Immersive Entertainment
->  Daring to Dream, presented by Sir Richard Branson
->  A Journey Into Virtual Reality — attendees will experience immersive virtual reality as a talk by the masters of virtual reality (if you haven’t experienced live virtual reality, get ready for it at Imagination Day!).
Imagination Day Tribeca Film Festival Web Page https://imaginationday.splashthat.com/

USE 50% OFF DISCOUNT CODE: TFF75 (expires April 1)

33% discount code for AFTER April 1st through the day of the event: TFF100 for 33%


You had me at Free Rent

GCT Side Logo


Charles Bonello, Matt Harrigan and their team at Grand Central Tech have an interesting solution to the start up office problem. Yes, securing office space is a problem. Easy if you want to go to conventional shared space. More difficult, time consuming and expensive should you want to secure a prime lease, i.e. your own office space. This is a skill set which very few, if any, entrepreneurs are experts.

The most interesting opportunity here is not the free rent. Its a professionally managed multi user office environment with the value add of selected companies with a higher probability of success. You know the story if you want to play better tennis then play with better tennis players. Same with whose in your shared office space. Already GCT companies have been founded by the founders of Gilt Groupe, General Assembly, Rights Flow, and Shapeways.  Altogether, the companies from our first and second classes have raised over $40 MM in funding.  

Why do they give you free rent? What’s in it for them? Well, they establish relationships with early stage companies and at some point they will need new office space. Real Estate firms spend a lot of money in marketing and advertising to secure tenants for their properties. Its usually done quickly and under pressure and it takes too much time and is expensive. Establishing a relationship with early stage companies, some of which will experience rapid growth allows for a better and longer relationship between landlord and tenant. It makes a lot of sense. The landlord puts skin in the game. Its a slow relationship building form of marketing, It’s the best kind. 

For professional service firms. Real Estate, Law, Accounting, etc. work with young companies because thats where the growth comes from. From 1 person a few days a week to many bodies working on the Microsoft account, PR firm, WE, formerly known as Waggener Edstrom Communications has grown their business as their signature client has grown. 

How well do they pick companies? Time will tell. They are smart. Experience is on their side. 

I’m curious about the journey for their initial 18 companies housed at GCT. Im also curious about what happens to the 982 companies applied and were not accepted.

Go, its time to apply.

Grand Central Tech is now accepting applications for its next class!  Housed in Facebook’s former NY Headquarters overlooking Grand Central, GCT’s goal is to provide the best start-ups with the best resources at unbeatable terms: a full year of office space, access to interns, world class mentors, legal/tax/accounting services, in house recruiters, a global network of investors and access to top corporate partners — and takes NO EQUITY and NO RENT. Applications are due by April 28, and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Apply here.