One year ago, I was introduced to an extraordinary man who I was determined to introduce to everyone on YSN. In person, I was instantly struck by his stature, charisma and 50+ years of entrepreneurial, management and corporate board experience. On top of that, he spent the last 15 years as an angel investor and venture capitalist investing in SEVENTY different ventures! I was blown away. Most inspiring though, was how committed he was to teaching what he’d learned to the rest of us trying to do big things with our lives.
I couldn’t wait to share him with you. Or to learn from him myself. But I blew it big time. I completely failed at following through, even though he followed up with me diligently, excited to connect with all of you. Now I owe everyone an apology. Our readers – for depriving you of a year of his brilliant guest posts, and most importantly – to Dave Berkus.
David Berkus is the creator of Berkonomics, a brilliant collection of insights in 140 characters, quick read blog posts, and yes, books. If you are an entrepreneur with a big idea, are management or serve on a board, don’t miss another day of Dave Berkus. He’s essentially the mentor so many of us wish we had. After reading though his writings for hours tonight, I’m hooked. Berkonomics is like a suspense thriller for entrepreneurs, leaving you on the edge of your seat as each story unfolds.
Here’s an abbreviated example:
“When delegated to be the lead in negotiating a sale of a company on whose board I sat on…selected because I did not have an emotional stake in the outcome as did the entrepreneur…I asked the entrepreneur to name his price in an ideal sale. Surprising him and the rest of the board, I asked him to go home and not to attend the negotiation…promising to call him immediately with the outcome.… After forty-five minutes of further negotiation, we walked from the room with an agreement to sell the company for cash at twice the asking price.
Here’s another teaser: “Hello again, Dave,” it began. “After looking around a lot, I have landed as employee number seven at a Seattle-based startup called Amazon.com…My founder is in round two of capital-seeking, looking for increments of $100 thousand, and if you’d like, I’d be happy to introduce you…” Guess what an August, 1995 angel stage investment in Amazon might have been worth at the IPO? $31 million return from $100 thousand investment, or 310 to1. That story always gets a laugh as most everyone of us recalls the deal we didn’t do, the investment we didn’t make, the opportunity we shunned that turned to gold.
For other brilliant thoughts on negotiations, due diligence, non competes, sales, pricing, raising money, patents, software development, equity distribution, and so much more, bookmark Berkonomics.com. Better yet, sign up for Dave’s newsletter, follow him on twitter (@daveberkus), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/dave.berkus), buy the book, or dive into his Small Business Success series!
And with any luck, Dave will forgive me and you’ll start seeing more of Berkonomics on YSN.