I’m back & doing some research on the cool stuff I saw at CES 2013 in Vegas.
1. solowheel: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120606/videoreviews/120609902 Looks tough, could be fun around the house, but learning it could be impossible… I’m out.
2. 3D printers. The printers are surprisingly good. for $2k-$3k there are some really fancy ones, but all of them require a lot of calibration, which I’d be cool tinkering with, but the 3d modeling software and CAD stuff could be daunting. I played with one software, and it was way beyond my knowledge. So yes, I could make models that others have uploaded, but I’d probably never figure out how to draw one myself. I may wait, or they do have some makerbot user groups here in Dallas, so Maybe I’ll go to one and see how it is.
3. I ordered a bluetooth speaker from TDK… should be here tomorrow. it was $173.20: http://www.dealtaker.com/TDK-A33-Bluetooth-Speaker-17320-list-299-t321958.html
4. I bought a little charger thing for $20 and it still works, and it totally came in handy when I was out all day at Affiliate Summit. It charged my phone from 0 to 100, and still had power to spare.
5. The panoramic mirrors for the cameras are cool, but they’re ridiculously expensiv ($500+), and the video resolution gets cut tremendously. They have cheap iphone versions, but they got mediocre reviews: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/796303-REG/EyeSee360_GPIP4_GoPano_Micro.html/BI/1912/KBID/2571/kw/EYGM/DFF/d10-v2-t1-xEYGM
6. I got an iphone camera mount on a pole, and it’s awesome. The kids love it. The ability to mount it on a tripod will be fun for the stop-motion stuff we play with here.
7. I’m looking forward to trying some remote lights for the house to get it on our automation system. There were so many, but HAI seems like the best.
8. The electric bike conversions were all over CES and are all over the web. seems like about $500 would get a full kit that has everything. I’m considering it. They probably sell them at Richardson Bikemart and other stores, so I’ll probably check it out. I ride fine, but it could come in handy when I get far away, and am tired coming home, or going uphill.
Well, my short retirement is pretty much over. In May, me & my brother bought back DealTaker.com, and so we’re back in the game. The goal is to build it back up to greatness again, and so far we’re right on track!
This is an exciting time. If you want to see more about it, or me or anything, head over to http://www.dealtaker.com and you’ll also save lots of money with great coupons and stuff too!
I read about 5-10 pitches a day, whether pitched by email, from angellist, friends referrals, or wherever they may come from. I also proactively peruse angellist when I have time. I invest in about 10 companies a year, (I try to stay around $removed/each). People ask me what I look for when I’m reading the pitches, or reviewing the companies. Here is a non-comprehensive list of some of the reasons you may not hear back from me, and how I invest. The basics that everyone talks about still apply too (great team, great product, traction, uniqueness, etc)
- Don’t lie on your resume, linkedin, angellist profile or anywhere. It’s okay to have failed, it’s not okay to keep that info from a potential investor/partner. I’ll search your social profiles, call your references, and if something is out of wack, i’m out.
- There are some investors / VC’s I won’t invest with. If I see that these people are on your profile, I just move on. I won’t name names here, and it doesn’t mean they’re evil, or anything, I just don’t want to be associated with them, I don’t like the way they’ll treat you, or maybe I’m just superstitious.
- I like to see a revenue stream. Even if you aren’t there yet, have a good plan to make money, lots of money.
- Go big. I’m probably not going to invest in a company that might double every year. I want to see huge growth potential. Dream big!
- I might not ask you too many questions about your exit strategy, but I’m thinking of it. An investment pays off when you go public, or get sold, so that’s always in my mind.
- I’m an angel investor not a VC, so you need to have the key team in place. I can help introduce people, and I have a good network, but I’m not in a position to hire your executive team for you. If you want me to advise at first, and help grow the team, that’s something else, and I’m only open to that on rare occasions.
- For the most part, I am a pretty silent investor, unless we agree on more. I’ll leave you to make the right decisions for your company.
- If you ask me for advice, I’m almost always willing to give it. I’ll send an email now & then or make an introduction as I see synergies. I’ll try almost any beta software, and give constructive feedback. I know how to code, I understand SEO & I do database stuff, so I can advise on that. I’m not opposed to an official advisory role, but I’m not looking for another day job.
- I fund fast. I know it’s hard to fund-raise, and when I decide to invest, I don’t play games.
- If you play games, pit me against other investors, stall too long, or the agreements are too messy, I lose interest. You’ve got to make it as easy as possible.
- Most of the time I won’t question your valuation. If I don’t agree, you’ll probably never know, because I’ll bow out gracefully.
- Location doesn’t really matter to me, but you should be in the best place for your business. I’ve worked with people in the same town as me who I only meet with over Skype or phone. The Internet is cool.
- If I say I’m open a particular day, suggest a time quick. My schedule fills up fast. If you wait a day or 2, that time will be filled, and you make it a pain for me.
- Don’t blow me off, or cancel a meeting unless you have a damn good reason. I rarely re-schedule.
- I invest in a lot of companies; I talk to a dozen people a day, and get a lot of emails. Include the previous emails in the thread when you reply.
- The best ways to contact me: #1 email, #2, text, #3, twitter DM or @, #4, call. I don’t mind getting calls, I just am rarely in a position to pick up.
- I’m a great guy, and I can be your best friend and partner. If you respect me, my team & my time, I’ll respect you too.
Like I said this isn’t a comprehensive list, but these are just some recent things that have come up, and I hadn’t blogged in a while. I may be alone in some of these, or maybe all angel investors think like this, I really don’t know, and I didn’t ask anyone else.
I probably could’ve written 5 blog posts on this, but I guess I’ll save more detail for my book. I’ll also probably edit this post throughout the next few days as I think of other things to put in here.
Looks like April is going to be another busy month for me!
About a week ago, I worked out a deal and was able to acquire the EarnMojo.com website and content. It’s a really cool site. You probably saw the little badge pop-out from the side of this page. —>
Basically it allows you to earn badges for visiting websites. It’s already quite popular with over 1,000 sites and close to 10 million badge views. While I try to come up with a white-label model, I’ve hired a programmer to help me on the editing and speeding the system up a bit. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
I’m still working on the Endorse.Me business, and somewhat on the SocialStats.com site too. Those are a tad slower, but are coming along.
The House is cranking along too. We’ve got doors inside, and the outside has most of the rock on it. The RV garage is complete, and I hope to be moving that over there in a few days. The tile is going down on the upstairs, and the wood floors and trim is mostly done upstairs too. Still a lot to do, and we anticipate it being done at the beginning of September. We’ll be putting our current house on the market in a few weeks.
I created a fan page on Facebook, so be sure to like that to keep up with the not-so-personal things that I’m doing. I’m starting to write a book, and I’ll probably post some of what that will be about on that page.
Hopefully everyone is doing great, I know I’m excited for the warmth of summer, and a 7 mile hike tomorrow and getting outside more. Here’s a couple pictures of the house:
A Friend I met in Mexico
Wow, 2 months into this year and it’s been interesting so far. It’s been almost 3 years since I sold my last company… Hard for me to believe. I hardly even look back at it anymore. I miss a few of the folks, but I’m happy where I’m at now. I’ve been traveling even more this year so far, and having fun and meeting lots of people. I’m back home today after a couple back-to-back trips. I need to start planning the trips earlier, to take advantage of the deals though. A weird experience yesterday coming home though. I was one of the first people off the plane, but it was practically empty in the customs area, I walked right through customs, and almost nobody was at the bag claim; I carried my luggage, so I walked past there, and was the only one going through the final line there too… I took a pic, but the officers made me delete it (something about police security)… It was odd, but nice getting through there in like 2 minutes.
Lately, some changes have been happening. Here’s a few updates.
- The Company Factory – Going through changes. It’s been decided that Chris & I will be going our separate ways in terms of the business. I will be keeping the office for now, and changing the business slightly, starting by growing a couple ideas I have and building the businesses around them. If you don’t have the iPhone app yet, be sure to get it!
- House – It’s coming along. The inside has all the sheetrock done, and it’s being painted now. The outside rock should be going up soon, the roof is done. 5 of the pipes burst during the big freeze here, so they’ve finally got that repaired.
- I crashed into the neighbors mailbox. It was icy, and I’m an idiot, so when you put those 2 things together, you get a smashed lexus and a smashed mailbox. (see pic below)
- Biking – Okay, so I decided that the cross-country trip is something I need to do. Not sure of how I’ll do it, but I’m thinking that I’ll do the Southern Tier after Spring Break 2012. I will hopefully find a support group (ie: someone to drive the RV & someone to ride along with me). If you’re interested in this trip, email me. I think i said it before, but I may do a going from nothing to across the country, so if you have 6-7 weeks and not much training, that’s probably about where I’ll be starting.. slooooow the first few days and working my way up.
So, that’s about it for now. There’s probably more, but my memory sucks. If you’re interested in helping with the new businesses, or want to join me on the bike trip or anything, just let me know. Here’s a pic of the house in progress.
Oops, sorry about that, neighbor.
Back of the House in Feb 2011