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Down the Rabbit Hole

As a longtime fan of Alice and her Adventures in Wonderland, I can’t help but draw upon the well-known imagery from time to time.  And it just so happens that I find it appropriate to use for this post so feel free to smile like the Cheshire Cat and read on. At QED, we pride ourselves on being operators disguised […]

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I Once Was Lost…

“I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.”  John Newton For those of you involved in the lending ecosystem, you either were at LendIt or you should have been at LendIt. The annual gathering of “all things lending” was over 3,500 strong this year and the agenda was chock full of interesting topics and […]

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Welcome Back My Friends

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends We’re so glad you could attend Come inside! Come inside! LendIt is here once again and I have to say that I’m actually excited to see 3,600 of my closest friends all in one place at one time.  If you’re like me, your calendar is already full and you still […]

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What Happens When The Cash Runs Out

Earlier this week an article I wrote appeared in the American Banker that laid out four simple questions that could be used to frame a lender’s chances of “surviving, thriving or dying” in today’s tumultuous environment.  Based on the feedback, it seems to be resonating almost as much as my “Shipping Code = Life!” entry (best interaction by far). Based on the feedback I decided […]

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Thriving, Surviving or Dying

Today, American Banker published a short piece I pulled together that you can find here: Answers to These Four Questions Will Determine Online Lenders’ Fate The piece describes a framework for thinking about what it will take to survive in today’s ever changing environment.  Everyone I talk to seems nervous about something — be it the securitization markets or the […]

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Be That Annoying Kid

Why?  It’s a very important question and one that isn’t asked enough. Investors need to be like that annoying kid that just keeps bugging everyone who’s willing to listen.  Why is the sky blue?  Why can’t we see the wind?  Why does the moon keep changing shape? But many Investors don’t ask questions that are two and three layers deep. […]

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Smelling The Weeds

  I was talking to a former Capital One alumnus a while ago and we talked about a host problems that still needed solving in the financial services space.  He made a very important distinction that’s stuck with me ever since.  There are problems that can be solved by Entrepreneurs that possess skills in the strategic thinking and financial engineering […]

Banking 0

Dinosaurs and Banks

For those of you who have spent time with me, you know that I’m very much a “centrist” when it comes to the Banks vs. Innovators debate.  It’s not difficult to imagine a world in which some Banks find ways to reinvent themselves, some Innovators become household names, and some companies work together in harmony to create a one plus […]

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Shipping Code = Life!

All joking aside, predicting the demise of the traditional Banks is a popular position to take these days which IMHO is just an attention grabbing tactic used to drive home a salient point.  Banks aren’t able to keep up with the innovations being produced almost daily by a gigantic fintech ecosystem.  These upstarts are nipping at each and every profit stream […]

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The Gold Rush of 2015

For those of you who are fellow fintech junkies you know that the past few months have been the equivalent of “conference hell”.  I actually think the conferences serve a fantastic purpose, but now that the circuit is over one of the observations that many of us have shared with each other is that a very small and common set of […]

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Five Simple Words

A few weeks ago I talked to the Founder of a high growth fintech company that I’ve been following for a long time.  The company’s business model intrigued me and their growth chart went straight up at a 45 degree angle.  I really liked the Founder and his business but for a series of semi-bad reasons I hadn’t pulled the […]

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Talk Fluently In The Language of Uncertainty

Jolly Fun Mistakes Made in Pitches – Third Entry There comes a time in the diligence process when I ask a Founder to review his or her financial plan with me.  It almost never takes place during the first or second meeting because I need to understand the opportunity at a pretty deep level before running through the forecast.  To […]

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Jolly Fun Mistakes Made in Pitches – Second Entry

Before launching into the heart of this entry, I wanted to give a shout out to Caribou Honig, a fellow Partner at QED Investors who happens to have a passion for data-driven marketing.  My last entry attempted to make a point about the woes of undifferentiated marketing channels (i.e. – fishing in the open waters of the internet) and while Caribou was […]

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Bad Pattern Recognition Gone Wild

Seven years ago when I first started in the world of Venture Capital, I tried to spend as much time as I could with seasoned Investors to learn what I could through their experiences.  I figured that borrowing a degree from someone else would be easier than earning it from scratch. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that much of […]