Devin and Jim spend an hour talking about the strategy and tactics of raising ParkerGale's first fund. This episode covers the pre-launch up to the fund's first close.
Jim and Alan talk about a scary subject on our Halloween episode -- Distributed Denial of Service attacks. Two weeks ago the internet experienced an unprecedented DDOS attack against a popular DNS hosting service -- Dyn -- that blocked access to a huge number of popular sites -- eBay and PayPal included. What does this mean for the small business owner -- should you avoid the Cloud altogether? Come have a listen and find out.
We had a great conversation with Kevin Hurley, a recent graduate from Fullstack Academy. Kevin is a high school math teacher who caught the coding bug and decided to switch careers. He's exactly the kind of self-motivated technologist that will thrive our the tech economy. So, if you are thinking about jumping into the tech space, or you're a CTO looking to hire talent from "outside the box" -- then come have a listen. One more thing ... if Chevy Chase is reading this description, we assure him that in this episode there will be NO math.
Jim talks about all things social media with Cappy Popp and John Maver from Thought Labs -- a leading Digital Marketing Strategy company. We've worked with Cappy and John on a number of projects in our portfolio, and they know what it takes to develop a social media strategy. This is the first part of an ongoing series on social media marketing. In this first part we cover the basics of when/why/how you should consider a social media campaign for your company.
Alan and Jim spend a fun hour talking with Zeke Nierenberg, Academic Director/Chicago from Fullstack Academy. Fullstack teaches qualified non-programmers to code using an immersive 13-week program. Our bias going into this conversation was Alan's belief that you can't learn to code in 13 weeks. Zeke managed to school us both with Fullstack's point of view. Come have a listen and and decide for yourself.
Alan and Jim spend an hour talking with Ben Johnson, author of BoldDB and and freelance Go developer. The Go language is a relatively new open source programming language (and platform) started by Google and maintained by a community of developers. The authors promote "Go" as being easy to build simple, reliable, and efficient software. Go is somewhat unique in that it compiles into a native operating system executable that can be easily distributed across platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac OS). Is "Go" the right choice for smaller companies? Have a listen and find out.
Devin sits down with Jeremie Bacon, CEO and Founder of Synap, to discuss Private Equity, Managing People and Movie Quotes.
Jim is back talking with Brian Walker, CEO of AE Marketing Group on the topic of Influencer Marketing. Does it work for B2B companies? Why or Why Not? What types of "marketing" projects should middle-market business-to-business companies focus their precious resources on? (If you have a dollar to spend, where should you spend it). We branch out into a side discussion of trying to calculate the real size of a company's addressable market, building simple "market" data marts and fallacy of "Big Data" in marketing.
Alan and Jim spend a fast half hour talking when you should consider upgrading older pieces of custom (homegrown) software. You don't have to upgrade older software just for the sake of upgrading it -- and converting from an older language to a newer language doesn't make the software any better. The first of a three (or maybe four) part series on modernizing your infrastructure.
Jim and Alan spend an hour arguing about whether you should consider bolting an
application programming interface onto older applications as a path to modernizing them. The conversation meanders into a brief history of application-programming-interfaces without getting too nitty-gritty -- suitable listening for Founders, CEOs and technologists.
The first of many conversations with Brian Walker CEO of AE Marketing Group. We've found that Marketing is often the third wheel at small companies -- behind product development and sales. Brian's team takes a CoCreation and Customer Experience approach to building and marketing products that gets the marketing function heavily involved in improving operations and products. So, come have a listen!
We all know there are tons of Private Equity funds. So what are the ways they try to stand out from the crowd? We cover the four biggies: Focus, Size, Sourcing and Team.
Alan, Jim and Kristina talk about a rare phenomenon in technology -- slowing down sales -- intentionally! Faced with the need to undertake some major software refactoring, we chose to put the cap on new sales while we raced to update the platform. This caused real tension between the board, sales management and the engineering team. Come have a listen as we talk about the details of this successful effort.
We recently had to find a home for a legacy client/server accounting application, running in a location that was far, far away. The software came to us through an acquisition of another company. Our ultimate goal is to migrate the parent and child to a single, unified cloud-based application. In the near term, however, we needed to allow the remote team to access the software as per usual, right alongside the finance team back at headquarters. And, we needed to insure that the software was backed up properly and secure. The solution turned out to be Amazon's WorkSpaces product.
Jim and Alan talk in detail about the Valley of Anguish and how to survive it. All large projects (ERP implementations, software re-writes, data center moves) start out with heady expectations and hardy enthusiasm. Inevitably, as your teams start tackling the stickier issues they slide down into the Valley of Anguish -- all willing to abandon the project and go back to doing things the old way. As operating partners, we've had tons of experience in the valley -- and can help you and your teams survive and thrive -- and come out the other end of the project with smiles on their faces. Also, we talk about Alan's really bad hat.
Devin and Jim discuss the seven deadly sins of private equity -- sins that will turn a good deal into a bad deal.
-- Pride: Don't admit what you don't know.
-- Envy: Make a bad acquisition.
-- Lust: Overpaying for a deal.
-- Greed: Trying to do too much, too fast.
-- Wrath: Market turns on you.
-- Gluttony: Taking on too much debt.
-- Sloth: Failing to move fast enough on management problems.
Devin interviews podcast darling Kevin Fitzgerald on his return to private equity after two years at Harvard Business School. Kevin talks about why he went, what he learned, how he landed his summer internship, how much the whole thing cost and whether or not getting and MBA was even worth it. Just like his last podcast talking about the Associate job, Kevin spills the beans on business school and returning to the industry as Principal.
Jim talks with our old friend and colleague, Dirk Shimpach about the most common mistakes we make when implementing NetSuite. We've done six implementations across six portfolio companies over the past five years -- so we've learned a thing or two about getting NetSuite up and running. Dirk gives CEOs, Founders and CFOs a quick primer on the most common speed bumps and how to avoid them. We're about to start two new implementations at two different ParkerGale portfolio companies. Our plan is to dive deep into these two projects and give you the blow by blow as we get them going. While we've covered this topic before, we plan on going deep, deep, deep into these projects -- so stay tuned.
Alan and Jim discuss DevOps -- the intersection of software development and managing the deployment and operations of software. We provide a simple layman's definition of DevOps and then address common misconceptions and fears. It's not fatal if you are not doing state-of-the-art DevOps or you haven't completed automated the build and deploy process. Instead, we given you a simple set of suggestions for getting simplified DevOps in place in order to limit system downtime and speed up re-starts.
Devin and Jim spend some time talking about the "Failure Mythology" -- the idea that you need to fail in a big way on the path to building a great company. (Aka "The Steve Jobs Story") It's a popular myth in the venture space, but not at all common for private equity deals.
Small change of pace. Here's a replay of Kristina's WGN Business Lunch interview talking about private equity, being a mom and other fun stuff.
Devin sits down with Dave Will, the founder of Peach New Media, a software company he founded, bootstrapped and recently sold to AccelKKR. Dave gets philosophical about building culture and stepping aside after the sale. A good listen for founders and CEOs alike. We’ll definitely have Dave back to chat more.
Devin and Jim talk about Unicorns -- not the mythical horse with
a horn, but rather
the club of billion-dollar-plus tech companies. How is this market different than the late 90s?
How do Unicorns affect buyouts and smaller companies, both positively and negatively? These
are just a few of the questions we discuss on today's show.
Devin and Jim welcome their partner Kristina to her first podcast where they talk about how to run a good board meeting. Who to invite, what to cover, what to avoid and how to manage your PE board members.
Alan and Jim spend some time talking about tracking events and errors in application software logs. Most companies are at least monitoring their web logs and database error logs these days -- but we'd argue that this is just the tip of the iceberg. With easy access to cloud platforms, cheap computer cycles and disk storage the time is right to up the ante. Capturing user traffic and events at all layers of your application stack can pay big dividends in customer satisfaction, software performance and system reliability.