Friday, January 05, 2007


My apologies for the recent delays. All this excitement around my startup is taking its toll, along with sleep deprivation. The most interesting part is that we haven't (yet) filed the incorporation papers. That probably won't happen until the end of the month, with all the travel and other things. Before I can get to bed tonight I have to finish some real estate valuations. (Of course, this is looking worse and worse by the second since my laptop's backlight refuses to come on. Guess I'll be replacing my trusty PowerBook G4 sooner than I hoped.)

I've got a lunch meeting tomorrow with a former colleague about this venture, so this will be brief.

So let's do a general recap of all the in-progress projects.

There's the skunkworks project which has been progressing at a generous rate. I'm starting to wonder if it is contributing to my health right now. I know I need to keep on top of that, but there's just this intoxication I have with building this company. I haven't felt this way since early in my tech career. I'd say its even stronger than the feelings I had about the startup I worked for in 2000 - 2002. Its indescribable, so all I can say is "go do it yourself!" You'll understand once you start seeing the first inkling of fruits. A complete natural high. I recommend that everyone try it at least once, if only for the thrill of doing so.

Still doing the real estate. Real estate is an easy grind, conceptually, but it definitely requires time. I went to Baltimore this past Saturday to look at a house that had been offered to me and my partners by the owners. Nice little house, in traditional Baltimore fashion. But the drive is beast. 100 properties to get 10 offers to get 1 deal. No joke. But I can't complain. The deal of the century is always right around the corner. 5 houses - that's my goal. Contributing 5 houses to our portfolio. Need to start cranking on this. I think this year there will be even better opportunities to add to the portfolio on a cash flow basis. So much promise!

Wheat. What to say about wheat? I don't know. I'm checking the quotes much less frequently. I'm not sure if that is due to being so busy or so disappointed. Maybe the correction is coming right now. While there seem to be pockets of strength in certain markets, most of them seem to be trending down, commodities included. Now, I do not believe the commodity situation is bad in the long term. But to paraphrase Keynes, markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent. Man, have I been taught that lesson. I guess the best thing to say about the wheat spreads and call I have is that it is money I can afford to lose. But I sure don't want to! And a quick chart check looks like we broke some support around 480 on the May contract. Damn! (Maybe that means people don't plan to eat as much cereal this year!?!?) Looks like I'll be calling my broker on Friday.

Consulting. I think this will have to go away completely this year. I love my friends and all, but given how they seem to misunderstand the role technology should play in their businesses, its time to cut my losses. I need the time anyway for this software gig. I hate leaving friends in the lurch like that, but something will change in this arena and soon. The opportunity cost here is just too great.

I think that covers everything. I didn't include my J.O.B. know. It serves its purpose and thats it. I wonder if there are any projects that I should take on just to be "well rounded"?

Anyway, I'm off, either back to the grind or sleep. At this point, sleep is winning. But I'll be back soon with another great blog and hopefully more stories of investment success. (No matter what the investment, we've got you covered.)

Until next time...

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