The Startup Channel

Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 6.40.46 AMWe interrupt this book for a quick update on what’s happening in my so-called career. Shortly before beginning this serialization of Accidental Empires I explained that I would be doing some new projects including a book and a startup about startups — The Startup Channel (thestartupchannel.net). The latter project will now launch in April so it’s time to explain.

The Startup Channel will be an online video channel about startups and startup people. You’ll find it probably on YouTube unless some other Internet video outfit makes me a better offer (hint, hint). We’ll be launching with 40 hours of pre-produced content, which is a lot for online video where the […]

Dr. Al explains the so-called “so-called fiscal cliff”

forkintheroadMost of us have had mentors and when it came to becoming a writer three of mine were the late Bill Rivers at Stanford who taught me to think and not just report, legendary book editor Bob Loomis at Random House who felt I might be able to stack enough of those thoughts together to fill a book, and a guy most of you know as Adam Smith, who let me copy his style. 

Smith, named after the English economist and writer, helped start both New York and Institutional Investor magazines while at the same time punching out books like The Money Game and Paper Money — huge best sellers that taught regular people how the financial […]

By |December 16th, 2012|2012, Banks, Breaking News, Business, Economy, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Government, Politics|Comments Off on Dr. Al explains the so-called “so-called fiscal cliff”

JOBS Act crowdfunding is unlikely to help most startups

Earlier this year I wrote a series of columns about crowdfunding and the JOBS Act, which was signed into law last April with several goals, one of which was to help startups raise money from ordinary investors. Those columns were about the promise of crowdfunding and the JOBS Act while this one is about what progress has been made so far toward that end. For startups, alas, the news is not entirely good. Crowdfunding looks like it may not be available at all for the smaller, needier companies the law was supposedly designed to serve.

It’s one thing to pass a law and quite another to write rules to carry out that law. Title 3 […]

Off with their heads! Why financial regulation stopped working

Thirty years ago, when I was working for a time in Saudi Arabia, I saw a public execution. I didn’t attend an execution, I didn’t witness an execution, I just happened to be there. There was in the center of this town a square and in the square were gathered hundreds of people. I was working in a building next to the square and looked out the window to see what was causing all the noise. At that moment a prisoner was brought forward, his arms bound behind him. He was dragged up the steps to a platform and there fell to his knees. Another man whom I quickly came to understand was the executioner […]

Ticked off: How stock market decimalization killed IPOs and ruined our economy


Well it took me more than the one day I predicted to finish this column, which purports to explain that dull feeling so many of us have in our hearts these days when we consider the U.S. economy. Our entrepreneurial zeal is to some extent zapped. For a decade it seemed we needed to jump from bubble to bubble in order just to drive economic growth — growth that ultimately didn’t last. What happened? Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) went away, that’s what happened.

I wrote several columns on job creation over the last year, columns that explained in great detail how new businesses, young businesses, and small businesses create […]