Starting Up and Escaping a Life of Quiet Desperation

Henry David Thoreau once famously said that, “most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” That statement is likely more true today than it was in the 1840s, when he said it. With increased specialization, many adults sleepwalk through their professional years, operating on a level of minimum consciousness, never fully engaged or alive. They’re just … Read More

The Missing Piece

My favorite Shel Silverstein book is called The Missing Piece. It’s about a crudely drawn, circle-like creature that appears to have a wedge cut out of it. The creature thinks that the wedge is its missing piece, and so it goes around looking for its missing piece. And here’s the song he sings to himself … Read More

When Is a Pitch a General Solicitation?

A couple of weeks ago, I hosted a meetup at Galvanize with a number of other attorneys (signup info for the meetup can be found here). The subject of the meetup was legal issues for crowdfunding and fundraising. We provided background on the new SEC rules for crowdfunding and discussed the ways in which we … Read More

Common Startup Legal Mistakes: Entity Form Mismatch

With the proliferation of legal documents available online, more startups have begun putting together their own legal work. For a simple entity, this might not be a problem, but if you’re trying to do something more complicated, you may run into trouble. As one example, many startup founders have learned about the importance of vesting … Read More

Financing Basics: Debt vs. Equity

One of the first questions that a startup faces when it begins to look outside the organization to fund itself, is what type of financing to seek. There are some who will argue that one type of financing is inherently superior to the other for startups. But to me that’s kind of like saying that … Read More

Law and Probability, Part III

When someone tells you they have “x years of experience,” they have performed a significant number of trials in their professional career. More trials means more certainty. And any professional who learns from mistakes will, presumably, improve over time. But as we have seen with George Will and Dick Morris, lots of experienced, well-respected, and … Read More

Law and Probability, Part II

“You don’t win by predicting the future; you win by getting the odds right.” -William Bonner After the most recent presidential election, Nate Silver acquired folk hero status for the accuracy of his models in predicting the election. His model correctly predicted how every state would vote in the presidential race. Before the election, and … Read More

Law and Probability, Part I

The practice of law is all about informed decision making. A competent lawyer should have a broad familiarity with the law in the areas in which he or she practices. By applying the law to the facts of a particular client’s circumstances, the lawyer makes an informed recommendation about a path of action that will … Read More