EP3: How Scout is Different

In today’s post, Richard Parsons outlines the key difference in Scout Venture’s approach to investing that sets Scout aside from its competitors: the ability to proactively coach companies through the ups and downs of the startup journey.

As Dick mentions, early-stage venture investors have to bring something extra to the table and Scout does just that with the ability to not only focus on entrepreneurs with drive / “moxie,” but also provide management guidance.

Stay tuned for EP4 next week.

EP3: How Scout is Different

EP2: Building Over Time

In today’s post, we catch a glimpse of Richard Parson’s approach to building a company over time and taking the long-term perspective to build correctly.

Overview / Summary:

It takes time. Through an anecdote on the creation and utility of flat log rollers popularized in London, Dick emphasizes the importance of taking a long-term approach to building.

Stay tuned for next week’s post!

EP2: Building Over Time

EP1: Two Rules of Leadership

As a new series, every week, we will be releasing a video in which Brad Harrison, Scout Ventures – Managing Partner, interviews a long time mentor and industry expert, Richard Parsons.

Dick Parsons is a senior advisor of Providence Equity and former chairman of Citigroup. He is also the former chairman and CEO of Time Warner. Before joining Time Warner in 1995, Mr. Parsons was chairman and CEO of Dime Bancorp. Mr. Parsons has held various positions in state and federal government, serving as counsel to Nelson Rockefeller and as a senior White House aide under President Gerald Ford. Richard is currently a director of Estée Lauder Companies and Lazard, and is chairman of the Apollo Theatre Foundation. Most recently, Mr. Parsons served as the interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team.

Here is the first video in which Dick Parsons talks about Leadership.

Here’s a recap if you didn’t watch the video:

  1. When put in a position of command, take charge.
  2. Do what is right.

Simple and to the point.

Stay tuned for next week’s video.

EP1: Two Rules of Leadership

Welcoming a New Partner

I’ve been heads down since the New Year with no blogging while I focused on taking Scout Ventures to the next level.

And I’m proud to announce that Wes Blackwell was joined us as a Partner.

Wes is a graduate of the Naval Academy and UVA Darden.  He is will be based in DC and focus on hard to access founders coming out of the government, intel communities (NSA, CIA) and research labs (DARPA, Sandia, Oakridge, etc) working on transformational technologies in AI, Cybersecurity, and Communications.

The team and I couldn’t be more excited to have Wes onboard.

Go Army, Beat Navy!

Welcoming a New Partner

This is the year to crush it!

Everyone,

I wanted to start off by wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!

I have great hopes and aspirations for 2018 after a transformational and sometimes difficult 2017.

In order to achieve my goals, I am focused on following some basic guidelines to help me perform at my best.

They are as follows:

Keep a journal of food consumption, exercise, breathing, and meditation to create self-accountability

Focus on maintaining a daily practice of breathing, meditation, and yoga

Eat healthily – focus on eliminating sugar, gluten, and foods that cause inflammation (ie nightshades)

Continue to live an alcohol-free lifestyle

Eat vegan two days a week

Intermittent fasting two days a week

Make sleep a priority and focus on going to bed before 1030 pm

Take an Epsom salt bath nightly

Execute the Scout 2018 business plan

Be happy.

 

 

This is the year to crush it!

Community

This week there was another senseless terror attack. The only difference was it was on my block.

This made Halloween a surreal experience – one in which I had a conversation with Anderson Cooper while dressed as a giant banana.

Parents and kids were confused about how to respond. Many of the local schools were on lockdown from 3-6pm with parents unable to get their children. This left a large group of kids trapped inside before they could get out and enjoy the Halloween festivities.

My cell phone was inundated with a steady flow of people texting and calling to make sure Team Harrison was safe. And luckily, everyone was safe and spending our time on the other side of the neighborhood with the kids closest friends. Angie and I didn’t want the incident to ruin Halloween.

I was thankful for the strength of our community. Everyone immediately connected.  People communicated and tried to calmly assess the reality of what had transpired.

A terror attack on our street.

And on the walk home I was suddenly confronted with trying to answer my son’s constant stream of questions about ISIS etc.

And now we all must learn how to respond when your 9-year-old son or 7-year old daughter asks about being safe on their block – in AMERICA.

As a community, various parents and kids were exposed to a scary reality of the 21st century – a radicalized foreign born terrorist.

But not only a few weeks ago, that a homegrown American terrorist.

These are confusing times.

It is more important than ever that we define what we want for our life and our community.

Love – Happiness – Peace

 

Community

Take a knee

My wife asked me to spend some time and share my thoughts on the current situation between the President and the NFL.

I thought it was an interesting request as I hadn’t really shared any thoughts on the matter up to this point, but let me begin.

I’ve never been a believer in allowing people to burn the flag or disrespect the National Anthem.  In my opinion, America is our home and it’s our teamwork and unity that has made us the greatest nation on earth. 

I agree with Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints when he told The New York Times, “I will always feel that if you are an American that the National Anthem is the opportunity for us all to stand up together, to be unified and to show respect for our country.”

But what should happen when our country is broken?

At some point, Americans need to decide where they stand.

Well, the NFL players and owners are making a stand.

Personally, I don’t view taking a knee or locking arms as a gross sign of disrespect. In fact, its actually a fairly effective method of conveying disapproval while not being aggressive, overly disruptive or confrontational.   

I am sure my Jewish grandfather who served in WWII fighting Nazis would prefer NFL Players taking a knee during the National Anthem to armed Nazis march in the streets, carrying the Confederate flag and shouting messages of hate and violence outside the oldest synagogue in Charlottesville.

This is not why he fought for freedom.

This is not why my brothers and sisters in arms have put themselves in harms way to protect our freedom.

I’ve heard the argument that somehow these NFL players taking a knee are disrespecting the men and women of our Armed Forces. As you may have read, in 2009, the government actually contributed money to several sports leagues so they would do more with the National Anthem as a sign of Patriotism – and the NFL players have been supportive.

But now these players, through abstaining from the National Anthem are sending a clear message to the President and our nation. In the words of the Seattle Seahawks:

“We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country. Out of love for our country and in honor of the sacrifices made on our behalf, we unite to oppose those that would deny our most basic freedoms. We remain committed in continuing to work towards equality and justice for all.”

So how are Americans supposed to express their disapproval of the status quo?  

How do we get our leader, President Trump, to understand and address the underlying problem?

The harsh reality is that people of color do not have the same level of freedom as white Americans.

If you’ve spent any time following the messages of the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, Bob Marley, or the Old Testament, then you must know that as a community we can not be truly free until everyone is free from oppression.

No American should ever feel like their freedom is at risk because of the color of their skin.

I think about the future of this country and it’s not Donald Trump, but rather my kids.

My kids don’t see race.  They see their friends and teammates. 

If I asked them whether or not they wanted to take a knee to support their classmates, they would immediately take a knee.

Take a knee