Far West Capital May 2012 Newsletter

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A few weeks ago, Tupac Shakur performed at Cochella. Well, kind of. A projection of the deceased artist (he was murdered in 1996), which reportedly cost $100,000 to $400,000, was created to perform two songs with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. Impressive and creepy, the projection interacted with the two artists on stage and the audience. Could tours of dead artists like Michael Jackson or John Lennon be around the corner? Would you attend?



Why aren’t banks lending to small business? The American, an online magazine, analyzed this question in a recent article and found the Federal Reserve has encouraged banks to cut back on small business lending in an effort to get them to make better loans. To prevent more bad lending practices, banks are tightening lending standards to qualify for incentives from the Federal Reserve, making it harder for small businesses to obtain loans. While banks shouldn’t relax standards, small business owners need a way to obtain funding and grow their business. This is why asset based lending and factoring are viable options. Small businesses can grow without a bank’s help. Find out why you deserve this.



It’s no secret or surprise Facebook is ruling our social network lives and its IPO on May 18 is ready to set records. Facebook has set the estimated price for its initial public offering at $28 to $35 a share. The company is on track to raise $10.6 billion in a debut that could value the company at $86 billion and make it the biggest technology IPO in history. Facebook went on a road show for investors, and Business Insider picked out the highlights of the video summarizing its high points, including:

  • There are 125 billion friendships on Facebook.
  • There are 1 billion comments per day.
  • 525 million users visiting every day.
  • Facebook’s unique value proposition includes: reach, engagement, relevance (audience accuracy), and social context (helps ad recall).



Is there a doctor in the house? As if four NBA championships wasn’t enough, Shaquille O’Neal has been hitting the books and recently earned a doctorate degree in education from Barry University in Miami, Florida. This isn’t Dr. O’Neal’s first time donning cap and gown.  He also holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree and says he isn’t done yet! He is rumbling about law school – the American legal system could use someone who knows his way around the court!



Will Democrat Elizabeth Warren’s claim to be Native American make a difference in the Massachusetts Senate race? Since Warren is, at most, 1/32 Cherokee, the discovery of her claim brings question to her being an unqualified, affirmative-action hire and why she is listed as a “minority” law professor at Harvard Law School. While Warren’s professionalism and success as a professor speaks for itself, Republican incumbent Scott Brown’s camp hopes this reveal will distance Warren from the state’s blue-collar voters. Warren explains she identified herself as such to connect with others who are also Native American. While the current chief of the Cherokee tribe is also only 1/32 Cherokee, the questions surrounding Warren’s heritage steers voters’ minds away from her actual credentials.



Have you ever considered serving on a board of directors? According to the Central Texas Board Report by Greenlights for Nonprofit Success, there are about 7,000 empty nonprofit board seats that need to be filled. Why is board service good for you and your company? Check out our blog for three reasons.



Our client, Concept2Reality, recently launched a cool, new product called the Weedblaster Pro. The product was featured on QVC and it sold out all 2,500 units in 4 minutes! Congrats Concept2Reality!



Being an entrepreneur takes guts and true grit. Most of us are familiar with the Dell and Facebook stories, but we want to share some from the godfathers of innovation.

Did you know?

  • Walmart founder Sam Walton opened his first retail location in 1962 and took more than a decade to open Walmart, eventually becoming a global giant as the world’s largest retail chain.
  • Macy’s might be famous for its Thanksgiving Day parade, but it took Roland H. Macy five attempts at opening a retail store to get it right.  In its more than 150 year history and financial ups and downs, the company continues to successfully operate approximately 800 stores across the U.S.
  • Austin resident John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems, was 36-years old and homeless when he helped start the company with only $700. Now with a few other businesses under his belt (did we mention Patrón Spirits), it’s no surprise he continues to be ranked in Forbes Magazine as one of America’s richest men.

We raise a glass of Patrón to entrepreneurs old and new!



Natural gas, such as shale gas, has been a frequent topic of discussion, and a topic we’ve advocated also. The desire to move away from coal and crude oil and use natural gas is argued as a better solution for energy, which research confirms. Natural gas is the cleanest of all fossil fuels, the environmental impact is low, 99% of the gas comes from North America, and natural gas is efficiently used in households. This lengthy but informative article on The American has a lot of insight about the debate. It explains that the world should transition to natural gas quickly because “spending toward that goal would bring faster and more durable gains than subsidizing such dubious conversions as turning corn into ethanol or pouring huge sums into money-losing solar enterprises.”



According to authors Dan Senor and Saul Singer, Proctor & Gamble, General Electric, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft and Google were all started during economic downturns.  As the book highlights, it takes “chutzpah,” the Jewish word that some define as meaning “gall, brazen, and guts,” to succeed when times are tough. Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle reveals the small and controversial country of Israel has the highest density of successful tech-startups than anywhere else in the world – and we mean anywhere – including the U.S. The book is a few years old but we still recommend it.



Maurice Sendak, legendary author and illustrator of more than 50 books, including his best-known “Where the Wild Things Are” passed away last week at 83. Recognized as a visionary in children’s literature, he was known to be very honest, complex and eager to create and inspire. He left us with bookshelves of his creative works and the spirit of great imagination. Here are two memorable quotes from Sendak:

“You can’t get rid of evil. We can’t, and I feel that so intensely. All the idiots that keep coming into the world and wrecking people’s lives. And it is such an abundance of idiocy that you lose courage, okay? That you lose hope — I don’t want to lose hope.” – in a 2004 interview on NOW with Bill Moyers

“And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!” – the classic line from “Where the Wild Things Are”



Which U.S. city is the best for jobs? It may be no surprise the answer is Austin because the city is a favorite in many “best” lists. Forbes recently awarded Austin with the title, saying the city “logged strong growth in manufacturing, technology-related employment and business service.” Houston, Fort Worth, and Dallas also made the list and ranked in the top ten. The ranking analyzed 398 metro areas.



Living a passionate life means never giving up on your dream. The Dallas Morning News published a story last week about 55-year-old Sharon Simmons trying out for the 2012 Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.  It’s taken this grandmother of two 33 years to try out. Results weren’t published whether she made the cut, but trying and failing is better than not trying at all. Our cowboy hats are off to you for your effort!

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