Jan 182018

Book Short – Another Must-Read by Lencioni

Book Short – Another Must-Read by Lencioni

The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues (hardcover,kindle is Patrick Lencioni’s latest and greatest.  It’s not my favorite of his, which is still The Advantage (post,buy ), but it’s pretty good and well worth a read.  It builds on his model for accountability in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (post,buy)and brings it back to “how can you spot or develop and a good team player?”

The central thesis of the book is that great team players have three attributes – hungry, humble, and people-smart.  While I can’t disagree with those three things, as with all consultants’ frameworks, I sound two cautionary notes:  (1) they aren’t the absolute truth, just a truth, and (2) different organizations and different cultures sometimes thrive with different recipes.  That said, certainly for my company, this framework rings true, if not the only truth.

Some great nuggets from the book:

-The basketball coach who says he loves kids who want to come to practice and work as hard as they can at practice to avoid losing
-The concept of Addition by Addition and Addition by Subtraction in the same book – both are real and true.  The notion that three people can get more done than four if the fourth is a problem is VERY REAL
-When you’re desperate for people, you do stupid things – you bring people on who can get the job done but shouldn’t be in your environment.  I don’t know a single CEO who hasn’t made this mistake, even knowing sometimes that they’re in the process of making it

The framing of the “edge” people – people who have two of the three virtues, but not the third, is quite good:

-Hungry and Humble but not People-Smart – The Accidental Mess Maker
-Humble and People-Smart, but not Hungry – The Lovable Slacker
-Hungry and People-Smart, but not Humble – The Skillful Politician

In my experience, and Lencioni may say this in the book, too (I can’t remember and can’t find it), none of these is great…but the last one is by far the most problematic for a culture that values teamwork and collaboration.

Anyway, I realize this is a long summary for a short book, but it’s worth buying and reading and having on your (real or virtual) shelf.  In addition to the story, there are some REALLY GOOD interview guides/questions and team surveys in the back of the book.

Sep 212017

Book Shorts: Summer Reading

I read a ton of books.  I usually blog about business books, at least the good ones.  I almost never blog about fiction or non-business/non-fiction books, but I had a good “what did you read this summer” conversation the other night with my CEO Forum, so I thought I’d post super quick snippets about my summer reading list, none of which was business-related.

If you have kids, don’t read Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant’s Option B:  Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy unless you’re prepared to cry or at least be choked up.  A lot.  It is a tough story to read, even if you already know the story.  But it does have a number of VERY good themes and thoughts about what creates resilience (spoiler alert – my favorite key to resilience is having hope) that are wonderful for personal as well as professional lives.

Underground Airlines, by Ben Winters, is a member of a genre I love – alternative historical fiction.  This book is set in contemporary America – except that its version of America never had a Civil War and therefore still has four slave states.  It’s a solid caper in its own right, but it’s a chillingly realistic portrayal of what slavery and slave states would be like today and what America would be like with them.

Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance, is the story of Appalachia and white working class Americans as told by someone who “escaped” from there and became a marine, then a Yale-educated lawyer.  It explains a lot about the struggles of millions of Americans that are easy for so many of us to ignore or have a cartoonish view of.  It explains, indirectly, a lot about the 2016 presidential election.

Everybody Lies:  Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are, written by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, was like a cross between Nate Silver’s The Signal and The Noise and Levitt & Dubner’s Freakonomics.  It’s full of interesting factoids derived from internet data.  Probably the most interesting thing about it is how even the most basic data (common search terms) are proving to be great grist for the big data mill.

P.J. O’Rourke’s How the Hell Did This Happen? was a lot like the rest of P.J. O’Rourke’s books, but this time his crusty sarcasm is pointed at the last election in a compilation of articles written at various points during the campaign and after.  It didn’t feel to me as funny as his older books.  But that could also be because the subject was so depressing.  The final chapter was much less funny and much more insightful, not that it provides us with a roadmap out of the mess we’re in.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Noah Harari, is a bit of a rambling history of our species.  It was a good read and lots of interesting nuggets about biology, evolution, and history, though it had a tendency to meander a bit.  It reminded me a bit of various Richard Dawkins books (I blogged a list of them and one related business topic here), so if you’re into that genre, this wouldn’t be bad to pick up…although it’s probably higher level and less scientific than Dawkins if that’s what you’re used to.

Finally, I finished up the fourth book in the massive Robert Caro quadrilogy biography of Lyndon Johnson (full series here).  I have written a couple times over the years about my long-term reading project on American presidential biographies, probably now in its 12th or 13th year.  I’m working my way forward from George Washington, and I usually read a couple on each president, as well as occasional other related books along the way.  I’ve probably read well over 100 meaty tomes as part of this journey, but none as meaty as what must have been 3000+ pages on LBJ.  The good news:  What a fascinating read.  LBJ was probably (with the possible exception of Jefferson) the most complex character to ever hold the office.  Also, I’d say that both Volumes 3 and 4 stand alone as interesting books on their own – Volume 3 as a braoder history of the Senate and Civil Rights; Volume 4 as a slice of time around Kennedy’s assassination and Johnson’s assumption of power.  The bad news:  I got to the end of Vol 4 and realized that there’s a Vol 5 that isn’t even published yet.

That’s it for summer reading…now back to school!

Filed under: Books, Uncategorized

Mar 162017

Book Short – Blink part III – Undo?

Book Short – Blink part III – Undo?

I just finished reading Michael Lewis’s The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds, and honestly, I wish I could hit Life’s Undo button and reclaim those hours.  I love Michael Lewis, and he’s one of those authors where if he writes it, I will read it.  But this one wasn’t really worth it for me.

Having said that, I think if you haven’t already read both Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink (review, buy) and Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow (review, buy), then it might be worth it.  But having read those two books, The Undoing Project had too much overlap and not enough “underlap” (to quote my friend Tom Bartel) – that is, not enough new stuff of substance for me.  The book mostly went into the personal relationship between two academic thinkers, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky.  It also touched on some of the highlights of their work, which, while coming out of the field of psychology, won them a Nobel prize in Economics for illuminating some of the underlying mechanics of how we make decisions.

The two most interesting pieces of their work to me, which are related in the book, are:

First, that human decision-making is incredibly nuanced and complex, and that at least 25% of the time, the transitive property doesn’t apply.  For example, I may prefer coffee to tea, and I may prefer tea to hot chocolate, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I prefer coffee to hot chocolate.

From the book, “When faced with complex multidimensional alternatives, such as job offers, gambles or [political] candidates, it is extremely difficult to utilize properly all the available information.” It wasn’t that people actually preferred A to B and B to C and then turned around and preferred C to A. It was that it was sometimes very hard to understand the differences. Amos didn’t think that the real world was as likely to fool people into contradicting themselves as were the experiments he had designed.  And the choice created its own context: Different features might assume greater prominence in the mind when the coffee was being compared to tea (caffeine) than when it was being compared to hot chocolate (sugar). And what was true of drinks might also be true of people, and ideas, and emotions. The idea was interesting: When people make decisions, they are also making judgments about similarity, between some object in the real world and what they ideally want. They make these judgments by, in effect, counting up the features they notice. And as the noticeability of features can be manipulated by the way they are highlighted, the sense of how similar two things are might also be manipulated.”

Second, what Kahneman and Tversky called Prospect Theory, which is basically that humans are more motivated by the fear of loss as opposed to the greed of gain.  I’ve written about the “Fear/Greed Continuum” of my former boss from many years ago before.  I’m not sure he knew about Kahneman and Tversky’s work when he came up with that construct, and I certainly didn’t know about it when I first blogged about it years ago.  Do this experiment – ask someone both of these questions:  Would you rather be handed $500 or have a 50% chance of winning $1,000 and a 50% of getting nothing?  Then, Would you rather hand me $500 or have a 50% chance of owing me $1,000 and a 50% chance of owing me nothing?  Most of the time, the answers are not the same.

For fun, I tried this out on my kids and re-proved Prospect Theory, just in case anyone was worried about it.

Anyway, bottom line on this book – read it if you haven’t ready those other two books, skip it if you have, maybe skim it if you’ve read one of them!


Feb 092017

Book Short: Why Wait?

A Sense of Urgency, by John Kotter, is a solid book – not his best, but worth a read and happily short, as most business books should be.  I originally was going to hold off on writing this post until I had more time, but the subject matter alone made me think that was a mistake and that I should write it while it’s fresh in my mind.  <g>

The three tools to fight complacency are the organizing framework for the book — bring the outside in, behave with urgency every day, and turn crises into opportunities — are all good thoughts, and good reminders of basic management principles.  But there were a couple other themes worth calling out even more.

First up, the notion that there is a vicious cycle at play in that urgency begets success which creates complacency which then requires but does not beget urgency.  The theme is really that success can drive arrogance, stability, and scale that requires inward focus — not that success itself is bad, just that it requires an extra level of vigilance to make sure it doesn’t lead to complacency.  I’ve seen this cycle at different times over the years in lots of organizations, and it’s one of the reasons that if you look at the original companies on the Dow Jones Industrials index when it was expanded from 12 to 30 around 100 years ago, only one of them (GE) still exists.

Second, that busy-ness can masquerade as urgency but actually undermines urgency.  A full calendar doesn’t mean you’re behaving with urgency.  Kotter’s example of an Indian manager is great:

If you watch the Indian manager’s behavior carefully and contrast it with the hospital executive’s, you find that the former relentlessly eliminates low-priority items from his appointment diary. He eliminates clutter on the agenda of the meetings that do make it into his diary. The space that is freed up allows him to move faster. It allows him to follow up quickly on the action items that come out of meetings. The time freed up allows him to hold impromptu interactions that push along important projects faster. The open space allows him to talk more about issues he thinks are crucial, about what is happening with customers and competitors, and about the technological change affecting his business.

Finally, Kotter’s theme of “Urgent patience” is a wonderful turn of phrase.  As he says,

It means acting each day with a sense of urgency but having a realistic view of time. It means recognizing that five years may be needed to attain important and ambitious goals, and yet coming to work each day committed to finding every opportunity to make progress toward those goals.

How true is that?  It’s not just that big ships take a long time to turn…it’s that big opportunities take a long time to pursue and get right.  If they didn’t…everyone would do them!  Urgent patience is what allows you to install a bias for action in your team without causing panic and frenzy, which is never productive.

Thanks to my friend Chad Dickerson for recommending this book, a great read as part of Operation Reboot Matt.

Filed under: Books, Business, Leadership

Feb 022017

Book Short – A Smattering of Good Ideas that further my Reboot path

Book Short – A Smattering of Good Ideas that further my Reboot path

Ram Charan’s The Attacker’s Advantage was not his best work, but it was worth the read.  It had a cohesive thesis and a smattering of good ideas in it, but it felt much more like the work of a management consultant than some of his better books like Know How (review, buy), Confronting Reality (review, buy), Execution (review, buy), What the CEO Wants You to Know ( buy), and my favorite of his that I refer people to all the time, The Leadership Pipeline (review, buy).

Charan’s framework for success in a crazy world full of digital and other disruption is this:

Perceptual acuity (I am still not 100% sure what this means)

  1. A mindset to see opportunity in uncertainty
  2. The ability to see a new path forward and commit to it
  3. Adeptness in managing the transition to the new path
  4. Skill in making the organization steerable and agile

The framework is basically about institutionalizing the ability to spot pending changes in the future landscape based on blips and early trends going on today and then about how to seize opportunity once you’ve spotted the future.  I like that theme.  It matches what I wrote about when I read Mark Penn’s Microtrends (review, buy) years ago.

Charan’s four points are important, but some of the suggestions for structuring an organization around them are very company-specific, and others are too generic (yes, you have to set clear priorities).  His conception of something he calls a Joint Practice Session is a lot like the practices involved in Agile that contemporary startups are more likely to just do in their sleep but which are probably helpful for larger companies.

I read the book over a year ago, and am finally getting around to blogging about it.  That time and distance were helpful in distilling my thinking about Charan’s words.  Probably my biggest series of takeaways from the book – and they fit into my Reboot theme this quarter/year, is to spend a little more time “flying at higher altitude,” as Charan puts it:  talking to people outside the company and asking them what they see and observe from the world around them; reading more and synthesizing takeaways and applicability to work more; expanding my information networks beyond industry and country; creating more routine mechanisms for my team to pool observations about the external landscape and potential impacts on the company; and developing a methodology for reviewing and improving predictions over time.

Bottom line:  like many business books, great to skim and pause for a deep dive at interesting sections, but not the author’s best work.


Jan 032017

Reboot – The Fountainhead

Reboot – The Fountainhead

Happy New Year!  Every few years or so, especially after a challenging stretch at work, I’ve needed to reboot myself.  This is one of those times, and I will try to write a handful of blog posts on different aspects of that.

The first one is about a great book.  I just read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead for (I think) the 5th time.  It’s far and away my favorite book and has been extremely influential on my life.  I think of it (and any of my favorite books) as an old friend that I can turn to in order to help center myself when needed as an entrepreneur and as a human.  The last time I read it was over 10 years ago, which is too long to go without seeing one of your oldest friends, isn’t it?  While the characters in the book by definition are somewhat extreme, the book’s guiding principles are great.  I’ve always enjoyed this book far more than Atlas Shrugged, Rand’s more popular novel, which I think is too heavy-handed, and her much shorter works, Anthem and We The Living, which are both good but clearly not as evolved in her thinking.

As an entrepreneur, how does The Fountainhead influence me?  Here are a few examples.

  • When I think about The Fountainhead, the first phrase that pops into my head is “the courage of your convictions.”  Well, there’s no such thing as being a successful entrepreneur without having the courage of your convictions.  If entrepreneurs took “no” for an answer the first 25 times they heard it, there would be no Apple, no Facebook, no Google, but there’d also be no Ford, no GE, and no AT&T
  • One great line from the book is that “the essence of man is his creative capacity.”  Our whole culture at Return Path, and one that I’m intensely proud of, is founded on trust and transparency.  We believe that if we trust employees with their time and resources, and they know everything going on in the company, that they will unleash their immense creative capacity on the problems to be solved for the business and for customers
  • Another central point of influence for me from the book is that while learning from others is important, conventional wisdom only gets you far in entrepreneurship.  A poignant moment in the book is when the main character, Howard Roark, responds to a question from another character along the lines of “What do you think of me?”  The response is “I don’t think of you.”  Leading a values-driven life, and running a values-driven existence, where the objective isn’t to pander to the opinion of others but to fill my life (and hopefully the company’s life) with things that make me/us happy and successful is more important to me than simply following conventional wisdom at every turn.  Simply put, we like to do our work, our way, noting that there are many basics where reinventing the wheel is just dumb
  • Related, the book talks about the struggle between first-handers and second-handers.  “First-handers use their own minds.  They do not copy or obey, although they do learn from others.”  All innovators, inventors, and discoverers of new knowledge are first-handers.  Roark’s speech at the Cortland Homes trial is a pivotal moment in the book, when he says, “Throughout the centuries, there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision.  The great creators — the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors — stood alone against the men of their time.  Every great new thought was opposed.”  In other words, first-handers, critical thinkers, are responsible for human progress.  Second-handers abdicate the responsibility of independent judgment, allowing the thinking of others to dominate their lives.  They are not thinkers, they are not focused on reality, they cannot and do not build
  • The “virtue of selfishness” is probably the essence of Rand’s philosophy.  And it sounds horrible.  Who likes to be around selfish people?  The definition of selfish is key, though.  It doesn’t inherently mean that one is self-centered or lacks empathy for others.  It just means one stays true to one’s values and purpose and potentially that one’s actions start with oneself.  I’d argue that selfishness on its own has nothing to do with whether someone is a good person or a good friend.  For example, most of us like to receive gifts.  But people give gifts for many different reasons – some people like to give gifts because they like to curry favor with others, other people like to give gifts because it makes them feel good.  That’s inherently selfish.  But it’s not a bad thing at all
  • Finally, I’d say another area where The Fountainhead inspires me as a CEO is in making me want to be closer to the action.  Howard Roark isn’t an ivory tower designer of an architect.  He’s an architect who wants to create structures that suit their purpose, their location, and their materials.  He only achieves that purpose by having as much primary data on all three of those things as possible.  He has skills in many of the basic construction trades that are involved in the realization of his designs – that makes him a better designer.  Similarly, the more time I spend on the front lines of our business and closer to customers, the better job I can do steering the ship

One area where I struggle a little bit to reconcile the brilliance of The Fountainhead with the practice of running a company is around collaboration.  It’s one thing to talk about artistic design being the product of one man’s creativity, and that such creativity can’t come from collaboration or compromise.  It’s another thing to talk about that in the context of work that inherently requires many people working on the same thing at the same time in a generalized way.  Someday, I hope to really understand how to apply this point not to entrepreneurship, but to the collaborative work of a larger organization.  I know firsthand and have also read that many, many entrepreneurs have cited Ayn Rand as a major influence on them over the years, so I’m happy to have other entrepreneurs comment here and let me know how they think about this particular point.

It feels a little shallow to try to apply a brilliant 700 page book to my life’s work in 1,000 words.  But if I have to pick one small point to illustrate the connection at the end, it’s this.  I realize I haven’t blogged much of late, and part of my current reboot is that I want to start back on a steady diet of blogging weekly.  Why?  I get a lot out of writing blog posts, and I do them much more for myself than for those who reads them.  That’s a small example of the virtue of selfishness at work.

May 122016

Book Short: Scrum ptious

Book Short:  Scrum ptious 

I just finished reading Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, by Jeff Sutherland and JJ Sutherland. This reading was in anticipation of an Agile Facilitation training my executive team and I are going through next week, as part of Return Path’s  Agile Everywhere initiative. But it’s a book I should’ve read along time ago, and a book that I enjoyed.

Sutherland gets credit for creating the agile framework and bringing the concept scrum to software development over 20 years ago. The book very clearly lays out not just the color behind the creation of the framework, and the central tenets of practice again, but also clear and simple illustrations of its value and benefits.  And any book that employs the Fibonacci series and includes Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” quote — my all-time favorite — is off to a good start by me.

I’ve always appreciated a lot of the underlying philosophy of Agile, such as regularly checking on projects, course correcting in response to feedback from customers or other stakeholders, and working hard to remove any impediments to progress in real time.

One of the author’s most poignant points is that “multitasking makes you stupid.”  I hadn’t focused in the past how agile allows you to clear away context shifts to focus on one task at a time, but that’s another great take away from the book.

Our Agile Everywhere initiative, which is designed to improve productivity across the organization, as well as increase accountability through transparency, is even more critical in my view after having read this book.

The thing that I am left struggling with, which is still very much a work in progress for us, and hopefully something that we will address more head on in our training next week, is the application of the agile framework to teams that are not involved in the production of a tangible work product, such as executive or other leadership teams.  That is something that our Agile Everywhere deployment team has developed a theory about, but it still hasn’t entirely sunk in for me.

I can’t wait for next week’s training session!  If you have any experience applying the agile framework to different types of teams in your company I’d love to hear more about it in the Comments.


Aug 062015

The Phoenix Project

The Phoenix Project:  a novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win, by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford  is a logical intellectual successor and regularly quotes Eli Goldratt’s seminal work The Goal and its good but less known sequel It’s Not Luck.

The more business books I read, the more I appreciate the novel or fable format. Most business books are a bit boring and way too long to make a single point. The Phoenix Project is a novel, though unlike Goldratt’s books (and even Lencioni’s), it takes it easy on the cheesy and personal side stories. It just uses storytelling techniques to make its points and give color and examples for more memorable learning.

If your organization still does software development through a waterfall process or has separate and distinct development, QA, and IT/Operations teams, I’d say you should run, not walk, to get this book. But even if you are agile, lean, and practice continuous deployment, it’s still a good read as it provides reminders of what the world used to be like and what the manufacturing-rooted theories are behind these “new” techniques in software development.

I am so glad our technology team at Return Path, led by my colleagues Andy Sautins and David Sieh, had the wisdom to be early adopters of agile and lean processes, continuous deployment many years ago, and now dockers. Our DevOps process is pretty well grooved, and while I’m sure there are always things to be done to improve it…it’s almost never a source of panic or friction internally the way more traditional shops function (like the one in the book). I can’t imagine operating a business any other way.

Thanks to my long time friend and Board member Greg Sands of Costanoa Venture Capital for suggesting this excellent read.

Jun 042015

Book Short: Blink Part II

Book Short:  Blink Part II

Years ago I wrote a post about Malcolm Gladwell’s excellent book, Blink (post, buy).  While my post has lots of specifics in it for entrepreneurs, for VCs, and for marketers, my quick summary was this:

Where The Tipping Point theorizes about how humans relate to each other and how fads start and flourish in our society, Blink theorizes about how humans make decisions and about the interplay between the subconscious, learned expertise, and real-time inputs.  But Gladwell does more than theorize — he has plenty of real world examples which seem quite plausible, and he peppers the book with evidence from some (though hardly a complete coverage of relevant) scientific and quasi-scientific studies.

I recently finished another book, Thinking Fast, and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman, which was very similar.  I’d call it the academic version of Blink, or that Blink is the journalistic version of it.  Kahneman breaks down our ability to think and process information into what he calls System 1 (quick and intuitive) and System 2 (slower, rational and logical).  As he puts it:

In summary, most of what you (your System 2) think and do originates in your System 1, but System 2 takes over when things get difficult, and it normally has the last word.

The book is rich in examples, and while it’s a bit long and sometimes slow going, it is an excellent read if you want to learn more about how the brain works.  The work applications are many – we do a lot of work at Return Path on understanding and avoiding Unconscious Bias at work – and this book gave me a bunch of good ideas around that.  It’s clear that it’s impossible to become a true master of your intuition vs. logic, but you can design some systems, or at least insert some checks and balances into other systems, to blunt the impact of faulty intuition or lazy logic.  The book also has an overwhelming number of labels it applies to common situations – great, but hard to keep them all straight (the priming effect, anchors, endowment effect, etc.).

Perhaps the most interesting thing for me to ponder as an entrepreneur, though, was the section on Loss Aversion (another great label).  It turns out we humans are motivated more by fear of loss than by the prospect of gain.  A poignant example in the book is that professional golfers make a higher percentage of putts (I forget the actual number, but a real one, like 3-5%) for par than for birdie, when the putts are like-for-like in terms of distance and difficulty.  Saving par is more of a motivator than being under par.  The application for work is interesting.  As companies get larger, it can be difficult for founders and management teams to maintain the same level of bold risk-taking they did as smaller organizations.  Having something to lose is harder than having nothing to lose.  And yet, as they say, fortune favors the bold.  Growth stage companies need to figure out how to institutionalize risk taking and experimentation, including putting enough resources into those activities that will generate future growth, rather than simply protecting what’s already running.  (Of course, what’s already running needs investment, too.)

Thanks to my colleagues Dragana and Richard for recommending this book, and to Jamie for facilitating our office book club around it this month!


Feb 052015

Book Short: Internet Fiction, part II

Book Short:  Internet Fiction, part II

I hate to write a lame post, but here’s what I wrote earlier in the year about Eliot Peper’s first Internet thriller, Uncommon Stock:

Eliot Pepper’s brand new startup thriller, Uncommon Stock, was a breezy and quick read that I enjoyed tremendously. It’s got just the right mix of reality and fantasy in it. For anyone in the tech startup world, it’s a must read. But it would be equally fun and enjoyable for anyone who likes a good juicy thriller.

Like my memory of Hackoff, the book has all kinds of startup details in it, like co-founder struggles and a great presentation of the angel investor vs. VC dilemma. But it also has a great crime/murder intrigue that is interrupted with the book’s untimely ending.  I eagerly await the second installment, promised for early 2015.

Having just finished that second installment, called Uncommon Stock: Power Play, basically I want to say “ditto.”  Power Play was just as good as the first book, and now I can’t wait for the third. Where the first installment’s startup focus was around funding and founder dynamics, this one’s startup focus was around shipping product and customers. The thriller part was just as juicy.

It’s also kind of fun reading about the Boulder startup scene, especially from a writer who doesn’t and who has never spent a ton of time there. He gets some things remarkably accurate with crisp descriptions. I was kind of hoping for a cameo by Brad, at least in the form of a throw-away comment about the “long haired homeless-looking investor in the corner of Frasca.”