The Silicon Valley Startup

March 3rd, 2011

Some people try and predict the future, others simply invent it and still others make those inventions possible. If it’s true that it is entrepreneurs that drive the future, then there are no more important players then the men who coach, invest and are the allies of those entrepreneurs. One of the stars and pioneers of this field is William H. Draper III. For more than forty years he has been a linchpin of the Silicon Valley, where he has turned others entrepreneurial vision, into tomorrow's reality. In this new book The Startup Game: Inside the Partnership between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs, he takes an insightful look at how innovation, investment and individuals truly change the world.  My conversation with William H. Draper III:

Marshalling Justice

March 3rd, 2011

Long before Martin Luther King efforts, before the Civil Rights Act, or Brown vs. Board of Education, much of the intellectual heft of the effort to achieve racial equality was carried by one man. An aggressive young attorney for the NAACP who fought tirelessly to combat racism, who evolved in his own views and upon whose shoulders rested much of the legal bedrock of the Civil Rights movement. Look before he moved to the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall would seek to find a legal as well as a moral reason for justice. Professor Michael G. Long, gives us a unique insight into this amazing man in Marshalling Justice: The Early Civil Rights Letters of Thurgood Marshall/ My conversation with Michael Long:

The Wrong War

March 1st, 2011

The war in Afghanistan is now America's longest war. The 2014 completion of mission still remains years into the future. Yet after all of this, there still seems to be a lack of clarity about our objectives and and about how we might achieve them. We seemed to have broken the momentum of the Taliban. The people don’t seem to want to live under Taliban rule, but neither do they want American rule. There seems to be no "what’s next." We say we don’t want to “nation build”, bet we’re supporting and helping to build up a corrupt and irrelevant central government. Like Vietnam, we say we want to win the hearts and minds of the people, yet what price does this objective have on the warrior ethos we expect of our military?  In short, how do we exit Afghanistan, with clear goals, honestly obtained and most of all what can we learn that really can help us fight the next war?

Bing West, a former Marine combat veteran, a former assistant Secretary of Defense and brilliant chronicler of war, shares his insights into Afghanistan in The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy, and the Way Out of Afghanistan. My conversation with Bing West:

Chris Christie

March 1st, 2011

We know from watching Wisconsin and the events in neighboring states, that public sector unions have become political whipping posts for Republican politicians, especially Governors. But where Wisconsin’s Gov. Walker may have overreached and seems politically tone deaf and Arnold Schwarzenegger was to timid here in California; New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie may have found the sweat spot, as the pitch perfect spokesmen to an electorate fed up with the rising salaries and perks of public employees and their unions.

In so doing, he may actually have a chance to move his state forward, reduce deficits, and engage in endless bloody battles, while becoming more popular in the process. Is he a model for other politicians, or just a big bully who knows how to craft a message?  All of this is part of the Cover Story in this past Sunday's N.Y Times Magazine, by one of the best political reporters in America, Matt Bai. Matt is the new Chief Political Correspondent for The Magazine. My conversation with Matt Bai about Gov. Chris Christie: