Author: Carter Williams

It’s About Growth, Stupid

There is only one thing that will fix things in this country: Growth Growth pays down the deficit. Growth eliminates tradeoffs. Growth reduces dependency on the social safety net. While the quants are running through the numbers, somehow including all the factors that net into “will or won’t the tax plan work,” there is one key variable that fixes all their models: annual GDP growth going from 2.8% to 4%. The market already figured this out and made its calculation on election day. Major economists and the DC quants said the market would go down if Clinton lost. The...

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Growth Hacking

I run a venture firm focused on healthcare and agriculture. While many venture funds raise money from large distant institutional investors, we focus on individual investors, entrepreneurs, and local economic ecosystems. We also focus on technologies/business that have a shortfall in venture capital. While silicon valley is great in a few areas, in the 70s it was an emerging ecosystem of innovation. The rest of the US is a bit like Silicon Valley in the 70s. Great smart people, investors, and early adopter customers, but a bit unconnected within the network of people and companies required for emerging companies...

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Hitting the Bullseye!

Innovation has a way of winding its way around. A few years ago a friend of mine, a fan of the rhythm method, went looking for a way to accurately track basal temperature, which is a key indicator to avoid unintended pregnancies. He and his wife came up with a solution, developed an app and started a company around it. They quickly discovered their anticipated market had doubled as couples used the app to get pregnant, not just to avoid it. Then P&G realized the app was full of soon-to-be Pampers customers. Product market fit. The rest is history....

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Doctor, Please Stop, You’re Killing Me!

I learned three important lessons about innovation early in my career as an engineer at McDonnell Douglas. It was 1989 and I was assigned to work on the Navy’s F/A-18 Hornet, a carrier-based fighter jet. Originally designed in 1976, the F/A-18 was planned to remain operational through 2030 and the Navy needed enough airplanes to support 12 or more carriers. But airplanes are expensive, and over time future generations of the F/A-18 continued to get more and more costly. My job: Figure out how to drive more innovation for the product while reducing costs. So we set about looking...

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Don’t Worry Dad, We Are Just Editing Our Genes

I was in Phoenix recently meeting with some prospective investors. At the end of the dinner presentation, I sat with a table of younger investors and we started talking about genomics, CRISPR and 23andMe. Then the floodgates opened… These young people not only are using 23andMe, they are working with “biohackers” that dig deeper into their bodies to help them balance out the “right” set of vitamins, drugs, probiotics, food, etc so that they can be at their healthiest. As they bounced around talking about hacks, I felt like a parent going through a teen’s web browsing history, discovering...

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