The midnight ride of ...

With thanks to Gregg Stern, who brought this to my attention:

Boston By Bike at Night -- Midnight 'til dawn

Saturday, August 8, 2009
Twenty First Annual Tour of Architectural and Historic Sites
Meet at 11:15pm in front of Trinity Church in Copley Square

Bring a bicycle with a light and wear something reflective; helmet recommended.
RAIN OR SHINE (moonlight, that is)!
Commemorative T-shirts available.

Bring something for breakfast Sunday in Christopher Columbus Park.
**Please bring a spare inner tube that fits your tires.**

Sponsored by the Back Bay Midnight Pedalers

Start a Jewish CSA in your community

Hazon has a wonderful program for creating Jewish CSAs [farm share programs] including help with finding a farmer and other logistics. The Hazon program incorporates a significant amount of Jewish learning and programs for the entire family. This program, Tuv Ha’aretz (meaning both "good of the land" and "good for the land"), is now accepting applications for the 2010 season. Details can be found here.

Many synagogues and JCCs around the country are running these programs, but none yet in the Boston area. In some communities multiple synagogues are working together (some across denominational boundaries) to host a CSA.

Please consider this for your community. Pass it along to your JCC director, your Rabbi or other leader.

VC:VC Management vs Entrepreneurship

My friend and Harvard Business School Professor Paul Gompers once suggested the best definition I have yet heard for entrepreneurship. Management, he states, is the optimization of resources; entrepreneurship is the optimization of opportunity.

This is explored further in a recent HBS blog posting MBAs vs. Entrepreneurs: Who Has the Right Stuff for Tough Times? In this posting, Professor Saras Sarasvathy, is quoted as noting that MBAs (managers) live by the creed To the extent that we can predict the future, we can control it. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, live by the obverse: To the extent that we can control the future, we do not need to predict it.

As I think about my cycling hobby, up to about 400 miles so far this year, I wonder which approach is more relevant. By knowing the route ahead of time, I can prepare myself and my food/drink, to ensure I have fun and train hard. However, I am often a play-it-safe cyclist who perhaps forgoes the opportunity of an unplanned excursion, worrying whether I will have the strength to make it back without hitting the wall ("bonking"), or without becoming unpleasantly exhausted.
Yesterday a few of us talked idly about riding in the Climb to the Clouds. As regular readers know, hill climbing not my favorite, because (I insist) it is tougher on a recumbent (a prediction oriented opportunity-killer). I thought out loud that I should employ a designated hitter; Elisa made the appropriate correction: I need a designated hiller!

In the non-profit world, even predicting the future is no sure path to controlling it (although I am not entirely sure it works in the corporate world either). At Hazon we have both under-estimated and over-estimated income from various sources every year (especially this year), and it is only through the imaginative marshaling of opportunities that we have continued to expand our reach and influence.

Meet Jo Tango, the Socialist

I saw a write up of friend and venture capitalist colleague Jo Tango today in Xconomy. Worth a read if you are following the people in the Boston VC community.

Sigma Partners has a great relationship (and a couple of co-investments) with Jo's firm, Kepha Partners, so we wish him all good success!