Richie Hecker is an entrepreneur, connector and Investor. He is the co-founder and Chairman of inSparq and Chief Catalyst at Traction+Scale. He currently resides in NYC.
Latest entries
Blackstone is helping start new ventures – with a surprising  twist; It’s not for profit!

Blackstone is helping start new ventures – with a surprising twist; It’s not for profit!

Aug 27, 2012
Blackstone, one of the world’s largest alternative asset managers founded by Stephen A. Schwarzman and Peter G. Peterson, best known for helping pioneer the structured finance approach that became the crux of the private equity industry, established a Foundation that currently has a $50MM initiative focused on entrepreneurship.   Building on the entrepreneurial roots of the founders, who started Blackstone with $400,000 and a secretary over twenty five years ago, they along with Blackstone employees, seeded The Blackstone Charitable Foundation. The Foundation was created at... read more

The lifecycle of a company

May 30, 2012
Let’s take a quick look at company lifecycle and where VALUE can be found: In bold are the stages where you can usually get the best value / deals.   Also, you can always get ‘value’ investments with good use of preferences. Ie: a 3X liquidity preference can guarantee you the first 3 times your money out of the company. If the company doesn’t raise money after yours it doesn’t matter if the company sells for less than the price you paid since you get... read more

Active Value Investing in Digital Media

May 29, 2012
So I’ve decided to coin a term “Active Value Investing in Digital Media” This is the thesis of my firm, Traction + Scale. So what does it mean?   The thesis behind the firm is that if you put in more work and look to invest where there’s a ton of competition from funds, you can really differentiate and succeed.   Active = Defining Active as being part of the company. Active investing is being hands on, helping build the team, hands on with strategy,... read more

5-7 ways to design a state ecosystem for entrepreneurship

May 26, 2012
I’ve been fortunate enough to develop a relationship with a very pro-active state government. They put out an innovation RFP to help spur innovation in that state. The people working on this are great and I really like them and their passion. The following is my proposal for how to build a unified strategy A. Location is everything: You can’t force developers to move. Focus on the industries you have already and build niche solutions. If for example, one city has deep corporate ties in... read more

Policy Issue #4: 2 ways to massively increase job creation

May 23, 2012
This is a hot button issue – how to create jobs in the most efficient manner. Two suggestions come to mind (disclosure: one of which I am working on and the other I advise). Education is the key to growth. My parents grew up poor and didn’t have a lot of money and always pushed education on us. Education is the key to enlightenment I learned growing up. Education is important though It doesn’t correlate to entrepreneurial success. Entrepreneurship is the key to job creation... read more

5 reasons why Crowdfunding is the future of securities fraud

May 23, 2012
The JOBS act repealed much of securities law in the name of job creation. Historically you needed to be an accredited investor who theoretically could afford the risk of investing in private and speculative securities. We’re going to avoid a discussion on the overall merits of how the markets function and if public companies are safer than private companies for a minute and instead focus specifically on the act at hand.   An important thing to note is that it is NEVER easy to raise... read more

Policy Issue #3: Investing in the future of the world

May 21, 2012
There are a few issues in the world of finance when it comes to entrepreneurship. I’ll talk for a minute about two of the. Todays post will be about Carried Interest. The next one will be on Crowdfunding. Carried Interest: Investment funds make money on carried interest. What that means is profits from investing. Investment typically invest OPM (other people’s money) and then they get carry on the results. Right now Carried Interest is taxed at a lower rate than income. The key to the... read more

Why the music industry must change or die

May 20, 2012
The music industry needs to fundamentally change its way of operation. The way it worked historically is that the music industry developed acts and acted as venture capital did in the 90’s – invest tens of millions of dollars and then harvest. Harvesting was done through CD sales. However on the CD’s were usually 2-3 good songs and a bunch of crap. Every year CD prices would rise a little. It worked for the music industry and let to ever growing profits.   One thing... read more

Why I LOVE YOU is so important

May 19, 2012
When you’re down. You’re out. However, when you’re down and you have love and can embrace it you can smile. When someone says “I Love You” and you know they  mean it – and you know when they mean it – it triggers a natural deep reaction, an internal smile in people. Try it. Tell someone that you love, I love You and say it slowly. “Hi, I love you” and see their reaction. For a second their face should flicker and soften. Also, it... read more

Policy Issue #4: IP, SOPA, PIPA and lots of other great acronyms

May 19, 2012
  The hot button issue in the tech last year was intellectual property. The House and Senate had bills in place with the goal of protecting IP holders could have very destabilized the internet industry. The  key to understand copyright and IP is understanding both sides think, historical context and current landscape of the media industry.   As a primer, I suggest reading The Master Switch by Tim Wu. It will give you a basic understanding of how the industry operates. I have  previous post... read more

TMT Issue #1: Why privacy rules the world

May 17, 2012
1.    Privacy:   Privacy is a very interesting issues due to the fact that it has changed greatly over the years. When DoubleClick bought Abacus in the 90’s there was great debate over bringing together offline and online data for the purpose of ad targeting. Ultimately, it was agreed to keep the businesses separate. However, Double Click could not even really use that data or fuse it together in a coherent way since real time ad targeting would not become possible until 7-8 years later.... read more

The Master Switch & The Cycle

May 16, 2012
Before going into tech policy, I think its important to call out an incredible book The Master Switch by Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia. The book articulates in lurid detail the history of the information industries (media, communications and now Internet). Wu describes what is called ‘the Cycle’ wherein a new technology starts as a hacker movement, open to anyone, then a company comes and consolidates it, then monopoly or oligopoly takes hold, followed by stifling lobbying of public policy to maintain the  entrenched... read more