Summary of the Little Engine Ventures Annual General Meeting 2022

On Thursday, July 21, 2022 many of our 37 partners gathered in downtown Lafayette, Indiana for a report on the previous twelve months and our updates on the go-forward plans. We began with a video, as we have done for many years past. In this year’s video we showcased a single manager, sitting down in Read more about Summary of the Little Engine Ventures Annual General Meeting 2022[…]

Why We Do Not Broadly Distribute the Little Engine Ventures Annual Letter

January is a favored time for searchers, entrepreneurs-through-acquisition, holdco managers and SMBtwit radicals to publish annual letters. I usually get a handful of questions about if I write one and if they might get a copy. It always make me cringe a little. I then spend 30 minutes (or more) thinking about why I don’t Read more about Why We Do Not Broadly Distribute the Little Engine Ventures Annual Letter[…]

Diversification Motive

A business owner should diversify when the market no longer responds profitably enough to justify reinvestment –and there is still entrepreneurial appetite, capacity, and talent remaining. The default should be reinvestment in one’s primary endeavor, where the insights and probabilities are strongest. If a firm begins to lose value, then the owner should make changes Read more about Diversification Motive[…]

Making Order While Retaining Decentralization

Our General Managers run sales and operations. And they’re great. I provide “entrepreneurial services.” Some probably prefer I stand down, wild man. When we launched, I used the phrase “we believe in decentralization” quite often. At the time, I had a vague understanding of what that meant exactly. I figured the simple definition was “Hire Read more about Making Order While Retaining Decentralization[…]

Reading & Writing Annual Reports

I recently asked Mikel what I ought to write. He suggested I write about writing the annual report for Little Engine Ventures or write about reading annual reports. While it seems rather metacognitive to write about reading and writing, I’ll give it a whirl –please bear with me. As with all my writing, my hope Read more about Reading & Writing Annual Reports[…]

Common Practice Too Often Replaces Common Sense

This week a prospective business seller said he didn’t run his business according to traditional cost accounting methods. (I had asked about gross margins to get a sense of gross profit. This is an important indicator to me because it often reveals intellectual property and annual growth ceiling.) He gently said, “that’s just not how Read more about Common Practice Too Often Replaces Common Sense[…]

Notes & Commentary on “Common Stocks & Uncommon Profits” by Phil A Fisher (with applications to private companies)

I recently re-read Phil A Fisher’s classic, “Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits.” After first speed-reading a book, I return to those I think worthwhile, and the second time through take notes. On subsequent times I refine my notes. Below are my refined notes after several re-reads. Most of the words are the authors. Any errors Read more about Notes & Commentary on “Common Stocks & Uncommon Profits” by Phil A Fisher (with applications to private companies)[…]