Our weekly thoughts and general ramblings about everything related to business – from industries and investments to management and operations.



First Follower

When we started Chenmark, many thought we were a "lone nut" by quitting lucrative Wall Street jobs to "become landscapers in Maine". As we have built out our company over the last five years, however, we have been lucky enough to attract a couple of first followers.  These are the core team members who believe enough in what we are doing that they are willing to do something a bit different and join us in our pursuit of becoming the acquirer of choice for North American small businesses.

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Nevermind Success

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote the about the lessons we learned from Sub Pop Records' signing of Nirvana.  This week, we wanted to highlight a related story, which has more to do with Nirvana than Sub Pop. Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman, Sub Pop's founders, saw talent in Nirvana and figured out a way to sign the band and release their first album - Bleach - in 1989. 

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Still Eating Broccoli

We have been thinking a lot recently about silver bullets.  Entrepreneurial culture tends to concentrate, for good reason, on examples of massive efficiency-creating technology or truly exceptional leadership.  Uber represents a one-stop solution for local transportation just as Steve Jobs is credited with being a singular driving force behind the success of Apple. 

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Socks and Shoes

It's no secret that we strongly emphasize financial and operational data internally.  In fact, when we first purchase a company, the majority of our focus goes toward putting in place systems that allow us to gather accurate and timely performance information.  We care not just about the results themselves but also that there is a degree of precision to the production of the reporting itself. 

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Signing Nirvana

This week we listened to a How I Built This podcast with Bruce Pavit and Jonathan Poneman, founders of Seattle based Sub Pop Records, the music label credited with popularizing the grunge music movement of the 1990s (you might recognize some of their bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, The Postal Service, The Shins).

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The Quiet Eye

This week we learned about a phenomenon known as the “quiet eye”.  Discovered by kinesiologist Joan Vickers, the quiet eye is an  “enhanced visual perception that allows the athlete to eliminate any distractions as they plan their next move.”  Basically, athletes with a quiet eye have a strikingly similar gaze pattern in key moments. 

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