due diligence; databases; spokeo; background checks; asset searches; information management;

Listen to me explain why putting people at ease is the best way to elicit information from them. I don’t have a badge or a subpoena, so the key is to be nice to them and be interested in what they do, think, and feel. Get the podcast chat on Ernie Sander’s  “You Said What?”

One indispensable part of due diligence is to check for regulatory sanctions. Was a company found by the SEC or FINRA to have misappropriated investor money? Put them in unsuitable investments? Lied on a filing to induce people to invest money under false pretenses?

While we never pronounce “Invest” or “Don’t Invest,” “Hire” or “Don’t

Many of us love optical illusions. It’s a safe thrill to know we’re being tricked, and yet are still unable to tell our brains to “get real” and stop the illusion.

Bridget Riley, section of Blaze 4 (1964)

When you’re doing an investigation, the same kind of thing can take over

I’ve done a lot of interviews about people over the years, but you can always get better.

A fascinating conversation last week with an angel investor about what he looks for in a candidate to run a new company gave me a question I will always ask from now on, but not just about people

After years in business, one of my biggest marketing challenges is still explaining to potential clients why an investigator can’t just use a few mysterious databases and “deep Googling,” as one hopeful person described it, and produce an answer in an hour or two.

Someone’s well-hidden assets? The eight-month job in 1998 that ended badly

What conveys the truth more effectively?

A snapshot of a person’s values and accomplishments in the form of a quotation? Or a long essay about that person that will contain the short clip but surround it with other facts that could contradict or water down the single line (or build on the quote and infuse