No MBA Mondays This Week or Next

Although I plan to blog during my vacation, I am not going to write MBA Mondays posts until I get back in the new year.

So as a placeholder, I am re-running the video of the Skillshare class I did on Employee Equity in April of this year. If you haven’t seen it, I think it’s a good primer on how entrepreneurs should think about managing the employee equity in their companies.

#MBA Mondays

Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    Ah that’s the first one you did at the USV office. I was there.We deserve a break too from those heady MBA Mondays, especially on Christmas eve.Sayonara

    1. LE

      Merry Christmas William (and others).How slow is it? It’s so slow I made the first comment.

      1. William Mougayar

        Are we the only 2 here? Maybe we are!…Same to you all and peace on earth.

      2. ShanaC

        slow is fine. Getting chinese food tomorrow?

        1. LE

          Absolutely. Was lucky last night also that an Italian restaurant (chain) was open. And this morning the Starbucks across from my office was closed but of course the Dunkin (run by immigrants) was open. I didn’t even have to check the day before. I knew it would be open. It was also open the day after hurricane Sandy.

          1. ShanaC

            I’m getting soup dumplings!

  2. LE

    “MBA Mondays posts”Everything stops in the world at this time. I don’t think any MBA’s are at work. I can’t get hold of anyone.

    1. ShanaC

      depends what part of the world you are in

  3. Donna Brewington White

    Good for you… and us. School’s out, party’s on.

  4. Richard

    Can we put an end to the noble prize idea of Mogdigliani & MIller that the value of a firm is unaffected by how that firm is financed. It just makes no sense when applied to a startup.

  5. Russell

    Merry Christmas to you Fred! I’ve got a good family friend who recently started at SkillShare – was happy to see you’re invested there!

  6. Brandon Burns

    I found the Q&A at the end to be the best part of the class. Anyone who’s a regular AVC reader will probably find more stuff there that’s not already covered here on the blog.

  7. Richard

    Nice best of talk to have in the can. One point that might be worthdiscussing is that the equity of early stage companies really have more incommon with out of the money options than they do with typical equity. What I mean by this is that the risks associated with it are nonlinear functions similar tothe “greeks” delta, theta, vega etc. of American Style Options. Idon’t know what the function look like or its derivatives but using a little intuition you can see just what a messy function it is.

  8. george

    Happy Holidays and thanks to Everyone for your invested time, especially you Fred! Knowledge is empowering!

  9. bfeld

    Take a blog vacation. I found that taking two weeks off when I was in Mexico around my birthday and thanksgiving really refreshed my brain.

    1. LE

      “Take a blog vacation.”People are creatures of habit. Taking off two weeks could make people try something else and never return.Starbucks (I’ve been told by a store manager) never closes a store completely. They are worried about someone finding another place to get coffee in the AM and stopping the habit. I’ve seen this happen in my own behavior. I’m sure you have examples of things you’ve done religiously for years and then all the sudden that behavior is kicked out of orbit and you are on to some other thing in it’s place. Never to return. Every person is different but the majority of people are probably like this from my observation.There are stories of small businesses (and salespeople for large businesses) that weren’t able to deliver on a order and have lost customers that were loyal for many years because they tried and found a new supplier or the new salesperson was nice and smiled at them. (Or maybe just better looking.)

      1. bfeld

        Maybe, but I feel like blogging is different. The community that Fred has built won’t wander away in a mere two weeks (or a week). And I’d assert that he’ll be a fresher / stronger writer for taking a break.

        1. LE

          @disqus could figure this out fairly easily. They could also see how new members enter a community, how long they stay, when they leave, if they return. And draw some (hopefully helpful) conclusions on why.The community here is actually pretty fluid from my observation. You have the usual suspects and you have people who float in and out and people who were strong commenters who more or less disappear. To my knowledge no research has been done post mortem as to why this happens. I’m sure it would be helpful. (I’ve got my hypothesis of course..)Businesses suffer from this as well (a post mortem). Any business which has a steady customer and doesn’t find out why they stopped being a steady customer is missing something.Fwiw, both the compete numbers and sitemeter numbers for show a decline in traffic year over year. That could be because of some inbound link issue or something else.

          1. fredwilson

            It is correlated with the hype around consumer web investing. I am glad to see it come down

          2. bfeld

            The interesting thing is whether Fred is actually motivated to write by the movement of his Compete numbers or the shape of the traffic curve. I know I’m not – instead, I’m motivated to write by my own learning. Someone wise once told me “blog for yourself” and that’s what I do. I wonder if that’s what Fred does.

          3. fredwilson

            Pretty much. Which is why i like to write every day. Its like meditation for me

          4. bfeld

            That’s what I thought. I love thinking out loud.


            I do the same thing. But, it’s kinda’ like building a business on a shoestring. Sometimes it creates havoc and destruction.

          6. LE

            “instead, I’m motivated to write by my own learning.”Many years before I had commented here I began to compile a list of things I had learned over time or observed which I called “the stories”. They dated back to my childhood, events and interactions from way back up to the current time (things I notice every day and conclusions I reach based on those observations). I didn’t have any particular agenda in writing these things down (there was no audience) but if something popped into my mind I noted it on a wiki just for that purpose. To me it was like “pure research”. It was effortless (I’m a good typist) and made me feel good. And I thought that it might have some value to others in some form or be the basis for something (I always have to rationalize any use of time as having a payback). But since I enjoyed doing it there was little downside even if nothing ever came of it.(My comments on AVC are like a version of that I guess..)That said Fred has described AVC (and by now I have read his reply to what you are saying) as “his secret weapon”. He gets to float ideas and get reactions and gets other benefits that are even much greater than that. What’s there not to like, right?But in order for all that to happen he needs to get a certain level of interest in the blog. Otherwise it will not be the popular restaurant (never liked the bar analogy) that it is. So he certainly has to be aware of the numbers (to get the “secret weapon benefit”) but that doesn’t mean that as I have noted (with my “the stories”) or what Fred notes below “like mediation for me” there aren’t other benefits.

          7. Techman

            The community here in the comments is still huge in my opinion, so I don’t see much of an issue. Fred has loyal viewers such as myself that won’t leave just because he takes a vacation.

        2. Donna Brewington White

          Fred often comes back from a break “on a roll.” Can’t wait. (No pressure, Fred.)


      Holy crap! You’re still around Brad? I haven’t heard from you in months. You were the first person I talked about eMOS, now HealthRMS, with..Are you still running?


        BTW, I know another guy who went into the EMR segment and he just closed his business. You weren’t interested in eMOS and you may have been right about that call..I’ve added safety, law etc., called SafetyRMS and am wondering if HealthRMS will ever be anything but programming fun!

      2. bfeld

        I never left! Yup – I’m still doing marathons.

  10. andyswan

    Love the “drunk-Fred” screenshot… can just see him saying “ALLLLL that is just bulllllshiiitttttt, mannnn.”

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Yeah, the screenshot looks like a fun party except for the whiteboard.

  11. Brad Lindenberg

    Merry Xmas & Happy New Year Fred.It would be great to see more of these videos in 2013, they are insanely insightful and educational for founders. I’ve just modelled out an example ESOP budget based on this video and have made it available for the community to use as a template:…The Google doc is read only but can be downloaded as an XLSX file (file –> download as)This model does not allow for the effect of future rounds and dilution of the ESOP but is useful as a post Seed funding or Series X model.

    1. AndrewsProject

      Thanks Brad.

  12. Pat Clark

    I often wonder what I’d pay in real dollars to watch and read the info on AVC. It’s much more than I paid for my ‘real’ degrees. Great information, as always.

  13. LE

    What I found going through Wharton was that the undergrads tended to be people from business families that knew they were interested in business when they were 10 (but could also be from non-business families and had a knack always hustling).The MBA’s tended to be people who decided to get their MBA after having some other undergrad major and decided that business was a good career path to take. I don’t know if that’s still true but it was way back.There is much valuable info to be learned from an MBA (if you can afford the cost, both opportunity and money and the time it takes). Personally I can’t see how it makes sense if you are going to do entrepreneurship though. It might actually be a negative in some circumstances.My older cousin (this was years ago) got his MBA (in finance I think) and got a job at a major corporation and rose through the ranks. He then decided to quit and open a supermarket. His MBA helped him with that and he was luckily able to hire a manager and open more supermarkets. He did quite well.Then, he decided he was going to open a retail store in a shopping center. So he thought (I’m speculating) “Ok I’ll hire a manager this will be just like the supermarket..”. But there is not a steady stream of qualified people to run your shit little retail store as there is with a large supermarket (which is a well oiled machine with a meat department, produce etc. where there are people who spend their entire life in that industry and covet moving up from stockboy to dept. manager). In a large scale operation there is also the volume and money to pay someone to be the manager, head cashier etc. In the retail store (at least with 1 store) you get the dregs. He couldn’t make it work and it failed miserably. His mindset didn’t change from corporate to entrepreneurial (even though the supermarket was entrepreneurial).

  14. falicon

    I think for many people earning an MBA can help open doors and build confidence…two *very* big benefits in my book (says the guy with nothing more than a few college credits from many years ago under his belt).

  15. LE

    I think you are right but I think it’s probably more a negative (in someone’s mind) to not have a degree then it is a positive to a person to have a degree.With a degree also (especially from a good school) you are less self conscious with things you don’t know. If your grammar isn’t that good it’s like “fuck you I went to …” it doesn’t bother you as much.I guess maybe I’m agreeing with you in a way. If you define “build confidence” as equivalent of “not give a shit”.Also when you have experience in an area you don’t feel bad if you don’t know everything. But if you don’t know anything you don’t know what is normal to know or not know. So you feel maybe you could be lacking in something that is obvious to others.

  16. falicon

    There are still lots of large corporate jobs that having an MBA can/will help you to advance.But, yes, in my own world (startups) I would say that the biggest value of an MBA is in convincing yourself you know enough (or at least as much as anyone else can/does), you can accomplish what you put your mind to, and you’ve got a fallback plan (ie. go get a job using your MBA — which prob. won’t happen regardless, but I think a lot of people convince themselves of that security on the way in)…it basically removes most of the internal barriers people get stuck on when thinking about starting their own thing…

  17. PhilipSugar

    As an M&T undergrad I completely agree. What I really hate is when some MBA gets uppity and thinks and undergrad shouldn’t use the name. If you ask any professor the undergrads always scored better on the common tests with the M&T (engineering as well) always at the very top.