Whither MBA Mondays?
I have been writing MBA Mondays every week since January 2010. There have been roughly 160 MBA Mondays posts to date. It is a substantial body of work. I have no clue how many words I have written on this topic, but it feels like a lot.
I am not sure where to go from here. I am spent and don't feel like I have any more MBA Mondays material. I used to look forward to writing these posts every Monday. Now I dread it.
So I am suspending this feature for now. Taking a sabbatical. I can't promise they will be back. But I am not sure they are over either. Time will tell.
#sabbaticalHow about those Knicks – sounds like it was a fun game – just came up a little short at the end.
great game, horrible ending
Thanks again Fred! Reading your MBA Mondays were my favorite and educational readings of the week. Enjoy your break and thank you so much for sharing…
Are you open to suggestions for another type of series?How about guest posts on that day where you invite & select authors & topics?
i am open to anything but i am not sure i want to get into that kind of at thing again right nowi enjoy waking up and writing about whatever is on my mind
I hear you. The MBA Mondays had to be prepared in advance.A sabbatical is a great idea & that might generate new ideas.
Hey Fred, I’m with William on this one – time to open source MBA Mondays? There are so many smart people here and would great to make it collaborative.Also, as an aside Jim at ASalesGuy had a great post about asking for help. Nothing wrong with sticking your hand up! asalesguy.com/2013/02/12/as…
they are all creative commons licensed. many people have taken them and published them in various ways. they are in ebooks, syndication on daily lit, and a host of other formats. i just don’t want to do it myself.
Hey Fred – I meant getting other people involved. JLM from the CEO chair. Jim on the sales side etc.
well actually i never wrote them in advance or prepared for them much in advanceif i had, it might have been easier
I see. Several of them appeared to have been written in advance.What happened to your earlier promise (or wish) to interview more people? You did Carlotta last year, then Jack Dorsey on Friday was great. Any future plans there?
The way they came out was perfect.
I really think you should organize the series into an online course right here on http://www.avc.com so it will always remain a resource for entrepreneurs and who knows, maybe a few business schools will be willing to offer course credit for it.We make it easy for any instructor to build an online course on their website at Bookneto.com so hit me up if you are interested. My email is e[at]bookneto[dot]com
Are there examples ? I couldn’t see from the link.
We are still doing early beta tests but you can see some examples : cic.bookneto.com, laurier.bookneto.com, hyperdrive.bookneto.com.
Also ashokau.bookneto.comYou can see our current beta demo here : http://www.youtube.com/watc…
Really useful series. I reference and share it.Never the one that the conversations engaged me the most though. More about codifying knowledge than about exploring the unexplored.And building new businesses takes both. Grounded in smart business decisions and making a leap into the unknown.2013 is an interesting year without a rudder as yet. Wiring the web to the neighborhoods. Making the person on the street the focus of a web full of info. Tackling transactional systems. Education. Small business platforms.Really cool stuff to jump into.
Why don’t you edit and distil the posts into a book? Might help to give the thoughts a second airing.
i am not a book person. i read them. but i don’t like the form for creation personally.
Let’s talk about Brad Feld’s startup house in Kansas. Been meaning to get your opinion. Does NYC need something like that? Clearly affordable housing for young folks in NYC is an issue.
i don’t know
I keep thinking of the Mayor’s comment that NYC is a luxury. (Which I don’t think he repeated.) And then I think about ski resorts where workers can’t afford to live in town.(It’s not just young people in tech. Teachers, police officers, firefighters, sanitation workers…)
they can live it town! …in their vans down by a frozen river 😉
Or 5-6 to an apartment…
That sort of scares me. Killing off the middle class in NY means killing out parts of its creativity.Anyone want to hire an illustrator? I got the names of at least two
“Does NYC need something like that? Clearly affordable housing”I think it makes sense to solve that problem by interested parties sponsoring an entrepreneur. Just like they sponsor foreign students. Someone with a free room. Maybe even an older adult that is living alone and wants some company (could be a sitcom I guess? “Oy, so late you were out last night Marissa???”)I rarely make suggestions that I wouldn’t do myself.  That said there are plenty of people that do like to be hospitable so I see this as at least one way to solve that problem. First I don’t live in NYC and second I wouldn’t want to host a stranger. I also wouldn’t stay with someone either though I prefer a hotel. I have a small place down the shore and I came -><- this close to writing to Joanne and Fred and seeing if they knew of a foreign entrepreneur that might want to stay there for a few months over the winter to get their project off the ground before moving to NYC (piece and solitude, run on the beach/boardwalk etc.). I decided not. Which was a good thing because the building hasn’t been habitable since “Sandy”.
this is an interesting conversation… does the cost of doing business make sense (for Xstage company/ idea)? isn’t sponsoring an entrepreneur already what investors do (except the ‘free rent’ is called their salary allocation)…being in Chattanooga (home of 1gig everywhere) I have a variety opinions about Brad’s house/ Google KC – but I think generally it is a very good thing that different communities are finding their ‘core competencies’ and offering those value propositions to entrepreneurs… NYC cannot scale the ability to offer “affordable” housing like Chattanooga can, but Chatt can’t scale the ability to live NYC environment… focus on the core competencies… Want to play with 1gbps network with a huge network – come to Chatt; want to work in a Fiberhood in KC with Google’s testbed around you – go to KC; want to live in an NYC-environment with access to media/ adtech/ fintech – move to NYC… I think places like Boulder/ Austin/ Seattle, all do this very well and refining message will be the key to long term success… Can’t be everything to everybody, but can be very good at being X, Y, Z to a spectrum of targets.
Hmm. Don’t think I’d let my kids do that in NYC.
NYC is a big place with millions of people.Are you saying you wouldn’t want them to live there at all? Or that you wouldn’t want them to stay with a decent family which you could vet?Wouldn’t you rather have them under the watchful eye of an adult (who you approve of) instead of living on their own?
Oh no, I was referring to them staying with inverted strangers.
YES!!!!!!And if I weren’t so busy, I would volunteer to run it. (for housing, it would give me an excuse for feeding people)
You don’t need an excuse. 😉
Clearly affordable housing for young folks in NYC is an issue
the solution is simply to go to cheaper places. and for nyc to export its competences to these up and coming hubs, getting a piece of the profits for itself in the process.
this is what I’ve been saying. +1 kid
This is the govt biggest mistake. Seems like a no-brainer to relocate the federal agencies to low cost cities.
it is only a mistake from the perspective that the government desires to serve the people……from the perspective that the government desires to serve itself, it might not be a mistake
What we’ll see in KC is the beginnings of a transition, which could cascade into becoming a boutique city for tech. Having lived in NYC the majority of my life it’s easy, the answer to your question is ‘yes’ for entrepreneurs and ‘no’ for the impact on the city overall. When I travel to or inhabit other cities it’s pretty easy to see how the addition of fiber and overheads / community lures could be effective to, similarly, help these cities transition. Boutique is different from growth, growth isn’t necessarily the best tactic. Boutique is about development. Growth is the blue pill. We’ve allowed development to slide for too long for the sake of a less potent metric.
Thanks, Jim. I strongly believe development’s how the US lifts itself again, economically. It’s partially a metrics problem. When we remove our geek glass(es) and snap on our urban planner visors we see something more. Look at Las Vegas, still pretty much a one game town. It’s not unlike Detroit was except that it still has it’s single claim to fame. And now there appears to be a second claim developing, Tony Hsieh’s & Co’s downtown project, it has the potential to add a tech boutique to LV’s identity. Miami, for comparison, is tourism plus a wonderful jumble of this-and-that businesses, plus a gateway to SA. Adding “tech boutique” to its CV is more difficult, particularly since it has to deal with a density of population issue that downtown LV does not, if Tony gets it right -which I’d probably bet in favor of. LV’s downtown is pretty small, it’s density can be increased so as to enable an urban scene. I think in retrospect we’ll all be slapping our foreheads asking ourselves how we missed the LV opportunity, the geography is so obviously powerful. Like NYC’s geography, which is how it became a collection of amazing boutiques in the first place. Olmsted and Beach, lucky for NYC, enhanced the raw geography. It’s fantastic how the boutique communities ins NYC have been able to evolve over time as the economic rhythms change key. Location is critical, Google’s playing the role of Olmsted. And perhaps playing Beach too. Development is the opportunity, growth will come later when development goes critical. As Grim might say, not to put words in his mechanical jaw: GROWTH TOO EXPENSIVE WITHOUT DEVELOPMENT FIRST, WASTE TAXPAYER MONEY, BURN LP’S MONEY. DEVELOPMENT IS LEVER, LET MACHINE DO HEAVY LIFTING WHILE US DINOBOTS COLLABORATE AT BEACH SIPPING WD-40 AND MUNCHING PUNY HUMANS.
Hsieh in Vegas is a great story.
The series stands on its own and is available for review at anytime.It was a great seriesEnough said.
when something reaches the ‘dread’ stage the time has come to say ‘never again’, and to whomever will listen. it’s the necessary letting go of that which troubles, and the relief that comes is lightness returned.it was a great read. thank you.
Last week you commented that the jobs figures are no longer a good indicator of the robustness of the economy. I’m also sensing that is the case. Im beginning to wonder if the GDP numbers are good measure as well. Can you to talk further about the new peer to peer economy again some time?
i wil do that. that topic excites me. where did i say that? in the InSITE talk?
InSite q&a session
You should start a series on topics like world economy,international currencies, global business/marketing, trading etc. lots of topics left uncovered only you or any of your guests need to take up. You cannot just relax on Mondays anymore 🙂
GPI is a more holistic approach than GDP that I feel strongly that it will help solve the world’s problems.
Don’t know if what is happening in USA is same as UK – unemployment appears to be remarkably stable over here, considering we are officially in a triple-dip recession, but this is somewhat disingenuous – ie, most ‘new’ jobs being ~minimum-wage/part-time.Gets the headline headcount off the unemployment figures but means government revenues from jobs/taxes flatlining/in decline and people still have no disposable income. A heady mix.Medium to long-term implications are huge for many – eg, I couldn’t even claim unemployment benefit (called ‘job seekers allowance’ over here) after some 30 years of paying my taxes and having worked all my life – for many years paying tax at a very high rate and for last decade or so being self-employed. And this was first time I had ever tried to claim anything in my life, with things being so bad over here – why was I not entitled? Because being self-employed over last 2 years my ‘national insurance’ contribution band doesn’t entitle me, apparently – even though I have paid a small-fortune in taxes for decades and never once before tried to claim. So, I am not unemployed at all; clearly I am still a self-employed/entrepreneur. Sure. One less headcount.We will look back on these days of deceit by bankers, some corporations and government with shame and amazement in years to come…
Another topic you brought up last week was how you score future investments based on how they emulate past success stories within usv. Can you spend a few minutes on this?
it’s not a score. it’s just pattern recognition. we are gut investors
I didnt mean score in the literal sense. Just the classification roundtable process.
So when you misread an investment is it because you have missed a specific pattern that is occurring?
that’s one of the many reasons
do you ever get afraid your gut will fail, or the pattern will change?
Time to move on then. The Swanmeister will be happy as well.A new slot to name, have to give it some thought….
Monday Madness? Mistakes companies make and what they could do / have done differently?
After the MBA on Monday, what’s on Tuesday?
tech tuesdayshttp://continuations.com/ta…if you aren’t reading them, you should be
For those who just can’t get enough, I’ve helped curate a pretty popular Voomly product dedicated to “the best of Fred Wilson’s blog”: https://voomly.com/12weekst…
Nice Shelby integration. Voom voom!
A great series. I was an enthusiastic Voomer on that one…
That’s great I like that.You should have a link on that page with “want more” pointingto http://explore.voomly.com/t…And maybe offer it for free to anyone with a high school id. (Nothing you are donating the proceeds.)
What makes these posts the best?
We remember them and refer to them often.
correct. i do all the time.
Nice! I was just thinking that it would make a great Voomly offer.
I was delayed a week getting started but this really is outstanding, Andy. Thank you. I missed the Skillshare course because thankfully I began a major project right around then, so this feels like a bit of a second chance.
How about Case Studies and Guest Posts?I’ve learned a ton going through Case Studies at our startup meetups in Toronto.
Which meetup was that? I’m in Toronto.
Android Mondays? Anything Android related. Maybe get Google to sponsor with proceeds going somewhere.
once you dread *anything* you should adjust it out of your life… plenty of other interesting stuff to talk about
.It’s called graduation, Fred. Congratulations on your graduation.The course has run its course and it stands on its own. A completed body of work.Well done. Well played. Sweet volleys at the net.Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude, Distinguished, get a donutJLM.
It’s been a Magnum Opus, for sure.
I had a donut in south Brooklyn this weekend. It was amazing. I rarely eat them but they are so good. I helped pay my way through MIT selling donuts and coffee in the main lobby of MIT
First jobs/first jobs out of school would be a great Fun Friday topic…
BRB need to check on statute of limitations….
I like you Tony Montana.
Agreed!>I helped pay my way through MIT selling donuts and coffee in the main lobby of MITAwesome!
.Scary how we think exactly alike, no?HahaJLM.
I wonder if there’s any successful entrepreneur or VC who didn’t do sales of some sort early in their careers? I bet not many.Thanks for the MBA Mondays series, Fred. It’s an amazing body of work. As with anything online, you’re only hearing about 1% of the people it’s helped. (99% are silent). Thank you.
i just hope there are successful entrepreneurs who completely failed at sales in their early careers 🙂 i once tried buying and selling russian military watches , boy was i bad!
When I was 9 years old, I failed at selling overpriced candy bars (for school fundraisers) outside my local grocery store….until I figured out what worked and what didn’t. By the time I sold Nike shoes and Starter Jackets as a 16-year old “referee” at Foot Locker, I was better but still learning. I used those lessons to help sell big software projects at Accenture and now I’m using those lessons to help sell my startup. Each sale became more complex but each prior failure was a brick in the wall.
.There is no such thing as “failure”, it is called tuition.JLM.
I would love to hear more about this.
i spent some of teenage years in the ussr ( 90 – 93 ) . lived in leningrad. during that time every tourist would get offered a russian military watch – see attached.anyhoo ..i thought it would be a GREAT idea to sell them back home – in Toronto ( i grew up in sw ontario ).a friend of a friend who was a local black marketeer agreed to acquire several for me. probably around 10. long story short i took them all back to one of the market ps in Toronto and walked around peddling them and no one was interested, the one guy who even looked at them for about 10 seconds said ‘ahhh ..not very good quality’, and so i left frustrated. I’ve never forgot that experience, and in retrospect, e guy who actually looked at them would have probably bought if i had have worked it a little more.of course the black marketeer didn’t want them back ..so my dad was the proud ( and a little grumpy ) owner of several fine russian military watches ! he still reminds me about it to this day 😉
What would you sell one for today? It looks nice actually.
199 – these are Russian military watches yoh! ( channeling Jesse Pinkman ) These are the AK of watches man.
Suggest giving them on consignment to a store selling to hipsters or gays. Impossible to believe they wouldn’t get snapped up unless of course this is an item that’s already out there in those stores. The price needs to be a bit higher though $199 is to cheap not to mention the 99 detracts from the novelty.You give the store a few to sell.Then you send in a secret buyer who grabs one (and let the store make some money on that). The secret buyer makes like he has a real “find”. The store then (like a mouse that has found food) has all this enthusiasm that they carry through to other buyers to spur them onto buy. Because they believe it is good because they saw someone get excited about it and actually buy it.(Note ebay has them for $125)
Allow me to jump in here. What are you willing to pay? How many would you like?
Ah, I see the problem. Product knowledge is an important aspect of sales. 😉
🙂 yes and some tenacity and personality to go along with it.
Oh ….yeah…that too. Especially tenacity.My first boss as a recruiter was hesitant to hire me because I didn’t want to hire me because he didn’t think I had an aggressive sales personality (which actually worked to my advantage in the long run) and I countered by telling him that my tenacity would win out over aggressiveness. Which proved to be true. I had lunch with him a year ago…almost two decades later and he confided that tenacity is now one of the main qualities that he looks for when hiring new recruiters.
I failed to sell ads for my school playbook for the school play – 3 years running 🙂
Was there big demand for Russian military watches? Edit: Oops. Saw the further post below.)
the demand was all in my head 🙂
Have you ever tried to sell something you believe in? And/or something that you really believe will benefit the potential buyer?
only indirectly when I was taking calls in tech support / customer service. There were certain services we could provide / up sell. (if I remember correctly – a little foggy).I try to sell my wife on my ideas all the time – very high failure rate there 😉
So that’s what the Girl Scouts are doing right now… training future entrepreneurs!
As long as they’re actually doing the selling, and not their parents. (Former Girl Scout whose Dad wouldn’t take orders at the office for me…)
My girl scout cookie story was telling the girls that I would buy twice as much if they guessed my age correctly. They guessed 20 years younger than I was (even the mother guessed 10 years younger) and I was so elated that I gave them a huge tip and told them to keep the cookies.They’d probably do just as well I told them if they did the same thing with others betting people that they could guess their age. They’d be wrong of course but as long as they guessed much younger people would tell them to keep the money just the same. Of course they would never do this because it would be teaching kids to be devious. (Which of course is necessary for entrepreneurship if you’ve been around a bit.)
Great story, LE. I love it.
“do sales of some sort early in their careers?”I think you also have to separate selling from “order taking”. And there are so many different types of selling and sales. Even the mere act of saying “anything else” when someone buys something can lead to more sales. But suggesting something in particular is even better. All depends on the situation of course. And how the salesman is compensated.There is also something called “overselling”. If you increase the size of the purchase before having payment and a firm order “in the can” you can kill a deal. That’s why when you buy a car they don’t give you all the extras until you’ve signed an order and are sitting in the finance managers office figuring out how to pay for it. Then they hit you with the cost for the extra warranty (given as a monthly amount if you are financing) which (by the contrast principle) doesn’t seem like a big deal at all compared to the car you have already agreed to buy (as well as 10 other things).Anyway, better to lock up an order then to give someone so much to think about that they abandon the entire purchase. I’m always wary of the balance that you have to strike and at what point you have the straw that breaks the camels back and someone decides against doing anything “I think I will put this off until next quarter”.
I remember getting to work @ 3 am to make donuts when I was right out of high school, you really can’t beat them when they are fresh. I don’t eat them that much now either, but I really do like a good fresh hot glazed donut.Isn’t it funny how our mouth waters when we talk about something we like, now I want a donut…
what made it a great donut?
How do you not weigh 400 pounds? I worked in a record store once. What a bad choice. I don’t think I ever took home a paycheck.
Hunting and gathering in NYC Monday
Where did you get the donut?
Me too. Vegan Chocolate chip cookies at colorado school of mines. (though I didn’t make much $). Yes. I know, what was I thinking.
Glad you said that last line first.
Buddy of mine has an interview there for a teaching spot.
What subject was he interviewing for? Was there about a month ago. Golden looked as good as ever.
considerably more opportunity for student labor these days at MIT.
I second that.
Fred — thank you!
On an another unrealated topic – Ive been using uber alot this month. Due to an injury, Ive needed their suv option. About 50% of the drivers use uber to fill in between their private jobs. About 5% are familiar with Hailo. Virtually all of the uber drivers would take on hailo, the question is without a second smartphone, how can they be “always on” with both services.
Well done, Fred. Excellent body of work!!! Very much appreciated all the effort.
Thank you Fred for MBA Mondays. For someone who doesn’t have an MBA or plan on taking one, it’s been particularly useful and insightful
Its been a great read, thank you for writing it. Looking forward to what’s next.
May be converting in to a book or a separate site is the best thing to do , would help lots of startup folks. May be you outsource the book building or publishing based on all the MBA mondays?
Great job Fred. The series just since January 2013 on Internet business models is a bokk in itself. Thank you.
Thank You this has been a great series.
Fred, fancy changing the subject to something else?
i really want computing and ethics. But that is me 🙂
You could do “Inspiration Mondays” where you share something – well – inspirational. Could be a simple quote, picture, video, personal experience, etc. Would be a great way to start the new week – both for you and the AVC community.
Thank you, thank you thank you. I use MBA Monday material when I teach in our MBA program, and also when I consult for start ups. Your series on dilution has been the starting point of many great conversations.
The MBA Mondays cannon reads almost like a textbook + class lecture for startups which, among other things, is one of the key differentiating features of AVC above other VC/startup/tech blogs. While change is always good, I’d hate to see the essence of MBA Monday lost.Maybe you can let go of the rigor of the 6-8 week MBA Monday themes, and just commit to taking a more educational tone on Mondays? And keep the occasional guest lecture / post?Either way, lets not throw the baby out with the bath water!
Good point we’ll definitely give it to anyone that asks for it for free. Through the series itself we try to point them to other premium Voomly Startup guys like JLM.
its been a fabulous series Fred. thank you.interesting that you said you dread writing them now – made me wonder when the right time to bring something to a close is – before a person dreads doing it or after?in any case I’m sure no one would complain about and mba monday guest appearance 🙂
How about Monday Q&A with Fred Wilson (and from time to time, a special guest), where readers can ask question related to start-ups, business, VC, etc. etc.? You pick out questions you like or think are interesting, answer them in a brief manner, and expand on the ones you really enjoy talking about? Hmm, sorta like Altucher Q&A Thursdays 😛
It’s been a great series Fred. They all go into my Google Reader feed and are earmarked for focussed reading, like on a plane, unlike lots of other stuff that just gets a quick skim.I’ve learned a ton from the series. The sabbatical (or graduation) is well deserved.Abbas.
Woot, school vacation! Ok, maybe not.More seriously thought, congrats on finishing basically 2 years of curriculum.
all good things come to an endawesome series and love the unapologetic ending
The content was spectacular, but if I’m being honest, I prefer that window into your head for the day. I know you didn’t write them ahead of time, but I think most topics were chosen ahead of time.Maybe you could do two posts on the day you have a series going?Withdrawn.
I referred many people to your MBA Mondays series. It is sad to see that you decided to discontinue posting this valable material, but in a same time I fully respect your decision.I personally have listen them via VoiceBunney and before that via MBA Mondays audio podcast. Listening them back I can say that this is rather timeless material and would be great to put a book or ebook together with all of them. Just a thought.Thanks Fred!
Has anyone offered to take the MBA Mondays series and put together an ebook? Happy to take care of it as a $0 personal project. This would be a great thing for the community to have as a download here.
MBA Mondays has been an awesome run Fred.Thanks for putting so much work in – I really learned a lot.
I think it’s sensible to move on to a different degree – how about MS in Computer Science Mondays, with a different guest writer?
albert is doing that on tuesdays http://continuations.com/ta…
great body of work – regular readers… congrats you are officially graduated.I have to say, (and not being an MBA myself) – this body of work must stack up against anything you can learn about the online industry from the very best of colleges….who is closer to the coal face? a professor or fred? hmmmmm….
It’s been a great series. Very cool to see the comments. A little like watching grads stroll across the stage to get their certificate, pumping air all the while. To Nik’s comment below about starting a new series on CS, an earlier post pointed us to his partner Albert’s Tech Tuesday series. Link here: http://continuations.com/ta…. I have been combing through it, journaling as I go and throwing in bits from Khan Academy while I’m at it. Great stuff.
I’ve felt the same recently and wrote this tweet last night: https://twitter.com/semil/s… // As I also stick to a schedule, though not as rigorous as yours, to write a weekly column on Sundays for TC and a weekly TV show on Thursdays, I have felt the same thing recently. I think it comes down to frequency. Once a week sounds harmless, but it has cumulative effects. That said, without the schedule maybe you would have never reached 160 posts on this topic.
this is the problem of a time-drive CMS like twitter, facebook, blogger, tumblr. there is no inherent intelligence-gathering or learning from past posts, unlike wikipedia which only gets richer. there must be a solution knowledge graph for the MBA mondays… somewhere
Good point. I’ve long believed the next quantum-leap will be when we can ‘fly-around’ text/images/links etc in a 3D-like sense – something akin to the Apple Time Machine UX/UI would be a start. Hashtags are also woefully under-utilised at present – the URL for real-life.
The richness of the material, along with the concise format and invaluable input from your TA’s, has helped me move closer to my startup goal. It has become my MBA compendium. Many thanks.
I would suggest doing “School of Hard Knocks” Monday’s. Line up guest posts on stories where you got your teeth knocked in. Those are always interesting stories and they’re informative: “Blessed are you if you learn from your mistakes, thrice blessed if you learn from others” Norman Cohn. “Judgement comes from experience, experience is the result of bad judgement”: JLM.
Also if you don’t make mistakes you are being to conservative and not taking enough chances. Or you are filled with doubt and negativity as far as how you want to spend your time and you expect a guaranteed outcome for your effort.This of course is all a balance and also goes in the opposite direction. I remember my sister’s first husband clung to a business idea that he had (soda machine that would go in living room) and simply wouldn’t give up in the face of all the evidence that he would never be able to make and sell this product it was a non-starter. Banks are going to lend you money? The banker you met with said to give him a business plan? Right.He would also say things like “the patent attorney thinks it’s a really good idea”. I mean how fucking naive are you of course he’s going to say that . It was really sad.  Doesn’t mean that the patent attorney wasn’t being honest he could have liked it but the fact that he liked it (business wise) literally doesn’t mean anything. Luckily my sister booted his ass.
Lets dig through the dead pool, ” Hacking HBS” case studies
Fred, most MBA mondays were tough for me to read. I honestly forced my self to read them because I want to run my own company someday and I know how important they are.I’ve been meaning to suggest this but perhaps the next phase of the MBA mondays series are more of a series reenactment of real world situation… maybe these can be done via skillshare at the USV space.It would be cool to be in a room were we can see what happens during these processes:1 – Getting funded by a VC. Interview, terms evaluation, writing of the check. handshake. 2 – Getting your company incorporated.3 – Choosing / setting board members. 4 – Reporting back to Investors after investment, frequency, structure etc.I am sure people can suggest a dozen other things.The value here would be to come into a room where you can experience a close to real life exercise about all kinds of entrepreneur / vc / business scenarios.Thoughts?
interesting idea. i will think about it.
PhD Mondays? At uChicago takes five years to get an Econ PhD!
How about you publish this as a book? In fact, how about you go into business with Brad? You would have a pretty substantial imprint already. 🙂
Sometimes Fred sounds really depressed. I like that he doesn’t fake it when he isn’t feeling it.
Dealmaking is like that. I have this thing which I call “after the sickness bump”. But it also works in the opposite direction.It goes like this.When you are sick you feel like crap. After the sickness is over you feel great generally in comparison to how you felt when you were sick (the delta).When you are doing deals you tend to get all excited as the deal is going on, when it closes, the aftermath etc.  Then when it’s over it becomes “when is the next deal”. So that’s when the down mood comes in for many people. But Fred’s deals are much different. They don’t even play out quickly they play out over many many years. That can be a tough yo-yo that I can only imagine is very draining. Not to mention the fact that what he does is out in the open.I found it helpful to set expectations low and never get overly excited about anything going on. This tends to minimize the “after the deal downers” that happens. I remember when I sold my small first company in the early 90’s and I went skiing with my wife at the time. I had made enough to not have to work for years. I remember though sitting on the ski lift and thinking “what am I going to do next”? I couldn’t even enjoy myself on that trip. It was like there was nothing to celebrate. The day the deal closed was great of course. Then the reality set in. As in many things the foreplay is more fun then the … One of the reasons I think entertainers, musicians tend to go for drugs because the highs they experience in some part of their careers can’t easily be duplicated in normal life. I know they are exposed to drugs in that environment but I still think the yoyo plays into the need to remain in a state of euphoria that they experience with touring and a hit record. And that delta can lead to depression that wouldn’t exist if they led a normal life.
faking it is not in my repertoire
NBA Tuesdays? You could offer Retirement Home advice to pretty much the entire Knicks line up. Just an idea.
+3 – but why Tues?
Ha, no reason, just a play off “next” as in next day.
It is always neat to see how everyone’s mind works.I saw MBA Monday becoming NBA Monday….
I am definitely pro… Lets get some non-NYK bias though!
I actually give Fred props for being a Knicks (and Jets fan). He’s not fair weathered that’s for sure.
you forgot the Mets. complete and total pain watching them get their ass kicked by the Phillies
that was great
i heard that six of the Knicks played with or against Steph Curry’s dad. how’s that for a stat?that said, they put together quite a comeback without Melo last night in Cleveland
You should read your last sentence back out loud… pausing on the word, C-L-E-V-E-L-A-N-D. I think you’ll feel less proud. ;)Unless of course it’s when LeBron opts out after next year and heads back to Cleveland to play with Kyrie Irving.
Not that I won’t grieve, but there is also something exciting about this. When something dies, often something else is born.I like the idea of Monday being set aside for something special.MBA Mondays has been a great ride. Thank you, Fred.BTW, since the AVC 10th anniversary will be on a Monday, what if you revisit an earlier post each Monday until then — with reflections based on what you know now but didn’t know then? Or– You commented earlier about an alumni day or something — Alumni Mondays? Or some other way that celebrates 10 years of AVC?
Peter King from Sport Illustrated does a web column called Things I Think I Think. It is exactly what it sounds like, with an emphasis on football, but with no real limitations.That would be fun on Mondays.
Bummer. Thanks for the series.
Let’s do momentum Mondays together. How all markets in the stack are connected from angel to a rounds to ipos and beyond
i run from momentum. i sell into momentum. i hate momentum.
amen brother fred
you love momentum, you buy momentum, you just are at a different part of the momentum foodchain. of course you also sell into momentum and replace it with something that does not have AS MUCH momentum but it wouldne be investable if something about it was not paret of the momentum cycle of life. thats the first show… 🙂
i can see your point
As this epoch of ‘MBA Monday’s’ passes and I think back to my favorite learning on AVC, I post this comment to suggest what might be a more bespoke manner in which Fred can share lessons without taking an ‘MBA Curriculum’ approach.Because the ‘MBA’ moniker assumes that ‘MBA Curriculum’ is instructive to those thinking about building companies. And I am a recovering MBA who is proud of his degree, and who thinks about how to ‘continue education,’ as we say.I think my favorite post is when Fred and Paul Graham agreed to share their email exchange that discussed an Airbnb investment. It was like a consenting version of ‘Smoking Gun’ meets ‘Wikileaks’ with a healthy dose of humility.That post was great because it was real, it was unguarded and it was unedited from the time at which the topic was being discussed. It reminds me of what Branch is trying to do by letting you in on a discussion among a limited number of folks.So I feel like there’s a Time Capsule-type format where Fred can offer memoir-type exchanges that show firsthand what he (and perhaps others) thought at the time of a certain topic or decision, and that we can learn from such hindsights.Call it ‘The Atomic Level of Learning,’ as it were.
Well you didn’t miss anything because everyone starts at week 1! Glad to have you on
Fred, are you a lefty or righty ?
Thanks Fred even though I haven’t had much time to comment lately I’ve really enjoyed these posts. Hope to see some occasional posts in the future.
Good for you! Enjoy life and you do you. :)I’m sure I’ll continue to read through the MBA Mondays. It’s the closest to a scholastic MBA I’ll get, and probably of a lot more valuable. Thanks for writing all of them.
I learned so much from these classes, Fred. Thanks so much!
Wow! I can not believe you have been writing these for so long. I remember the first post on return on investment and how it was a single post that then lead to the concept of MBA Mondays. It has been a great run with a lot of awesome martial! Thank you Fred.
Thank you for the series. I no longer work in tech – I’m writing this now from North Dakota’s oil boom – but still read your blog frequently out of sheer interest. Your writings and thoughts are worth every minute. MBA Mondays have been some of the best posts.
I can’t speak for everyone here, as I’m only a once or twice weekly reader, but I found the MBA Mondays to be one of the most interesting and meat-y regular posts you do. My vote would be to keep them rolling, but I understand getting burned out. Curating them into a single, digestible format would be awesome too!
Fred – been reading this blog for 3 years ever since I joined a small VC firm. I love reading it – thank you for MBA Mondays!One thought I had is to do a series on failure? When things go right, it can be difficult to understand if it was luck or you did something right. When things go wrong, it can be easier to understand where you went astray. I’d love reading about some of the failures you’ve had as an investor – or maybe some of your friends would like to do a guest post on their failures as CEOs/etc? I think it could be really interesting (assuming you haven’t done anything like this explicitly in the past)
so much. i will get it all out on paper soon.
On paper!!! you mean on the web?