I have been teaching in one form or another since college. I helped pay for graduate school by teaching other grad students. For most of my life, teaching has meant standing up in front of a group of people and explaining things to them in a large group setting.
But, like many things, that is quickly changing right now.
I mentioned that we have a new group of analysts at USV. And we are doing an onboarding program for them where the various partners at USV take turns teaching them things they will need to know during their time at USV.
When we planned this onboarding program, we thought those classes would take place in person. But now they are taking place online.
This week, I am going to teach a three-hour class on cap tables and liquidation waterfalls. These are the spreadsheets we use to track everyone’s ownership in a company and how much money each shareholder gets in a sale transaction. While much of this is straightforward, there are edge cases that can be pretty gnarly. I am looking forward to teaching this class.
As I prepared for it this weekend, I decided to create the bare bones of a google sheet that will have one tab for the cap table and another for the liquidation waterfall.
The three analysts will act as the three founders of a company and we will simulate three rounds of financings and then a sale of the company.
We will all be in the google sheet together and also in a zoom room together. I will coach them through the exercise but they will do all of the work.
And as I was planning all of this out and building the bare bones google sheet, I thought to myself, “this may be the single best way to teach this material that I have ever come across.”
I have taught this material to many people, but never quite like this.
We are leveraging two technologies that have come of age in the last ten years; collaborative documents (google sheets) and videoconferencing (zoom). And we are using project-based learning in a small group setting which has always been one of the (the most?) powerful teaching/learning models.
The question I am wondering about is once I teach this subject this way, will I ever want to teach it any other way? I think maybe not.