Stanford Technology Entrepreneurship - Anyone in this round?

Hey guys,

Signed up for this course after @"Rhys da Vinci" posted here (

I was *shocked* at the level of technical talent. My team of 10 includes:

A full professor of electrical and computer engineering (PhD Berkeley) at a top program.

A former professor of physics and now vice chancellor at another university (PhD MIT)

Why You Should Reject that Start-Up Job

I've always considered myself entrepreneurial at heart. Even since I've started my work in IB, I have continued to work on developing a few "back pocket" ideas that I'm excited about. Indeed, ever since I can remember, I have wanted to start my own business, not because I hope to be the next Zuckerberg, but because I believe the ability to dictate your own work is more rewarding than any other employment experience out there. It remains my ultimate career goal, and with any luck, I will make it happen some day.

That said, I have to say that the rising fad of "start-ups" in what has been - arguably - a VC bubble (read more) has started to trigger my inner skeptic. Don't get me wrong: I think it's great that we are increasingly encouraging young people to take career risks and try to create value through entrepreneurship. But I couldn't help but be suspicious that there were a fair number of people getting the short end of the "start-up" stick, if for no reason other than the fact that the few friends I had that went to work for early- to mid-stage start-ups left their corporate jobs filled with enthusiasm and are now silently trying to break their way back into what we all know collectively as the machine of corporate America.

How Tech Beat Wall Street

Mod note: Best of Eddie, this was originally posted on 1/15/13.

In last Friday's Bonus Bananas one article stood out: it was the piece written by Bryan Goldberg entitled, "Young people are screwed… Here’s how to survive". The WSO community was split pretty much down the middle as to whether or not this was a valid (and/or valuable) addition to the debate on the problems facing young people today. What caught many people's attention is that Bryan described himself as a "failed investment banker".

So I've decided to highlight his next piece entitled, "Finance lost. Tech won. Here’s why…" because in it he describes exactly what he means by "failed" investment banker and he goes on to describe the different attributes it takes to survive on Wall Street vs. almost any other career path and why finance careers are increasingly unpopular with Generation Y.

Some of you are not going to like what he has to say. And it certainly doesn't apply to everyone on Wall Street (some finance jobs actually do require a modicum of creativity). But for the most part he's spot on. And he should be: he was the only SA out of a class of 100 not to receive a full time offer from CSFB in 2004. So he definitely knows what it takes to fail on the Street.

Entrepreneurship and patent lawsuits

My original plan was to write a series about starting my eccomerce business; going through the process of finding a market, a product and funding. I still plan to do this, but I would like to talk about something that is far more pressing to me: IP litigation.


The Gamification of Recruiting

It could be said that recruiting for competitive jobs in business is a game. However, recruiting is a poorly designed game with blurred rules that doesn't necessarily award the best candidates all of the time.

We have all long known about the shortcomings of the current model recruiting, and a start-up founded by Guy Halfteck called is trying to address the issues through the use of video games. is partnering with companies to develop games that test specific skills desired for particular job positions.

Leaving Vista for Startup?

I'm currently with one of Vista's portfolio companies and I'm thinking about starting my own consulting firm. Initially, I'd need to lean on current clients for revenue. While there are no non-compete issues or IP conflicts, I'm uneasy about pitching this concept to my company since Vista owns a majority. One of the current growth strategies is to grow through partners to avoid building a huge professional services team.

Anyone out there with experience in doing something similar? Appreciate any input/advice!

VC, Start-Ups, and B-School

For the past 2 years I've been working for a small VC fund (just under a $100m) focused primarily on the payments industry. It was a great opportunity coming out of undergrad and I've had the opportunity to be involved in the entire deal process -- no cold calling/sourcing.

I plan on working for another 2 years before b-school, but I'm considering leaving the VC world for either a start-up or "growth" stage company to get hands on operating experience.

I'm still trying to get my bearings in the b-school world, but is VC as highly regarded at top b-schools as investment banking and private equity? Also, how would b-schools view my transition from VC to more of an operating role with a smaller company?

Thanks for any input.

Start-Ups and Cash Burn Analysis

I have a few questions related to the valuation/analysis of startups. I am rather green when it comes to startups and have only dealt with companies that are more established, so my questions may seem obvious to some with more transaction experience with this type of company.

(1) At a high level, do you value start-ups the same way you value a normal operating company? For instance, if you are a corporation looking to buy some startups, do you typically use a normal DCF model using projections for x amount of years?

(2) When it comes to burn rates, is this a datapoint that you look at on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis? If you were to make 5 year projections, would one typically look at the projected yearly burn rate too?