“We don’t buy and sell stocks based upon what other people think the stock market is going to do, (I never have an opinion) but rather upon what we think the company is going to do. The course of the stock market will determine to a great degree, when we will be right, but the accuracy of our analysis of the company will largely determine whether we will be right. Who would think of buying or selling a private business because of someone’s guess on the stock market?” -Warren Buffett
My dad recently sent me this quote. I like it because it helps keep short-term commentary from affecting long-term analysis and opinion, the true focus of investing (in my opinion). Through the SIF, I have had the chance to hear similar thoughts on investing from people such as Dave Iben at Tradewinds; he doesn’t want to hear anything unless it will be meaningful in five years. It’s nice to hear that others try to ignore CNBC and the like, too.
I’m sitting in my entrepreneurship class, Cases in New Ventures, taught by Professor Steven Mednick. The first half of each class is a series of student presentations, which are little boring to be honest, but the second half of class is great. During the second-half of each class, an entrepreneur speaks to us about their entrepreneurial journey. Last week we heard from an entrepreneur that had a $160mm deal fall apart during the 2008 financial crisis. This week, we heard from an entrepreneur whose partner cratered a $100mm deal. My big takeaway this week was one key item: Pick your co-founder carefully. Below is the advice that the entrepreneur gave us. (more…)
Last year while applying to USC’s Student Investment Fund, I put my stock pitch on my site to be used as a template by others. Admittedly, that model was a bit of a hackjob given my time constraint. But thankfully it was good enough to help me get into the Student Investment Fund (I now co-manage the California Small Cap Fund).
I recently created an updated stock pitch template for my SIF classmates at the request of Professor Ku based on my valuation background. Here is the new Excel valuation template. This model is much simpler, and it does a better job with sensitivity analyses. If you are going to use this model for a pitch, I would recommend creating a revenue build sheet to build up to forecasted sales. This will show your interviewer that you know the business’s revenue model. (more…)
I didn’t fully appreciate how much I admired Steve Jobs until he passed away yesterday. This man lived life and revolutionized three industries: Computers, music and cell phones. Steve was impressive and inspiring not just because of his accomplishments, but also because of his perspectives. I thought it would be nice to share two of Steve’s quotes that I find particularly salient and timeless to commemorate his passing.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” (more…)
Yesterday I held a session on the venture capital market for some of my Class of 2013 classmates. Getting into VC is elusive, if not nearly impossible, so I held this session to pass along the knowledge I have acquired through my limited background with the industry. My hope is that this information will help them get into the industry. I thought it would be helpful to also post this information here for a broader audience. The discussion below is intended to serve as a jumping off point for someone trying to learn more about venture capital, not a definitive guide. Also, there are many exceptions to VC rules or “standards” (if you can call them that); so if you have information to share, please don’t be shy about adding to the discussion in the comments section. (more…)
I’m back to blogging after a hiatus due to my internship. I thought a good way to kick-off the fall would be to highlight some of the interesting start-ups I’ve observed over the last few months. So, in no particular order, here are some interesting consumer internet start-ups which are appealing for different reasons: Gigwalk, Bloomspot, Gogobot and Hotel Tonight.
Gigwalk, an app, is an interesting play on distributed mobile workforces. As a public equity investor, there are some compelling applications for this technology in the area of market research. I could see this being used in a manner similar to the research performed by organizations such as Grassroots Research.
Bloomspot, a site referred to as a Groupon clone by others, is interesting not because of its deals, but because of its closed loop commerce platform. Enhanced analytics is the future of the deal space, and these guys seem to be onto something. Apparently (more…)
As a part of my involvement in the USC Student Investment Fund, I had to write an analysis of the software industry. This report was due during my second week of school, so I had to quickly crank this out after my internship. Given my time constraint and the high-level scope of this report, it likely isn’t too insightful to anyone who is already familiar with the software industry. However, if you are unacquainted with the inner workings of software, this report provides a good starting point. I realize the Industry Overview and Industry Size sections are a little dry, but hopefully you find the rest interesting. Enjoy. (more…)
It’s time to switch gears from school to work. I will be spending this summer interning as a Summer Associate in the investment banking division of Credit Suisse, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, IPOs and private placements. As a result of the increased workload, and more importantly because of the private nature of the work that I will be doing, I am taking a summer break from blogging. I am looking forward to posting again in the fall when it’s appropriate. In the meantime, if there are any topics you would like me to post about in the future, please drop me a line. Have a great summer everybody.
I follow the technology markets, a lot. Call it passion, obsession, or just plain weird, but I find it interesting to read about the constantly changing technology landscape. For anyone else interested in tech here’s a snapshot of my favorite websites/blogs. Some are more news focused and others more analytical. You might already be reading some of these sites, but hopefully you gain at least one new information source from the list below.
Note that a number of VCs don’t update their blogs often, so I would recommend using an RSS reader to stay up on those blogs (because you don’t want to have to constantly check a site that doesn’t get updated). (more…)
1 front page post on TechCrunch; 2,868 tweets; 1,957 LinkedIn shares; and over 2,000 Facebook Likes. Not bad for three months of work.
As an intern at Clearstone Venture Partners this spring, I had the good fortune of helping William Quigley draft the presentation which underlies his recently published TechCrunch guest post titled, The Next 10 Years Will Be Great For Both Founders and VCs, an article that created quite the buzz across the social web. William’s perspective and enthusiasm are refreshing for anyone interested in either technology entrepreneurship or venture capital. (I hope you will give his article a read.) (more…)