Here’s a small piece of Internet lore, a recount of the discussion between Venture Capitalist Tim Draper and HotMail founders Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith that is often credited as the birth of online “viral marketing”:
Draper asked, “How are you going to get the word out there?”
“We’ll put it up on billboards,” Bhatia said. He also mentioned radio advertising.
“God,” Draper replied, ” that’s expensive marketing and we’re giving this away?” He thought for a moment. “Can’t you just give it out to all those guys on the web?”
That would be spamming, Smith replied.
I guess spamming…
Each Fall in my ENTP320 Course (Entrepreneurial Finance), I like to teach how Discounted Cash Flow can be used to value a company by looking at a current company that’s either been in the news or is getting ready to go public (it helps that these companies typically have financial data published that we can use for our analysis). In Fall 2019, WeWork had captured all the headlines with its plans, which infamously blew up before ever executed, to go public.
Many people find DCF esoteric and needlessly complicated for startup valuations. I attempt to show how it can be…
It has been almost a year since Spotify, the Swedish music streaming service went public on April 4, 2018. Opening that day at $165.90 a share, Spotify has traded as high as $198.99 and as low as $103.29 in its first year as a publicly traded company. The stock closed on 3/15/19 at $141.91 with a market cap of $25.7B.
Back in the Fall of 2017, my students at Sierra Nevada College and I decided to attempt a Discounted Cash Flow analysis of Spotify. …
On Monday I got a text from a friend with an Instagram screen shot, “Is this you?” I’ve had an Instagram account since late 2013, haven’t posted anything on it since 2014 (looks like I was active user for a total of about 3 months).
My screen name on Instagram is “ski_rick.” The screen shot showed an account with no posts with screen name “ski_rick12,” the same profile picture as mine (a picture of me at High Sierra Music Festival), and the name “Rick” where as mine says “Rick Winfield.”
I immediately reported the account as “impersonation,” and posted a…
With Uber reportedly getting ready to sell a 14–20% share of itself to Softbank at a $50-$70 Billion valuation, my students at Sierra Nevada College and I decided to do a discounted cash flow valuation of the company.
While DCFs are often discounted (pun intended) when trying to value fast growing startups and growth stage technology companies, we were interested in the “stories” that must be told (and believed) in order to justify this valuation. Even Peter Theil, in his book Zero to One, mentions using DCF analysis to better understand the story of technology startups.
Entrepreneur and educator.