Matthew’s Day Off

I think I need to take a day off to get going on my blog posts again. I apologize for my absence and will work on getting some pearls of wisdom out soon. Lot of travel and deals make Jack a dull (& postless) boy…  In the interim, here is my day off…parody of the great Chicago movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off". Being the value added VC that I am, this is the extended version not seen on TV…

 

How to Manage Your Board

JB Pritzker sent this over to me recently. Shades of reality but tons of humor in this…

How to manage your company’s board of directors:

1. Meet by phone whenever possible. Most of them will be doing their email or goosing their admin or something and not paying any attention at all. They’ll just vote when you ask’em to.

2. Never distribute anything in advance; they might read it and get themselves all confused. Just present it all: gets you through most of the meeting.

3. Never number the pages of what you are presenting. Lots of time can be used constructively figuring out what page everybody is on. If you email the material (preferably just after the start of the meeting), send lots of separate files. Turkeys’ll never know what to look at. Bonus suggestion: send slightly different copies of files with different pagination to everyone; it’s a lotta work but it’s worth it.

4. Have your CFO present numbers, lots of numbers. Make sure they get a chance to go over variances in the pencil budget.

5. If you have to meet in person – it is gonna happen sometime – use food. Any discussion you don’t want input on should be right after lunch. No one’s gonna be awake then.

6. Speaking of lunch, you can play this for lots of time. Have your dumbest admin take orders off some huge takeout menu. Get what type of bread they want, dressing, meat, lettuce, all that. Then have a smart admin shuffle the list so NO order is right. Wrong bread with wrong filling etc. No veggies for vegetarians (they tend to be nitpickers anyway). Kills lots of time and helps make sure they meet on the phone next time. BTW, they’ll pay no attention to anything between when lunch is ordered and when it comes so minimum of an hour.

7. Do bring up board comp and director’s liability insurance. Sure to get their attention and won’t interfere with the real business of the company.

8. Have a nine person board with three insiders, four VCs and two people who don’t have a clue. Just four VCs alone should guarantee gridlock.

9. Every meeting should run way over schedule. You control the agenda: presentations up front; substance in the third overtime period.

10. If they’ve gotta discuss something, get’em down in the weeds. Color of the office; words for the new ad campaign; what bank to deposit tax payments in. That keeps everybody out of trouble.

11. If you’re public and their questions are going where you don’t want to go, tell them you’d be glad to answer but that’ll make them insiders for the next two years. You can also tell by who squirms who was planning to sell.

Blodgett Helps Explain the SubPrime Isse…

And we wonder why Buffett says that the credit markets are redefining the term "junk" debt…

How Citi, HSBC, Morgan, Et Al Vaporized Billions

| 9:07 AM

Mystified about how Wall Street’s best and brightest could suddenly up
and lose tens of billions of dollars on insanely risky mortgage bets?
Eager to one day get a piece of those billions in bonuses the same best
and brightest took home in the years when those insanely risky bets
happened to turn out well? Then watch these two British comedians
explain how our country’s most lucrative and admired industry works…


Wait–worried that, by the time you get there, Wall Street will
have learned its lesson and won’t be making those insanely risky bets
anymore? No worries! Wall Street learned its lesson all right–long
before you or any of the current Wall Street generation were born. Here
it is (Shhhh….): 

It’s Not Their Money!

Ironic Post on the Bubble

My friend, Mike Iannelli, sent me the following link Here Comes Another Bubble. Clearly, we are seeing some funny money deals popping up as the economy takes a dive. Perhaps there is a blog on why Billy Joel seems to be the song writer of choice for these music montages…

Mathematics of Success

I am back from Spring Break with family and in-laws. I had a relaxing week in South Carolina with good food, quality time with family and golf. The only downside in visiting my in-laws is the every present no see ’ems which always do a job on my skin. Being the soft-hearted VC that I am, they go wild for my blood I guess. Cortisone and Benadryl should get things back to normal by week’s end. So, slowly getting back into the blogging with a fine Mathematical analysis of success I received from our CFO, Judy Dorr. It definitively lays out what it takes to succeed:

"Mathematics 
  
From a strictly mathematical viewpoint it goes like this: 
What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life? 

Here’s a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions: 



If: 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

is represented as: 
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.



Then:

H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K 
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%



and 

K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E
 11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96% 



but, 

A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E
 1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%



and B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T 
2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103% 

BUT, look how far ass kissing will take you.


A-S-S-K-I-S-S-I-N-G
 1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%



So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that, while Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it’s the Bullshit and Ass kissing that will put you over the top."

Microsoft Firefox 2007

Hilarious rip on Microsoft. This spoof has been around for a number of months, but Ajaxian did a recent post on the release of the new "Microsoft Firefox 2007 Professional edition". At first, I was impressed to see Microsoft embrace the open source world, but then my finely honed VC senses tingled that something was amiss. A couple of subtle details from the site below:

About:
At Microsoft, we strive to appear lovable, friendly and helpful…
…because our antitrust ruling conditions forces us to do so…

Fast Fun Tab:

Tired of slow image rendering?
Microsoft Firefox 2007 can deliver online pornography
at blazing fiery speeds. By using a proprietary dynamic algorithm, anything that remotely resembles a tit or a boob will download up to 10 times faster!

Microsoft Firefox 2007 downloading explicit images at lightning speedsMicrosoft Firefox 2007 downloading explicit images at lightning speeds

On the Microsoft Foundation "serving disadvantaged children":
Note:
Microsoft defines all its competitors as "disadvantaged children"