Tag Archives: funny

Description of Common Business School Classes

Pretty accurate description of Business School classes according to Jacob (via www.flailfast.com).

Andy

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Microeconomics: Taught by a professor supremely confident in their understanding of the world. Typically proven wrong every 10 years, but never in the classroom.

Macroeconomics: Taught by a professor supremely unsure in their understanding of the world. Typically proven wrong every 10 minutes, usually in the classroom.

Accounting: Criminally boring but universally regarded as important. Appeals to the perfectionist who demands compliance in their business dealings. Or the maverick who exploits accounting’s mile-wide holes. Both will likely be indicted in some sort of accounting fraud in the future, thanks to Sarbanes-Oxley, making the entire idea of becoming an accounting expert a lose-lose proposition.

Financial Markets: Where Microeconomics and Macroeconomics are distilled into supposedly practical “real-world knowledge.” A key example of the course’s pragmatism is the “Efficient Market Hypothesis,” an idea most elegantly proven wrong by the fact that a professor is paid $200,000 a year to teach it (a gross market inefficiency).

Human Resources: In this class you’ll learn how to dehumanize people as resources through the use of rewards and punishments. Outside of Financial Markets, the most efficient way to lose your soul.

Organizational Behavior: Ostensibly the study of advanced psychological techniques to bend large groups to your will, you wind up spending most of your time playing with legos, blocks, and fingerpaint to teach “team building” amongst adults. Colloquially called “Kindergarten Pro.” Strangely one of the most accurate representations of team building in modern business.

Operations: You learn how things are built but never how to build anything. You’ll discover concepts like “bottlenecks” and “critical paths” and spend weeks on “Six-Sigma Operations,” an idea popularized by Japanese automakers who were really, really consistent, by some arbitrary statistical value connected with the bell curve. You’ll marvel at the the technological sophistication but have absolutely no idea how to replicate any of it.

Marketing: Better described as “how to convince a consumer to buy damn near anything, usually against their self-interest.” Also known as “Advanced Lying Techniques” or “How Republicans Win Elections.” Biggest takeaway: never trust advertisements, PR agencies, or corporate executives.

Ethics: A class created by business schools to absolve themselves of any culpability when their graduates engage in evil, unethical things. Otherwise, serves the practical purpose of teaching you how to get away with doing evil, unethical things.

Strategy: The crown jewel of every business school’s core curriculum. Strategy synthesizes all other courses into a glorious edifice of oversimplifying frameworks and acronyms steeped in a solid foundation of rancid, steaming bullshit. It’s no coincidence that an MBA is sooner called a “Master of Bullshit Acronyms” than a “Master of Business Administration.” Strategy also holds many esteemed awards, including Most Frequent Abuser of the Case Writing Method, and Most Loved Class by Fortune 500 CEOs.”

 

 

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5 signs you are a silicon valley startup engineer

it has only been a few weeks since i have moved into the fast paced world of startups and engineering from that of the financial and capital markets.  however, there are just some hard truths that i had to wrap my mind around in order to become fully assimilated in this new universe.  here are five inarguable signs that occur when you are in the process of becoming into a silicon valley startup engineer.

1. less time spent on LinkedIn, more time spent on Github: LinkedIn is the professional social network of choice, because it is conveniently sandboxed from the rest of your virtual existence.  as such, the pictures from last night’s cat-burglar-themed orgy do not get automatically updated to  your profile (that and the fact that LinkedIn’s interface is way confusing with its ‘degrees of separation’ among other stuff that are the only differences from popular social networking tool Facebook).  However, LinkedIn profiles are prone to the same problem that normal resumes have: unbridled embellishment.  Your two week stint at your dad’s brother’s dental practice where you LOL’d at geekologie.com all day is incidentally a paid internship program where you helped manage multiple client accounts and successfully improved operational efficiencies (measured by several multiple-syllable data metrics) through method automation and strong analytical skills.  Engineers, however, are builders by profession and self-proclaimed statements infused with marketing buzzwords such as “created synergies through boosting aggregation operation logistics” have no positive effect.  Github is the place where developers keep their portfolios of cool things they have made; it is examples of their past work that demonstrate their abilities.  Engineers normally have githubs on their personal splash pages and business cards that are exchanged in person.  Some people even exchange github links prior to making eye contact (i have seen it done).  An engineer without a github is a young urban professional without a self-entitled attitude.

2. standards for women lowers drastically:  silicon valley is a black hole of attractive women. it could be the dense population of computers that largely inhabit a typical man’s time that could be the major deterrant for women to flock to silicon valley (computers do as their told and only requires a push of a button to turn on, especially if using a mac).  you’ll realize you have reached silicon valley when you start to notice when there is a female within the nearest 10 mile radius.  you’ll examine it quizzically, questioning its existence (‘is that really a chick?’), then followed by admiration (‘wow, i really respect her tenacity to be doing what shes doing’), then followed again by a mix of curiousity/fascination (‘what is her story? she probably took a wrong turn somewhere.’), then finally followed by skepticism (‘she is most definitely fake; i’ve seen real girls on the internet and that is definitely not it’).  moreover, your standards teeter on the edge of plummeting down a endless abyss.  you’ll start overlooking underbites and lazy eyes.  a symmetrical face is a godsend.  although there are few women here, it is definitely less distracting–had there been more physical women in silicon valley, the growth and innovation would grind to a screeching halt.

3. develop a strong affinity for white boards:  if silicon valleyers had it their way, all of the asphalt on the road would be replaced with shiny white boards.  because who doesn’t like a surface on which items can be most conveniently read/written/re-written?  startup offices are most often judged on the following two criteria: the abundancy of snacks and drinks, and the size and girth of white board space.

4. wardrobe shifts to cargo shorts/pants and running shoes:  not quite sure if this is the cause or the result of lack of women in the valley, but wardrobes tend to shift towards the standard engineer gear: hoodie, cargos, and running shoes. its the practical approach to attire: it is comfortable and those around you (people, computers, machines) don’t care what you wear.

5. 

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Bay Area vs. New York Metropolitan Area

Bay_area_map_final

Note: Pac Heights and Nob Hill is also similar to West Village (suggestion by Alvin Yeh).

The overwhelming conclusion of San Francisco (“SF” or “the City”) coming from New York City, at the risk of generalizing, is that everyone is a hippie (the original 1.0 of today’s hipster*, the hipster that actually gave a shit about society)–nature loving, recycling, vegetable-eating, pabst-drinking, american spirits-smoking, and large glasses/cardigan/skinny jeans-wearing.  there are plenty of hipsters, as well. 

i didn’t directly compare manhattan and SF because there are so many neighborhoods in manhattan that i couldn’t find in SF (please correct me if i’m wrong, as i haven’t been in the bay area long enough to form any lasting opinions). also, this was meant to be more of a jab at SF for just having a lot of hippies and hipsters.

While the general SF populace consists of these progressive lifers, there are various pockets of communities that vary around the average SF hippie: by household income (usually determined by the amount of organic ingredients on the local restaurant’s menu), by age, and by alcoholic preference (wine or beer enthusiasts).  regardless, everyone respects everyone elses right to happiness, which is a beautiful thing.

 

andy

 

*today’s hipsters, over the past few years, have achieved a cultural identity within the eyes of america.  they are loosely tied together from their aesthetic appearance: thrift clothes, rolled-out-of-bed haircut, and a general vibe of grunginess. while other counter culture groups identified by fashion distinctions, it appears that fashion is their only distinctions, besides general apathy towards life outside their immediate surroundings and enjoying various bands and artists that are so underground they haven’t written their first songs yet.

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Lessons from the best

The startup universe, similar to any other industry group, encourages strong community support through various speaking and networking events throughout the year.  The aim of these events is not only to meet like-minded individuals and to cultivate the growing startup community, but also sow the entrepreneurial oats and guide the incoming group of (potential) founders.

Aside from YC Startup School, 

Webvan

 

Myspace

MySimon

Furniture.com

Pets.com

AOL drove into the ground

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Tips to become a winning financial analyst

Facebook-excel

like everything in life, navigating the confusing intertwining branches and brambles of the financial analyst jungle is a game.  winning requires steady focus, a strong stomach and disposition, and the expectation that you will get shat on multiple times per day.  i have compiled below a short list of tips and tricks to help analysts orient themselves in the fast paced environment, full of egos and death traps that will take the most promising career at the drop of a hat, to ultimately succeed in the race to the top.

1. make sure to get a loud keyboard:  if they can’t see you working, they better hear you working. sometimes i would intentionally slam away on my keyboard to make sure those around me know that i am cranking out memos. even when playing yahoo! text twist, i make the keyboard my bitch everytime i type a letter. a sub-tip would be to increase your typing and decrease your mouse clicking when bosses approach.

2. always look busy as hell, but accept new assignments happily: even if you are surfing dealbreaker and playing minesweeper, as soon as your boss comes around, do the following: sigh but with a smile on your face, appear flustered but eager to take on the new task, and say “i have a lot on my plate right now, but i feel this new assignment will help me learn more about [insert boring subject here] i am more than happy to accept.”  this will give everyone the illusion that you are working much harder than you are, but also that you enjoy more responsibilities, which will land you the position of ‘go-to analyst’.

3. do not make eye contact with anyone on friday afternoons: everyone needs their weekend. just because you are working at a bulge bracket bank suckling the tender teats of egos-gone-awry does not mean you are forced eat seamless orange-chicken at your desk on a friday night.  friday afternoons is right when bosses come around the floor looking for defenseless prey who would happily spend their weekends working on an assignment that will ultimately be tucked away into a folder on the shared drive for nobody else to see. when friday 2pm rolls around, you better glue your eyes to dealbreaker.com or minesweeper and hope to sneak out by 5pm. being well rested on weekends will undeniably restore energy for the upcoming work week.

4. know your windows hotkeys: this tip really should have gone unspoken. if you don’t know basic windows hotkeys, then shame on you. you don’t belong behind a computer, let alone working as a financial analyst. alt-tab, alt-escape are wonderful for when your boss comes over and you were just watching a hilarious video on geekologie, and you need to give off the impression that you were cranking away at an excel model.

5. leave a jacket or bag at your desk even after you leave for the day: this will give off the impression that you just stepped away momentarily from your desk and that you plan to return to continue working.  should someone request your immediate attention on something via email, just respond saying you were downstairs grabbing a coffee from the nearby deli and will return (begrudgingly) shortly.  bonus points for: changing your screensaver to an excel spreadsheet, jamming a pencil into your spacebar to keep the screensaver from appearing, using a fake cellphone or purse to solidify the impression that you will be returning shortly, and creating a complete body double to sit in your place to do your work.  EDIT: can also leave a half-eaten apple or sandwich on your desk, but there are some risks to this tactic–if maggots or flies appear on the food, then either your illusion of constantly working is shattered or people start thinking you are disgusting (contributed by Shelley Yang).

the key is to remember that retention compensation is not directly correlated with the quality and output of your work over the past year, but it is based entirely on the perception of the quality and output of your work over the past year.  of course, it doesn’t hurt to actually take pride in the quality of your work, but if you neglect to play the game for what its worth, you may not be doing yourself a favor.

 

andy

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Checking in

The ubiquitous nature of these geolocation apps.

 

 

P46P48P50

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Tips for managing directors

When one finally makes their way across the desert to reach the oasis of becoming a managing director, the bank issues them this short note, along with a large base pay raise and the key to the firm’s cafeteria (of course once when you have money to spend on $5 subway footlongs, you end up getting free meals at work).

—–

Congratulations <insert> on your transition from a corporate nobody to a respected member of this fine institution.

You made it.

You are now allowed to dine in the firm cafeteria that serves such expensive delicacies from filet mignon from cows that are raised for the sole purpose of providing that cut (the rest of the cow is thrown out) to shark fin soup (likewise, the rest of the shark is tossed out). You are also now allowed to make eye contact with the senior executives (but no touching unless it is consensual). Please see below a few notes to abide by to make your managing directorship as comfortable as possible.

– use the bathroom during the weekly staffer meeting to avoid awkward encounters with analysts at the stalls
– you can leave the office at anytime if you have an office
– feel free to create as much unneccessary work for the analysts for your own self improvement (why read the wikipedia page if you can make your analyst summarize everything and format it into a nice presentation?)
– dont make eye contact with analysts in the elevators, otherwise they will begin inane conversation with you and distract you from thinking about what yacht extension to purchase for your schooner
– dont get too attached to the analysts: they are dispensable and change every year

Again, congratulations on achieving your lifelong goal of becoming managing director. Please inspire in the junior members of the firm the dream of one day reaching MD by acting like a priviledged, self-righteous demigod.

——-

Andy

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