July 27, 2008
Here’s my Delta Airlines experience for this evening:
1) curbside check-in, my primary bag is 3 pounds over the 50 lb. limit, $80 to check it, my second bag is $25, both are full so I cannot reallocate the weight to save the $80 although the total weight of 70 lbs is significantly less than the 100 lbs they allow among two checked bags, then there’s a $3/bag fee to use curbside check-in and the line inside which I checked before was about 300 people deep so that’s worth it I guess… $111 dollars later my bags are checked for the flight I’ve already paid for
2) then the guy hands me my boarding pass and it says “Seat Request” which of course means that I don’t yet have a seat on the plane, which I booked and paid for three weeks ago.
3) as I enter the A terminal at Boston Logan after breezing through security in about 1 minute flat I hear the announcement “folks, the digital screens in this terminal are not correct right now because they’re having trouble accepting all of the delays we’re putting in right now”
4) when I arrive at my gate to request my seat there is a line of 10 people already waiting on the gate agent, the Delta computer system is down so the woman cannot even board the plane previous to mine at the gate
5) a women walks up and asks if the agent can just tell her what gate is correct for her flight since the boards aren’t correct at the moment, the gate agent snaps back “no I cannot” to which I think she means because the computer system is down, then she continues after a pause “… because I don’t know your information.” The woman asks “what information do you need from me?” to which the agent responds “M’am, I cannot help you because these other people are first.” Those other people of course cannot be helped because her computer system is down.
6) I eventually give up and walk about 1/4 mile to some other Delta gates where I’m told that they cannot help me until after they finish boarding their current flight, I walk to the other side to another gate and the agent tells me that she cannot help me because I must get my ticket issued at the specific gate I will be departing from (the gate where the line of 10 has now grown to about 50), so here I sit as the line continues to grow and grow.
7) update: it was just announced that our airplane isn’t here yet (we’re 30 minutes before departure time now)… then it was clarified that the plane isn’t here because it hasn’t even left another airport. The city name they stated sure sounded a lot like Bangalore but I asked around and apparently it’s somewhere in Maine. The delays are weather related.
In summary, so far today Delta has charged me an additional 60% for my flight, oversold it, and then been very unfriendly and unhelpful. And people wonder why Southwest is kicking their butt?
July 24, 2008
Yesterday at noon the Fortune Brainstorm Technology Conference that I’ve been attending so far this week ended and I jumped a direct flight to Boston for the Entrepreneurs Organization Boston University event. I’ve just landed in Boston and although it’s 2AM here I’m still very much on Pacific time and thus I’m taking a few moments to reflect on the high points of the Fortune conference.
Over the last two years I’ve had a number of incredible opportunities to hear interesting people say interesting things in person. I’ve also had the opportunity to spend casual/social time with some of these people which has be exhilarating. People I’ve seen speak recently include: Kofi Anon, Jack Welch, Al Gore, Mark Zuckerberg, John Chambers, Jonathan Schwartz, Scott McNealy, Marc Benioff, Jim Steel, Vinton Cerf, Alan Greenspan, Michael Eisner, Herb Kelleher, Carl Icahn, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Rudy Giuliani, Ted Turner, Verne Harnish, Christie Hefner, Jerry Greenfield, Max Levchin, Craig Newmark, Eric Schmidt, Zach Nelson, and Michael Gerber.
At Fortune Brainstorm this year I saw the following people speak for the first time: Chris DeWolfe, Jeff Bezos, Michael Dell, Neil Young, Max Levchin, and Nicholas Negroponte. As usual the schedule allowed a lot of time for the on-stage interviewers and the audience to ask pretty strong questions of the speakers and panelists. I like this format because it allows people to ask about things that the media, even the team from Fortune who runs the event, usually doesn’t get around to asking.
The most interesting people I heard speak at this event were as follows (not in any order)
- Neil Young, musician and activist
- Marc Benioff, CEO Salesforce.com
- Michael Dell, CEO of Dell, Inc
- Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com
- Zach Nelson, CEO NetSuite
- Nicholas Negroponte, One Laptop Per Child
- Vinton Cert, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google and inventor of the Internet
- Max Levchin, founder of PayPal and CEO of Slide
- Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google
- David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of Ruby on Rails and partner at 37Signals
- Chris DeWolfe, CEO of MySpace
- John Huey, former Editor of Fortune Magazine and Editor in Chief of Time Magazine
I also saw a lot of well known members of the technology business media including bloggers Robert Scoble and Om Malik and reporters/editors from Fortune and other Time Inc properties David Kirkpatrick, Adam Lashinsky, and John Huey.
The topics and discussions that stuck with me the most include:
- Jeff Bezos speaking to the not so obvious advantages to reading books on Amazon’s new Kindel device which are: ability to search the full text, ability to read in multiple languages, ability to click to get the definition of a word you don’t know, and the ability to download entire new books in 60 seconds or less. Interestingly enough I saw an advertisement for a new reading device from Sony that looks just like the Kindel as I walked through the airport tonight. I’m surprised that anyone was able to react to Kindel that quickly and I wonder where you’ll buy the books from with the Sony product.
- Nicholas Negroponte announcing that he’ll be reinstating the buy-one give-one program for the XO laptop again this year but this time it will be allowed worldwide not just in the US and Canada as it was before. Also, his unveiling of the XO laptop running Windows.
- Eric Schmidt responding to some hard-hitting questions from the crowd about Google’s challenges with data privacy and retention policies in an international market for the information it knows about its customers and users. Also his slow but direct response of no to the question “Does Google do business with or in any other way work with the Federal Government in the US regarding the Patriot Act or any data that Google has?” Eric did clarify that Google has a sales group in Washington, DC that sells hardware search solutions to the Federal Government. He also mentioned that in certain countries Google has decided not to provide its full offerings because of the requirements the governments of those countries would inflict on that data that Google fundamentally disagrees with.
- John Huey who sat immediately beside me at a table of eight at dinner and entertained everyone with his stories of going to the University of Georgia, his time in the Navy, the various habits and scandals of his coworkers at Fortune and Time over the years, and his former friendship with Sam Walton.
- Vinton Cerf. Finally, and perhaps the most interesting of all was a small round table session on Energy that I attended with about 25 total people which was lead by Todd Woody of Fortune and Vinton Cerf of Google. After the 1.5 hour discussion Todd and Vinton were immediately interviewed by CNN to relay on the ideas of the group.
It was fascinating to learn that Europe has already pretty much implemented a cap-and-trade policy on carbon emissions that is working well so far, and also that they have set price minimums per unit on certain types of energy. A cap-and-trade policy and price minimums were popular themes for possible plans in the US because government regulation on price minimums will allow companies to confidently make decisions to invest in alternative energy solutions that may be more expensive per unit than current sources but that are significantly cleaner and more sustainable. The concert of building a good international power grid was also popular because it would allow the entire world to share solar generated power 24 hours per day. The idea of a fiber power network was suggested which lead to a discussion of creating an Internet of energy to distribute and balance need worldwide.The issue of more efficient power storage was also a hot topic and its importance was justified in an example about wind power’s often lack of efficiency. It goes like this. Since wind power can essentially drop out at sporadic times as wind speeds drop they require a nearby burst station which typically run on Natural Gas. These stations must remain online and partially active at all times in order to be available to quickly charge up when windmills slow down and apparently the cost and waste from maintaining these stations even if they’re not being used in production is very high. A great solution would be to have a new type of battery that could efficiently store the power created by the wind stations at their peak output to be used when their generation slows which would entirely eliminate the cost and waste required by the Natural Gas burst stations as they exist now.
Personally, I love the policy ideas regarding cap-and-trade and price minimums especially considering the increasing price of gas is pretty much the only thing I know of that has caused US consumers to consume less fuel intentionally. That is embarrassing to say but it means that legislation here may be required to affect further change.
But, I think there is another way, a longer term plan (15-25 years) that will affect social change toward conserving energy (without any type of economic penalty being required) and it’s in the concept of measurement and awareness. Every new device that utilizes energy should have a measurement system within it that will report to a central system within your house or a computer or mobile device to allow you to track the energy usage of every device you control (including your car) over every hour of the day. This will allow you to determine where you are consuming the majority of your energy and will allow people to begin declaring their low energy consumption with pride. Facebook and LinkedIn should make this number a featured part of your online profile and every business should be asked to display their number on their website and at their place of business like restaurants visibly display their sanitation ratings.
From the business angle this will allow people to make spending decisions based on the energy conservation practices of the multiple vendors that they will evaluate. From the personal angle this will allow people to determine who is doing their part to think about energy and work to reduce their consumption and waste. People without numbers will be embarrassed and questioned frequently why they are not participating. Like the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s LiveStrong bracelets people could accessorize with their low consumption numbers on bracelets, t-shirts, or even tattoos (finally a tattoo you’d be proud to show off at work). Businesses could use them as part of advertising campaigns and as a way of competitive differentiation.
So, those are the big ideas for the week so far. I had a great time in California hearing from all of these brilliant minds and contributing some thoughts where I could. I will certainly be circling back to this blog post in the following months to expand on some of these ideas as I have time.
July 23, 2008
Yesterday I got the chance to ride a second generation Segway at the Fortune Brainstorm Technology Conference in Half Moon Bay, California. Myself, Ryan, and a group of about 25 total attendees from the conference started on a nearby tennis court and were trained one-by-one on how to mount, drive, stop, steer, and dismount the Segway. As each person was trained we moved over to the other side of the court to practice getting around. Only two wrecks later (neither were me) the whole group was trained in about 30 minutes and we were off to cruise along the high cliffs of the Pacific Ocean, luckily on a nice cement trial about 15 feet back from the edge.
Even though I had only been a Segway rider for less than an hour I felt comfortable riding along beside the cliffs. I guess you can at least jump off of the thing if it were to try to take you in a direction you didn’t want to go. After we returned from our quick tour around the property and trails of the Ritz Carlton along the ocean we returned to the parking lot beside the training tennis courts. Although we had done all of our cruising around on the turtle mode which limits the top speed to about 6 mph the tour guides turned turtle mode off and we took a few quick turns and shots around the parking lot at 12 mph. I never realized twelve miles per hours was so fast, at top speed I really felt like I was shooting along. I can see why they wouldn’t recommend it to beginners, you could get yourself seriously hurt if you fell off or accidentally steered into something.
Ryan shot a short video of me playing with the Segway at its top speed. Super fun! There may very well be a Segway in my commuting future. It goes about 24 miles on a single charge at a cost of about 10 cents (I cannot remember if that was 10 cents total or 10 cents per mile). My daily commute is about three miles each way. Stay tuned.
July 23, 2008
I had the opportunity to take a One Laptop Per Child foundation XO laptop for a virtual test drive at the Fortune Brainstorm Technology 2007 Conference in San Francisco last year. Last month I was at home and my dad had one at the house for a while, courtesy of some of his friends at the university, so I got to spend a few hours with the machine, getting online and cruising around on its Linux operating system. I was very impressed. The laptop is lightweight, feels very durable, and didn’t seem unnecessarily slow. After many years of work the OLPC foundation has created a very convincing product in the XO, although it’s for sale for $200 not the $100 that was originally targeted. I don’t think it matters, they have made and continue to make their point… and a difference in the world. I’m excited to watch their progress over the next five years.
In the fall of 2007 Nicholas Negroponte‘s OLPC Foundation announced a buy-one give-one program in which Americans and Canadians could purchase two of their production XO machines for $399. One would be shipped to the person purchasing the machine in either of these countries, the other would be shipped to a child in a developing country at no cost to that country or the child.
On Tuesday afternoon at the Fortune Brainstorm Technology Conference that I’m attending in Half Moon Bay, California, Nicholas announced that they would soon reinstate the buy-one give-one program but that this time they would allow people in any country worldwide to participate. The crowd was excited.
Nicholas was sitting beside David Kirkpatrick from Fortune about 10 feet from me as he unveiled and displayed for the first time the XO laptop running Windows which he described was a critical milestone to getting widespread international adoption of the computer. He said this was not because he expects countries to purchase Windows licenses for all of the laptops they will buy but instead because knowing that they could install Windows on the machines gives them the confidence to invest in the Linux OS version machines and know that they can upgrade the operating system if at any point they have the resources or the need to do so. I think this is interesting and I wouldn’t have thought this at first because anything required to keep the cost down is critical for this project but the idea of being prepared for expansion is important.
July 22, 2008
I arrived in San Francisco via Southwest Airlines on Saturday evening (somehow I managed to find the two Southwest flights that day without any funny security speeches, bummer) and then spent the evening catching up with Arvind and his friends in the Marina area of town. We had breakfast Sunday morning in Palo Alto and then drove up Interstate 280 to catch Highway 92 west to Half Moon Bay where I checked into the Ritz Carlton for the Fortune Brainstorm Technology conference.
Upon arrival we checked into the clubhouse and pushed our tee-time back thirty minutes to give us a few to warm up on the putting and chipping green before hitting the links. We played the Ocean Course (the other course is an older style tree course a bit more inland that weaves in and around the nearby neighborhoods, it’s called the Old Course). Once again I was caught off guard by the cold air along the Pacific Ocean so I picked up a logo windbreaker to keep me warm. I realized after beginning to play that it was custom built for golf because the arms on the jacket were telescoping so that it would look normal when standing straight but would flex during your back swing so as to not tug against you as you moved. Cool idea, although it probably had no affect on my game, it did allow me to stay warm throughout the afternoon instead of having to take it off and put it back on throughout the day. The clubhouse didn’t have any sunscreen so I picked up a hat in an attempt to just cover anything that might burn. I think I pulled it off with the exception of a bit of my neck that’s been tingly since.
After the game I uploaded some pictures of the course to Flickr and pushed a few videos of our shots on to YouTube (Herb on the 18th tee, me on the 18th tee, Arvind on the 18th fairway, Arvind and I cruising along the 16th hole fairway). Disclaimer: yes, I need to work on my golf swing, it’s pathetic I know. We spent enough time on the course taking pictures of the incredible scenery that we upset more than one group behind us. Apparently they weren’t working as hard as we were to enjoy themselves.
A friend from last year’s conference, Herb Kim of Codeworks in the UK, joined Arvind and I for golf and then set a dinner reservation at Cafe Gibralter which is about four miles away from the Ritz in Half Moon Bay. Herb’s friend Alasdair, a venture capitalist from the UK, joined us for dinner as well. Ryan had recently landed and arrived at the hotel so he added a 5th to the group. Herb was recommended the restaurant from a traveler on Dopplr, the travel serendipity site that had reminded us a few weeks back that we’d be at the same conference again this year. The food was fantastic.
After dinner Arvind and I downed a bottle of wine in the hot tub and chatted about web business models. I walked him through some of the big changes in the works at Preation and we talked about how our business model has already changed over the last 12 months. It was nice to get his ideas on the model changes. I plan to keep him up-to-date on our transitions especially the customer microeconomic model that our projections will be built upon.
The conference runs through Wednesday at noon but I’ll be jumping a plane back to the East Coast for another conference earlier that morning. Now it’s time to put my thinking cap on and start taking notes.
July 21, 2008
Major transitions have been as follows: DOS to Windows, Desktop to the Web, now we’re in a time where ideas won’t come out of companies but instead users will build the value within a platform and will look for other users like themselves to give them the rest of what they need.
Will our 25 years of history of success and innovation be a benefit or an inhibitor to our success? The young people in the company are being empowered to contribute their ideas through creative time and labs.
This year Intuit put their TurboTax product’s customer community within the product and took it off of the web. They found that 40% of questions asked by customers were first answered by other customers, and at a level of quality that exceeded their own ability to answer questions. Questions even outside of their realm of expertise like what vendors they use for other services and what the lowest price is that they get.
July 21, 2008
The first session of the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Half Moon Bay, California is underway on the topic of “What’s Tech Got to Do with It?.” The room is crowded and I found a good spot on the back row at the top. I’m still cooling down from a good 45 minute Segway ride along the ocean and cliffs. Ideas are on fire and so is this fountain outside the front lobby of the hotel here.
Interesting comments from the session are as follows:
SalesForce’s Mark Benioff: Their product managers used to have to go up to the mountain to get new product ideas, but now they’re just prioritizing things that customers request… they have “their big ears on.” Web 3.0 is
Dell’s Michael Dell: Dell will have and will learn from (using Mark’s software, salesforce.com) over 2 billion conversations with their customers this year. What we think of as broadband in the US is nothing compared to what Japan and some other parts of the world have.
Management Lab’s Gary Hamel: These days most ideas will be from irregular people doing irregular things with irregular thoughts. Most companies are better at using their customers’ imagination than their own imagination. The question today is “What is your platform advantage? Where are you creating something that is attracting builders?”
Fourth Speaker (she’s not listed in the program): German culture isn’t really into taking risk, risk associated with innovation doesn’t exist. But they will always be fine because of the size of their economy.
Question from the Crowd: Where is the platform strategy for the automotive world? Why isn’t a company building out the infrastructure for building a hundred Tesla cars? Michael Dell responds that the infrastructure for cars has been built, it’s called the roads.
The Millenial Workforce: Would you mind turning off your iPod during your performance review please?
July 15, 2008
A coworker sent me a link to a CBS video segment today titled “The Age Of The Millenials” that was pitched as a warning about an upcoming tide of young, tech-savvy, self-centered job seekers who are about to enter the workforce in the United States. Point taken, a change is on the way and the world will be a different place when it is run by a generation that doesn’t know anything before the CD player, personal laptop with broadband access, and iPod. But it doesn’t stop there. The article casts the generation of Millenials as those born between 1980 and 1995. Needless to say I had a few comments of my own.
I just have to say it. Could the contributors in this segment be any more biased and out-of-touch? One likely did a similar report a few years back on those fiery young whipper-snappers they call the baby boomers. The other makes her living by convincing corporate America that the same communication failings they have with their kids at home will soon risk their professional livelihood as well. That’s easy cash.
My favorite line was the stated position that having four different corporate jobs within one year is commonplace among this new generation. If anyone is to blame for this behavior it’s the idiots who hire people who held four different corporate jobs within the last year and then wonder why they’re not long term contributors. I especially love their specific mention of fun in the workplace as if it represents the degradation of the values of the American worker. Heaven forbid “the man” become a real leader and head down into the trenches to motivate and engage the troops. Here’s to the good ol’ days of corporate command and control!
Do you sense any bitterness that my birthday falls within the range of the Millenial?
July 13, 2008
During the Thanksgiving holiday of the Fall of 2005 Sarah and I and her mother and father visited her Uncle Charles for a wedding in Hartford, Connecticut. We had an excellent time and it was an event that will never be forgotten. While we were there we did some sightseeing which included one of Mark Twain’s residences. I sent the following note home via email.
Hartford is cold, apparently they have real winters up in this part of the country. I almost miss the bitter cold, the kind that makes you wonder if your face is going to sustain some type of permanent damage before you get into a car or a house. It’s clearly the dry air and the wind that make the difference. Just that alone reminds me of my childhood in Wisconsin.
We landed in the middle of a blizzard last night, a few inches of snow fell over the evening after we arrived and made the roads a tad slippery on our 20-minute or so drive to the hotel. Landing in the snow was amazing, it looked like fog as we came down into it but it was clear as the light on the end of the wing was illuminating it that there were thick particles, not just clouds, in the air. The 30-mile-an-hour winds in the last 1000 feet or so of our descent made for a more than interesting ride.
Last night we had enough time to get settled and spend about an hour or so touring Uncle Charles’ house here in the little town/suburb of New Britain, CT. It’s an amazing house, all brick, built in the 1930s, with an absolute labyrinth of underground passages making up the basement. It’s a three story house with original wood floors in nearly every room.
This morning we bundled up and drove about 8 miles back toward Hartford to tour Nook Farm, a small hilltop where Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and her sister (Isabelle I believe??) all had houses side-by-side. There is now a very nice museum for Mark Twain there built just across from the house, on the other side of his carriage house. The mansion is amazing, but the most interesting fact is that neither his wealth nor status as a successful writer helped him build it, because at that time neither existed. He simply married well, his wife paid the full cost of $45,000.00 when they built it in 1874. The majority of his most famous works were actually written on a small corner desk in the billiards room in the top floor of the house. He lived in Hartford when he was in his 30s and into his 40s, at which point he already had 7 servants, including a butler and a coachman all living on site. The restoration of the house is simply amazing, since it’s actually been an apartment complex, a boys school, and a public library since the time he lived there.
Of some interest is the fact that Nook Farm was named after the nook in the Park River that the property is located within, and the old pictures verify it being nearly out his living room window. Although, today, for pollution reasons the Park River has been “put underground” as the tour guide mentioned. The area where the river used to be is now a series of parking lots, a condominium, and several busy city streets. I’m not sure whether the fact that the river has been completely covered up and you wouldn’t know it ever existed is the most odd piece of this situation, or whether it’s the fact that the tour guide said “put underground” as her way of describing what had been done to the river as if this were something one could just do in a lazy afternoon. It is a shame that the river cannot be seen in any direction from the Twain house today.
I picked up a couple of magnets with his quotes on them today, including “The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds” and “The lack of money is the root of all evil” and “Scotch whisky … I always take it at night as a preventive of toothache. I have never had the toothache; and what is more, I never intend to have it.” I didn’t purchase a magnet with this one, but I found humor in his simply understated remark “I have sampled this life” written above one of the rooms in the museum dedicated to stories of his travels and adventures.
I’ve provided a good picture of the outside of the house that we took today and a picture of Sarah and I on our way in to give Mr. Clemmons himself a holiday greeting. Regretfully, we just missed him.
July 13, 2008
A post on TheFunded.com caught my attention today with the subject of Must Read Books For Entrepreneurs. It recommended the story of startup execs building their companies Founders At Work (and then adamantly disclaimed no association with the authors which I found a bit forced). The post got me thinking about business book in general.
In launching iContact in 2002-2003 while also running Preation I spent very little time reading books about entrepreneurship and growing businesses, I stayed heads-down delivering software and trying to educate the market about our offerings. It wasn’t until 2005 when I began traveling for business about twice a month that I began to force myself to read again, it had been since my childhood that I had read anything not directly related to formal education. I even had a lot of fun ridiculing two of my good friends from college when they formed a book club among their girlfriends and acquaintances.
As my need to fly coast-to-coast and to Europe increased a bit I suddenly had a great deal of time on my hands sans-broadband but wasn’t about to allow myself to sit idly. Shortly before a trip to San Francisco (typically 5 hours in the air each way over two flights connecting in Dallas) I picked up Jim Collins’ book about out-performing organizations Good to Great from a large stack prominently displayed in Barnes & Noble at nearby Southpoint Mall. This kicked off a business book reading spree and began my so far three-year streak of boring my wife to tears with the neat little anecdotes I pick up from a variety of topics: start-ups, web 2.0 technology, management strategy, performance teams, marketing, branding, organization and operations, focus, communication, and task execution.
As an entrepreneur you literally cannot find a book in the popular business categories that doesn’t apply to some part of your realm of responsibility, unfortunately you can’t read them all. Maybe there’s a book that can help you better plan which books you should read… but I guess it would be unfairly biased if it concluded that you should read it first. I think I once saw a book about how to best retain information from books that you read, I need to look for this one again, it’s certainly a challenge mentally bookmarking all of the tips you pick up along the way. Actually bookmarking them would be futile. Also, some books have one or two great ideas but spend the rest of the 200-300 pages hoping to prove the intelligence/authority of the author or the premise of those good frameworks. This is where asking around before you begin a book may save you a lot of time. Nearly every good business book today suffers this ailment, probably a symptom more of the publishing world’s expectation of the length of a paperback hit than a failing of the author to communicate properly (whether done consciously or not).
So, in hoping to pass along a road map for the juicy nuggets in two of my favorite business books I responded back with the following (revised slightly for this venue):
I suggest Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore (http://www.amazon.com/Crossing-Chasm-Geoffrey-Moore/dp/0060517123) and Good to Great by Jim Collins (http://www.jimcollins.com/). The concepts in both are useful in building strategy that the Venture Capitalists like, ie: working to focus your efforts and attack your most likely prospects.
We used the concepts in these two books to revise our view of the market slide in our funding deck and immediately saw a great response from VCs. You should at least be familiar with these books and their high level recommendations. You don’t necessarily need to read the two books, just make sure you’re familiar with the concepts as follows (you can cherry-pick the right chapters if you look carefully):
Crossing the Chasm:
The Adoption Curve
What the chasm is and how you attack it
Good to Great:
The Flywheel Metaphor
The Hedgehog Concept
The School Bus Metephor (right people on the bus, right people in the right seats, then steer the bus in the right direction)
There you go, master these concepts and you’ll have a startup MBA in the eyes of the VCs. Good luck.