What I’m Reading (7/2/15)

Energy – Sam Altman
Free Templates for Great Startup Board Decks, Direct from VCs – NextView Ventures
They’re All P2P Employment Agencies – Techcrunch
Why The Church Should Neither Cave Nor Panic About the Decision on Gay Marriage – Dr Russell Moore
Startup Funding – Paul Graham
How to Raise Seed Capital – Nextview Ventures


Georgetown “Summer Ignition Series”

As I wrote last week, I’ll try to recap all of my classes at Georgetown with an essay here. Credit for the good material goes to Georgetown and their faculty. Mistakes or omissions are mine.

The McDonough School of Business (MSB) has my classmates and I off to an early start. Before I’ve even moved to Washington (some are already there posting enviable photos of social events online), we’re completing a week-long webinar series to prepare us for the upcoming tidal wave that is business school. Recruiting and interviews begin quickly and there will be infinite opportunities to network with various industry and company representatives. Before that beings, it’s time to take a step back to think deeply on the metanarrative of my career. To do so, the steps of the series are:

•Reflect: understand where you’ve been, are and are going

•Unpack: understand your accomplishments and how they relate to your career

•Clarify: focus in on where you want to go post-MBA

These goals were broken into four “deliverables” that I submitted to the career office.


Deliverable One: The Accomplishments Record

This was basically a résumé outside the typical résumé format. The assignment was to take your last three employers (or last three titles if you’ve worked at one company) and write out the five most important things you accomplished in each role. Here’s how it looked.


I spent a lot of time fine-tuning my résumé when I was applying to business school and this would have been really helpful. I like that it gets all the information first and asks for the resume bullet point last. It’s much easier to write an effective résumé point when you’ve written out all the information in pieces.

This took the longest but was very helpful.


Deliverable Two: Career Inventory

In short, this was a comparison of where you are and where you want to be, with a detour to ensure your understanding of where you want to be is accurate. This examination is somewhat parallel to the scientific method:

  1. Ask question
  2. Do background research
  3. Construct hypothesis
  4. Test with an experiment
  5. Analyze results and draw conclusion
  6. Hypothesis is: True (continue to step 7), or False or partly true (go back to step three)
  7. Report results

To do this, we completed a questionnaire to evaluate our fit for certain industries. Similar to personality tests, I answered 1-5 on a number of questions and totaled my score to determine different fits. You can recruit and interview with whomever you want, this was only for self-reflection.

Based on your scores in each function and industry you could get a sense of how your job search would be.



Deliverable Three: 355+ Value Strategy

We’ve narrowed down to the industries and functions (and maybe even companies) that are interesting. Now we can ask, “Why me?”, and even, “Why not me?”

The 355+ document will be useful in preparing for interviews and though we aren’t at that stage yet, I think Georgetown is wise to prepare us. It’s a useful analysis to complete for anyone interviewing.

  • 3 reasons you’re interested in the company
  • 5 most important things the employer needs
  • 5 best values that match with their needs
  • + why wouldn’t they hire you?


Deliverable Four: MSB Format Resume

This one was easy, just a lot of copying and pasting. I’m sure this is so they can put together résumé packets for recruiters to review. We took the bullet points from the accomplishments record and added them here.



Overall, this was a pretty useful experience. I want to go a less traditional route and join a startup so maybe my résumé perfection isn’t as important, but I’ll certainly use these frameworks in the recruiting process.

One more thing… I think the biggest value in these exercises is to get out of day-to-day “survival mode” that is easy to fall into and take time to think on who you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going.


What I’m Reading (6/19/15)

What Do the Founding Teams of Billion Dollar Companies Look Like? – Requests for Startups
Firing Dick Costolo from Twitter would be a huge mistake – Jason Calacanis
Book: The Startup Game – William H. Draper III


Why I’m writing essays on my classes at Georgetown

Last year, I read Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters. Blake was a graduate student at Stanford where Peter taught CS183 and his notes from the class provided the foundation for the book. (In the fall of 2014, CS183B was taught by Sam Altman, one of the founders of Y Combinator. It’s a great class titled How to Start a Startup.)

While at Georgetown I plan to write my class notes in a similar way. It’s well known that having to rephrase and teach information helps it be learned more deeply and that’s the intent behind writing these essays. If a best-selling book deal comes my way as it did for Peter and Blake, well that’s just a bonus.

My first essay recapping the summer ignition series at Georgetown will be posted in the next few days.


What I’m Reading (6/12/15)

How to Start a Startup – Sam Altman (Stanford University)
Apple is launching search engine to destroy Google — and you’re already using it – Jason Calacanis
Learn to Code: The Full Beginner’s Guide –  Lifehacker


What I’m Reading (6/5/15)

Book: The Hard Thing About Hard Things – Ben Horowitz
What’s one thing you’ve learned at Harvard Business School that blew your mind? – Ellen Chisa
How to Outsmart the Machines – Umair Haque
Washington’s Systemic Streets – Matt Johnson


What I’m Reading (5/29/15)

Current book: The Hard Thing About Hard Things – Ben Horowitz
Failure porn: There’s too much celebration of failure and too little fear – Geoff Lewis
If, Why, and How Founders Should Hire a “Professional” CEO – Reid Hoffman
Why We Prefer Founding CEOs – Ben Horowitz
A Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting – Nerd Fitness