I’m taking a class taught by Brad Nemer called Economics of Product Development. Brad’s an all around excellent guy, currently at Motorola and founder of JobPod and one of the reasons why I’m at the Institute of Design. He had a guest speaker in yesterday that some of you may know. Keith Schacht, a successful entrepreneur, co-founder of Inventables and current CEO of 42 Friends came to speak with us briefly on the economics of web companies. It was an interesting presentation where he walked us through some simple models on how he evaluates company cash flow. It was great to see someone that’s clearly passionate about what he does, succeed multiple times at starting companies. That’s definitely how I felt when I helped launch Infominder and Watch360 5 years ago and I know that I’ll start another one in the future.
The class was also interesting because we are trying to learn financial modeling to forecast the cash flow and expenses and NPV of different ventures. Our teacher Brad, who I consider both a good friend and adviser was particularly enthusiastic about a vending machine model and decided that it would just the kind of project that we could try out. So he divided up the class into groups, assigned various responsibilities to each of us to get a vending machine, source candy and get the operation rolling. I love stuff like this where teachers go beyond lecturing on topics and lets us takes a hands on approach.
The project has morphed into something more but I’m sure I’ll learn regardless of the final outcome.