It’s now the end of May, I have taken three out of my four elective modules (Breakout Strategy, Venture Capital Finance and Hi-Tech Strategy) but I should really start thinking seriously about my dissertation. I am very pleased to have Bart Clarysse – http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/people/b.clarysse – as my supervisor. Bart taught us much of the IED lectures back in Jaurary and is one of the coaches for my IED Project (Location Based Services on mobile phones, so a good match). My last elective isn’t until early September so I just want to crack on with IED, which has a deadline of 25th June, then I can really set to work on my dissertation.
In other news, there are some great lecture events at Imperial College at the minute. We don’t get Richard Branson, Stelios and the like but last night I listened to Ernie Richardson from MTI – http://www.mtifirms.com/ – who gave a very real-world, no bullshit talk about Venture Capital, growing the firm and exiting. Ernie was joined by Russ Cummings of www.imperialinnovations.co.uk and the message was very much that VC has such an expensive cost of capital that firms, especially start-ups, should look elsewhere first or better still get creative – regular and new customers are the best sources of funding! Other than that the management team is central to the venture, the founding team should ideally come in at the same time and exit at the same time – this keeps motivation high and keep agreements simple – although as the business develops over time different CEOs are better suited to different stages and that rarely means the founder can do it all.
Home news now and Jo goes back to work two days a week next month, which will certainly help with the mortgage etc. This means that Olivia will go to nursery for one of those days and with my in-laws for the other. Jo’s workload will go up to three days a week as soon as there are enough patients again. It’ll be hard for her to leave Olivia at the nursery but I think it’s the best thing for both of them – Olivia is turning out to be a right chatterbox and I reckon she’ll get on famously with all the staff and other kids – it’ll be great to see her develop.
Although the MBA workload has certainly gone down since battling through the eight core subjects, one of the hardest things is not being at home as much as I’d like or as much as I will be next year. I still get up early and into work before 8am so it’s only ten minutes or so with Olivia in the morning. I do this so I can leave work early – mainly to get home, give Olivia her dinner, bath and put her to bed but sometimes it’s so that I can get to one of the excellent Imperial College lectures as above. I don’t know what next year will bring however – the plan was always to replace MBA time with start-up time and I still want that to happen. The great thing about doing this MBA is that I am much better at decision making – choosing between the important things to do is easy and decisions have to be made quickly. And my time management of the important things is better than ever too. That’s something that will stay with me forever and will certainly give me the edge in the future.