Ten Things I Learned Going From Finance To Software Engineering

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin

I’m not the type to have FOMO, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little envious software engineers can take ideas brewing in their minds and bring it to life.  For years I’ve wanted to build applications and recently decided to seriously do something about it and jumped head first into software engineering.

My journey into software engineering is still ongoing, but if you’re currently buried in excel spreadsheets and have always wanted to make the jump, hopefully this post sheds some light to what the transition is like. If I can be helpful to at least one person, this post was worth it.

Ten Things I Learned From Going From Finance To Software Engineering:

  1. Commit completely. It’s easy to start but hard to finish.
  2. Throw out the career path. Embrace the zigzags.
  3. You’re not starting from zero. Those excel models surprisingly translate.
  4. Focus on what works for you.
  5. Leverage the community but also build a foundation.
  6. Know your edge.
  7. Give back to the community.
  8. Interviewing has its quirks..
  9. You won’t win everyone over.
  10. Every interaction is an opportunity to get better

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Tech CEO Deathly Hallows: Product, Unit Economics, & Capital Allocation

Deathly Hallows

Rest in Peace Alan Rickman

If you’re not familiar with the Harry Potter series, the Deathly Hallows are three powerful magical objects that were created by Death and the possessor of all three objects was the Master of Death.

What does this have to do with being a Tech CEO?

I think the markets have their own Deathly Hallows for tech CEOs and those who possess them are a Master of Markets. I was inspired to write this post partly due to a tweet by Danielle Morrill.

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How Business Model Impacts Valuation And Strategy: Tech Valuations 101

“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” – Warren Buffett

I came across an interesting tweet on e-commerce revenue multiples and the wide disparity seen in the business model:

It’s not a surprise to see revenue multiple decline when growth slows. Businesses don’t have infinite addressable markets and it’s normal to see valuation multiples come down as the business matures. In tech though, declines in valuation multiple are anything but gradual. Declines can be especially volatile and dramatic for companies with “growthy” multiples (10x to +20x) that experience slowing growth. The reason valuations are so volatile is growth has a way of exaggerating the fundamental strengths and masking the fundamental weaknesses of a business. Things can go from extremely optimistic to extremely gloomy as a result.

So the question is how are tech businesses valued once the growth tide goes out? Continue reading