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December 10, 2009

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Comments

Felipe (Phil) Moussach

Don't forget that showing that you've learned from the past helps, too. (Acknowledging them and moving on.) To use your Watergate analogy, a lot of Nixon administration folks said the mistake was not learning from Kennedy. "Don't send in Cubans into hostile territory without air cover."

Mark

I sat through an advisory board meeting where the Partners literally blamed the enviornment with a what-do-you-want-me-to-do-about-it mentality. My response, MANAGE IT! After all, we're not paying for Beta. For me, a little humility goes a LONG way. To make matters worse, firms are starting to design new products (i.e. credit funds, geographic funds) with the idea that additional fees and performance from the new products will offset losses in an out-of-the-money flagship product. And we're all complaining about the VC model?

Bussgang

When I was a product manager, I used to lead post mortems after every release - probing on important questions like "What'd we do wrong?", "Why" and "What are we going to do differently next time?". We've continued that tradition at Flybridge when deals go bad - a discussion led by the lead GP - and found it quite useful. Perhaps others have similar frameworks for continuous learning. As you point out, this is a very long term business - it takes 10-15 years to see a few cycles and really learn from them.

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