inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #51 of 102: Lori Gottlieb (lgottlieb) Mon 16 Sep 02 08:12
    
I know David's the question guy here, but I'm curious:  Jesse, are
there a lot of folks who worked at startups in your class, or are you
one of the few who brings that experience to Wharton?  At Stanford, for
example, because of its location, it seems so many folks either worked
at a startup or know someone who did.  Is the same true at Wharton? 
Or does it seem like some exotic (or misguided) experience to your
classmates?
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #52 of 102: Jesse Jacobs (jessejacobs) Mon 16 Sep 02 10:26
    
Well, the majority of the class is still drawn from I-Banking,
Consulting and the like, but there is a group of ex-startupers.  I
would imagine that the percentage of startupers is higher at Stanford,
but I would surprised if it was considerably higher.  While I can't
personally speak for Stanford, I do know that there is some dotcom
refugee backlash in the b-school and law-school admissions offices.  So
many ex-dotcommers are out of a job and think it's the perfect time to
go back to school because of the economy and job market.  The
admissions offices are highly aware of this, and have their sensors
tuned to weeding out the "refugees."  And, I would imagine that
Stanford would be more sensitive to this than any other school given
their location and strength in entrepeneurship.  

Finally, to answer your last question, my experience certainly seems
more unusual to my classmates than the experience of those who worked
at Bain, Morgan Stanley, etc... but I don't think that anyone feels
that working at a dotcom was exotic (at least anymore).  Mainly because
- as you mentioned - everyone knows (or knew!) a dozen other "normal"
people working at dotcoms.  The culture became so pervasive that it
lost its exotic appeal, to some degree.
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #53 of 102: (fom) Mon 16 Sep 02 10:46
    
 >So many ex-dotcommers are out of a job and think it's the perfect time 
 to go back to school because of the economy and job market.  The
 admissions offices are highly aware of this, and have their sensors
 tuned to weeding out the "refugees."  And, I would imagine that
 Stanford would be more sensitive to this than any other school given
 their location and strength in entrepeneurship.

Why is this? I mean, why weed out the "refugees"? (Am I missing something 
obvious?)
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #54 of 102: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Mon 16 Sep 02 17:09
    
(quick note: Readers of this discussion who aren't members of The WELL can
join in by sending email to   inkwell-hosts@well.com   and we'll post your
question. Be sure you mention which topic you want your post placed)
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #55 of 102: David S. Greene (dsg) Mon 16 Sep 02 19:45
    

I'm curious about what fom asked as well.  Seems to me these are *perfect
candidates* for B schools, since they've had a taste of the business world
in a very real way, and now they'll absorb the material with appreciably
more depth and commitment.
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #56 of 102: Jesse Jacobs (jessejacobs) Tue 17 Sep 02 09:16
    
By weeding out the refugees, I mean that admission officers are aware
that many dotcommers have lost their jobs during the past three years. 
They are also aware that these people have had trouble finding jobs. 
So, the thought process is that these "refugees" are basically freaking
out.  They're thinking, "I'm 27.  I don't have a job.  My career path
just stopped abruptly because my industry fell on its face.  What to
do?  Apply to B-School.  Apply to Law School.  That seems like a good
way to pass these years of a tight job market and economic distress."

The admissions officers are looking for candidates that can explicitly
and competently state why and MBA would help them.  Why now.  An
unacceptable answer is "I just got laid off, I can't find a job, and I
'hear' that it's a good time to go back to school."  So, by "refugees,"
I mean those people who are applying to grad school for the wrong
reasons.  You can still be an ex-dotcommer and not a "refugee."  Hope
that clears up my point.... 
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #57 of 102: Lori Gottlieb (lgottlieb) Tue 17 Sep 02 17:06
    
Funny, I work as a writer in L.A., and down here the "refugees" are
those who left their Hollywood gigs for startups and now can't seem to
get back into the business at the same level or in the same position. 
They've been replaced at their former jobs, the market is tight, so the
"refugees" are now "consulting" for entertainment companies. 

And this leaves me with mixed feelings about what happened.  I think
people learned a lot from their sometimes shockingly brief experiences
-- I know I did -- but many are now stuck with no job, no place to take
that experience.  Even those who left stable jobs in law firms or
investment banks and yes, Hollywood (although, is anything "stable" in
Hollywood?) don't seem to have the option to bring this newfound
knowledge base to their former positions.  

Great for the gloating masses who stayed put in the late '90s.  But
there were some valuable lessons to be learned by doing something
non-traditional (as the dot-com phenomenon began; later it became
something else), and it's sad that now a lot of these people are
struggling to bring all this somewhere else.
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #58 of 102: David S. Greene (dsg) Tue 17 Sep 02 17:29
    

If you were one of the "refugees", where would you want to go next?  What
would be your next project/career?
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #59 of 102: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 18 Sep 02 06:36
    
Lori, speaking of Hollywood, I was watching the film 'Swimming with 
Sharks,' in which Kevin Spacey plays a particularly toxic film producer, 
and thinking how much the various types represented in the film aligned 
with the business people I've known who tried to redefinte the Internet 
as a money/media machine. Now I know why!

Jesse, speaking of MBAs: somebody told me an MBA grad can get a 100K+ 
salary "out of the box."  I was thinking the MBAs I met, for instance 
those who were attached to Arthur Andersen, Accenture, or KPMG hives, 
made quite a bit less... that they were working for peanuts in order to 
get established. Which is more correct?  Also, I know you're new to the 
MBA thing, but do you have a sense that emphases within MBA curricula 
have changed in the wake of the dotcom slimedown and the various 
recent corporate implosions?
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #60 of 102: poking the ladyfingers in the notice board (abbess) Wed 18 Sep 02 08:54
    
Even without an MBA, my impression was that the Arthur Andersen, Accenture,
and KPMG hives paid more like the 100K salary out of the box to their new
hires; and that it only became working for peanuts in that you'd have to
look at their jobs as 2 full time 50K/year jobs put together to get a real
picture... the sacrifice is in the working 80 hour weeks, all the time,
part.

but that was just secondhand experience from college acquaintances who went
directly from undergrad to one of those places.
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #61 of 102: Gail Williams (gail) Wed 18 Sep 02 09:47
    
And there's that huge difference between the Stanford MBA and the University
of Phoenix MBA, of course...
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #62 of 102: David S. Greene (dsg) Wed 18 Sep 02 09:53
    

So I shouldn't trumpet an MBA from the College of the Lesser Antilles?
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #63 of 102: Gail Williams (gail) Wed 18 Sep 02 10:13
    
What, the Harvard of the Caribbean?
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #64 of 102: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 18 Sep 02 10:38
    
Just ran across this piece at CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/internet/09/18/second.webshots.ap/index.html

Kind of a dotcom revival under way...
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #65 of 102: Lori Gottlieb (lgottlieb) Wed 18 Sep 02 11:05
    
Well, whether it's $100K or a two-fer hour-wise at $50K each, it's
more than Joe and Jane Dot-commer made once their stock options became
worth nada.  Even if you were paid well at a dot-com, you were working
more hours than my medical resident friends at Stanford.  Do the math
on the hours, and you were really paid peanuts.  It was the stock
options that were supposed to be the real compensation.
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #66 of 102: David S. Greene (dsg) Wed 18 Sep 02 11:38
    

<<We've put the crack pipe away," said Chris Kitze, who invested $9 million
of his dot-com fortune to revive Wine.com, one of the Web's biggest busts,
with a strategy that mostly promotes the sale of premium wines.

"It used to be all about getting the 'first mover' advantage on the
Internet. Now that people have become more rational and sane, there is an
understanding that it's all about becoming the last man standing."
>>

Those lines could have been lifted directly from your book, right, Lori?
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #67 of 102: Brian Slesinsky (bslesins) Wed 18 Sep 02 12:07
    
Not everyone at startups worked crazy hours.  Was it even a majority? 
Perhaps it's more the reputation than the rule.

(As a programmer I worked late into the evening, but I also came in at
11.)
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #68 of 102: poking the ladyfingers in the notice board (abbess) Wed 18 Sep 02 12:36
    
...and the conventional wisdom around my parts was that the stock options
should always be assumed to be worthless, and if what you were earning, or
even whether you were loving what you were doing, was not enough to make you
want the job if it *didn't* come with options, then you shouldn't be taking
the job.  Was Boston so different than the West Coast during the Internet
boom?  Are the people I talk to so different?

I'm also a data point for startups, if not literal "dotcoms" that did not
involve crazy hours or low salaries.  (Or stupid business plans.. hmm, maybe
there's a pattern...)
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #69 of 102: Jesse Jacobs (jessejacobs) Wed 18 Sep 02 13:37
    
To address the question about MBA salaries, the average at top 10
schools hovers around 100K with a 20K signing bonus.  As an example,
Goldman Sachs pays first year associates 85K with a 30K signing bonus
and a 20-30K guaranteed first year salary.  Consulting firms pay very
high as well.  Usually 100K plus with nice signing bonus.  However,
those who go straight from undergrad do not make this typ of money
(right away at last).  It's usually about 50-60K.  

Several years ago, during the boom, it was not uncommon for MBAs to
have 5-10 offers.  From startups, I-Banks, Consultantcies, etc..  Now,
well, it's a different story.   Hiring has plummeted, and although
I-Banks and Consultants still recruit, the number of offers they give
has gone way done, the bonuses have gone down, the first-years bonuses
are often not guaranteed.  It's a different climate to say the least. 
So, at Wharton, you're seeing a resurgance of interest in old-economy
industries:  packaged goods, manufacturing, insurance, healthcare,
etc...

As for curriculum changes, there is certainly less of an emphasis on
"E-Commerce" classes, although they still exist, and an increased
interest in Ethics and Accounting classes. 
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #70 of 102: Gerry Feeney (gerry) Wed 18 Sep 02 17:56
    
FWIW, a recent _San Francisco Chronicle_ piece casted some doubt on
just how hot a property an MBA is.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/08/27/B
U99160.DTL
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #71 of 102: Lori Gottlieb (lgottlieb) Thu 19 Sep 02 08:36
    
About the so-called dot-com revival - our book makes it clear that
there were dot-coms that were out-of-hand, and dot-coms that acted like
bona fide businesses.  And in the "hereafter" chapter, you can see
what those latter businesses are, as well as the businesses people have
started as a result of the lessons they learned the first time out.  I
wouldn't really call that (as the media does) a "revival" -- it's more
of a continuation.  No one stopped starting up these companies.  The
media stopped covering them, and now that several have proven
themselves to be successful or on the path to success, the media is
spilling ink on 'em.  

The funny thing about the media is that it considers "news" it doesn't
print like the tree that falls in the forest.  If no one hears (about)
it, it doesn't exist. So now that the media is writing about those
trees, it's considered a "revival."  Very amusing to me.
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #72 of 102: David S. Greene (dsg) Thu 19 Sep 02 08:43
    

We know Jesse is firmly ensconsed at Wharton, but what is LORI doing next?
Is there a new project?  A book?  A different path?  What's on your radar
screen/
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #73 of 102: Lori Gottlieb (lgottlieb) Thu 19 Sep 02 08:45
    
In Silly Valley, as it was called, people really did work those crazy
hours (one person in our book says it was a badge of honor to have a
sleeping bag under your desk) and the salaries varied.  Some companies
didn't pay very well (the smart ones) while others threw their VC stash
around willy-nilly.  You can see this in our book, where people share
very different stories (although many do follow a pattern).

We did, however, talk to folks for the book who worked at startups in
other cities like L.A., NYC, Boston, even states like Kansas (!), and
yeah, there seemed to be similarities among the L.A.-NYC-SF group in
terms of hours, but those elsewhere seemed to have been more "sane" in
terms of hours and salary (meaning: well-paid but not obnoxiously so;
stock options clearly not to be counted on in the minds of employees.

The epigraph to the book is:  

"Madness is a rare thing in individuals -- but in groups, parties,
peoples, and ages it is the rule" 
           - Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 1886.

That may explain why in places where the concentration of startups was
highest, the madness increased.
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #74 of 102: Lori Gottlieb (lgottlieb) Thu 19 Sep 02 08:49
    
Well, I've always been a writer, even before medical school, when I
worked in Hollywood and as a journalist.

So even though my parents keep asking when I'm gonna get a "real" job,
this week I've got two magazine pieces due, I'm taping a public radio
piece, and working on a television project (off to a meeting on this
right now, in fact...and haven't showered yet!  Arg!).

Of course, there's always the possibility of a third book, she says
coyly :)
  
inkwell.vue.158 : Lori Gottlieb & Jesse Jacobs: "Inside the Cult of Kibu"
permalink #75 of 102: Lori Gottlieb (lgottlieb) Thu 19 Sep 02 08:51
    
A friend just re-designed my really lame Web site for me, and although
it's missing most of the info about my writing, you can get a tiny
window into it if you check out the site:

www.lorigottlieb.com

For what it's worth.
  

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