Fragment from my Lecture “Importance of Properly Prepared Assumptions in Business Modelling”
Original YT playout date: 21 August 2010
What this lecture is for
This is the first hour of my lecturing this year (fourth year running) for the Cambridge Python project. It is an incubator scheme, which we do under the aegis of Cambridge University and the British Embassy in Poland. Students from all the Polish Universities can apply with a business idea. If they work hard they can take their idea through all the steps, and produce a business model using the method I teach them. These are the finalists who’ve already whittled themselves down to a lecture-room-full, and these teams get to present their idea to a panel of real business angels. If they can convince them to invest, then their dreams of owning their own business will become a reality.
First they need to go through very intensive training from me and also from people from the global Management Consultancy firm McKinsey & Company and do homework to ensure that their projects are really state-of-the-art. Now I would be the first to admit that these days this modelling is nothing so impressive, but it was very good at the time. These young people, those who paid proper attention, learned some serious investing skills and what I tell about assumptions is a good mental model which is reasonably timeless.
Why Cambridge pythons?
Here the lecture is hosted by the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Mathematics. The hall seats about 120 and was packed with finalists some of whom had come from distant parts of the country, and the session lasted three hours with one break.
Cambridge Python is so called because the Pythons of comedy came from Cambridge, but so does the idea of “pythoning”. Pythons are the only snakes that look after their young rather than leave them to fate. Therefore, business pythons are people who break the mould of the uncaring business dog-eat-dog approach and are ready to nurture young entrepreneurs on a pro-bono basis.
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