Cash is life. Growth eats cash. Cash only comes from debt, equity, or operations. Many of you — the best and brightest of your generation — won’t go to business school to learn this stuff. And you aren't going to get a chance to learn and practice while you are busy doing your day jobs. Sadly, the Finance Priesthood has crusted over their domain with vocabulary and attitudes that attempt to keep the non-priests away. Worse, our current economic cycle is teaching many of the wrong lessons about how cash moves into, around, and out of a business.
This is highly fix-able. During my time at Stanford, I taught a popular class on entrepreneurial finance in the School of Engineering. The purpose of the class was to make the fundamentals of finance accessible to everyone, particularly non-finance folks who wanted to play a leadership role in their companies someday.
This class takes place over three sessions. Using classroom-tested case studies and an excellent book by Robert C. Higgins, Analysis for Financial Management, we will tackle:
— Cash metabolism of business
— Growth and cash
— Sources of cash (debt, equity, operations)
— Time value of money
— Basic financial analysis
This class comes with a big workload. In addition to four and a half hours in-session, plan on about fifteen hours of prep work outside of class for the three sessions. Enrollment is limited to alums of General Management.
Please don't sign up if you have previously studied finance or if your current job is in the finance field.