Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My thoughts on an article in NY Times article

Today, I came across the article in NY Times, about the Thinknum. The article talks about the start up project, with a product that would help analysts and associates at IBs to faster do their job, and if possible more efficiently. You can familiarize yourself with the article by going to the link provided above and learn more about the here.

Here is what I think about this product.

First, financial models of any sort are not the end goals per se, but just a set of tools among many that has to help the user to see a better/bigger picture in business/company valuation/projection. It is a well-known fact that models are good as much as their inputs are. So, if one puts garbage in the garbage will be out as a result. In any case, any model is a subjective in its nature and solely depend on the builders opinion. It can't be applicable for everyone.

Second, in regards to long hours that junior emploees spend at firms, then that is a tool in of itself. Employees who have gone through such a "commando" type program, are made stronger both mentally and intellectually. So, in my view the initial premise that Thinknum should help to change the culture is plausible. This brings to my third point.

Third, building actual financial models from the scratch is an excellent tool in of itself to learn the basics, and it is absolutely better than learning by skimming the work of other people. Even if we consider that Thinknum is a useful tool, it shouldn't be used as a substitute for a real work. Building models is useful, and anyone who aspires to work on WS should learn these basics by actually doing themselves.

And the last point, that I hope will make my case against using the Thinknum stronger is that in the long term, the widespread use of Thinknum might lead to even more cuts in headcount at IBs. This factor will bring us to the point, where we have too much reliance on technology and artificial intellligence, which might have its merits, but should be treated with care.

If you have your opinions in regards to this article, please do share in the comments section, just below this post.

Panera Bread - The Darkest Hour Is Just Before The Dawn

Panera Bread is the company that I have been following since the fall of 2008. Since the first time I had a breakfast at Panera, I fell in love with it as a customer. The reason is simple. At my first ever visit to Panera, the lady behind the counter had correctly guessed that it was my first ever visit to Panera, and suggested to celebrate this special occasion with a free cup of coffee! It was something that I didn’t expect at all. This level of attention to getting just one customer’s business is irreplaceable. I felt a sense of sympathy to this particular cafe which would later make me come back many more times. 
Panera Bread is not in a restaurant business per se, it is in the making “people-feel-good-with-their-choice” business.

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