My Takeaways from HBS’s 2013 Entrepreneurship Conference


Below are some random notes that I wrote down today at the Entrepreneurship Club’s annual conference at HBS. This is a bit free form, but I think there are some gems in here. I’ve taken out attribution to protect the innocent, except in the case of Dharmesh Shah because I think the comments are important in the context of Hubspot.

    Overcoming Adversity
    “Never ask an entrepreneur what you’d do differently, it will take up the entire panel.” This was nice to hear, I guess all entrepreneurs make lots of mistakes.

    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement”

    Embrace the challenges you face, don’t spend time thinking about what you did wrong, keep moving.

    Love the tough things – like slowing growth, HR issues, getting rejected by VCs.

    Failure is part of the process, especially in fundraising. Therefore, it’s not failure.

    Advice on Raising Capital
    Most investors, especially angels, are afraid to make the first move. You need to get the ball rolling.

    Social proof is important in seed stage capital raising. Get some high profile people to use your product, or partner with you, or recommend you.

    When talking to investors, think about your trophy case – what are you actually proud of about your biz (customers, awesome senior hires) – not just the fact that you got some feature done.

    Most companies don’t get multiple term sheets – just the guys being chased by the big VC firms.

    VC firms structurally take a lot of time to get $$ from. A past entrepreneur can write you a check after coffee.

    Don’t ever actively fundraise. You should be in the early stages of getting to know investors, or at the end of closing a round, but never actively seeking capital. “Passive fundraising.”

    Trying to raise VC is a good way to check your idea and strategy. They may not want to invest because it’s simply a bad idea. But, it can be tricky to figure out if this is what they truly think, and even harder to figure out if they’re right! It’s just a proxy.

    Other Nuggets

    You need someone with a tech background on the founding team or else you’re dead. eCommerce is the exception.

    There is a point where a founder becomes CEO – and they are very different roles that can cause a lot of confusion when you make that transition. The biggest difference is that a CEO takes a step back and thinks about the business from a higher level.

    The benefits to not being in SV – lack of turnover, especially for engineers. But, there are lots of knowledgable founders in SV to leverage. If you’re a founder in Boston, you know all other founders and VCs.

    Intelligence is pattern recognition (not in the VC sense, just patterns generally).

    “You’re a harvard MBA, you’re going to be ok. Play the 30 year game. Learn the most right now. Doesn’t mean starting something, but could” – this is targeted towards anyone thinking they need to take a job at McKinsey right now.

    When you’re feeling “on tilt” after an entrepreneurial failure, maybe take time and get a job and make some $$. Don’t go back to starting something for the wrong reasons.

    When you fail, you’re in some senses at the height of your power – you just learned a lot. You probably failed for some structural reason, or bad early decision, that you can circumvent next time.

    Dharmersh Shah on Culture

    Culture is not perks (beer/ping pong), culture is how you work together.

    Hubspot didn’t think about it for 3 years. Their CEO went to a “CEO group” – like group therapy – determines they should focus on it. Dharmesh put in charge despite being introvert. They were 75 FTEs.

    They did a net promoter score (NPS) survey of employees – “Would you recommend Hubspot as place to work?” – people loved working there => main reason was other people at Hubspot. But, what do you do with this info?

    Culture debt is like tech debt – really hard to get over. Start with the right culture.

    If you hire a schmuck – you send a signal that it’s ok to be schmuck, even after you fire that first guy because they were there for 9 months.

    Every hire should raise the average of the team…hard, but good goal. Every hire should also do something you can’t do yet. Hires ELEVATE the team, aren’t just there to be delegated to.
    Good interview question: “What can you do that none of us can?”

    The better the culture, the easier recruiting is. Save time. They put their culture deck online. 1 mm views. 2nd ever most read culture deck to netflix. Imagine the resumes they got…

    Better culture => don’t have to worry about stupid stuff – like where people sit and what that implies about their power.

    Most companies have a purpose (except maybe Zynga). Theirs is to reduce spam and sketchy marketing tactics.

    Dharmesh has made 50 angel investments (only met 12 people in person, mostly online DD- looking you up online, playing with product, etc). Ideas don’t matter a lot – they will change.

    There is a currency with titles. People want a narrative when sharing “what they do” with others…this is a really interesting point!! Plus, it hurts people’s chances to succeed after Hubspot if there are no titles (they didn’t have titles for 3 years).

    They had an unlimited vacation policy. People weren’t taking it. Now 2 weeks min vacation. Still don’t track it.

    If you don’t know what your culture is (and can articulate it), you are probably just hiring people like you and telling self you’re hiring for culture.

    They like humble people. Humble people spread credit and take blame. They have questions to flesh out culture fit for each of their principles.

    Dharmesh on raising money
    When raising angel round:
    Get good at marketing yourself/your company.
    Angels will:
    -Look at your website
    -Play with product
    -Look at demo video
    ==> before taking meeting

    Have someone who doesn’t know what you do go through site and speak out loud as they use your product. Do they get it?

    Design of slides matter in raising capital. It’s dumb, but it’s true

    Don’t talk to VCs too early. Too much time wasted, can make you think your idea is bad.

One last note: Many of the people at the conference are clearly people you’d want to work with: hard working, smart, humble, genuine. But, there are always a few people on these panels that come off as arrogant and abrasive (especially VCs it seems) – just a warning to those on panels. If a bunch of HBS people walk out of a room and note how arrogant you were, you’re an outlier on this scale!

I hope these notes are helpful 🙂

How a useless business guy learned to code

The summer after 8th grade, I went to computer camp with my brother and cousin. We learned BASIC, and had a lot of fun playing Starcraft with the other campers at night. For one reason or another, none of us continued to program (I didn’t know anyone who did it, and just kind of thought it was a cool thing to do over a summer…what a loser I was).

My brother eventually taught himself Matlab, R, Python, and turned that into a job as an algo trader on wall street. I played around with some python a few times, but never really sat down to learn anything useful until about 6 months ago.

I want to work with technology, and maybe even start my own company. So, I thought it made sense to learn the basics of programming. How do you do this? There are lots of opinions out there, here’s my story.

Last march I had an idea I was pretty passionate about (it still pains me how ugly this site is). I didn’t know anyone that wanted to work on it with me who had technical skills, thought it would be simple enough to hack together, and so did a lot of googling to build myriverguides.com. It was a lot of brain damage, a lot of missed opportunities to socialize at HBS, but also an amazing sense of accomplishment when it was done and actually worked! Plus, some people really loved it and wrote me some inspiring emails. Lastly, I got to learn some VERY basic HTML, PHP, MySQL, and Drupal. If the second part of that sentence made no sense – don’t worry, it didn’t make any sense to me either a few months ago!

This summer I put a goal in front of me – I was interning at TaskRabbit in a general management role, but wanted to commit to coding every day in my free time. It didn’t matter if it was 5 minutes, or 3 hours, I wanted to sit down at a computer, open a terminal or SublimeText, or whatever, and write code.

I wrote “code everyday” and put it as the background of my phone. I also put it over my bed. Every time I went to text someone or check my email I was forced to remember my goal and forced to think of whether or not I was hitting it.

I didn’t just want to code, I wanted to learn something useful. I picked the django framework for web development (tough choice between that and rails). I first needed more of the python basics, so I took the codecademy course, which was fun and useful. I also ended up taking the jquery course on codecademy which was pretty solid too. Afterwards, I started with chapter 1 of the Django book. The first 8 chapters are really what you need to build a site. You can do one in a few hours, if you’re being very diligent, or you can do one in 30 mins if you are coming from rails or another MVC framework.

To be honest, it was a bit painful. Programming can be REALLY frustrating, especially when you’re already good at the stuff you do at work. Learning from scratch is tough. But, it expands your mind. I always thought that engineers thought differently. It’s hard to explain, but now I have some insight as to why. As a general rule, it’s good to regularly push your brain to think about problems in new ways!

So – I now had the basics to build something and at least host it locally on my computer. Wahoo! Time to work on a passion project – this is when you really start to learn. I’m embarrassed to say that the project I started mid summer was never completed….I got back to school in September and starting working on something entirely different, and the old project died. But, I think that’s ok. I was still coding every day and continuing to learn. It was now a habit.

The last few months have brought more challenges: hosting, databases outside of sqlite, sending/receiving emails, security issues, actually writing good code with comments that can scale…The learning curve hasn’t really flattened yet.

What do I get for my efforts? For the “brain damage” and missed opportunities to watch Madmen or some other show? It turns out, a lot. I can build MVPs…check out lifeguides.me which a classmate and I are working on. Isn’t that cool? I can talk to engineers and not get lost – maybe even have some credibility. I can recruit other technical people to work with me – I’m no whiz but I can contribute on that front now. And, I generally feel like a much more powerful person. This summer at Task Rabbit I re-wrote a piece of our mail merge script to make it A LOT more effective…that’s cool.

Net/net is it worth it? From an ROI perspective….who knows? It depends where life takes me, who I meet and get to work with, and what I do. I enjoyed the process, even the low points where I thought I’d never figure out a problem. And, the highs of getting something to work are pretty incredible too.

I’m relating my story because I know many people out there are trying to learn to code for a variety of reasons. Here’s my advice:
-Get the basics on a language through something like Codecademy.
-Pick a web framework (django, rails) and do the basic tutorials to learn how to create pages and host them locally.
-Pick a PASSION project – something you think the world desperately needs, and figure out a way to hack it together. Break down every step into googleable queries and put it together piece by piece
-Do it EVERYDAY. Don’t let it go 3 days because you’re busy or on vacation, you will lose steam.
-Write down your goal and look at it at least twice a day. It helped me during my wrestling days, and it definitely helped me this summer coding.
-Enjoy the experience. Life is short!

Working in venture capital

A year ago, I started business school at HBS. Since then, I’ve been talking to a lot of classmates about my experience working in venture capital. I thought it’d be useful to share the highlights of some of those conversations for other people interested in landing a job in venture capital. As a disclaimer, what follows is highly colored by my experience as a pre-MBA sourcing analyst at Bessemer Venture Partners.

There are two main roles for junior people at venture capital firms. You are either focused on sourcing new investment opportunities, or supporting more senior professionals in screening their inbound deal flow, executing transactions, and helping existing portfolio companies. I’ll focus on the sourcing role as that’s what I know best.

Sourcing involves splitting time between researching interesting areas of innovation where there may be hidden gems (great companies that people don’t know about yet, typically outside of hot sectors and geographies. Think enterprise SaaS based in Nebraska and focused on dog food manufacturers, as opposed to consumer internet in silicon valley). You may read a blog post about the Turkish eCommerce market, and develop a list of the best companies there. Or, you may hear a lot of buzz about a silicon valley company that is “crushing it.” Chances are, you can find a company in Virginia, or Berlin, or Sao Paolo that is doing the same thing and a lot further along, that no one knows about yet. Or, maybe you meet a really dynamic entrepreneur at a party who just happens to be raising a round. There are lots of ways to find great companies!

Beyond research, you’re also spending time getting to know companies either through meeting in person, or talking to entrepreneurs over the phone in hopes of building a relationship, and understanding where an opportunity to invest in the firm is. Having 4-5 one on one conversations each day is an amazing way to grow your network, develop pattern recognition, and learn about all the areas of innovation around the globe. It’s an addicting flow of information, and comes with insights into how companies succeed in changing markets.

At the beginning of each week, expect to pitch 2-5 of your best ideas to your firm’s partners. In an interesting twist, you are now an agent of sorts for the entrepreneurs you’ve talked to the previous week, trying to get your colleagues’ interest in follow up meetings. Of course, while every sourcer is incented to drum up interest for your deals (typically there is a bonus if a deal you sourced is invested in), you have to maintain objectivity in order to gain credibility within your firm, and grow as an investor.

It’s an incredibly entrepreneurial job where you are constantly trying to figure out new ways to source deals, determine which are the best companies, and then get internal buy-in for a deal. The last part of the job is the diligence of new investments including some light modeling, writing up investment memos for internal use, talking to customers, and doing anything else needed to make the investment. This is where you work in a small team to dig into a company over the course of a few months to figure out whether it’d be an interesting investment or not.

Overall, it’s very hard to think of a better job. It’s rewarding, fun, and stimulating. It gives you a lot of insight into the bleeding edge of innovation across lots of sectors. And, you literally have to pinch yourself when you’re talking to CEOs all day long. Plus you get to learn from great investors in a culture that is typically 100x better than PE/hedge funds. There’s just one catch, it can be a tough job to land!

Lessons from Wrestling Part III

Back in highschool, I would run on a treadmill a lot. I’d run to stay in shape, and more importantly I’d run to sweat off those last pounds of water weight before a tournament or meet.

I remember one time I was running and overheard someone telling a teacher that so-and-so had just won a state championship in wrestling. The teacher replied: “that and a buck will get you a cup of coffee.”

I didn’t slow my pace. I remember thinking “that guy’s an idiot.” Even still, there was a voice in my head that was wandering “is all this work worth it?”

Of course, there is a philosophy that doing something you’re passionate about is worth the effort no matter what. I subscribe to that…but it’s still nice to know there is also a return on investment!

So – has my wrestling translated into anything career wise? Has it equaled more than $0 in value? I think so.

When I was interviewing at Bessemer Venture Partners, one of the most respected venture capital firms in the world, they wanted to get it through my head that this was not a glamorous role. This is not flying on a jet and casting the tie breaking vote in board meetings. This is hard work, and on the junior levels where sourcing is the focus, it can be VERY hard work. The question came up again and again (I had nearly 30 interviews) – “what have you done that’s hard in life? Why do you think you can do this job?”

I relayed the story of cutting 12 pounds one night before a big tournament. To cut a long story short, it required a lot of running and sweating and not replacing those fluids until after the weigh in. That was good enough to pass their bar.

Wrestling gave me confidence in my ability to do things I didn’t think possible, like cut 12 pounds in a night, or work 40 hours straight (something I had to do twice as a banking analyst). It let the fear about my abilities dissolve, at least a little bit. When you go into a week and you’re already tired, and you know that you won’t get more than 8 hours of sleep by thursday (and that the weekend will be spent working), it can be very daunting. The hardships you endure through wrestling allow you to focus on the task at hand, not on the fear that you may not be able to cut it.

When I interviewed at Harvard Business School, wrestling came up again and again. Ever have interpersonal issues with team members? What goals have you set out and achieved? What have been the most defining moments of your life?

So, in the end, I think that teacher was wrong. A buck and a state championship will get you a lot more than a cup of coffee. In fact, I’d say that the pursuit of something challenging, where you have to push yourself and strive, will get you so much more than you ever bargained for. It just so happens that wrestling is one of the best ways to have these sorts of experiences.

Vote here if you think wrestling should stay in the olympics:http://www.insidethegames.biz/polls/75-which-sport-do-you-think-should-be-part-of-the-olympic-programme-for-2020

Lessons from Wrestling Part II

I was driving home from the annual holiday tournament as a high school freshman. I’d gotten beat twice in a row, and was eliminated on the first day. My assistant coach was good enough to give me a ride home.

I was asking about the #1 guy in my weight, Barry Wilson, and how anyone could be so good. Coach responded that someone like that “eats, sleeps and breathes” the sport. I didn’t know what he meant then. Looking back, I honestly didn’t really know what it meant to be dedicated to something, let alone what the word passion meant.

Something happened in the next year, I started to focus on wrestling, and being as good as I could. I had embarrassingly high aspirations that I didn’t share with a lot of people. I started waking up before school to run, workout after school, go to open mats wherever they were in driving distance, shadow wrestle by myself when I couldn’t find a partner, and think about winning big matches almost all the time – especially in class.

I started to understand what it was to be dedicated, what passion was, and how to focus a maniacal drive towards something you wanted.

This concept of dedication may seem a bit obsessive to some. But, I strongly believe it’s what has allowed me to achieve the majority of what I’ve done so far in life (not that it’s been much in just 27 years). I’m not the smartest, most charming (by any means), or most talented. But, I have used dedication/passion/focus to achieve goals I’ve set out – getting a job in venture capital, getting into a top 5 business school, learning to program. This drive was shaped on cold winter mornings at 5 AM, running and thinking always about one thing: winning.

If you think wrestling should stay in the olympics,http://www.insidethegames.biz/polls/75-which-sport-do-you-think-should-be-part-of-the-olympic-programme-for-2020

Lessons from Wrestling Part I

Wrestling is on the chopping block.  It may not be a sport in the 2020 olympic games.  Lots of people have written about how it’s the oldest sport in the world, one of the most diverse in the olympics, and generally about why it should stay in the games.  I thought I’d share a few things that wrestling taught me, and why I think it’s so important.

Wrestling taught me to be humble.  It’s easy to believe your own hype, it’s easy to think you’re impregnable when on a hot streak, and generally this mindset is suboptimal to meeting goals, and keeping strong relationships with the people you care about.

In 2012, David Taylor had just capped off an undefeated sophomore season, and won the Hodge trophy (wrestling’s Heisman).  He looked absolutely unbeatable.  Then, he ran into Kyle Dake, another current collegiate wrestler, who showed him there is always someone better out there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObMv1DrHaPc.

Lincoln Mcllravy won the NCAAs as a true freshman, had an undefeated season as a sophomore and another national title.  As a junior, he seemed indomitable, and crush his opponents all year long, until the NCAA finals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7WSxK-J8vI.

Of course, the best example is Dan Gable.  Gable hadn’t lost in highschool, and had gone unbeaten all the way through college, until his last match, when he failed to Larry Owings.  He used this to fuel a grueling training regimin that ended in a dominant Olypmic run.  During his final 21 matches, he pinned 13 opponents, and outscored the rest 130-1, with the lone point going to Larry Owings.

There is always someone out there who is better.  There is a Larry Owings dropping two weight classes because he wants to take a shot at beating you.  There is a Steve Marianetti who knows they can put together 6 minutes of great wrestling to knock off the returning champion.

I’d say the same lesson is applicable across life and business.  If you’re complacent, you forget to be a great friend or family member.  You don’t call to catch up with your old college roommate, or wish your grandmother a happy birthday.

In business, you forget that what you’ve done can be accomplished by others, and that there is always someone out there waiting to knock you off.   I always liked this video of the RIM (Blackberry) CEO as he starts going on about how the company is a “iconic” “leader” in 2011.  He seems like the type of person you’d want to try and disrupt as a startup.  Check it out: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/click_online/9456798.stm

Wrestling teaches you there is always someone better out there, always someone who can pin you down.  I learned this time and again on the mats.  Nothing is more humbling than getting beat physically by an opponent in front of your friends/teammates and family.  But, learning that you can pick yourself up and learn from your experiences is worth the pain.

If you think wrestling should stay in the olympics,http://www.insidethegames.biz/polls/75-which-sport-do-you-think-should-be-part-of-the-olympic-programme-for-2020

 

Introducing – MyRiverGuides.com

I’ve kept a journal in some form or another since 5th grade. Sometimes I write every day, and sometimes I go a few months without writing anything down. The consistent trend with my writing is that I get a lot of value out of it.

When I was in highschool, I used to break down my wrestling practices and meets, remembering how I felt before/during/after in an attempt to get better at a mentally challenging sport.

In college, I wrote a lot about the summer internships I had. The brain has an amazing capacity to change our memories and backfill history, so I’ve learned. But, the act of recording history trumps your brain’s ability to deceive.

One act of journaling was quite pivotal in my life: After my junior year, I interned at a large investment bank. I didn’t have a great summer and knew I wanted to do something else. Nonetheless, 3 weeks after getting back to campus in September, I was ready to sign my full time offer for this bank. I’d completely forgotten how much I was dissatisfied with my internship, and what my original goals were. Luckily, before I signed the offer, I re-read a journal entry I’d written over the summer, and remembered how much I didn’t want to go back…. the 15 minute exercise of writing that journal entry literally saved me a few years in a job I didn’t want.

Because of this experience, I recently created MyRiverGuides.com . The discipline to journal, write down what will be relevant in the future, and unearth these facts at the right time is hard! MyRiverGuides.com makes this process a whole lot easier and automated for those of us doing internships this summer. Now others can save 2 years through a 10 minute exercise!

Why Blog

A few weeks ago, as I opened up Dan Primak’s Term Sheet newsletter, I found myself irrationally hoping to see a link to a blog post written by someone like me, two years older, and two years wiser.

I’m at a minor cross roads in my life. They first year of business school is almost done (second semester finals start tomorrow), and now my classmates are looking ahead to their summers – McKinsey, Goldman, General Management Programs, Startups, Hedge Funds, the whole gambit. And, while I think I have my head on straight (I stayed true to my orignal goal of finding a great role at a SF based growth stage startup, and luckily realized success in that search), I found myself stressed out the other day.

In my stress, I remembered back a few years ago, when I’d read the blogs of young VCs. At the time, I was desperately seeking a job in venture capital. And, with a dirth of mentors with VC experience, I turned to one sided conversations with virtual mentors. The conversations were incredibly helpful. They gave me strategies for success in gaining a job, insight into the VC world, and acted as a very powerful calming agent (I guess I like being in control and information is power).

I’ll admit, I started this blog for very selfish reasons. I wanted to write a bunch of stuff to show venture capital firms so that they wouldn’t just think of me as a finance guy who didn’t know the difference between VC and any other buy side job. But, I hope that as I continue to write, it’s actually useful to people. Maybe I can share some knowledge that someone a few years behind me can use, or some insight I’ve stolen from one of the great people I’ve gotten to work with that can help someone desperately googling for the mechanics of a convertible note, or a list of good blogs to read.

Nilsby.com – a question and answers site for the special needs community

I’ve been a bit absent from my blog, but for good reason!  In my free time I’ve been working on a new project – a Q&A site for the special needs community – Nilsby.com.

I’m the oldest of four, and my youngest brother has prader-willi syndrome.  I’ve seen the struggles that a family goes through to provide a child their best possible life when that child has special needs.  There is an innumerable amount of information about education, healthcare, trusts, government subsidies, summer camp…and the list goes on!  Interestingly, parents have become the experts  and many times they are the best place to find the answers to questions another family is dealing with.  And so, just like programmers can share knowledge on Stackoverflow, families with special needs children can now share information on nilsby.com!

We just got the site up and running recently thanks to the guys at rootbuzz.com.  Check it out, spread the word, and let me know what you think: phil@nilsby.com.

Technology, the great equalizer

In the past few weeks people have been talking about how technology destroys jobs.

Some stats have been thrown out there.  Did you know that there were 3.25 million horses employed in England in 1901?  Sadly, those jobs went away with the rise of the automobile.  I have nothing against horses, and in fact my name means “lover of horses.”  But, I wouldn’t say these horses really had jobs, just like I wouldn’t say a VHS player had a job.  Humans are different, we can think and adapt when faced with change.  What I’m saying is, the horse stat isn’t all that relevant.

Another statistic revolves around the macro economy.  GDP grew at a rate of 2.5% from 2000-2009, but jobs actually fell 1.1% as technology supposedly replaced humans in many tasks.  To me, this is really fuzzy math and there could be lots of things that account for the discrepancy besides technology.  First off, it’s very probable that while the economy grew, sectors that employ large amounts of people, like auto manufacturing, took a hit.  And, it’s arguable that these sectors are struggling because they didn’t innovate fast enough to become stronger, cheaper, and more beautifully designed then their competition overseas.  Furthermore, even if technology were replacing  jobs, the net effect on the world seems to be positive (until we hit the point where SkyNet goes crazy and John Connor has to save us all).

First off,  technology adds value to society as whole.  If it didn’t add economic or social value, then it wouldn’t be adopted.  For example, a piece of software which turns a $5B industry into a $1B industry will hurt the incumbents.  However, the buyer of this software just saved $4B, now they have more capital to invest in their people, and grow their company (of course the shareholders may just decide to pocket the cash, but that’s a debate for another day).  Another example: Twitter is a technology which provides a non-economic value to its regular users (regular meaning not a celebrity or business).  It allows them to digest news faster, interact with new people, share ideas, etc.  This may cut into advertising revenues for the New York Times a bit, but I’m guessing that the overall change to society is a big net positive.

To me, the most important point about technology is that it is the great equalizer.  Today, you can take classes at some of the best universities in the world, for free, because of technology.  Take a Stanford entrepreneurship class on iTunes U, download a Harvard Business Review Podcast, or study computer science on MIT’s Open Course Ware.  Further, technology has enabled talented and ambitious people to build businesses, whether that’s through an eBay store, or an online dating site – because there are a set of tools out there that allow people to quickly turn their ideas into companies.   Lastly, the future spread of technology will enable entrepreneurs in places like rural Africa to spring up more readily, and help to solve some of the key problems plaguing emerging markets.

There’s no doubt that the automobile really messed up a lot of horse’s dreams of pulling wagons around.  And, there are good people today who are displaced by technology, I’m sure.  However, net/net innovation has been the key to the advancement of our society and will continue to be a positive influence on people’s lives in the aggregate.  And so, I’m not quite sure what all this debating is really about?