I have always believed that valuation is a craft, mastered not by reading about or listening to other people talk about it, but by doing. It is my hope that this book will just be the start of a journey for you, not a destination. Here is what I hope that you will do with the book:
- Number Cruncher or Story Teller? I made the confession that early in my life, I chose number crunching as my preferred habitat and spent more and more time there. There are others that I am sure who would chose the story telling path and became very good at it. Which one fits you better?
- Work on your weak side: As you read the book, there will be chapters that come easily to you and chapters that require more effort. Focus on the latter. Playing to your strenghts is not a bad idea but shoring up your weaknessed is an even better one.
- Disagree with me: The maincompanies that I have chosen to value, Uber, Amazon, Ferrari and Alibaba, are all not only high profile companies but companies where people have wide disagreements about their future paths. While I will describe my stories and valuations of these companies, I hope that you will push back with your own stories and valuations.
- Work on your valuations: I am sure that there other companies that you will find fascinating or interesting. Try out your story telling and number crunching skills on those companies.
If I accomplish my objectives, a number-cruncher reading this book should be able to use my template to build a narrative to back his or her valuation of the company and a storyteller should just as easily be able to take a story, no matter how creative, and convert it into numbers. More generally, I hope that the book becomes a bridge between the two tribes (storytellers and number crunchers), giving them a common language, and making them both better at what they do, in the process.