5. Save multiple versions: Startup and investor excel model training

Do you want to see a grown woman cry… I have. I’ll tell you the story in a minute. This instalment is going to teach you the best practice in… wait for it… saving your model. You’re going to respond “I know how to press CTRL+S, dude” and I’m going to say you’re doing it wrong. Dude.

Intro to excel model training

This is part of a series on excel model training focused on helping founders and investors to actually enjoy and get proficient in excel. It’s such an important skill to have, and there’s no excuse to not be able to do all the ‘advanced’ stuff, let alone the basics.

This is a pragmatic course where you will only learn the most useful things; those that I actually use regularly. We’ll go through the obvious applications, but also include some hacks I’ve developed over the years.

To get the excel example for this and all the other instalments, subscribe with the pretty box on the right and you’ll get the excel tip of the day sent directly to your inbox. Within a month and ten minutes practice, you’ll be a boss in no time.

You can join up to the training here.

What’s the point of saving multiple versions?

I was an Associate at Lazard and overseeing the Analysts is part of the job. One weekend, as f****** usual, I was working (FIG is the worst team to be in!) and a French analyst was too. She had to build some insurance comps for a Director and this Director also likes all sorts of abstract complicatedness. Yes, I made that word up. Deal with it.

She was there the whole weekend. Whilst I went out on Saturday night and got totalled on Zombies at Mahiki, mosying in around 11am on Sudnay, she was there the whole time.

And do you know what. In the whole time she was there she never saved the model. She didn’t save multiple versions of the model.

Literally, she worked on a model for 3 days straight and somehow never saved the excel file.

It was then that I heard a scream. And then the crying…

Yeah, Excel did it’s thing and threw an exception and her work was gone. All that was left was tears.

Now this chick isn’t dumb… She’s probably just like you. You just don’t know better.

If you build enough models, and cry like a baby a few times, you’ll agree with me that this class is dope as shit. So do what you’re told and you’ll be way happier.

How do you save properly aka save multiple versions?

Follow these steps whenever you are making a reasonable sized model. There is no need when you are making a quick caluclation, but whenever you’re going to spend more than an hour, do exactly this.

  1. Set up a folder for the model name. E.g. 50Folds Saas model
  2. Open the folder. Create a folder called Old. This is where you will save olf versions of your files
  3. Create the Excel. Call it e.g. 50 Folds SaaS model V1 and save it in the root folder
  4. Work on your excel. Press CTRL+S every 30 seconds. Of if you are doing really hard stuff, of a lot of it, maybe every 15 seconds
  5. Whenever you deliver a meaningful change, create a new version of the file. Save as new version. Change V1 to V1.1 for an incremental change
  6. When you have done a radical change, or are about to, change the V1.5 to V2 and add a comment. e.g. 50Folds SaaS model V2 – Added staff sheet ot 50Folds SaaS model v72 – trying to fix model blow up
  7. The comments will make life way easier for you! In a year’s time, maybe you want to use a part of the model which had a sheet that you deleted in the final version. If you have comments, it’s easy to find the version you are looking for.

So what does this look like in the wild? Here are some screenshots from my computer.

Here is a real model for an enterprise fundraising I did… it went up to v.79 😉 When you drastically change a model, having commentary is really useful! Haha, look at the first comment. I made the model a lot simpler… hence the bonfire.

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 6.21.56 PM

 

This is a real example of building the 50Folds SaaS model. Commenting is something I need to get better at, but I only came up with the idea after I started learning Python recently. Save multiple versions!

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 6.15.15 PM

Useful hints

  • Just do what you’re told! I promise you, you won’t regret this!

Example

The excel example sheet will help you to learn this with an example.

To get the training model, subscribe to the series on the right.

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