Putting a price tag on a college education: Okay. I want all of the Ole Miss students who are studying with Samir Husni to gather ’round. I want to tell ya’ll something: Listen to him. (I know, I know. I poke fun at how he gets quoted all the time, but he knows I’m just kidding, really.) I’m serious. You listen to him and then go tell your parents next week at Thanksgiving that they are getting the deal of their lives when they pay the tuition for you to sit through one of those classes.
Rarely in this world can one measure precisely the return on investment (or, as they say over in the business school there in Oxford, “ROI”) of the price of a three-hour semester course. But in your case, you can now tell your parents with a straight face, that sitting through Professor Husni’s course is worth $4 million.
That’s right, $4 million. Here, let me prove it.
In July of 2002, right on this weblog, I pointed to an LA Times story (that’s now a dead link) in which your professor was credited with this three sentence quote about the launch of the magazine, Grace:
“There may be many, many large women out there, but they don’t necessarily want to focus on that aspect of themselves. That’s why there is not a successful Divorce magazine. Grace may get a cult following, but I believe they will have trouble attracting a mass readership.”
While this is a good quote, it’s not one of his wittiest, but it is one of his most valuable: Three sentences worth exactly $4 million.
How did I calculate that? Well, today, Grace announced it is shutting down. According to AP, the magazine’s editor Ceslie Armstrong said the company lost the backing of its main investor, a Bahamas-based hedge fund called Seibels Technology Fund that had invested $4 million in the venture.
Well, there you have it. Three sentences. $4 million.
Next semester, I suggest you sign up for Professor Husni’s course in how to raise capital from Bahamas-based “technology hedge funds” that invest in magazine start-ups.