April 24, 2003

Why (and how) Silicon Valley needs to change



Here are some extracts that I found interesting from an article in siliconindia.com by Naren Gupta, Vice Chairman of Silicon Valley-based Wind River Systems.

* Entrepreneurs need to pursue only those areas where they have unique expertise and those they are passionate about. I see too many mercenaries--masquerading as entrepreneurs--floating around Silicon Valley, looking to jump on to the next flavor of the month.

* In the last few years, VCs have assumed too much power and founders have been forced to cater to the whims of the VCs rather than follow their own instincts.

I have uniformly seen that great VCs, like Bill Draper, Bill Davidow, and others treat founders with immense respect and receive great admiration in return. They become trusted advisors, not taskmasters, to the founders.

* The expression "serial entrepreneur" needs to disappear from the technology lingo. To me this is an oxymoron. A serial entrepreneur sounds like someone who throws things together, sells the half-finished concept to an unsuspecting buyer and skips town before the truth is discovered. An entrepreneur must have the power of conviction. Bill Hewlett, Gordon Moore, Sam Walton, Ray Kroc, Bill Gates and many others worked on one enterprise their entire life and still did not feel that their dream was completely fulfilled. Yes, at times the best outcome is to merge the enterprise, but the entrepreneur's initial mindset should be a long-term commitment to the venture.

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