February 19, 2004

From fighting VCs to funding Hindi films

In a new column for BusinessWeek Online, Vivek Wadhwa, Founder, Chairman and former CEO of US-based enterprise software firm Relativity Technologies, talks about how he fought--and won--against his Venture Capital investors while recovering from a massive heart attack, and has now stepped back to do something "less stressful": produce Hindi films.

"While still in the Critical Care Unit, I received a phone call saying that my investors felt the need to renegotiate the terms of the current financing. Two days later and still bandaged, I left the hospital and walked, uninvited, into a closed-door meeting, where investors were trying to convince my executive team to accept more money for a revised agreement that would give them majority ownership. I flatly refused, and ended the meeting," he says. "My investors sent me a letter demanding that I step aside and allow the younger brother of a partner in one of their firms to take over the company I had founded, built with most of my life savings, and paid for with a cardiac arrest. For the next few months, I spent what little energy I had fighting people I formerly held in high regard," he adds.

Click Here to read the full column.

February 13, 2004

Do and Don'ts of Networking

"Networking is about serendipity...The more places and times you are meeting people, the more likely it is that you'll find what you're looking for," says Kevin Laws, a VC at US-based August Capital, in his posting at VentureBlog.

"It's about making your interests and needs widely known (a new job, companies to invest in, people to hire, money to raise) and listening to the interests and needs of others. Because of the FOAF concept ("friend-of-a-friend"), you are likely to run across somebody who needs what somebody else you know is offering. Eventually, that person will be you," he adds

Other extracts from this article will is full of useful "how to network" tips:

Networking is a process, not a goal, and should be done constantly rather than only when you have a specific need.

People at networking events are often there to meet others, plural, not just one person. They want to pay attention to you briefly then move on to meeting somebody else.

Whatever you do, don't waste the opportunity by seeking out the people you already know well or spending your time at the drink counter.

Don't get overly hung up on any particular contact. Remember, networking is about serendipity not persistence.

If you want advice, ask for money; if you want money, ask for advice...Try a much softer method.

Click Here to read the full article.