Here's part two about our quest for a new CEO...
UPSIDE’s 1999 Hot 100
Ariba IPO Goes Through the Roof
Web Firm Neoforma Names to Top Post Zollars From Cardinal
Jeff and I had started Neoforma.
We had provided its first monetary food. We had reared the company, nurtured it, guided it, imposed our will and ingrained our personal ethics. But we did not control Neoforma...
Healtheon, Neoforma Join Forces
Motivation and intelligence in the absence of experience yields dazzling inertia.
I hadn’t thought about Sharon for more than a decade...
Online bookseller Amazon.com said Tuesday it agreed to buy Junglee, a software company that makes it easy to comparison shop on the Web, and PlanetAll, a Web-based address book and reminder service.
A company’s psyche develops slowly, imperceptibly. Old patterns merge with new traditions to form an entirely new cultural tapestry.
Just before graduating from architectural college, I burned out of school in spectacular fashion. I used the excuse that I had run out of money and jumped into a chaotic cycle of exploration...
Having generally disclaimed all right and ability to draw concise conclusions from my business experience, I will now acquiesce to many early readers of Starting Something who asked me to summarize my advice for managers and entrepreneurs.
My partner, Jeff, and I did many things right that would have been wrong in another place or time. And we did many things wrong that would have been right in other circumstances. Luck plays a substantial role in the fate of young companies. However, there are some principles that are true beyond place and time. Here is what I would have liked to have had posted above my desk throughout the days at my first company, and what I now refer back to often:
Letting go felt very good—until I lost my grip.
Jeff and I were getting tired. Tired of wearing so many hats to work each day. I fantasized what it would be like to focus on only a few jobs at a time...
As we were becoming increasingly immersed in the aura of the Valley’s start-up culture, it became more difficult to imagine a company being any other way. The precarious edge seemed a natural place to perch. Occasionally, I was forced to face the fact that our way was not the only way...
Who would have thought that the medium could become the message?
We were still basically giving away CDs loaded with catalog information and calculational tools to help hospitals and architects. I know that sounds kind of dry. But it was the size and scope of it that was exciting...
When I finished the first draft of Starting Something, the book was too long. Going into the process, I had thought that I would struggle to come up with enough words to fill a book, so this was quite a surprise. Thanks to two great editors, most of the pruning was quite painless, making the book better with each omission. However, there was one overlong chapter that I was very reluctant to trim.
The Casting chapter is about hiring. The book’s core message is that a company’s ultimate product is its culture. How could I exclude some of our most important experiences – successes and failures? But this chapter was contrary to my objective to keep each chapter as short as possible. So I ripped the following section out of that chapter, telling myself that I’d likely release it separately at some point.
Over the years, many people have asked me to expand upon my hiring process. After much procrastination, here goes.
This section covers a period in 1998, just after our first large funding round. The market for talent was very hot, making it essential to work with recruiters. This picks up near the end of the Casting chapter. As it was extracted from the book, this prose is told in the past tense, but I still apply the same principals and practices today…
A company’s ultimate product is its culture.
We weren’t rolling in dough, but for a time we were making more money than we were spending. And the work was piling up...
CompuServe, Microsoft Forge Major Strategic Alliance
There is nothing more frustrating than watching someone wear their fabric of memories and behaviors in such a way as to enshroud rather than enhance the beauty that is their unique potential.
She was charming. I first met Cassandra when a very good friend and former business partner invited me to meet his new, attractive, very stylish girlfriend...
I am an architect, writer, and serial entrepreneur.