Entrepreneurial Lessons Learned the hard way

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Presentation to undergraduate class in Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University, April 2011

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Entrepreneurial Lessons Learned the hard way

  1. 1. Copyright Online Legacy® 2010 Entrepreneurial Lessons Learned By Sam W. Beal presentation at SCU Jan 19, 2011
  2. 2. Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then Against the Wind Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
  3. 3. IC Design Shifts M’s 100K 10K 1K Complexity $100 days FPGA 1990s $10 “ 0” SoC 2000s Cost Fab cycle Design $100K $1M + months years ASIC Custom 1980s 1970s
  4. 4. Catch a paradigm wave, if you can We tend to over estimate near-term change And under estimate long-term change expectation reality entry exit
  5. 5. What business are you in? <ul><li>Actel </li></ul><ul><li>Antifuse  A1280 </li></ul>Technology Products Solutions Xilinx Time to Market 5% margin hit Bigger Faster Cheaper Customer pain problem: H/W, S/W debug Field updates
  6. 6. Can’t do Plan B, the patent is on Plan A Plan A - US 6,175,161 Plan B - Xilinx Mar 2010 filed 1998
  7. 7. Your first plan is usually wrong <ul><li>Don’t bet all your funding on Plan A. </li></ul><ul><li>Test Assumptions (with metrics) </li></ul><ul><li>What do customers say? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Internet Paradigm Shifts Plan A Plan B Open-garden Search ContentPortal Walled-garden Profile-based Ads Contextual Ads Generic Ads Subscrip’n service Google 2005 Facebook 2010 Yahoo AOL 2000 1995
  9. 9. Customer care is not a game JigSawtek Customer VP of BD: “ they’re 2 miles north, you can’t miss it.” CEO: “ If you don’t buy our solution, I’ll take it to your competitor.”
  10. 10. You can be too early <ul><li>Deep pockets </li></ul><ul><li>Low burn rate </li></ul><ul><li>Evangelist </li></ul>
  11. 11. Build a team, don’t be the team.
  12. 12. Good ideas aren’t enough <ul><li>Execution is often the difference between success and failure. </li></ul><ul><li>Most small businesses fail for lack of $ </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of smart people in the room = no guarantee of success. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Closing Thoughts <ul><li>The Medici Effect </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity occurs when orthogonal technologies (and people) interact. </li></ul><ul><li>The Secret of Life is Searching </li></ul><ul><li>new models - EcoFactor, OPower </li></ul><ul><li>old models, new tech - Groupon, Mint </li></ul><ul><li>new models, new tech - Netflix, iTunes </li></ul>

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