Culture in silicon valley hf 12_november2012


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Culture in silicon valley hf 12_november2012

  1. 1. Entrepreneurship & InnovationCulture in Silicon Valley Gigi Wang Managing Partner, MG-Team LLC Board Member & Chair Emeritus, VLAB HappyFarm Start-Up Workshops 12 November 2012
  2. 2. About Me Born in Taiwan, grew up in US. English is 3rd language. BS & MS in Engineering from Stanford, MBA from UC Berkeley Worked for 3 Fortune 100’s – Exxon, AT&T, Quaker Oats Early stage or founding team of multiple start-ups (InterNex, Pacific Internet in Singapore,, Ascend – now Alcatel, UptimeOne, QALA, July Systems) Currently: o Managing Partner, MG-Team LLC – international strategic consulting o Board Member & Chair Emeritus, MIT/Stanford Venture Lab (VLAB) o Venture Partner, Silicon Valley, iGlobe Partners (venture capital)
  3. 3. It Starts with Culture In addition to the excellent academic institutions and R&D, governmental support, and access to investmentcapital, it’s the culture that really makes a region like Silicon Valley so unique and wildly successful
  4. 4. Need to Trust TRUST begins with open-ness & transparency – People don’t trust leaders in governments or management who aren’t transparent Practice being open and sharing information, build trust Trust must be mutual or it’s not win-win Where there is trust, the culture is good
  5. 5. Risk-Taking  RISK-TAKING: Innovation and entrepreneurship requires risk-taking in addition to passion.  Go beyond your comfort zone.  Work in new areas, interact with new people or travel to new places (cultural tourism)  Failure is good. Making mistakes leads to valuable experience and knowledge.“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison
  6. 6. Collaboration COLLABORATION: People need to share ideas and work on problems together, even competitors Networking in environment of open-ness • Kyiv Open Doors – April 2012 • Happy Farm networking events In the high-tech market place, it’s not about fighting over the existing pie, but GROWING the pie together
  7. 7. Integrity INTEGRITY: High level of integrity required to be open and to collaborate effectively Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is standard procedure and captures intent Integrity is not just about being honest Relationship Integrity – very key concept o Not zero-sum game o Make sure that it’s about “Give & Take” and that “Win-Win-Win” is the objective, not “Win-Lose” o Example: Andrew Mason (Groupon CEO)
  8. 8. Accessibility ACCESSIBILITY: Provide budding entrepreneurs lots of access to experience and brainpower resources Budding entrepreneurs  Go to events, talk to strangers. Take a risk and introduce yourself – no need for formal intro’s (old European style). Reach out with Facebook & LinkedIn. Successful entrepreneurs and leaders  Be open and available. Talk to the young entrepreneurs, share your valuable advice and learning
  9. 9. Constructive Feedback FEEDBACK: Absolutely critical to get feedback to understand what you’ve done right and what you’ve done wrong Feedback needs to be “constructive” NOT “negative criticism” Delivering “negative criticism” to make one’s feel more powerful or important is counter- productive and destructive. o Leaders need to be on the alert of this on their teams or in their organizations
  10. 10. Empowerment EMPOWER: Give everyone a chance to contribute to their fullest with ideas and decisions “Innovation from the top down is orderly, but innovation from the bottom is chaotic but produces mega-success” Examples: Google (Adwords product), Pacific Internet, VLAB As leaders, provide inspiration & direction, not orders.Be there primarily to provide guidance and help addressemergencies.
  11. 11. Share the Wealth SHARE, SHARE, SHARE Equitable pay, travel guidelines, perks Stock options – with employees, with advisors Examples: o Ascend Communications (now Alcatel) – generous with stock and benefits, bought by Lucent for $21B o Infosys (India IT company) – employees were rich o Google – free lunches, massages, car washes, etc.
  12. 12. Jealousy (and lack therof) JEALOUSY: The Silicon Valley exhibits a much less jealous culture than many parts of Europe and Asia Instead of being jealous when someone else does better, see it as an opportunity to have a relationship with someone successful It’s more constructive, and less destructive for a company, for a region, for a country
  13. 13. Develop the Right Culture Key characteristics include open-ness and collaboration, high level of risk-taking, and open and collaborative “people networking” environment How do we teach ethics and instill high society and relationship integrity into the next generation of global citizens?
  14. 14. What is Innovation?Innovation is the creation of better or moreeffective products, processes, services,technologies, or ideas that are accepted bymarkets, governments, and society.Innovation differs from invention in thatinnovation refers to the use of a new idea ormethod, whereas invention refers moredirectly to the creation of the idea or methoditself. - WIKIPEDIA
  15. 15. Creating Value for Markets
  16. 16. How to Innovate Understand the customers and the market. o Hear your customers, not just listen. o Very few succeed with just “gut” feel (Jobs, Zuckerberg) Conceptualize, Design and Prototype Collect feedback, lots of it Iterate, iterate, iterate As leaders, promote the culture and develop processes for innovation
  17. 17. An Innovation Framework  Five Disciplines of Innovation, by Curt Carlson o CEO of SRI International o Founder of HDTV technology  SRI - hot-bed of innovation o Computer mouse o Cancer curing drugs o Artificial intelligence on iPhone
  18. 18. Five Disciplines (SRI) Important Customer & Market Needs o Need to address an important customer or market need, not address an interesting project Value Creation Innovation Champions o Someone needs to champion the innovation Innovation Teams o Multi-discipline skills required to bring to market Organizational Alignment
  19. 19. Anyone Can Be Innovative
  20. 20. THANK YOU! Gigi WangBoard Member & Chair Emeritus, MIT/Stanford Venture Lab Managing Partner, MG-Team LLC <>