jerryking + founders   68

Momofuku’s Secret Sauce: A 30-Year-Old C.E.O.
Aug. 16, 2019 | The New York Times | By Elizabeth G. Dunn.

Momofuku was founded in 2004, with an East Village ramen bar that, after some initial stumbles, wowed diners by combining pristine ingredients and impeccable technique in humble dishes that melded influences from Japan to Korea to the American south. Since then, it has become a private-equity backed company with restaurants from Sydney to Los Angeles; a growing chain of fast-casual chicken sandwich shops; a media production unit churning out television shows and podcasts; and designs on creating a line of sauces and seasonings that could capture supermarket aisles across America. While Mr. Chang is the brand’s lodestar, Ms. Mariscal, 30, is the executive who makes it all work.

Born and raised on the Upper West Side, to the family that founded the specialty foods emporium Zabar’s, Ms. Mariscal began her career at Momofuku in 2011, as a public relations and events intern. Over the years, she quietly became Mr. Chang’s closest collaborator and confidante, a largely unknown force shaping matters as varied as menu design, branding and business development. “She’s the only person I’ve ever felt comfortable giving complete carte blanche to, in terms of what Momofuku looks like and what it should be,” Mr. Chang said. He recalled suggesting to the company’s board that Ms. Mariscal be named C.E.O. almost four years ago, when she was 26. She finally assumed the role in April.

It’s not unusual for a chef like Mr. Chang to parlay cooking talent and charisma into restaurants, cookbooks and television shows — a formula pioneered by the likes of Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay and Rick Bayless in the 1990s. But chef-driven food brands of the scope and ambition that Mr. Chang and Ms. Mariscal envision for Momofuku, with dozens of locations and mainstream packaged food products, are harder to pull off.

Adding to the challenge is Momofuku’s particular identity, which revolves less around a distinct culinary tradition than an attitude of restless innovation, boundary pushing and spontaneity. A formulaic chain of steakhouses, Momofuku ain’t. Scaling that ethos requires a tightrope act: Create enough structure and continuity to stave off chaos, without destroying the brand’s animating spirit in the process.
Asian  brands  branding  business_development  CEOs  chefs  commercial_kitchens  David_Cheng  detail_oriented  differentiation  diversification  food  founders  fusion  growth  high-standards  interns  investors  kitchens  leadership  Momofuku  organizational_structure  restauranteurs  restaurants  scaling  special_sauce  women  workaholic 
7 weeks ago by jerryking
How non-engineer Stewart Butterfield reached top of Silicon Valley
JUNE 21, 2019 | Financial Times | by Richard Waters in San Francisco.

Silicon Valley loves its engineer-founders. They are members of the region’s highest caste, the entrepreneurs trusted to turn bits and bytes into the next hit digital products, and the people venture capitalists most like to back.

Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and chief executive of the workplace chat app Slack, is not one of them. He stands out as a philosophy major in a start-up world full of software engineers, a non-techie who has made it to the top of the tech heap......Slack’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange this week has cemented his reputation as one of the Valley’s most creative product designers — and values his own stake in the company at $1.6bn.

“He is your quintessential, product-oriented founder-leader,” ......In a nod to an unconventional streak in Mr Butterfield’s personality that separates him from the herd, Mr Levie adds: “He has just the right level of quirkiness.”.....Butterfield got a philosophy degree at the University of Victoria, followed by a master of philosophy at Cambridge, before being bitten by the internet bug at the end of the 1990s and moving to Silicon Valley........Pressed on how he can withstand the Microsoft onslaught, Mr Butterfield defaults to the quiet, analytical self-assurance. “There has been a long history of the small, focused start-up taking on the large incumbent with multiple lines of business and being successful” — starting, he added, with a small and scrappy Microsoft itself taking on the giant IBM.
artisan_hobbies_&_crafts  CEOs  chat  craftsmanship  engineering  Flickr  founders  mobile_applications  product_design  product-orientated  quirky  Richard_Waters  Silicon_Valley  Slack  start_ups  Stewart_Butterfield  workplaces 
june 2019 by jerryking
"Boss: The Black Experience in Business" Explores the History of African American Entrepreneurship Tuesday, April 23 on PBS
Apr 23, 2019 | WNET |

Tying together the past and the present, Boss: The Black Experience in Business explores the inspiring stories of trailblazing African American entrepreneurs and the significant contributions of contemporary business leaders. Stories featured in the film include those of entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, publisher John H. Johnson, Motown CEO Berry Gordy, and business pioneer and philanthropist Reginald F. Lewis, among others. The film features new interviews with Vernon Jordan, senior managing director of Lazard, Freres & Co. LLC.; Cathy Hughes, CEO and founder of Urban One; Ursula Burns, former CEO of Xerox and chairman of VEON; Ken Frazier, chairman, president and CEO of Merck & Co., Inc.; Richelieu Dennis, founder, CEO and executive chairman of Sundial Brands; Robert F. Smith, chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Managing Partners, LLC; Earl "Butch" Graves, Jr., CEO of Black Enterprise; and John Rogers, CEO and founder of Ariel Investments.

As a capitalist system emerged in the United States, African Americans found ways to establish profitable businesses in numerous industries, including financial services, retail, beauty, music and media.
African-Americans  Berry_Gordy  C.J.Walker  CEOs  documentaries  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  filmmakers  founders  historians  history  inspiration  Kenneth_Frazier  Lazard  Merck  moguls  PBS  Reginald_Lewis  Robert_Smith  storytelling  trailblazers  Vernon_Jordan 
april 2019 by jerryking
What tech hasn’t learnt from science fiction
APRIL 3, 2019 | Financial Times | Elaine Moore.

Never mind the future: where are the books tackling Silicon Valley’s current challenges?

There is a myth that Silicon Valley is stuffed full of nerds who have never picked up a book in their lives. Like a lot of tales about the Valley, it is not true. The tech industry is acutely aware of the value of storytelling.......Whenever a tech founder is asked about their favourite novel it is usually worth paying attention. Uber founder Travis Kalanick’s admires Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.....Jeff Bezos’s is taken by the quiet despair of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day......and Theranos' Elizabeth Holme is attached to Moby-Dick.

It’s true that reading lists on the West Coast tend to skew towards science fiction.......For Silicon Valley, the genre seems to offer both inspiration and validation. .......But the connection between tech companies and sci-fi novels runs deeper. To make their futuristic projects reality, some seek the help of the authors themselves......Less is made of its focus on the downside of humanity interacting with a virtual world (jk: sci fi doesn't pay enough attention to the the downside of humanity interacting with a virtual world). .....The affection tech founders feel for sci-fi often seems to lack this dimension.....If founders are not paying too much attention to cautionary sci-fi themes, at least some people are. Amazon Go shops can feel like a vision of the future as you pick up milk and walk away, without scanning anything. But cities such as San Francisco have begun to wonder whether cashless shops will end up marginalising the country’s poorest citizens, who do not have access to online bank accounts......does any sci-fi novel offers a way to think about Silicon Valley’s present, as well as its future? The singularity and inter-planetary travel are well covered in literature..... are there book out there that address privacy scandals, electric scooters and $100bn IPOs?
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
* Counting Heads' (2005) by David Marusek is a novel set in 2134.
* Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson.
* Idoru" by William Gibson.
* Count Zero" by William Gibson.
* "Black Mirror" TV series Charlie Brooker.
* The Circle by Dave Eggers.
* ‘Minority Report’ Phil K Dick.
* Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
* Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.

People who don't read science fiction (SF) are handicapped in today's world really, because usually they form part of the 99% of humans who are unable to look ahead more than a few months or so and see where society is going. ......Or the people that think Elon Musk is a visionary. He is not a visionary! He is just a smart person, which necessarily includes reading SF, and taking things from there. People who do not read SF think that Musk is the only person on the planet thinking about and developing our future society on Mars...  But there are millions - it's just that he is one of a few billionaires working concretely on it. For example, if you read the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson, you'd realise that one of the reasons that Elon Musk now has a tunnel boring company is that we will NEED tunnels on Mars... You'd also realise that the TV rights of the trip to Mars will pay for (most of) the cost of the trip... etc. etc. etc.
Amazon_Go  augmented_reality  Ayn_Rand  authors  books  cautionary_tales  Elon_Musk  entrepreneur  fiction  founders  future  futurists  novels  pay_attention  reading_lists  San_Francisco  science_fiction  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  storytelling  virtual_reality  William_Gibson 
april 2019 by jerryking
Why Is Silicon Valley So Obsessed With the Virtue of Suffering?
March 26, 2019 | The New York Times | By Nellie Bowles.

a new entrepreneurship-focused lobbying firm, the Cicero Institute.
Daily Stoic, a popular blog for the tech-Stoic community.
“Meditations,” by Marcus Aurelius
“A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy,” by William B. Irvine
Ryan Holiday’s life-hacking books on Stoicism.
Search for books by Ada Palmer.

The wealthy of Silicon Valley ought to be living their very best lives right now. John Doerr, an early Amazon and Google investor, calls their moment “the greatest legal accumulation of wealth in history.” And yet, the people of Silicon Valley seem determined to make themselves miserable. They sit in painful, silent meditations for weeks on end. They starve for days — on purpose. Cold morning showers are a bragging right. Notoriety is a badge of honor. So the most helpful clues to understanding Silicon Valley today may come from its favorite ancient philosophy: Stoicism. An ancient Greek school of thought, Stoicism argued that the only real treasures in life were inner virtues, like self-mastery and courage. The Stoics offered tactics to endure pain and pleasure without complaint.

* Is this really a thing? - Some executives in SV believe that our pleasing, on-demand life will make them soft. So they attempt to induce pain..... incorporate practices in our lives that “mimic” our ancestors’ environments and their daily challenges....Tim Ferriss wrote on his blog that Stoicism is “an ideal ‘operating system’ for thriving in high-stress environments.”.....there are the founders who may not call themselves Stoics, but who practice some of its tenets (e.g. Jack Dorsey, Twitter's C.E.O., who likes to walk five miles to work each day and meditates in silence 10 days each year.
* Why are they attracted to Stoicism? - Stoicism “a wonderful therapy against grief and the blinders of the rat race.” “So much of Stoicism is about achieving interior tranquillity,”
* Why does it matter? - The Cicero Institute comes at a time of tension in Silicon Valley.
books  courage  discomforts  emotional_mastery  endurance  founders  Greek  high-stress  inner-directed  inner_peace  John_Doerr  joyless  philosophy  Roman  self-deprivation  self-mastery  Silicon_Valley  Stoics  suffering  Tim_Ferris  tough-mindedness  virtues 
march 2019 by jerryking
Tristan Walker on the Roman Empire and Selling a Start-Up to Procter & Gamble - The New York Times
By David Gelles
Dec. 12, 2018

Tristan Walker founded Walker & Company, a maker of health and beauty products for people of color, in 2013. On Wednesday, the company was acquired by Procter & Gamble for an undisclosed sum. The deal represents a successful exit for Mr. Walker and his investors. It also signals an effort by Procter & Gamble, the maker of Gillette, to reach new markets with its shaving products. But while many start-up founders make a hasty exit after getting acquired, Mr. Walker is planning to stay on and grow Bevel, his men’s shaving brand, and Form, his women’s hair care brand. “We’re a team of 15 with very grandiose ambitions,” he said of Walker & Company, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif., but will move to Atlanta as part of the deal. “We want this company and its purpose to still be around 150 years from now.”

What’s that book you’ve got there?

It’s “Parallel Lives” by Plutarch. I’ve really been getting into Greek and Roman mythology. I’m reading something right now about the history of Rome during the 53 years when they really came into power, and this idea of the Roman state growing, the Greek state growing, and the differences therein fascinate me beyond belief. I’ve just been devouring it for the past few weeks now.

Walker attended the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn. And from there, he got to see how the other half lived. It completely changed his life. He got to see what success could look like. He got to see what wealth was. And it completely changed his worldview.

How so?

I would walk down the halls and see last names like Ford, go to some classes and realize they’re Rockefellers. These are names that were in my imagination. It taught me the importance of name and what that can mean, not only for you but your progeny. When I started at Hotchkiss, I didn’t know what a verb was. So I spent all of my time in the library studying. I spent all of my time thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up.

What are your priorities as you keep building the company?

I’m dedicating my life to the demographic shift happening in this country. Not only for Silicon Valley. Not only for business. But for this country’s competitiveness. It’s changing. And folks need to respect that and they need to celebrate it.
African-Americans  Bevel  biographies  books  demographic_changes  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  exits  Form  insights  long-term  P&G  Romans  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  Tristan_Walker  wealth_creation  black-owned  brands  consumer_goods  personal_care_products  personal_grooming  founders 
december 2018 by jerryking
P&G Buys Walker & Co. to Expand Offerings to African-Americans - WSJ
By Aisha Al-Muslim
Dec. 12, 2018

Procter & Gamble Co. PG +0.19% has acquired Walker & Co. Brands as the consumer-products giant looks to serve more African-Americans with health and beauty products.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Walker sells grooming products for men under the brand Bevel and hair-care products for women under the Form Beauty brand.

Walker will operate as a separate and wholly owned subsidiary of P&G, continuing to be led by its founder and Chief Executive Tristan Walker, ......Last year, Anglo-Dutch consumer products firm Unilever PLC acquired Sundial Brands, a New York-based hair-care and skin-care products company predominantly targeting African-Americans, for an undisclosed sum. Sundial’s brands include SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage, Madam C.J. Walker and nyakio.
African-Americans  Bevel  black-owned  brands  exits  hair  P&G  personal_care_products  personal_grooming  Tristan_Walker  Unilever  founders 
december 2018 by jerryking
Howard Marks, the ultimate bargain hunter
October 17, 2018 | Financial Times | Javier Espinoza.

Howard Marks : “I have a high degree of creativity,” he says. "In order to outdo others you have to think differently from others. If you don’t, how can you expect to have superior results?” His new book is Mastering the Market Cycle.

Mr Marks is the founder of Oaktree Capital Management. Based in Los Angeles, it is one of the world’s most prominent value investors. He makes money by finding situations where he can buy low, especially distressed assets, then sell high.

Today, market conditions mean Mr Marks faces as strong a challenge as ever: trying to sniff out bargains when valuations are steep, debt is cheap and competition fierce.

In 2015 Oaktree raised about $12bn for its distressed-debt fund. It was the second-largest amount in its history......The veteran financier regards delaying gratification as key to success. Like Warren Buffett, he believes waiting for the right investments is an important part of the process.

He often cites Hyman Minsky, the US economist famous for his work on bubbles and crashes....as Minsky would say, ‘there are always cycles’.”

“There are up-cycles with too much enthusiasm, too little discipline and too little risk aversion," he says. "And there are down-cycles when the economy does less well, corporations do less well, security prices fall and there is too much risk aversion, too much fear.”

“A quote said to have been uttered by Mark Twain is: ‘History does not repeat but it does rhyme’. The point is that the patterns of cycles do repeat and the details – the amplitude, the timing, the duration, the speed and the reasons – are different from cycle to cycle but the themes that underlie the causes of cycles are similar from one to the next.”

 
books  distressed_debt  economic_cycles  financiers  Howard_Marks  investors  Mark_Twain  moguls  money_management  investment_research  value_investing/investors  Oaktree  founders 
october 2018 by jerryking
Silicon Valley Myths Aside, Time Is on the Side of Aging Entrepreneurs - CIO Journal. - WSJ
By Irving Wladawsky-Berger
Aug 31, 2018

Are young entrepreneurs more likely to produce high-growth firms? Can middle-age founders in their 40s be successful?

Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship, — a recent working paper by economists Pierre Azoulay, Benjamin Jones, J. Daniel Kim and Javier Miranda — aimed to answer these questions.
aging  ageism  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  high-growth  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  midlife  myths  Silicon_Valley  founders 
september 2018 by jerryking
Venture capital firms have a gender problem. Here’s how to fix it - The Globe and Mail
JULY 24, 2018 | THE GLOBE AND MAIL | MICHELLE MCBANE AND LAUREN ROBINSON

Investing in women entrepreneurs isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing to do. Companies with a female founder have been shown to outperform all-male competitors. Despite this, when StandUp Ventures was founded last year to back female-led tech startups, many in the industry were skeptical that there even was a pipeline of women-led firms worthy of funding. Turns out there are plenty – StandUp has already made five investments. If more funds step up to the plate and back female entrepreneurs now, we won’t be having this conversation about female VCs again in a decade.

Change isn’t going to happen overnight. VC firms are very different creatures from the startups they fund: They’re conservative and built for stability, not agility.
gender_gap  venture_capital  vc  women  angels  start_ups  large_companies  under-representation  entrepreneur  founders 
july 2018 by jerryking
GE and Siemens: power pioneers flying too far from the sun
November 12, 2017 | FT | by Ed Crooks in New York and Patrick McGee in Frankfurt.

Rivals GE and Siemens both face difficult challenges ahead with the threats emanating in the 21st century from the renewable energy revolution that risks rendering obsolete their century-old strengths in supplying equipment for the electricity industry.....As the costs of solar and wind power have plunged, making them cheaper than fossil fuel generation in many parts of the world, the traditional model of the industry has changed. Capital spending on the new technologies has soared. Battery storage is also starting to be a cost-effective solution for supporting the grid, challenging the market for “peaker” gas turbines that are used when demand is at its highest. Yet both groups have taken positions in renewable energy but have stumbled along the way.

The result is that GE and Siemens are being forced to drive down costs dramatically in their core power businesses. Siemens is looking to cut thousands of jobs in its power and gas unit....while both groups face a turbulent environment, the immediate outlook is considerably brighter at Siemens, which appears to be better positioned to adjust to the disruption sweeping through the energy industry....GE’s 2017 has been a disaster.....GE's CEO, John Flannery, has already moved fast to signal his intentions: clearing out many top executives, grounding corporate jets, stopping the cars provided to senior managers, cutting back the network of global research centres and promising to sell peripheral and underperforming businesses worth up to $20bn....GE's sales of aeroderivative gas turbines, used to support grids at times of peak load, were half the planned numbers, while sales of packages for improving the performance of gas-fired plants were just a third of projections.....“All major vendors got the market [i.e. for gas turbines] wrong,” ...The next big worry is servicing for turbines — once a gold mine but one that is bound to decline as new orders fall. With turbines being sold at no margin or sometimes at a loss, competition for servicing contracts is heating up, further eroding margins.

For the foreseeable future, the gas turbine market is likely to remain difficult,...“The question is whether this is just a cyclical problem, or whether there is something structural in the industry that is really starting to cause problems.”

There is good reason to think that it is structural, given the plunge in solar and wind costs. ... “a combination of rooftop solar and battery storage could make economic sense in India, African countries and other places where they don’t have well-developed power grids”......According to the IEA, in 2016 $316bn was invested in renewable energy worldwide last year, almost three times as much as the $117bn in fossil fuel power generation.....If Mr Flannery founders, then breaking up GE might come to seem like the only option left to investors. It would not magically dispel the problems of the business, and would be difficult because of the group’s complex tax position and liabilities, including insurance claims dating from before GE pulled out of the industry in 2004-2006.

To avoid a break-up, GE might follow the template Siemens created in 2014 for a more decentralised structure. Mr Kaeser calls it a “fleet of ships” model, with divisions becoming semi-autonomous and separately listed. Siemens’ largest division, its medical equipment unit, is scheduled to list next year.

“The time of old-fashioned conglomerates is over,” he says. “They are definitely not going to survive.”
CEOs  Siemens  GE  industrial_age  founders  19th_century  decentralization  conglomerates  renewable  obsolescence  solar  batteries  cost-cutting  turnarounds  divestitures  wind_power  under-performing  power_grid  electric_power 
november 2017 by jerryking
The Shkreli Syndrome: Youthful Trouble, Tech Success, Then a Fall
SEPT. 14, 2017 | The New York Times | By NOAM SCHEIBER.

Entrepreneurs, it turns out, do not just move fast and break things, as Facebook’s longtime credo put it. They are also more likely than others to cross the line.

According to research by the economists Ross Levine and Yona Rubinstein, people who become entrepreneurs are not only apt to have had high self-esteem while growing up (and to have been white, male and financially secure). They are also more likely than others to have been intelligent people who engaged in illicit activities in their teenage years and early 20s.

And those indiscretions have not been limited to using drugs or skipping school, but have included antisocial acts like taking property by force or stealing goods worth less than $50...... the question is whether youthful rule-breaking might have foreshadowed not only their rise, but also their fall........It is perhaps not surprising that longtime rebels like Mr. Kalanick — who has boasted of being among the first peer-to-peer file-sharing “pirates” when he was in his early 20s — would be inclined toward entrepreneurship. It is a calling that, in the often repeated narrative of the economist Joseph Schumpeter, rewards those who upend the established order......a phenomenon known as “moral disengagement,” in which people rationalize behavior at odds with their own principles. A teenager who steals a pair of sneakers, for example, may tell himself that the manufacturer was overcharging consumers.

Studies have shown that such moral disengagement frequently enables wrongdoing, and that it can survive into adulthood. According to Professor Steinberg, entrepreneurs who are prone to moral disengagement may continue to break actual rules, not just metaphorical ones......These days, many venture capitalists spend as much time assessing what kind of troublemaker an entrepreneur may be as they do assessing a business’s revolutionary potential.

“We do want them to be rule-breakers,” said David Golden, who helps run the venture capital arm of Revolution, the investment firm of the AOL co-founder Steve Case. “We don’t want them to be felons.”
Mark_Zuckerberg  entrepreneurship  founders  piracy  Travis_Kalanick  rogue_actors  rule_breaking  Steve_Case  unconventional_thinking  Joseph_Schumpeter  ethics  troublemakers 
september 2017 by jerryking
Infosys: foundering on the rocks
August 2017 | Financial Times LEX
Founders of well-run companies tend not to believe in luck. Commercial success to them comes from hard work and smart thinking, usually from the founder. In time, some pass the management of their enterprises on to others, recognizing a need for a change.
hard_work  Infosys  boards_&_directors_&_governance  founders  artificial_intelligence  luck  succession  chance  contingency 
august 2017 by jerryking
Hearst ‘Incubator’ Focusing on Women-Led Startups - WSJ
By Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg
Aug. 17, 2017

HearstLab has looked at more than 700 companies, Ms. Burton said.

For HearstLab to invest, a business must be led by a woman, have a product generating at least some revenue, and be willing to move to Hearst Tower. “It’s a seed that has been created and we put it in the greenhouse,” she said.

HearstLab usually invests $250,000 to $500,000 through the form of a convertible note that typically converts to a 5% to 7% equity stake after a startup lands outside capital.

A separate women-focused, early-stage investment fund, Female Founders Fund, invests primarily in e-commerce, technology services, web services, and new platforms. It has invested in 30 companies through two separate funds since launching in 2014, including Zola, a wedding registry, and Maven, a digital clinic for women’s health.

“It’s typically been quite difficult for women to raise startup financing,” said Anu Duggal, the fund’s founding partner. “We’re proving you can get great returns by choosing this investment thesis.” Ms. Duggal declined to say how much Female Founders Fund has invested altogether.

Lindsay Jurist-Rosner, Wellthy’s co-founder and chief executive, said in an interview that she moved into Hearst Tower in June 2016. Wellthy has since struck a corporate sponsorship deal with Hearst that enables Hearst to offer its services as an employee benefit.

That deal, she noted, has helped Wellthy land other contracts with major employers. “It’s been a validator,”
Hearst  incubators  brands  start_ups  women  venture_capital  vc  founders  funding 
august 2017 by jerryking
Jeff Stober: ‘You’re gonna get back what you put into the universe’
Jul. 09, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | SARAH EFRON.
The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, 6:00AM EDT
Last updated Friday, Jul. 07, 2017 4:51PM EDT
0 Comments PrintLicense article

Jeff Stober is the founder and owner of the Drake Hotel in Toronto. The Drake and its offshoots – the Drake One Fifty restaurant, five Drake General Stores, Drake Devonshire Inn and the new food-focused Drake Commissary – employ more than 500 people.
personal_branding  entrepreneur  restauranteurs  serial_entrepreneur  Toronto  hoteliers  founders 
july 2017 by jerryking
Naive entrepreneurs at risk of losing out to venture capitalists
Jan. 20, 2016 | The Financial Times News: p6. | Murad Ahmed

Tech start-up financing is often structured to protect venture capitalists, not founders, says Murad Ahmed

Nicolas Brusson and Philip...
entrepreneur  founders  vc  venture_capital  France  BlaBlaCar  trustworthiness  relationships  funding  asymmetrical  investors  naivete  connected_cars  from notes
april 2017 by jerryking
Silicon Valley’s Undertaker: ‘We’re Anticipating a Major Fallout’ - PE Hub
August 10, 2011 By Connie Loizos.

The Sherwood team of seasoned business professionals provides founders, shareholders and senior executives with more than a report – we at Sherwood go beyond traditional tactics to help make decisions and implement plans that achieve exceptional results.
Silicon_Valley  professional_service_firms  restructurings  bubbles  start_ups  founders  management_consulting 
november 2016 by jerryking
Yes, It's a Tech Bubble. Here's What You Need to Know
SEPTEMBER 2015 ISSUE | | Inc.com | BY JEFF BERCOVICI.

"Investors change priorities. Soon, they may be telling you, 'We want to see profitability at the expense of growth.' So you need to think about the levers you can pull to make that happen." (JCK- How does redirect from a growth mindset and plans to one of profitability?--Scott Kupor)

First, there will be some upside. Sky-high home and office rents in certain cities and neighborhoods will drop, and if you're not in the market yet, you'll have a great buying opportunity. If you're hiring, the drum-tight talent market for anyone with programming skills should loosen up considerably, although big companies may reap the benefits more than small ones, says Oliver Ryan, founder of the tech recruiting firm Lab 8 Ventures. "The 'war' for engineering talent is primarily a supply-and-demand issue, so a widespread pullback of venture capital would likely diminish demand to a point," he says.......a burst bubble could also create new types of adversity. ....suppliers and distribution partners may disappear, your business notwithstanding......money is time, and the best way to ride out a downturn is with a couple of years' worth of cash stashed in your mattress. Just be sure you're prepared to deliver a couple of extra years' worth of growth, because you'll need to if you follow the raise-more-than-you-need plan. "It's not without risk," .... "You'll have to make the numbers to justify your valuation at some point, so you're raising the hurdle on yourself."......To make it over the chasm, you have to show investors traction and momentum--a PowerPoint slide with a line pointing up and to the right. A startup can often manufacture these things by spending enough on advertising and customer acquisition. But the attributes so richly rewarded in the current environment aren't necessarily the same ones that will be selected for once the bubble bursts......In October 2008, Doug Leone of Sequoia Capital gave a famous presentation titled "R.I.P. Good Times," in which he counseled entrepreneurs to squirrel away their nuts for winter and "spend every dollar as if it was your last." In hindsight Leone's forecast, and his warning was seen as alarmist......be more careful about the terms on which you raise money as that "extreme end of a cycle" approaches. Typically, you'll seek the highest possible valuation: (a) It minimizes dilution and generates publicity that attracts talent and clients and even more capital. But as valuations settle--and the inevitable rise of interest rates all but guarantees they will--founders who overreached will struggle to support, or defend, those valuations. In the worst instances, if you finagled an extra 10 or 20 % of paper value by granting investors aggressive downside protections--the "features" and "ratchets" that VCs use to make reckless bets without incurring real risk--you'll find yourself downgraded from owner to employee. "
boom-to-bust  bubbles  downside  economic_downturn  founders  growth  investors  mindsets  overreach  profitability  priorities  Sequoia  start_ups  Silicon_Valley  silver_linings  upside  vc  venture_capital  war_for_talent 
october 2016 by jerryking
What a Year of Job Rejections Taught Me About Pitching Myself
SEPTEMBER 09, 2015 | HBR | Nina Mufleh.
[send to Nick Patel]
After sending out hundreds of copies of my résumé to dozens of companies over the last year, I realized that I was getting nowhere because my approach was wrong....How could a career that ranged from working with royalty to Fortune 500 brands and startups not pique the curiosity of any hiring managers?

As a marketer, I decided to re-frame the challenge. Instead of thinking as a job applicant, I had to think of myself as a product and identify ways to create demand around hiring me. I applied everything I knew about marketing and storytelling to build a campaign that would show Silicon Valley companies the kind of value I would bring to their teams.

The experiment was a report that I created for Airbnb that highlighted the promise and potential of expanding to the Middle East, a market that I am extremely familiar with and until recently they had not focused on. I spent a couple of days gathering data about the tourism industry and the company’s current footprint in the market, and identified strategic opportunities for them there.

I released the report on Twitter and copied Airbnb’s founders and leadership team. Behind the scenes, I also shared it by email with many personal and professional contacts and encouraged them to share it if they thought it was interesting — most did, as did some of the top VCs, entrepreneurs and many peers around the world....What I realize in hindsight is probably one of the most important lessons of my career so far. The project highlighted the qualities I wanted to show to recruiters; more importantly, it also addressed one of the main weaknesses they saw in me....What the report helped me do was show, not tell, my value beyond their doubts. It refocused my perceived weakness into a strength: an international perspective with the promise of understanding and entering new markets. And though none of the roles that I interviewed for in the last two months focused on expansion, by addressing and challenging the weakness, I was able to re-frame the conversation around my strengths....asking yourself a different version of that question is going to make you better prepared for any conversation with a recruiter, a potential client, or even a potential investor....not “What is my weakness?” but rather “What do they perceive as a weakness in my background?”
Airbnb  campaigns  career_paths  creating_demand  Fortune_500  founders  HBR  hindsight  inbound_marketing  job_search  Managing_Your_Career  Middle_East  networking  personal_branding  pitches  problem_framing  reframing  rejections  self-promotion  social_media  strengths  value_propositions  via:enochko  weaknesses 
september 2015 by jerryking
Female-Run Venture Capital Funds Alter the Status Quo - NYTimes.com
APRIL 1, 2015| NYT | By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER.

Venture capitalists are, in a way, the gatekeepers to Silicon Valley, and if they are a group of white men who studied at places like Stanford, it is no wonder that most of the entrepreneurs fit the same mold. Venture firms with women as partners are three times as likely to invest in a company with a female chief executive and twice as likely to invest in one with women on the management team, according to the Babson College report.

The lack of female investors has cascading effects. Start-ups’ boards are composed mostly of venture capitalists, so they are often all men. A recent Fortune analysis found that of the 81 start-ups worth more than $1 billion, 5 percent had a female chief executive and 6 percent had a woman on the board. Other studies have found that male founders and directors are less likely to hire women as executives and engineers, or pay men and women equally.

“Honestly, there will be more female entrepreneurs if there are more female venture capitalists,
venture_capital  Silicon_Valley  vc  entrepreneur  founders  start_ups  women  gender_gap  boards_&_directors_&_governance  angels  gatekeepers  white_men 
april 2015 by jerryking
Andy Kessler: Potholes on the Uber Ride to Riches - WSJ
By ANDY KESSLER
Dec. 8, 2014

What should Uber do? Hiring expensive crisis managers is one option. Or do these four things that everyone else eventually figured out. Admit the mistake. Fire someone. Be transparent on the solution. Put guidelines in place to assure customers that this can’t happen again. Uber hasn’t done much of this but it should.... Those who run or work at startups are a different breed. Often computer science majors or engineers, they didn’t get invited to the cool parties. And then when they came up with ideas for products or companies, just about everyone, from parents to friends, told them they were crazy. That’ll never work, they said. Get a job at IBM like your uncle. But instead these entrepreneurs persist, usually failing a time or two. Mr. Kalanick started a peer-to-peer file-sharing company called Scour that went belly up in 2000.

Entrepreneurs pitch their ideas, sometimes to angel investors like dentists and accountants with extra cash, but more often to venture capitalists looking to fund the next big thing. As a venture capitalist, I’ve been pitched thousands of times, and entrepreneurs often peddle market-size projections and future sales predictions that are creative, if not fictional.

Those who win funding wake up every day and ask what they can do to make this thing work. Hubris becomes an asset. Startup CEOs are always saying the goal is to “suck the oxygen out of the room” of their competitors. Success requires a certain bravado. That should be encouraged, but most entrepreneurs have no idea when to turn it off.
hubris  Uber  sharing_economy  ride_sharing  Andy_Kessler  guardrails  start_ups  organizational_culture  entrepreneur  torchbearers  founders 
february 2015 by jerryking
Freshii's founder aims to kill fast-food rivals with kale - The Globe and Mail
SUSAN KRASHINSKY - MARKETING REPORTER
TORONTO — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 09 2015

Eating well isn’t cheap. Profit margins – already notoriously slim in the restaurant industry – are more difficult to manage with fresh produce, which can spoil. Freshii aims to manage its inventory so that nothing is thrown away; the best-managed locations have to discard 10 to 20 per cent of their ingredients to maintain quality. When a location hits 30 or 40 per cent of its stock going unsold, it has to adjust very quickly.

Besides that, fresh food is simply more expensive, meaning that a chain such as Freshii is unable to offer the price points that the giants such as McDonald’s can. Its fixed-ingredient menu salads, bowls, burritos and wraps range from $6.50 to $9.50. Custom items start at $5.99 for wraps and burritos, and $6.99 for salads and soups, but the addition of premium ingredients, such as avocado (99 cents), kale ($1), tofu ($1.49), or shrimp ($2.49) pushes up the price. So does choosing more than six veggie toppings, and sauces, such as sriracha and peanut .
Freshii  fresh_produce  restaurants  fast-food  fast-casual  founders  CEOs 
january 2015 by jerryking
Peter Thiel on Why Big Companies Don’t Think Like Startups - WSJ - WSJ
November 3, 2014 | WSJ | Interview of Peter Thiel by Mr. Dennis K. Berman.

Changing the World
MR. BERMAN: The term you use in your book is that a startup is an excuse to change the world. How do people inside big companies take that idea and make something of it? MR. THIEL: There are a number of larger companies that are still innovating fairly aggressively. I’m very biased, as an investor, to be pro-companies that are still led by the founders. The founders are often able to make more choices and take more risk and have more inspiration than more politically minded CEOs. The old founders don’t always live forever, that’s true. You need a figure that’s as close to a founder as possible.

In theory, large companies could do far more than small companies. They have more capital. They have longer time horizons. They can take more risks. I tend to think it’s always that the internal politics somehow get in the way.
bubbles  founders  internal_politics  large_companies  office_politics  Peter_Thiel  risk-taking  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  time_horizons  valuations  vc  venture_capital 
november 2014 by jerryking
In Search of the Next Big Thing
May 2013 | HBR | Adi Ignatius interviews Marc Andreessen.

Tries to find CEOs who are product innovators, have bandwidth and discipline to become CEO. It is hard to pair those skills if they do not reside in one person. It is easier to train an innovator to become CEO than to train a CEO to become an innovator. Andreessen is counter-intuitive: he went into venture capital precisely because the prior decade to his launch had been the worst decade in the industry's history. He believes in cycles and so thought that 2009 was a good time to launch Andreessen Horowitz... Take/Understand a long view....Build "fortresses"--a company so big, so powerful , so well defended that it can withstand the pressures of going public. Focus on the substance of what your company is all about. Be about the substance....companies that are built to be independent are the most attractive...generally companies need to have at least two years' worth of cash on the balance sheet in case your revenue goes to zero....takes sales and marketing seriously--lots of products are being sold and you need a way to get the word about your company into the public space...companies are worth investing in (it's value)only if its going to be an innovation factory for years to come....We are in the early phases of Andreessen's "Software is Eating the World" thesis....best of companies AH is looking at today are unbelievably good at analytics. Good at the feedback loop created by analyzing data and feeding those number sback into the process in real time, running a continuous improvement loop....The best founders are artists in their domain. They operate instinctively in their industry because they are in touch with every relevant data point. They‘re able to synthesize in their gut a tremendous amount of data—pulling together technology trends, their companies’ capabilities, their competitor's’ activities, market psychology, every conceivable aspect of how you run a company.
Marc_Andreessen  Andreessen_Horowitz  venture_capital  start_ups  vc  HBR  hedge_funds  SOX  IPOs  lean  analytics  lessons_learned  fingerspitzengefühl  contextual_intelligence  counterintuitive  specificity  long-term  software  virtuous_cycles  software_is_eating_the_world  pairs  skills  founders  product-orientated 
december 2013 by jerryking
Do Things that Don't Scale
July 2013 | Paul Graham

The question to ask about an early stage startup is not "is this company taking over the world?" but "how big could this company get if the founders did the right things?" And the right things often seem both laborious and inconsequential at the time.
advice  start_ups  Y_Combinator  Paul_Graham  scaling  recruiting  experience  management_consulting  barriers_to_entry  product_launches  partnerships  customer_acquisition  user_growth  Steve_Jobs  unscalability  founders  questions 
november 2013 by jerryking
On a mission for black founders - FT.com
September 3, 2013 5:01 pm
On a mission for black founders

By Andrew England
Africa  empowerment  economic_empowerment  entrepreneur  founders  South_Africa 
september 2013 by jerryking
The best sectors for would-be founders
May 22, 2013 | The Financial Times | Luke Johnson

Certain jobs are suited to entrepreneurship, while others are definitely not. If you have ambitions to become an entrepreneur, it pays to join the ...
Luke_Johnson  entrepreneurship  founders  career_paths  farming  real_estate  academics  pharmacies  from notes
may 2013 by jerryking
The Difference Between The Mindsets Of Founders And Professional Managers - Forbes
Eric Jackson, Contributor

I cover the business of technology
Follow (1,079)
Investing
|
3/26/2013
entrepreneur  start_ups  attitudes  mindsets  founders 
march 2013 by jerryking
What entrepreneurs can learn from artists - Fortune Management
December 21, 2012: 5:00 AM ET

165
Email Print

Like artists, startup founders must cultivate creative habits to see the world afresh and create something new.

By Tim Leberecht
artists  innovation  art  entrepreneur  lessons_learned  founders  creative_renewal  inspiration  reinvention 
january 2013 by jerryking
Start-up dilemmas, from beginning to end
Jul. 03 2012 | The Globe and Mail | HARVEY SCHACHTER

The Founder’s Dilemmas

By Noam Wasserman
(Princeton University Press,
480 pages, $37.95)
start_ups  problem_solving  book_reviews  founders 
july 2012 by jerryking
In Silicon Valley, Founders Fight for Control - WSJ.com
July 10, 2012 | WSJ |By JOANN S. LUBLIN And SPENCER E. ANTE.

There's a power struggle underway in Silicon Valley. At stake: Power itself.

Over the past two years, one of the most influential venture-capital firms has turned the usual rules of start-up investing on its head. Andreessen Horowitz is telling entrepreneurs it prefers situations where the founders have controlling stakes, reckoning that they'll be better able to resist outside distraction and focus on making great products....But Andreessen's approach is also exposing a rift in Silicon Valley, where a group of young and relatively untested entrepreneurs have maintained control over their rapidly growing companies. For now, venture investors are relatively content with the arrangement, as they've made immense sums along the way. The growing worry is that the setup leaves investors little recourse if a highly empowered CEO goes off track.
Silicon_Valley  Andreessen_Horowitz  founders  Joann_S._Lublin  boards_&_directors_&_governance  start_ups  venture_capital  vc  activism  off-plan  investors  distractions 
july 2012 by jerryking
How Entrepreneurs Craft Strategies That Work
March-April 1994| HBR | Amar Bhidé.

However popular it may be in the corporate world, a comprehensive analytical approach to planning doesn’t suit most start-ups. Entrepreneurs typically lack the time and money to interview a representative cross section of potential customers, let alone analyze substitutes, reconstruct competitors’ cost structures, or project alternative technology scenarios. In fact, too much analysis can be harmful; by the time an opportunity is investigated fully, it may no longer exist. A city map and restaurant guide on a CD may be a winner in January but worthless if delayed until December...What are the critical elements of winning entrepreneurial approaches? Our evidence suggests three general guidelines for aspiring founders:

1. Screen opportunities quickly to weed out unpromising ventures.

2. Analyze ideas parsimoniously. Focus on a few important issues.

3. Integrate action and analysis. Don’t wait for all the answers, and be ready to change course.
entrepreneur  strategies  HBR  founders  Amar_Bhidé  hustle  capital_efficiency  pivots  analysis_paralysis  action-oriented  pragmatism  Michael_McDerment  frugality  parsimony  good_enough 
june 2012 by jerryking
The Founders Dilemma
February 2008 | HBR | Noam Wasserman.

Most entrepreneurs want to make pots of money and run the show. But Wasserman reveals that it’s tough to do both. If you don’t figure out which matters most to you, you could end up being neither rich
nor in control. Consider: To make a lot of money from a
new venture, you need financial resources to capitalize on the opportunities before you. That means attracting investors—
which requires relinquishing control as you give away equity and as investors alter your board’s membership. To remain in charge
of your business, you have to keep more equity. But that means fewer financial resources to fuel your venture. So, you must choose between money and power. Begin by articulating your primary motivation for starting a business. Then understand the trade-offs associated with
that goal. As your venture unfolds, you’ll make choices that support—rather than jeopardize—your dreams.
HBR  entrepreneur  start_ups  tradeoffs  founders  challenges  managerial_preferences  investors  boards_&_directors_&_governance  equity 
november 2011 by jerryking
Our fascination with the well-to-do: The money myth;
Feb 12, 2002 | National Post. . pg. SR.1.FR| Deirdre McMurdy

Inherited wealth continues to be relatively rare. About 80% of the country's millionaires represent first-generation wealth.

It's worth noting that it isn't the option-soaked corporate fat cats or the sharp-shooting lawyers who earn the biggest bucks: small business owners and entrepreneurs are four times more likely to be millionaires than those who work for others. They usually do it, furthermore, by retaining a narrow focus on their objective and working extremely hard in low-glamour Old Economy industries like packaging, auto parts or waste disposal.

For the most part, these are frugal folks who live modestly among us and quietly manage their holdings. And that's not just the case in Canada. American sociologists Thomas Stanley and William Danko -- who wrote the 1999 bestseller, The Millionaire Next Door -- found that most millionaires live in homes worth less than $300,000, drive three-year-old U.S.-made cars and never pay more than US$400 for a suit....Within the genus of millionaires, the Bay Street and Wall Street crowds are a distinct species. Those who have coined it in capital markets are a breed apart -- and certainly not representative of most millionaires...But our admiration for wealth is not without its caveats. Some forms and display of money are more inspiring than others. We may aspire to the toys and the lifestyle, but stock-market fortunes are subtly less respected than those garnered through manufacturing or more traditional methods. Accurately or not, the view tends to prevail that market millionaires have been lucky in a game of chance.
ProQuest  high_net_worth  myths  small_business  entrepreneur  owners  capital_markets  unglamorous  modesty  frugality  hard_work  focus  obsessions  industrial_economy  fascination  inheritors  first-generation  founders 
october 2011 by jerryking
Stanford's SSE Labs Creating Entrepreneurial Buzz in Silicon Valley - WSJ.com
MAY 25, 2011 | WSJ | Scott Austin. SSE Labs is
drawing the attention of heavy-hitting investors in part because of its
direct ties to Stanford U., nesting ground to Cisco Systems Inc.,
Google., Sun Microsystems Inc., etc....the aim of the student-led SSE
Labs is to train students how to be leaders...SSE Labs chooses the
brightest founders from a large batch of applicants to participate in a
weeks-long mentoring program, in this case for the 3-month duration of
the fall, spring or summer sessions.
SSE Labs brings in a host of mentors—venture capitalists, angel
investors, lawyers, serial entrepreneurs—to provide advice, plus offers
customized classes around logistics (e.g. mktg., employment issues),free
web hosting via Amazon.com., and legal services from Dorsey &
Whitney. It also holds a "Demo Day," where its member companies pitch
to investors...SSE Labs does not taking any equity in the start-ups like
Y Combinator does.
silicon_valley  incubators  start_ups  Stanford  SSE_Labs  entrepreneur  Pat_Condon  founders 
may 2011 by jerryking
Founders Gain Clout in Venture World - WSJ.com
* MARCH 10, 2011 Investors Desperate to Find Hits Drive Up Valuations and Attach Fewer Strings to Their Deals
By PUI-WING TAM And AMIR EFRATI
start_ups  entrepreneurship  Pui-Wing_Tam  venture_capital  VC  valuations  founders 
march 2011 by jerryking
Google's Banker
May 3, 2004 | Fortune | By Adam Lashinsky.... Valentine also
took a different approach on making investments: He bet on the
racetrack, not the jockey. "... you build great companies by finding
monster markets that are in transition, and you find the people later,"
says Valentine...."But in Moritz, Valentine saw a resemblance to another
precocious go-getter he had observed at close range: Steve Jobs.
"They're both incredibly aggressive questioners," says Valentine. "And
our business is all about figuring out which questions are relevant in
making a decision, because the people who are starting a company (i.e. the founders) don't
have a clue what the answers are."... Valentine's principles: only
targeting businesses with fat margins; avoid capital-intensive
businesses; take measured steps; never underestimate the difficulty of
changing consumer behavior; don't begin a rollout until you're sure the
recipe is working; avoid any business Wall Street is prepared to throw
hundreds of millions of dollars at.
behavioral_change  capital-intensity  consumer_behavior  disequilibriums  Don_Valentine  founders  large_markets  margins  Michael_Moritz  precociousness  questions  rollouts  rules_of_the_game  Sequoia  Steve_Jobs  vc  venture_capital  Wall_Street 
october 2009 by jerryking
FT.com / Columnists / Luke Johnson - Tools for every founder’s kitbag
June 11, 2008 article by Luke Johnson on gadgets that the new breed of entrepreneur would do well have to have on hand.
entrepreneur  gadgets  tools  Luke_Johnson  founders 
january 2009 by jerryking
Interview: Bill Simon, Philanthropist - WSJ.com
WSJ article on the importance of a charity hewing to the wishes of its founders; and on ensuring that the money is all spent.
charities  endowments  William_Simon  philanthropy  founders 
december 2008 by jerryking

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