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If you're thinking about entrepreneurship, you've probably heard that you should start your business before you quit your day job. It's good advise, but not always practical.
Mari Baker is the CEO of PlayFirst and the former CEO of Navigenics. Previous to that, she was an executive-in-residence at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which she joined in 2006. Prior to that, she was president
of BabyCenter, LLC, a Johnson & Johnson company. Under her leadership, BabyCenter became the world's leading Web site for new and expectant parents, winning numerous online health awards and expanding significantly offline and
internationally. Prior to her tenure with BabyCenter and Johnson & Johnson, she was a senior vice president at Intuit, Inc., which she joined in 1989 as product manager for Quicken. Baker led Quicken to grow into the number one
personal finance product in the world, along with international expansion and the launch of Quicken.com. Baker also held executive or product management positions at Now Software, Migent Software, and E.F. Hutton. Mari Baker attended
Stanford University, graduating with degrees in economics and sociology. She served on the board of trustees of Stanford University from 1996 to 2003, where she oversaw the Stanford Medical Center, and she continues to serve as a trustee
emeritus. Baker currently serves on the board of directors of the Cozi Group and she is a member of the Young Presidents' Organization.
Winifred Mitchell Baker, better known simply as Mitchell Baker, is President of the Mozilla Corporation, a subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation that coordinates development of the open source Mozilla Internet
applications, including the Mozilla Firefox web browser and the Mozilla Thunderbird email client. Trained as a lawyer, Baker coordinates business and policy issues and sits on both the Mozilla Foundation Board of Directors and the Mozilla
Corporation Board of Directors. In 2005, Time magazine included her in its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world and she has affectionately been given the title of "Chief Lizard Wrangler" at the Mozilla Corporation.
Baker received an AB in Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 1979, achieving a Certificate of Distinction. She received her JD from the Boalt Hall School of Law in 1987 and was admitted to the State Bar of
California in the same year.
After two decades in start-up entrepreneurship, Mari Baker, current CEO of PlayFirst, shares some of her lifelong strategies for long-lasting success. She stresses defining the relentless purpose of the enterprise, honing a focus, and building a conscious company culture, amongst other backbone-building tasks.
A business model that aims to consolidate in the fragmented tour-packaging industry must rely on the entrepreneurial owners of the local businesses it acquires, according to the writer. A case is made for developing the people who will build the business, rather than, as is practice for many consolidators, putting them out of business.
In times of crisis people always look for inspirational leaders. What makes for inspiration is subjective, but there is one common element when speaking about leaders who inspire: they have a strong leadership presence.
By presence we mean "earned authority." That is, people follow your leadership because you are a proven quantity, whose credibility rests on your having gotten things done. Every leader must aspire to demonstrate presence in order to inspire; this is a theme explored in a new book, 12 Steps to Power Presence: How Leaders Assert their Authority to Lead.
Greg Ballard, President & Chief Executive Officer Over his distinguished career in the gaming, entertainment and multimedia industries, Greg Ballard has served as CEO at SONICblue, makers of ReplayTV and Rio digital
music players; MyFamily.com, a successful subscription-based Internet service; and 3Dfx where, over a three-year period, he grew the company from $4 million to an annualized rate of more than $400 million. He previously served as CEO and
COO for Warner Custom Music, a division of Time Warner, Inc. Ballard was also president of Capcom Software, the U.S. subsidiary known for hits such as Street Fighter, Mega-Man and Resident Evil, as well as COO and CFO of Digital Pictures,
a leading video game developer for Sega CD. In recent years Ballard has served on the board of directors for xFire, an online gaming platform and community purchased by Viacom in April 2006, and on the public boards of THQ (NASDAQ: THQI),
Pinnacle Systems and IGN. He holds a B.A. from the University of Redlands and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Steven A. Ballmer is Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Corporation, the world's leading manufacturer of software for personal and business computing. Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 and was the first business manager
hired by Bill Gates. Since then, Ballmer's leadership and passion have become hallmarks of his tenure at the company. Ballmer was born in March 1956, and grew up near Detroit, where his father worked as a manager at Ford Motor Co. He
graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and economics. While in college, Ballmer managed the football team, worked on the Harvard Crimson newspaper as well as the university literary magazine, and lived
down the hall from fellow sophomore Bill Gates. After college, he worked for two years at Procter & Gamble Co. as an assistant product manager and, before joining Microsoft, attended Stanford University's Graduate School of
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, shares his optimism for emerging innovation in the midst of economic turmoil, and the story of his own entrepreneurial path. He also speaks of his company's continued investment in Internet-ready hardware and software that seeks progress in healthcare, education, and science.
Risk is the essential element of entrepreneurial life but it can and must be managed if company founders are to build profitable enterprises, writes the author, who has founded companies and is currently a venture capitalist helping others do the same. To control risk, he advises listening to instinct, managing to a plan, and working the financials so that there is enough money to fund the need.
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