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Entrepreneurs loath to seek mentoring should take at least one piece of advice: try it, you'll like it, writes the author who built a business by accepting help from smarter and more experienced founders. Included is a look at the workings of her relationship with her current mentor. (Originally Published October 2002)
Two years ago I had an idea for a website. I decided to leave a well paying job, invest all of the money I made post college, and began to start the terrifying journey of building a company. Today, I want to share the ten most powerful things I learned about turning that idea into a business at a time when the economy was at its worst, and capital was scarce. Many of the tips I'm sharing with you were passed down from others who were kind enough to share their experiences and insight with me.
Health IT startup AutismSphere is replacing paper schedules with electronic ones to provide structure to kids with autism. Founder John Eder is testing the smart phone software in a North Carolina school district and hopes to expand. Read more about this healthcare business that helps kids with autism.
At a time when branding is more important than ever for entrepreneurs, Lillian Vernon, the doyenne of direct-mail retailing, talks about branding herself to reach her customers. In the past half century, the strategy has enabled her company to get valuable publicity, as well as more easily extend its product line and weather times of crisis, the author writes.
Vic Verma joined Savi Technology in 1990. He previously held the positions of vice president of engineering and chief operating officer at Savi, before becoming president and chief executive officer in 1997. As VP of
Engineering, Vic helped design and develop Savi's product offerings, and as COO, he helped negotiate the acquisition of Savi by Texas Instruments in 1995. In 1997, the unit was sold to Raytheon. Vic led the management buyout of Savi from
Raytheon in May 1999. He earned a B.S. degree from the Florida Institute of Technology, an M.S.E. degree from the University of Michigan, and an Advanced Engineers degree from Stanford University, all in electrical engineering. He also
completed all the coursework and passed the qualifying exam for his Ph.D. candidacy in electrical engineering from Stanford University before leaving to join Savi. In addition, he attended the executive management program for CEOs at
Harvard Business School, the AEA Executive Institute at Stanford University, and the Financial Management Program at the University of California-Berkeley. Vic has been granted eight patents and has several other patents pending. In 1994,
his DF/Tag product was recognized as the "Most Innovative Technology Developed by a Small Business" by the White House Office of Science and Technology. In 1999, he was the recipient of Florida Institute of Technology's Distinguished
When you run the biggest golf resort in the world and you bring a weak game, you play. Early and often, night and day. That's what Ken Chu did when he became vice-chairman of Mission Hills Group. The company opened the first course on what is now a sprawling 12-course club in Shenzhen, China, in 1994, and is building a 10-course venue in Hainan, the southern Chinese island Beijing is backing a tourism hub.
Equitas is led by P.N. Vasudevan, a visionary and entrepreneurial leader with a background in commercial finance. He has almost 20 years experience in the Indian finance sector, specifically launching businesses lines at
Chola Finance Ltd, one of India's most successful finance companies. Recently, he has successfully helmed the Equitas team.
Armen Berjikly graduated with honors with a Bachelors in Computer Science from Stanford University. His primary research focus was Human-Computer Interaction, where he worked closely with professor Clifford Nass. He went
on to obtain a Master's Degree from Stanford in Management Science and Engineering, with an emphasis on Organizations, Technology and Entrepreneurship. Armen was also a Mayfield Fellow, a prestigious fellowship that provides intensive
training in entrepreneurship for those with an engineering background. After Stanford, Armen took a product management role at Echelon Corporation, helping manage their "intelligent utility grid" solution from paper concept to hundreds of
thousands of units shipped. After a close friend's diagnosis with a serious medical condition, Armen began creating online communities designed to sponsor hope through research and community. Witnessing the power of connecting people with
a shared experience, and therefore common understanding, led to the creation of Experience Project. Armen's passion is building technology that unites people who can improve each other's lives, and Experience Project is the epitome of
The author, a distinguished global expert on negotiations, argues the Knowledge Revolution makes it especially easier for both sides of a negotiation to gain. With this Revolution comes a revolution in decision making and dispute resolution, leading to networks of negotiation.
As the Chief Strategy Officer, Tien Tzuo brings to Salesforce.com over 16 years of experience in the enterprise software industry. Since he joined the company in 1999, Tzuo has been responsible for setting the vision,
strategy, direction and design of Salesforce.com's award winning product line, including overseeing the launch of Salesforce, Supportforce, Customforce, Sforce, and Wireless Edition. In 2004, Tzuo was named CMO of the Year Finalist by the
CMO Council and BusinessWeek Magazine. Tzuo came to salesforce.com from CrossWorlds Software, where he spearheaded CrossWorlds product, marketing and sales push into the Telecommunications vertical worldwide. Prior to CrossWorlds, Tzuo
spent over six years at Oracle Corporation in a variety of sales and professional services roles. Mr. Tzuo holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University and a master's in business administration from the
Stanford Graduate School of Business.
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