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A culture of fun and respect for customers and employees pervades this family-owned furniture business that has been sold to legendary investor Warren E. Buffett, writes the author. Culture is what can't be taken away, even after a company is sold, as both the author and his brother are still actively involved, he notes.
Vinod grew up dreaming of being an entrepreneur. He was raised in an Indian Army household with no business or technology connections. When, at age 16, he first heard about Intel, he dreamt of starting his own technology
company. Upon graduating with a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, he tried to start a soy milk company to service the many people in India who did not have refrigerators. He then came to
the US and got his Masters in Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie-Mellon University. His startup dreams attracted him to Silicon Valley where he got an MBA at Stanford University in 1980. In 1982, Khosla started Sun Microsystems to build
workstations for software developers. At Sun he pioneered "open systems" and RISC processors. Sun was funded by long time friend and board member John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In 1986 he switched sides and joined
Kleiner Perkins where he was a general partner. There, he worked with Nexgen/AMD, Juniper, Excite, and many other ventures. In 2004, Khosla formed Khosla Ventures. Khosla Ventures offers venture assistance, strategic advice and capital to
entrepreneurs. The firm helps entrepreneurs extend the potential of their ideas in both traditional venture areas like the Internet, computing, mobile, and silicon technology arenas but also supports breakthrough scientific work in clean
technology areas such as bio-refineries for energy and bioplastics, solar, battery and other environmentally friendly technologies.
Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin recruited Eric Schmidt from Novell, where he led that company's strategic planning, management and technology development as chairman and CEO. Since coming to Google, Schmidt
has focused on building the corporate infrastructure needed to maintain Google's rapid growth as a company and on ensuring that quality remains high while product development cycle times are kept to a minimum. Along with Page and Brin,
Schmidt shares responsibility for Google's day-to-day operations. Schmidt's Novell experience culminated a 20-year record of achievement as an Internet strategist, entrepreneur and developer of great technologies. Schmidt's well-seasoned
perspective perfectly complements Google's needs as a young and rapidly growing search engine with a unique corporate culture. Prior to his appointment at Novell, Schmidt was chief technology officer and corporate executive officer at Sun
Microsystems, Inc., where he led the development of Java, Sun's platform-independent programming technology, and defined Sun's Internet software strategy. Before joining Sun in 1983, Schmidt was a member of the research staff at the
Computer Science Lab at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), and held positions at Bell Laboratories and Zilog. Schmidt has a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University, and a master's and Ph.D. in
computer science from the University of California-Berkeley.
Effective business planning is critical to an entrepreneurial company's long-term success and its ability to raise capital and grow successfully. A properly prepared Business Plan should tell a story, make an argument and conservatively predict the future. All companies have different stories to tell, different arguments to make and different futures to predict, so they must resist the temptation to copy from others or to follow a rigid outline.
Service companies aiming to grow fast enough to attract financing need to address the weaknesses inherent in such business models, says the founder of a human-resources consultancy.
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.
A helping hand from a beloved family member gave this author a gift more precious than a paycheck: the time and attention she needed to rebuild her career -- and her belief in herself.
Entrepreneurs can benefit from seeking to be paired for a fee with a mentor who provides guidance and support, says the author, who pursued such a formal mentorship upon the founding of her second venture. With new skills to learn in an operating company as opposed to her previous professional-services concern, this entrepreneur reports developing company-building tactics as well as respect for mentoring itself.
Jeff Hawkins is the Founder of Numenta, but he is also well known as the co-founder of two companies, Palm and Handspring, and as the architect of many computing products, such as the PalmPilot and the Treo smartphone.
Throughout his life Hawkins has also had a deep interest in neuroscience and theories of the neocortex. His interest in the brain led him to create the non-profit Redwood Neuroscience Institute (RNI), a scientific organization focused on
understanding how the human neocortex processes information. While at RNI, Hawkins developed a theory of neocortex which appeared in his 2004 book, On Intelligence. Along with Dileep George and Donna Dubinsky, Hawkins
founded Numenta in 2005 to develop a technology platform derived from his theory. It is his hope that Numenta will play a catalytic role in creating an industry based on this theory and technology. Jeff Hawkins earned his B.S. in
electrical engineering from Cornell University in 1979. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2003.
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