Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Lecture

Tools

Knowing When to Step Down - Mari Baker (PlayFirst)
Date: 4/15/2009
Length: 1 minutes
Speaker(s): Mari Baker
Sources: Stanford Technology Ventures Program
Description: It sometimes happens that a leader deems it necessary to take the company in a new market direction. And it takes a leader with courage to admit that they do not have the skills, connections, or background to be at the helm. In
this clip, PlayFirst CEO Mari Baker explains the circumstances behind her leaving early disease information service Navigenics, and uses it as an example of how the needs of the organization can sometimes trump over all.

Other Videos in Series

An Executive's Perspective Inside Venture Capital - Mari Baker (PlayFirst)
Mari Baker
4/15/2009
Summary: Kick in the door when it opens, says Mari Baker, CEO of PlayFirst, on her former affiliation with VC firm Kleiner Perkins. She transitioned from her executive roll at BabyCetner and soon sat in on pitch meetings, reviewing the
portfolios of numerous start-up companies. Along the way, she took on an appreciation for the difficult choices made by venture capitalists. The experience taught her to be more thoughtful of approaching firms for future capital. It also
solidified her understanding that being funded is more than just asking for cash; it's establishing a long-term relationship between the company and its funders. Watch More
Choosing the Path Least Worn - Mari Baker (PlayFirst)
Mari Baker
4/15/2009
Summary: Mari Baker, CEO of PlayFirst, tells a story from early in her career of eschewing a well-paid job at an established company for a lesser position with a smaller firm. She listened to her gut instinct, which leaned in favor of the
upstart opportunity and the chance to work with a more stimulating, more knowledgeable team. Though it was a daunting short-term financial decision, the upstart job was with Intuit, which went on to become a very successful enterprise and the
right path overall for her career. Watch More
Give Thoughtful Recognition and Praise - Mari Baker (PlayFirst)
Mari Baker
4/15/2009
Summary: Be conscious of the in-house messages that you send. Mari Baker, CEO of PlayFirst, encourages business leaders to think about the values of a company that are reflected in its communications; for example, celebrating employees who
work deep into overtime or who find the least expensive resources. The way you praise your workers is a declaration of your company values, and if not handled carefully, they can send the message that long days and bottom-rung pricing are the
only way to succeed. Be certain that praise is allocated carefully and that its an accurate representation of what's expected and desired on the job. Watch More
Keep it Fast and Simple - Mari Baker (PlayFirst)
Mari Baker
4/15/2009
Summary: A core fundamental proposition for building any new business must be a relentless desire to wow the customer, says PlayFirst CEO Mari Baker. Think of every customer as a salesperson, and bring them solutions that are faster and
easier ways to solve their problems. Maintain focus amidst a sea of customer feedback, and don't try to implement every possible functionality, else you'll spread your resources too thin. Watch More
Knowing When to Step Down - Mari Baker (PlayFirst)
Mari Baker
4/15/2009
Summary: It sometimes happens that a leader deems it necessary to take the company in a new market direction. And it takes a leader with courage to admit that they do not have the skills, connections, or background to be at the helm. In
this clip, PlayFirst CEO Mari Baker explains the circumstances behind her leaving early disease information service Navigenics, and uses it as an example of how the needs of the organization can sometimes trump over all. Watch More
Setting a Company Culture - Mari Baker (PlayFirst)
Mari Baker
4/15/2009
Summary: What does your company stand for? How will you make decisions? What are your overall philosophies? These questions are easy enough to answer when the company is three friends sitting in a living room, but how are they defined for
a burgeoning business? Mari Baker, CEO of PlayFirst, urges companies at a turning point to put forth concentrated effort to define and pinpoint these policies and ideals, and to otherwise define a culture that can grow along with your product
line. She cites as an example a two-day offsite meeting at Intuit when they'd bulked up their staff to 30 people, and the positive results that ensued. Watch More

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