Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Speaker Series

Tools

Real Sales and Customers in Business - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Date: 10/31/2001
Length: 2 minutes
Speaker(s): Frank Levinson
Sources: Stanford Technology Ventures Program
Description: Number 2 in Frank Levinson's Top 10 Things You Must Have to Start a Business. Levinson talks about how a real business involves selling to customers and receiving money in return. He warns new businesses not to shy away from
selling their products early on. He also gives advice on recognizing a real customer.

Other Videos in Series

Businesses Must Have Customers - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: Number 7 in Frank Levinson's Top 10 Things You Must Have to Start a Business. Levinson believes you should take stock of your company and determine what it is that you really need. He is an advocate of using common sense and
realizing the main thing you need is customers. Watch More
Changing Finisar Technology and Business Practices - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: As a company grows and develops, it is possible that its methods for design and production change, says Levinson. The company may also look to new avenues of possible innovations. He describes the changes Finisar has seen over the
years. Watch More
Choosing your Business Partner - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: Number 1 in Frank Levinson's Top 10 Things You Must Have to Start a Business. Levinson claims that the people you work with and your team are key in making your business successful. He explains the factors that should go into
choosing your partner Watch More
Communicate with Customers - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: Levinson offers the following bit of advice to brand new entrepreneurs: Talk to customers. Identify potential customers and pick their brains: What do they want? Would they buy what you're selling? And how much would they
pay?" Watch More
Creating Win-Win Relationships With Large Customers - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: Levinson believes it is easy to feel like a little fish in a big pond when you're starting your company. He talks about leveraging what you have to make your company stand out from the rest, and it all comes back to
customers. Watch More
Develop a Culture Where New Ideas Are Expected - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: Number 3 in Frank Levinson's Top 10 Things You Must Have to Start a Business. You and the members of your company must have the confidence that new ideas will always be present, says Levinson. He talks about creating a culture
that encourages and expects new ideas, and learning to give those new ideas away. Watch More
Envisioning The Future For Optics - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: Levinson believes leadership skills are vital in maintaining a successful company. These skills include being able to see into the future, and predict where the company should go. He talks about the possible future of
Finisar. Watch More
Follow Standards - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: Number 4 in Frank Levinson's Top 10 Things You Must Have to Start a Business. Niche markets aren't always the way to go, says Levinson. He advises that your company should stay flexible and be willing to work with, and for, the
masses. Watch More
Hiring Ethical People - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: The personalities of team members and the culture of the company are vital to its success, says Levinson. An unethical member of the team can cause stress, tension, and ultimately division within the company. Watch More
How Does Going Public Change You and Your Company? - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: Inevitably, when a company goes public, there's an enormous amount of change that takes place, says Levinson. While the IPO may be an indication of financial success, the true measure is within the company, and maintaining a level
of normalcy and maintaing the company's original culture, he adds. Watch More
Importance of Family In Building a Start-up - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: When starting a company, it's important to tell your family that they'll rarely see you, says Levinson, and to tell them how important they are to the whole process. The stress involved with a startup is often mind-boggling, and
the support of family can be the saving grace, he adds. Watch More
Innovate Fast and Keep The Team Small and Focused - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: Levinson talks about how competition is unavoidable among businesses, and in the high-tech industry, it's fast-paced and often cutthroat. Keeping ahead of the competition comes down to two things, according to him: quick
innovation and keeping your team small and focused. Watch More
Invest in Great People and Great Equipment - Not Furniture! - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: Number 10 in Frank Levinson's Top 10 Things You Must Have to Start a Business. The first thing you need is comfortable, cheap furniture. Spend everything you can on great people and great equipment, that's everything, Levinson
says. Watch More
Managing The Leverage of Customer Input on Product Development - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: Clearly, without producing something that meets a customer's needs, says Levinson, a business is not a good position to succeed. However, it's important that the business create its own goals and work to fulfill its own needs as
well. He describes the best methods to reaching a compromise in this situation. Watch More
Naming Your Company: Put Up a Sign - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: Number 9 in Frank Levinson's Top 10 Things You Must Have to Start a Business. Let people know you're in business, says Levinson. Name your company and put a sign up as soon as possible. Your main motivator should be the customers,
he adds. Watch More
Operational Experience Before Starting a New Venture - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: A familiar question among potential founders, says Levinson, is how much business and operational experience do I need to have before starting this business? He talks about the best experience a founder can have - the kind learned
only by jumping in with both feet and learning as you go. Watch More
Real Sales and Customers in Business - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: Number 2 in Frank Levinson's Top 10 Things You Must Have to Start a Business. Levinson talks about how a real business involves selling to customers and receiving money in return. He warns new businesses not to shy away from
selling their products early on. He also gives advice on recognizing a real customer. Watch More
Startups that Fail: Netek - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: Frank Levinson, founder of Finisar, begins his talk with a story about a failed startup of his, Netek. Netek is an example of company that had all of the components that are commonly considered to be necessary - idea, business
plan, VC investment, team and space. But even with all of that, Netek couldn't get off the ground, he says. Watch More
Sustenance of Growth Rate - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: The rate at which a company grows will vary for each individual venture, says Levinson. Sustaining the growth can be a tricky thing. He explains Finisar's rapid growth and weighs the pros and cons of quick growth and
sustainability. Watch More
Top 10 Must Have For a Start-up - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: Frank Levinson's Top 10 Things You Must Have to Start a Business. These include: 1) Spending everything on a good team and equipment 2) Letting people know the company is in business 3) Raising limited capital 4) Taking stock of a
company and determining its needs 5) Being open to opportunities 6) Having a supportive family 7) Targeting mass markets, not just niche markets 8) Having confidence in new ideas 9) Acquiring and selling to real customers 10) Choosing a great
partner Watch More
Was Finisar a Technology Looking for a Problem, or a Problem Looking for a Technology? - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: Levinson discusses the starting point of Finisar, and why he founded it. He also talks about the initial months of the business and trying to make a profit. Watch More
Whatever it Takes to Stay in Business - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: Number 6 in Frank Levinson's Top 10 Things You Must Have to Start a Business. In the spirit of doing anything to keep your business afloat, Levinson explains why it's important to be open to all opportunities. Watch More
Why are Ethics Important? - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: It's often more difficult than it sounds, but it's important to be fanatically ethical when building a company, says Levinson. He believes people understand if it's an ethical environment right away. It is something that people
gravitate to, he says, so you just have to build it early and never step off of it. Watch More
Why Go Public? - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: A company's IPO is often a symbol of success, says Levinson, but with that success comes a great deal of stress and change. He talks about his company's decision to go public, and their reasoning behind the decision. Watch More
You Need a Supportive Family - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: Number 5 in Frank Levinson's Top 10 Things You Must Have to Start a Business. When starting a business, says Levinson, it becomes your life. Having a family that supports you and understands that they may not see you often is a
great benefit. He talks about his family and the way they adapted. Watch More
You Need Little Capital - Frank Levinson (Finisar)
Frank Levinson
10/31/2001
Summary: Number 8 in Frank Levinson's Top 10 Things You Must Have to Start a Business. Levinson believes you need "too little" money. He uses the famous coconuts from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" as an example. Watch More

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