My experience with successful startups began with Teknecron in 1986, just as the start-up I was working on began to fall apart. I learned a lot from my first startup, but I began seeing first hand how to succeed in startups with two of Teknecron's spun-out businesses: TFS was bought by TRW and TCSI went public. I'd gone to Teknecron to follow a fellow Lawrence Lab alum, Vic Elischer. Vic was visionary-- part salesman, part genius, a rare blend of entrepreneur and scientist. The combined experiences taught me how home spun technology businesses succeed with local talent. Following Teknecron, I was hired by WebLogic's CEO, Paul Ambrose, who was himself being mentored and supported by widely recognized venture capital, such as Regis McKenna. WebLogic was a startup, merger and acquisitions juggernaut that continues to this day as the cornerstone of Oracle's portfolio of application products. For me, the key learnings from WebLogic's success as a business are the value of broad problem solving skills, a disciplined focus on the well wrought venture playbook and succeeding even with a sometimes flawed team.
Summary of my experience:
12 years in academic science at USC, UCB and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory
21 years in 5 successful tech startups