Three Talks on Managing Your Startup

Three Talks on Managing Your Startup

As of this writing, I’ve been working in startups for 20 years. First as a software architect and then as a VP and then, for the past 10 years, in the C-Suite.

Most of what I know, I know because other people shared their experiences with me. I’ve been fortunate to have a rich and wonderful set of friends and advisors. I try to pay it forward by giving talks (giving talks is also a great way to reinforce learning — the act of writing the slides and giving talks helped me think through the ideas).

These three talks are from 2016 and 2017 and are all about managing software startups in Silicon Valley. The slides are a little threadbare– the talks went for 90 to 120 minutes and were really more about Q&A / conversations than about a pre-recorded script. And they’re more than a little casual — they reflect the informal “technologists meeting in the evening” ethos of the valley.

But people often ask for the slides, so here they are:

  • So You Want to Be a CEO. Every now and then, I talk at the Silicon Valley Engineering Leadership Community. It’s a group of mid and senior level engineering managers, many of whom have aspirations to be a CEO. This talk is about how it isn’t all rainbows-and-unicorns.
  • Building Startups. The University of Santa Cruz has a sequence in entrepreneurship. I gave this talk on the basics of forming a company, to help the students understand that startups take time, and that nothing happens overnight.
  • On the Startup Team. TVLP is an organization that helps startup companies outside Silicon Valley understand Silicon Valley a little better. The entrepreneurs come to the Valley for a “bootcamp” style experience, to learn from those of us who have been in the trenches here. As part of that, I gave this talk on how to build teams for (software) startups.

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