Professions of a Silicon Valley Double-E
Thursday, May 03, 2007
  Who Wants to be a Start-Up Star?
RE-SCHEDULED: - India Grand Buffet dinner& Networking 6:30-7:30 - Panel 7:30 -8:30

Silicon Valley is still a GREAT place for startups to form.. Here we have great research universities to generate ideas, Venture Capital firms for seed money, and the greatest concentration of technical talent. Yet one of the challenges startups face is finding and hiring the RIGHT talent.
From our point of view, as potential startup employee's, we'd like to know how to get to be that Talent.

We have assembled a panel of folks who have built successful startups, to discuss what they look for in their early hires. Questions to be discussed include:
What are the essential qualities that differentiate the successful employees they would hire for their next startup from those who have great talent, but shouldn't be hired in a startup situation. ? How should startup candidates prepare for their interview? What kinds of experiences show those qualities ?
When we are available how, do we get "in the loop" to learn about potential startups?

Please join us on Monday, June 4th for this exciting discussion..
- Check back for Bio's of our Panelists..

Location: India Grand Buffet
1214 Apollo Way, Sunnyvale, 94085

Cost: Dinner (optional) $10 + beverages
This sounds as if the would-be employees need to be thoroughly screened. Why is it that a majority of the Silicon Valley startups fail if the support system is as rosy as often portrayed? Based on this statistic alone, Silicon Valley is the most unproductive. Having been at a few startups, I have the scars ... Perhaps these are questions that would be more meaningful.
I EXPECT most startups to fail. I think that its part of the basic idea. I think potential employee's should be screened closely - but THIS event plans to address the difference between the characteristics of star employees at LARGER, established firms, and those of star employee's at at startup. The main idea is to help people decide what kind of work they should be looking for.

A session on "Avoiding Startup Scars" sounds like it would also be a great idea. Lets talk about it.
What most managers look for is somebody willing to work 16 hours a day 7 days a week? I would rather hear about how to start my own startup and make a lot of bucks rather than how to make somebody else (venture capitalists and the first founder) rich. Why don't we change the topic to this?
There are SO many "how to do a startup" events, blogs etc, that I wonder what the IEEE could add. I also suspect this is more of an Entrepreneurial role than an innovators role that would typically be filled by IEEE members.
If you have a speaker in mind that can speak to Engineer's about startups, we'll consider it.

In my experience, most managers want the work to get done. If you are in the EARLY startup stage, it maybe more rewarding for the team to work longer hours, than to increase the team size and dilute the ownership.. but that's a choice I'd expect the team to make.
If a hiring manager demands 16 hour days, I'd be expecting extraordinary rewards.. IE an opportunity to apply for US green card, or lots of extra $$.
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Ruminations about the Electrical Engineering profession as practiced in Silicon Valley by an IEEE Senior Member. Disclaimer: All Posts here are official IEEE business in that they are messages about IEEE activities from an IEEE volunteer. These messages do not constitute official records of R6-PACE activities, nor official IEEE or IEEE-USA policy statements. Website:

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Location: San Jose, California, United States

When he is not working on IEEE stuff, Jonathan does Mixed Signal Design Verification at Qualcomm. Senior Member IEEE. Founder IEEE-SCV-SSC (the first Solid State Circuits chapter). Past Section Chair, Santa Clara Valley Section - the Largest Section. Co-founder IEEE-SCV-CAS. IEEE-SSCS Membership chair 2001-2003. IEEE SSCS chapters Committee member. IEEE-SCV-PACE committee member 2001- IEEE-SCV-PACE Chair 2006-2007. IEEE R6 PACE coordinator.


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