Decoding Silicon Valley Best Practices S12 Ep26

Guest: Michelle Messina and Jonathan Baer

There is a mystique about Silicon Valley. Some think its this magical place where the breakthrough innovation is done. Others talk about it in hushed terms reserved for spiritual experiences. In reality, Silicon is much more complex and harder to grasp than with some simple labels. To understand it, you need to understand the answers to these questions; What is it? Why has it been so successful? How do you take Silicon Valley best practices  and apply them to your business?

In the book Decoding Silicon Valley: The Insiders Guide, Michelle Messina and Jonathan Baer take on the task of peeling back the facade of Silicon Valley and help you understand it.

In this weeks show, Phil, Michelle and Jonathan discuss their experiences of Silicon Valley and what entrepreneurs can learn from what works – and more importantly what doesn't work.

Topics included:

  • The history of Silicon Valley and how it came to be
  • How should you experience Silicon Valley
  • What are the most common mistakes entreprenrus make when coming to Silicon Valley?
    • They parachute in rather than commit
    • Looking to have discussions at the wrong executive levels within a company
    • Thinking that a simple introduction to “any” VC will result in funding
    • Not being well prepared to present
    • Believing that what worked at home will work in Silicon Valley
    • Focusing too much on the technology and features and not enough on the business
  • What are two Silicon Valley best practices that any entrepreneur can apply to their business?
    • Taking a 360 degree view (beyond tech to include business model, team, etc)
    • Really understating product market fit

About The Guests:

Michelle E. Messina is a serial entrepreneur who brings strong sales, marketing, and business development skills to startups everywhere. She pioneered the Silicon Valley best practices training of startups in 2004 and has worked in more than 35 countries. Michelle has worked with leading corporate, university and government acceleration programs around the world. Today, she helps companies get clear and focused so they translate their vision into reality. Michelle believes that being an entrepreneur is the hardest thing you’ll ever enjoy doing.

Jon Baer is a recovering venture capitalist who loves working with early stage companies around the world. He was the founder and CEO of two venture-backed companies, one of which was a spinout from SRI International. Jon now spends his time teaching, mentoring, and advising early stage companies with leading accelerators and investors around the world. He believes that startups require tough love; and need to focus on money, metrics, and milestones. Jon teaches startup CEOs to say less, because less is more.

Show Links:

Zoom - Video Collaboration That Doesn't Suck  - Is a sponsor of the Killer Innovations Show

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