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Published 18 September 2012 07:43, Updated 19 September 2012 07:17
Writing for TechCrunch, Weiss – who was co-founder of Cisco-acquired networking play IronPort Systems – mulls over the question of what it takes to found a successful business, stating outright that no experience is better than working for a well-run start-up in tech’s mecca.
“I spent five years at a large technology company, two years at business school, and then two years in consulting before I went to a start-up. Even with that experience, I still believe I was too green to jump right in and start a company,” Weiss says.
“It’s not that those experiences weren’t valuable — it’s just that the most valuable lessons for successfully running a startup come from actually working at a well-run start-up. I’d go even further to assert that the start-up should be based in Silicon Valley and backed by venture capital.”
The venture capitalist goes on to expand on why he thinks a VC-backed Silicon Valley start-up is a better training ground than most, by arguing that young entrepreneurs probably don’t have the experience to pick out a well-run company when they’re fresh out of university.
Instead, he says, VC’s who’ve backed a company have done this vetting for young wannabe employees, while the funding they’ve injected helps boost the start-ups credibility as well as the resources it has available to build the business.
On the Silicon Valley question he writes, “within each technology region, there is a dense network of specialised talent, financiers, and service organisations (eg legal, PR, recruiting) that form a start-up ecosystem. Silicon Valley is by far the largest ecosystem and therefore holds the most potential for job opportunities and the strongest network”.
Weiss also draws on his own experience, lobbing into Palo Alto in 1996 with no contacts and $US100,000 in student debts to flesh out a list of five steps any budding entrepreneur can take to start realising their dream:
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