Archive for January, 2008

Founder Story: Mike Lanza’s Lessons Learned from Two Startups

Written by Francis Adanza. Posted in Founder Story, Startups

Last week I had lunch with Mike Lanza, a serial entrepreneur, who I met at the SDForum Startup SIG in September ’07. He gave a thought provoking presentation on his entrepreneurial career, bootstrapping a company, and working with VC’s, which I blogged about here: Mike Lanza: Starting Companies Without Venture Capital. I thought a more in depth personal analysis of his “Lessons Learned” would be a great addition to our Founders Story series.

Q: What are your thoughts about partners compared to going at it alone? Did you have co-founder(s) for any of your companies? If so, how did you find them?

I have seen several approaches to starting a company. Some founding teams are formed before they think of the idea. A group of really smart people join forces, brainstorm a bunch of ideas, pick one and then go. I think I am more of a visionary, so I like to think of the ideas first and then assemble the team. I believe the idea is the core of the business and that you need the idea to attract the right people.

I have built companies with and without partners. Once I come up with something, I start off by informing all my contacts about my idea and plans. Then I ask them to spread the word to see if anyone is interested in joining the team. At first, I always try to find partners, but if I can’t find partners I hire doers. In the early stages, its more about execution and follow through. If you have too many senior people on the project, nothing ever gets done because its all strategic.

Unless I happen to find the perfect partners, I like to hire more mature junior personnel rather than experienced veterans.

Q: For those looking to hire ambitious junior personnel, can you share any tips on recruiting, retaining, and managing them?

When you interview them, figure out whether they can take a particular project tomorrow and make a big impact right away, without a lot of supervision. These are the ideal first employees. I call them “heat-seeking missiles.”

As for retaining and managing them, people like this thrive if they are constantly given new challenges. Don’t give them challenges that are too big – give them things that are a bit outside of their comfort zone, and let them knock down success after success. If you’ve got the right person, you’ll find them growing tremendously in a very short time.

Q: After you figure out the idea, develop the team, and hire the necessary people, how do you start building a company?

Most important thing you can do is manage your time. In early market exploration, I believe most of your time is spent evaluating the market and incorporating customer feedback into your product development efforts in order to get a purchase decision. Reference customers are key. After you have identified a target market, figure out who in the market will serves as a reference to other potential prospects. Make sure your first reference customers are not too big. Big reference customers take a long time to close, beat you up on price, require additional services, and extra support. They will consume all your resources and you won’t even have the time to use them as a reference for new prospects. You don’t want a big brand name, otherwise you will get killed on the deal.

A good reference customer is usually a company that is roughly the same size as you. They will help you refine your product and your technology will play an important role in their success. For as much as you put in for them, you will get out in return. They will vouch for your offering and put a name behind the testimonial. Another strategy I use is what I call a “throw away customer.” This is a prospect whom you have a lot of bargaining power. Consider walking away from the deal early but come back later when you get a favorable price.

You need to realize that you’re not going to do a very good job with that customer initially, so you want someone who is a cutting edge enthusiast, familiar to you and understanding when you fail to deliver perfectly. There’s no away around the fact that you’ll learn a lot from servicing this first customer, so you don’t want to do this first project for the largest potential customer in your market.

Q: What was the hardest decision you had to make in any of your ventures?

At 1 View Networks I realized that a bubble was forming and it was a good time to get out of the business. Word got out that the company was going to be acquired. There was a group of employees that approached me and threatened to quit if they were not given more stock.

At the time I had a convertible note from investors that were pleasant to work with. I had a short window of time to issue them stock so that they could participate in the acquisition benefit. I was basically juggling a group of disgruntled employees, trying to sell a company, and do good for some investors who I wanted to do business with in the future.

I did not want the employees to quit because it would look bad to the acquiring company. However, the three that were threatening had all been there less than six months, so I felt that they had not even earn what they were asking. Ultimately, I gave in to the blackmail. It was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made, but it was the right one. Unfortunately, my most loyal employee resented me intensely for this. So, I got no love from anyone for this decision – the blackmailers just took the stock and ran, and the person closest to me ended up hating me. However, we closed the deal. Welcome to the loneliness of being a CEO…

Q: What were three things that worked from Just In Time Solutions that you implemented into 1View Network?

  1. Sell to big, fat customers that don’t have adequate internal resources but have big budgets. Then, go “crazy” to satisfy them, but bill for every minute you spend.
  2. In the sales discussions, tell them exactly what you think they need. Don’t give a “here are our capabilities – we can do whatever you want” presentation. Remember – you’re trying to build a company, not a one-off project, so you need to sell a product vision that works for your entire market.
  3. Always be true to your ideals, even in the most tiring of management situations.

Q: I am sure there are many problems, but if you could just pin point one thing you learned from Just In Time Solutions that you made sure to avoid in starting 1View Network, what would it be?

I would avoid raising venture capital as long as possible. Most of the time the founders get replaced. Also people associate raising capital as a form of success. I have seen founders raise capital and then set the speedometer on cruise control. People begin to spend money carelessly. If money is around, companies tend to start spending it and relax a bit, even if their largest challenges lie ahead of them.

Q: What are you up to now?

Right now, I am working on a project that is more of a cause than a business. Who knows, it might turn into a business, but I right now I am having fun and doing something that I have always wanted to do. I am developing an online community for parents who want their children to go outside and play, but are frustrated with the lack of opportunities in their particular neighborhoods. It’s called Playborhood.

Our goal is to reach out to people who seek better play-based communities and neighborhoods for their children. So many families now have structured play all the time and neighborhoods where they don’t feel safe letting their kids play outside unsupervised. We’re lucky to find the rare place where they can. So Playborhood aims to become a great community resource where parents can go to find the right neighborhood for them and engage others in that neighborhood in the process of creating a safe, inviting Playborhood.

HP’s Early Customers Came From Fred Terman’s Social Network

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Customer Development, Founder Story, skmurphy

The founding team for a startup typically provides the basic intellectual capital, and frequently the initial seed capital. But a young team often has to rely on advisors for social capital–existing relationships based on mutual trust and prior shared success. These relationships act as points of departure for market exploration and social navigation to early customers.

One early example in high technology is Fred Terman‘s role in the formation and early success of Hewlett Packard. In “The Engineer Who Jump-Started Silicon Valley” a 1997 Business Week article by Joan O’C. Hamilton it’s clear that he provided the founders with considerable social capital:

Packard’s recollections complete the picture: “We built the first production model by Christmas, and I clearly recall having [the first oscillator production unit] sitting on the mantel above the fireplace,” he wrote in “The HP Way.” “There we took pictures of it and produced a two-page sales brochure that we sent to a list of about 25 potential customers provided by Fred Terman. We designated this first product the Model 200A because we thought the name would make us look like we’d been around for awhile.”

Social navigation, or the ability to navigate in a population and gain cues and guidance from individuals both directly and by their actions, is a key skill that founders must develop. As much as they want to focus on technology, finding prospects to validate that they are solving a real problem and that their solution is compelling is twice as important. Navigation requires that you know where you are, where you want to go, and how you want to get there. It may also involve experimentation and exploration of the market, and in many cases for a startup’s founders, one or more revisions to your destination.

Postscript: just so it’s a little clearer that a few of the names that Terman supplied became customers, here is another paragraph from same “Litton Answers the Call” section of the “Garage Becomes Workshop” chapter of the “The HP Way” the first excerpt above came from.

“We weren’t expecting much from our first mailing, but amazingly enough, in the first couple of weeks in January back came several orders…and some were accompanied by checks.”

DEMOgod Winner Phreesia Praises Peter Cohan Training

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Demos, Events

SKMurphy, Inc., the Silicon Valley leader in customer development for serious bootstrapping entrepreneurs, will host Peter Cohan‘s Great Demo workshop on Saturday March 8. Cohan coached the latest winner of the DEMO Conference in Fall 2007: Phreesia improves the patient experience in medical office waiting rooms by automating patient check-in, generating comprehensive documentation, and allows physicians to track past visits, medications, and information recorded from other doctors offices.

“We are offering this workshop as a service to the startup community. Learning to get your point across within the first ten minutes so that your prospective customer is engaged and asking questions is critical for all startup entrepreneurs” said Sean Murphy, CEO of SKMurphy. “When I first heard Peter speak, it was an enormously enlightening and energizing experience. I have been scripting and giving demos (and presentations) for more than 20 years and here was an approach that was much better than anything I had seen.”

Phreesia’s CEO, Chaim Indig, believes “the workshop is definitely worth the money!” While sitting in Peter Cohan’s workshop, Chaim thought “this was obvious, but no one was presenting like this.” After the workshop Chaim bought enough copies of Peter’s book for everyone in the company. “Peter Cohan’s Great Demo method really works. It helped us win DEMOgod, and it has allowed us to explain our offering much more clearly to prospects.”

“Phreesia has an outstanding product, and the on-stage demonstration was well rehearsed and very crisp.” said Chris Shipley, co-founder of the Guidewire Group and Executive Producer of the DEMO Conference. “A quality demo has an impact on the audience and communicates the product’s value, and does so in a succinct, limited time frame. Chaim Indig gave a clear and concise value proposition for the doctor, patient and company. He made an immediate connection with the audience.”

Peter Cohan, author of the book Great Demo!, coined the phrase “Do The Last Thing First” a recipe for creating and delivering surprisingly compelling software demonstrations. Peter’s methodology outlines a framework to create and deliver improved demonstrations and presentations to increase success in the marketing, sales, and deployment of software and related products. Whether it’s face to face, over the web, as a screencast, or as a self-running demo, the ability to present the key benefits of your software product is essential to generating prospect interest and ultimately revenue. Peter Cohan of The Second Derivative gives us the recipe for a Great Demo!

Workshop registration information is at https://www.skmurphy.com/services/workshops/

About SKMurphy, Inc. (https://www.skmurphy.com/)
At SKMurphy, Inc. we offer business development services for software entrepreneurs. We provide strategic advice on customer development, company development, product planning, and new product introduction. We develop executable plans with measurable results to grow your business. Our focus is on early customers and early revenue for software startups.

About Second Derivative (http://www.secondderivative.com)
The Second Derivative helps software organization achieve their sales and marketing objectives by dramatically improving the success rates of their demos. The Great Demo! method enables organizations to create and deliver surprisingly effective software demonstrations. The Second Derivative offers workshops, coaching and consulting with a focus on the needs of organizations developing and selling business-to-business software.

About Phreesia (http://www.phreesia.com)
The idea is simple but effective: instead of reading a magazine while waiting, patients are handed a Phreesia WebPad where they can provide their demographics, complaints, and other basic registration information. The system is free for doctors and patients to electronically store and enter health data without affecting the normal office work flow. Additionally, the portal allows patients to learn about their medical problems and participate in ongoing question & answer sessions which provide them with other relevant information.

Lunch & Learn: Using Wikis for Projects

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events, skmurphy, Tools for Startups

Pierre Khawand of People-OnTheGo and I were on a panel at GABA in October of last year on “Communication Today: Blogs, E-mail and More” and we had a great conversation on blogs and wikis. He has invited me to speak on “Wiki Use Case: Managing Team Meetings: Agendas, Minutes and Tasks” at today’s Lunch & Learn webinar.

You can sign up here at GoToMeeting.

Here is a brief description of the topics we will be covering

Project management tools are great for managing and presenting the highly structured elements of a project: resources, milestones, time-line, and budget. But they are not as effective for managing the unstructured information and the their inter-linkages: documents, notes, meeting agendas, and specifications. Wikis provide an on-line workspace for a project team to store and manage unstructured documents that’s browser accessible. Learn tips on how wikis can cut the time needed to reach consensus on project deliverables when a deadline looms. You will leave with a practical understanding of usage models that leverage the distinct strengths of wikis for global project teams. This session will be presented by Sean Murphy, CEO of SKMurphy Inc. (https://www.skmurphy.com).

More background on what we will be talking about can be found in our article on “Using Blogs & Wikis for Better Collaboration.”

Afternoon update: this was a lot of fun. I was very impressed by Pierre’s method and approach. I have listened to a number of webinars where one speaker talks for 20-30 minutes and then another one talks for 20-30 minutes and invariably each runs out of steam a few minutes into the talk, their voices become less animated and finally monotone, and you lose a sense of connection. We had a mix of Q&A, short 2-4 minute presentations on some prepared topics and then a number of questions from the audience as well as an interactive demo of Central Desktop. I still miss the non-verbal cues you get from facing your audience but this was a lot of fun. I am glad Pierre invited me to take part.

People-OnTheGo also offers workshops on “Accomplishing More With Less” in addition to the free Lunch & Learn series.

Late Afternoon Update: Pierre blogged about it at “Wiki Use Case: Managing Team Meetings” and slides are here: WikiPeopleOnTheGo080124.ppt

SKMurphy goes to SDWest 2008

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Events, Startups

Join us at SDWest 2008 March 3-7, the conference offers with both business and technology tracks and has an interesting mix of sessions for software entrepreneurs. In addition to the technology oriented sessions you would expect, the conference has added a “Business of Software” track that should prove valuable to folks in–or planning to be in–a software startup. As a part of the business track, Steve Blank is speaking on Starting and Running an Entrepreneurial Company: Customer Development and he is always worth listening to.

Come visit us at Booth #318 and see our Startup Resource Center.

First Office: Ed Correia, Sagacent Technologies CEO

Written by Francis Adanza. Posted in First Office

For my third post in the “First office” series, I wanted to learn about alternative office options to incubators. Earlier this month I sat down with Ed Correia, founder of Sagacent Technologies, to learn about his experience in finding the right first office.

Sagacent Technologies specializes in business technology management services. Clients benefit from highly skilled professional service resources utilizing a proven methodology for assessing challenging IT environments or implementing complex technical solutions. Sagacent Solutions are carefully tailored to meet the specific business needs with strategic and farsighted planning. Below are the question and answers from our conversation.

Q: What were your three biggest concerns in finding the right office?

Location was the most important concern in finding the right office. We wanted something that was central to our current client base and close to our target market. One of the things that differentiates us from some other IT management firms is that we not only do remote monitoring but our staff spends most of the time in the field at different customer locations. Driving time for my employees and heavy traffic hours was definitely an issue. We are not a store, so being close to the road or in a strip mall was irrelevant. The look of the building and the surrounding location was the second biggest concern. I did not want to be in a run down building or in a questionable neighborhood. We wanted something that was aesthetically appealing and in a professional office space so that we didn’t undercut our credibility. I would say our third biggest concern was security.

Q: In terms of getting started, when you made the decision to move, what was the first thing you did?

I called a broker from California Properties and then developed a map of Silicon Valley. The broker and I figured out where our current customers were located and then determined where our target prospects are located. Then we outlined a tight circle of locations that would suit our needs. We looked at 20 properties before I decided on the ideal office place and location.

Q: How did you measure or assess the quality of the office?

I looked at the facility to see how well it was maintained. Then I spoke with some of the other tenants to understand their impressions of the place. Finally, did I like the building manager? Was this someone I could work with?

Q: How long did the whole process take from making th first call to moving in and being functional?

It took about a month and a half to see all the properties and then another month in a half to move the essentials over to become fully operational. However, the place was a mess and was not presentable to visitors. It took a total of 6 months to paint, gather furniture, and organize everything before we invited people to our headquarters.

Q: How big an expense was furniture for you? Did you find a store or other source for good used furniture?

We put the word and were surprised at the number of people who had a surplus chairs, tables, or desks they were happy to part with if we would do the hauling. We spent hardly any money on furniture as a result.

Q: Was this a frustrating search? At one point you thought you had found a good location but the deal fell through.

We knew it was a big decision for us so I wouldn’t say that it was frustrating. At one point we had signed a contract and I thought we were done. I took a few days off for vacation with my wife to celebrate and when I came back our prospective landlord had left a message that they had gotten a better offer and were rescinding our deal. So at that point I realized I wasn’t just picking an office, I needed to take a harder look at the landlord. I had been looking at a lot of “objective measures” of the office, but that experience made me realize that leasing an office is the start of multi-year relationship with your landlord. And you want to select one who will be a good business partner whatever happens to your business.

Q: Even with a surplus of office space you were surprised that a number of landlords didn’t want your business?

Yes, I was shocked that IT firms have a bad reputation among landlords. I don’t know if it’s lingering fallout from the dotcom crash but several times they would immediately lose interest in working with us when I described the basics of our business.

Q: What were the three biggest surprises you discovered in your search or after you moved in?

The biggest surprise was the amount of paper work involved in negotiating the lease. There are all kinds of hidden fees and tenant responsibilities in the contract. I recommend that you have your attorney read over the contract for you. The next surprise was the poor quality of building’s DSL line. We ended up having to install our own T1 line. The third surprise was being able to rent more space. Our business doubled less than a year after the move. We are already looking to rent an additional 1000 sq ft. Our property manager has been great in helping us plan for the expansion.

Q: What has the impact of the office been on your business?

I have been pleased at how our getting an office has allowed us to communicate our professional approach. We have always been committed to our customers in the way that we do assessments, in our thorough proposals, and our contracts. But for many prospects who have visited us in the office, it’s been another proof point in their minds that we are committed to the business and are growing. We have also done a number of open house events that have made new prospects aware of our services and let our current customers come by and give us informal feedback.

Update Feb-29-2008: Ed Correia was profiled in a San Jose Business Journal article “Sagacent Grows by Helping Small Business Avoid IT Woes.

Where Can I Find Speaking Engagements?

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Startup CEO: Question of the Day, Startups

If your New Years Resolution is to speak more, you might be wonder where to go. One type of group that is always looking for speakers are local user groups. User groups offer an informal network and forum for the exchange of ideas, tips, and gotchas. With user groups I also include professional group because the members usually are faced with the same set of problems and challenges and are willing to share problems and solutions. They can be a source of direct leads and referrals — from folks who have interacted with you and substantiate your reliability and character — once you have established yourself as a solid member not just a tourist.

Besides speaking, there are many other ways you can contribute. Here are some suggestions. Think about what can you offer?

  • Training Workshop
  • Write Articles for Newsletter
  • Be a Speaker
  • Plan Something Fun
  • Contribute to Group Forums, Bulletin Boards or Discussion Groups
  • Sponsorships & Prizes

It’s OK to visit a group meeting once or twice to see if it’s the right group, but you should make a personal commitment to regularly attend for a year or so if you want to join the group. Trust is built over time and finding small ways to meaningfully contribute will improve your legitimate reputation in the community.
Provided you can be patient, and abide by the community standards and unwritten rules, user groups offer you opportunities for good face to face discussions (often supplemented by an on-line forum or e-mail reflector) and speaking.

Idea to Revenue Workshop on Jan-19-08 is Sold Out

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events, skmurphy

The Idea to Revenue Workshop scheduled for January 19 is now sold out and no walk-ins will be accepted.

We had added this in December in response to the overflow demand for the December 6 one and are now considering adding a third. Please contact us and let us know if you are interested or sign up for our workshop notification list (note that per our privacy policy any contact information we collect is only used to help us serve you and is not sold to third parties).

These workshops are a lot of fun but are lot of work for attendees. We actually send a preparation package (“homework”) out about a week in advance to attendees and create an individual on-line workspace with all of the workshop materials for them to work in to complement the paper workbook. We then follow up four times over the three months after the workshop to see how the planning process is progressing. The workshop is highly interactive so we have to limit them to a dozen people to be able to get through all of the exercises in a half day.

The downside to this approach is that many people (us included) seem to decided whether or not to attend an event in the last 24-48 hours (in the case of the Bootstrappers Breakfast events some folks even decide late the night before they will get up early enough (or perhaps just stay up) to be there at 7:30am). So if you would like to come, please let us know and we will accommodate you, but it will have to be after this Saturday.

Search Engine Optimization Best Practice Basics

Written by Francis Adanza. Posted in Events

Last night I attended the monthly PATCA dinner. The featured speaker of the evening was Kevin Dean, a certified Internet marketing consultant, from WSI (We Simplify the Internet). It was an interactive question and answer session in which Kevin covered “Search Engine Optimization Best Practice Basics.” Kevin’s key point was that SEO is easily misunderstood: no one should believe that SEO alone will allow you to close business, it’s just one aspect of your overall marketing mix.

Here are some helpful tips to increase your web presence and make your website more relevant to search engines.

  • Content is king. A search engine has never purchased anything, so do not substitute tacky headlines and searchable jargon for pure, unfiltered, original content. Write to your target readers, use good sentences, and get to the point. Try to keep key content/messages to no more than three per webpage, so as not to dilute the keywords for SEO.
  • Key phrase selection is important. Phrases that have two or more meanings can increase your competition and confuse searchers. Key phrases are primarily the verbiage picked up in the titles and descriptions. When you choose key phrases, make sure you describe yourself the way people would remember what you do. A good way to figure this out is to ask your customers what they think of your offering.
  • Understand how your page structure is read by the search engines. One thing you should be aware of is pictures and images cannot be read by search engines. Be sure to create subtitles or add an alt tag to the picture/image in a way that relates to your business.

There are over thirty components that make up SEO. If you would like to see how relevant your website is visit http://www.websitegrader.com. The free tool diagnoses your website and shows you many of the components you need to improve.

We Sign NDA’s

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Legal Issues, skmurphy

We get asked “Will you sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement?” fairly often, to the point that we are proactive, suggesting that a prospect take a look at our Mutual NDA [PDF] and sign it if it would increase their comfort level.

A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) allows us to have a deeper and more useful discussion. We will normally have an initial conversation where the prospect can simply decline to answer certain questions but we can have a high level exchange of information.

This surprises some entrepreneurs who are used to Angels and VC’s telling them that they won’t sign NDA (and sometimes being counseled that they were stupid for asking). You can ask a VC them to sign an NDA as a part of their Board of Director seat since they now have a clear fiduciary obligation to the company, but the number of business plans that yield you a VC on your board is perhaps one in 200.

But we are neither VC’s or Angels, aspiring instead to be trusted advisers on strategy and business development. And it seems to me if you are going to provide strategic advice, you have to be willing to sign and honor NDA’s. Since the start of the year we’ve signed three, and will sign two to four a month on an ongoing basis. Obviously it takes more than a piece of paper to inspire trust, but it’s a start.

That being said, I believe that execution is far more important than the idea, and that good execution means that you need to continue to evolve your initial idea.

John Holton of Symphony Consulting on Business Incubators

Written by Francis Adanza. Posted in First Office

Following up on my “Silicon Valley Incubators” post in the “First Office” series I wanted to get a tenant’s perspective on the the advantages and drawbacks of locating in a business incubator.

Symphony Consulting is a manufacturing outsourcing, procurement, and supply chain consulting firm that helps original equipment manufacturers and their supply chain partners in three key areas: revenue, assets, profitability. I talked with John Holton, co founder of Symphony Consulting, about his experience of finding his first office after looking at a number of Silicon Valley business incubators. Below are the questions and answers from our short discussion.

Q: What were your three biggest concerns in finding the right office?
A: Our three biggest concerns were location, IT infrastructure, and professional appearance. We wanted something that was easily accessible by major highways and close to our clients (technology companies). IT infrastructure is expensive, so the incubator system was an attractive proposition. We also wanted a place that looked professional. Plug and Play has a professional appearance from the outside and great facilities inside.

Q: What were three things that surprised you after choosing your office space?
A: There are about a hundred companies in this incubator so I appreciate the amount of energy from other entrepreneurs in the building. However, I must admit, the noise from the other people can sometimes be distracting. I knew I would be more productive in a regular office setting but I was surprised by how much more I can focus on tasks important to my business.

Q: What specific benefits does your office leaser offer as a part of their service?
A: Plug and Play Tech Center has really nice conference rooms, cafeteria with good food, and 24 hour coffee. The administrative assistants and staff are helpful. The cubicles come furnished with desks and chairs. Finally, there is plenty of parking.

Q: How do you measure or assess the quality of the facilities you looked at?
A: Basically, we just judged the place by the location, the appearance of the building and its interior, and the amenities it offered.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to comment on or make suggestions to others looking for their first office?
A: I think it was a good investment. It makes the business seem more professional and credible. I also think it makes me more disciplined and productive.

SaaS Roundtable: VARs in a SaaS World

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Events

In a SaaS world where tools are more integrated and customizable, are VARs going away? How do SaaS companies reach customers? How should we compensate sales people? As a sales person, how will I make money if I work for a SaaS company? At this roundtable discussion we will exchange tips and gotchas and provide a look at the impact on business models, teams and product development.

Tuesday April 8 2008, 11:30 – 1:00 pm
Plug & Play Tech Center 440 N Wolfe Rd Sunnyvale, California 94085
Cost for lunch: $20 After April 2 $30

click here to Register080408

About the Roundtable Leaders

Anthony Scampavia
At SKMurphy, he provides consulting for Software Startups focusing on Early Customer, Early Revenue

  • Reviewing and defining product release and test strategies
  • Developing test and development sandbox environments focusing on automated regressions and system level testing

Prior to SKMurphy, Anthony was a Director at Cisco Systems. He managed the growth from 1 test engineer to a division of 280 employees in multiple sites, and 20,000 sq ft of test labs. Anthony holds a BA in Computer Science from University of California at San Diego.

Sean Murphy
Sean Murphy has taken an entrepreneurial approach to life since he could drive. He has served as an advisor to dozens of startups, helping them explore new options and bring their businesses to new levels. His firm, SKMurphy, Inc., focuses on early customers and early revenue for software startups, helping engineers to understand business development.

Prior to SKMurphy, Sean worked in a variety of areas including software engineering, engineering management, application engineering, business development, product marketing and customer support. He has worked at Cisco Systems, 3Com, AMD, MMC Networks, Escalade and VLSI Technology. Sean holds a BS in Mathematical Sciences and an MS in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford University.

Hello 2008

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Quotes, skmurphy

Let’s hope the New Year finds us all healthy, surrounded by loved ones, and living up to our potential.

A quartet of quotes from Mignon McLaughlin to help kick off 2008

The time to begin most things was ten years ago.

Courage can’t see around corners, but goes around them anyway.

Every day of our lives we are on the verge of making those slight changes that would make all of the difference.

Don’t be yourself–be someone a little nicer.

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