Digital Vision, Journal

Doug Hickey Seminar

“The vision or the idea sometimes is more important than the technology.”

Doug Hickey, a Partner at Hummer Winblad Ventures Partners, a San Francisco-based VC firm, came to speak to the Digital Vision Fellows this afternoon at Stanford. Doug has a phenomenal resume to his credit, running or holding senior-level positions at companies like Critical Path, MFS, Metricom, and Global Center. He retold some stories of building his companies from the ground up to passing on his nuggets of wisdom to those who would undertake the startup path.

Some random notes from the meeting:

  • Operating guys make better venture capitalists.
  • Make sure you — not just your lawyer — understand the term sheet.
  • Founders need to hire people smarter than they are.
  • The vision or the idea sometimes is more important than the technology.
  • On never firing someone too early: one of the worst things you can do is overemphasize the loyalty factor. If you do so, you might be putting the company at risk.
  • Microsoft isn’t a company, it’s a country!

Work is progressing well at the Fellowship. I’ve successfully gotten Phlink to communicate with Soybo. One issue that remains to be solved is how to interact with Soybo using Phlink. How much control of the interface should be given to the various Phlink scripts and how much should be coded into the Soyvices? These are things that I’ll be working on in the coming days. Stay tuned for more!

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