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Friday, October 29, 2004

Ram Shriram Talks About - "The Google Story"

Matt Marshall blogs about angel investor
Ram Shriram's talk about -"The Google Story" Ram Shriram, the angel investor who counseled Google’s founders during the earliest days, says success has no magic formula, but stems rather from continual small “block and tackle” moves and,it helps to have a little book called “Ram’s Book of Mistakes” to guide the way. Key Takeaways:
--Success is pretty much a crap-shoot; there are too many unknown facts in a company’s early life to make all the right decisions. But good, quick judgment calls on multiple fronts helps multiply the chances of beating the odds.
--Not even the wise man can see it coming: Shriram took more than two months after seeing the demo for an investment decision.
--It’s the people. Bad hiring decisions are the most fatal.Shriram helped co-founders Larry Page and Serge Brin in the Menlo Park garage by consulting his “Ram’s Book of Mistakes,” which he said he started eight or nine years ago to help remind him of all the bad decisions he’d made.
-- It’s all in the grooming. Shriram set out to made sure Page & Brin hired only the very best, or “A” people. He cited the well-known Silicon Valley tenet: Hire only A people, and they’ll hire other A people. If you hire the B person, they’ll hire C or D people. Someone asked a good question: How did Shriram decide who are a so-called “A” people? Grooming is a part of it. “I try to find out who their mothers are,” he said. If they are raised well, they’re more likely to make good citizens, employees and entrepreneurs.
--Shriram counseled the audience: “Be bold and dynamic,” noting that there are huge opportunities afforded by the new Internet economy -- in China and India, especially.
--He noted that Yahoo, Google and eBay had created 24,000 jobs, and that Internet companies had created $200 billion in stock market value in the last 7 years.
--Launching a company is easy. The great thing about the Internet is you can launch and test an idea easily, and cheaply. If it doesn’t work, you can go back to the drawing board. “If you build your field of dreams, and no one comes, you can shut it down,” he said.
--The trick is small engineering teams. “Bite-sized engineering projects.”
Quite interesting.
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