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While Plan A may begin the backbone on which an entrepreneurial idea is hinged, succinct data gathering and constant market evaluation more often lead to profit with the next idea in line. The tech sector breeds innovation, says KPCB partner and frequent speaker Randy Komisar, and to do so it is required to accept the numerous fits and starts of the start-up.
Accenture's Liz Tinkham interviews salesforce.com's Polly Sumner about entrepreneurship that occurs in both large and small companies. They both agree that innovation and risk-taking occur in any-sized company where the culture emphasizes "no idea is a dumb idea." Sumner advises young entrepreneurs to not fear risk: every failure teaches you a valuable lesson, and once learned, success is that much sweeter.
John R. "Trip" Adler III is an American entrepreneur who started the social publishing company Scribd. Adler grew up in Palo Alto, California, and then attended Harvard University where he studied biophysics and graduated in June 2006.
Danish-born David Heinemeier Hansson is the programmer and creator of the popular Ruby on Rails web development framework and the Instiki wiki. He is also a partner at the Web-based software development firm 37signals,
based in Chicago. Ruby on Rails provides a "basic development environment" for programmers, according to Wikipedia.org. Based on the programming language Ruby (developed by Japanese programmer Yukihiro Matsumoto in 1995), Ruby on Rails
focuses on user interface and "convention over configuration"; meaning, developers can focus on the unique qualities of their Web site or program rather than the building blocks that every application may require. Released in 2004, Ruby on
Rails has been incorporated into many applications used by some of the biggest companies, from Twitter to Apple's 2007 release of Mac OS X v.10.5 "Leopard." Aside from his development of Ruby on Rails, Heinemeier Hansson also works as a
partner for Web-based software development firm 37signals. Joining the company in 2003, he has helped develop Basecamp, Campfire, Backpack and other Web-based applications. Working in similar ways like Web-based e-mail services like Yahoo!
e-mail and Google's Gmail, 37signals hosts a broad range of IT services for companies, including project management to information-sharing. The firm's software has been used by Kellogg's, Sun Microsystems and even Obama '08. Hansson
received his bachelor's degree from the Copenhagen Business School in 2005. In that same year, he moved to Chicago and received Hacker of the Year honors for his work on Ruby on Rails from Google and O'Reilly Media. He runs a blog called
George P. Shultz is the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He was sworn in on July 16, 1982, as the sixtieth U.S. secretary of state and served until January 20, 1989. In January
1989, he rejoined Stanford University as the Jack Steele Parker Professor of International Economics at the Graduate School of Business and as a distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is a member of the board of directors of
Fremont Group and Accretive Health. He is chairman of the J. P. Morgan Chase International Council, chairman of the California governor's Council of Economic Advisers, and U.S. chair of the North American Forum. He is the advisory council
chair of the Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency at Stanford University, chair of the MIT Energy Initiative External Advisory Board, and chair of the Energy Task Force at Hoover Institution. He was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the
nation's highest civilian honor, on January 19, 1989. He also received the Seoul Peace Prize (1992), the Eisenhower Medal for Leadership and Service (2001), and the Reagan Distinguished American Award (2002). He is the recipient of the
Elliot Richardson Prize for Excellence and Integrity in Public Service, the James H. Doolittle Award, and the John Witherspoon Medal for Distinguished Statesmanship. The George Shultz National Foreign Service Training Center in Arlington,
Virginia, was dedicated on May 29, 2002. Shultz was named a distinguished fellow of the American Economic Association in 2005. He received the American Spirit Award from the National World War II Museum in 2006 and the Truman Medal for
Economic Policy in 2007. His most recent publication is Putting Our House in Order: A Guide to Social Security and Health Care Reform (W.W. Norton, 2008), coauthored with John Shoven, Hoover senior fellow and director of the Stanford
Institute for Economic Policy Research. Hi
Steve Blank is a retired serial entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in high technology companies and management. He is a Consulting Professor at Stanford in the Graduate School of Engineering STVP Program.
Steve has been a founder or participant in eight Silicon Valley startups since 1978. His last company, E.piphany, started in his living room. His other startups include two semiconductor companies (Zilog and MIPS Computers), a workstation
company (Convergent Technologies), a supercomputer firm (Ardent), a computer peripheral supplier (SuperMac), a military intelligence systems supplier (ESL) and a video game company (Rocket Science Games). Steve is on the board of
CafePress.com, an on-line marketplace, and IMVU, a 3D IM social network. Steve was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Coastal Commission and is the Chairman of Audubon California and on the board of the Peninsula
Open Space Trust (POST.) His Google Tech talk, "The Secret History of Silicon Valley" (available on YouTube) is one of the definitive views on the early history of innovation in Silicon Valley. Steve teaches entrepreneurship and a
methodology of managing marketing, sales and business development in high technology startups. His course text "Four Steps to the Epiphany" is the definitive work on Customer Development and is one of the foundations of Lean
For more than 20 years, filmmaker, music producer, and creative visionary QD3 has been producing hits and influencing culture. QD3 was born in London and raised in Stockholm, Sweden where he got his start in Hip Hop by
touring as a break-dancer. With many gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums and singles to his name, QD3's success spreads to Rap, R&B and Pop. In addition to his many hits with artists such as Tupac, Ice Cube, and L.L. Cool J, he
has composed award-winning musical scores for film and TV projects such as Menace II Society, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and Training Day. In 1999, QD3 started a documentary production
company, QD3 Entertainment, focused on chronicling the many dimensions of urban culture, garnering both commercial success and critical acclaim for titles such as the multi-platinum selling Tupac Shakur biopic, Thug
Angel; the BEEF series; and most recently, the Lil' Wayne (Sundance) biopic, The Carter. In June 2006, QD3 went on to form QD3 Digital to take advantage of the technology explosion of broadband video, user
generated content, video on demand, and mobile platforms. In 2009, QD3 Digital will be launching two web-based entertainment properties, qd3.com and ehustle.com. Early 2010 will follow with the launch of its first XBox and PS3 video game,
Scratch: The Ultimate DJ, in partnership with Genius Products, Numark, and Akai.
Weighing in at 150 lbs, is Mark Pincus, frenetic visionary of Zynga. His DNA is one strand entrepreneur and one strand competitive gamer. Mark founded Tribe.net (www.tribe.net), one of the first social networks in 2003.
Prior to Tribe, he was the founder and CEO of SupportSoft (Nasdaq: SPRT), the world's leading provider of support automation software. Prior to SupportSoft, Mark co-founded Freeloader, the first consumer push information
Dr. Craig Barrett recently stepped down as Chairman of the Board of Intel Corporation, a post he held from May 2005 to May 2009. He is a leading advocate for improving education in the U.S. and around the world. He is
also a vocal spokesman for the value technology can provide in raising social and economic standards globally. Dr. Barrett joined Intel Corporation in 1974 as a technology development manager. He was named a vice president of the
corporation in 1984, promoted to Senior Vice President in 1987, and Executive Vice President in 1990. Dr. Barrett was elected to Intel Corporation's Board of Directors in 1992 and he was named the company's Chief Operating Officer in 1993.
He became Intel's fourth President in May 1997, Chief Executive Officer in 1998, and Chairman of the Board on May 18, 2005. Craig Barrett was born August 29, 1939 in San Francisco, California. He attended Stanford University in Palo Alto,
California from 1957 to 1964, and received his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Science. After graduation, he joined the faculty of Stanford University in the Department of Materials Science and
Engineering, and remained through 1974, rising to the rank of Associate Professor. Dr. Barrett was a Fulbright Fellow at Danish Technical University in Denmark in 1972 and a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Physical Laboratory in
England from 1964 to 1965. Dr. Barrett is the author of over 40 technical papers dealing with the influence of microstructure on the properties of materials, and a textbook on materials science, Principles of Engineering
Materials. Dr. Barrett served until June, 2009 as Chairman of the United Nations Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development, which works to bring computers and other technology to developing
parts of the world. He co-chairs Achieve, Inc., is Vice Chairman of
As Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Sun, Greg Papadopoulos directs the company's approximate $2B in R&D portfolio with an eye toward innovation, simplicity, and
eco-responsibility. With more than 20 years experience in the technology industry, Papadopoulos is responsible for managing Sun's technology decisions and architecture. His team leads Sun Labs, the DARPA High Performance Computing Systems
program, global engineering architecture, and advanced development programs. Passionate about technology and its possibilities, Papadopoulos supports open development models that stimulate communication, creativity, and innovation, which
he promotes through his blog, Greg Matter, as well as numerous speaking engagements. During his tenure with Sun, Papadopoulos has held several positions, including Vice President of Technology and Advanced Development for the company's
systems business, Chief Scientist for Server Systems Engineering, and Chief Scientist for Enterprise Servers and Storage. Before joining Sun in 1994, Papadopoulos was a senior architect and director of product strategy for Thinking
Machines, where he led the design of the CM6 massively parallel supercomputer. Papadopoulos was an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, where he conducted research in scalable systems, multi
threaded/data flow processor architecture, functional and declarative languages, and fault-tolerant computing. Papadopoulos also worked as a development engineer at Hewlett-Packard and Honeywell, where he designed flight-control systems
for Boeing jetliners. He co-founded three companies: PictureTel (video conferencing), Ergo (high-end PCs) and Exa Corporation (computational fluid dynamics). Papadopoulos participates in several associations, including serving as Chairman
of the Board for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intellig
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