Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday in the Valley

On Monday we only had one meeting that took place at 5 PM so we figured we would use the day to relax some and do some hiking. Brad, Jake, Daniel and I went back to the area where Brad and I had biked on Sunday and decided to hike in the National Park.

It was a beautiful day with clear skies and we could see for miles. An ocean view accompanied us to our right and a view of the San Francisco Valley to our left. It was even more beautiful than on Sunday because there was less fog coming in from the bay.

When we got back I went down to the pool and read some of my current book along with getting a little sun. Apparently, 70 degrees and sunny is terrible weather here in San Francisco because we received many weird looks while laying out trying to get some sun in our swimsuits. Must be the thick blood from the Midwest.

Afterward, we were able to pick current CEO of Krugle's brilliant mind for about two hours. Steve Larsen is a proven CEO for multiple companies with a particular skill for leading venture-backed technology companies. Having hired over 500 people himself, he gave us some great tips for preparing for interviews and questions to ask when being interviewed. His communication skills impressed me a lot and told many stories about how he was able to get people on his side in the business world.

We talked about many of the core differences between business in the Midwest compared to that on either coast. I thought in many ways he was right on in his comparisons. Out here is it not unusual for people to work for companies for a few years, leave and find another job and follow this trend their whole life. It creates different goals and makes you be more known and versitile. In the Midwest many people stick with the same job for most of their life even if they don't like it. I found this interesting and he had a good analogy to job decisions in that making them is like a distributary on a river. You have many options to choose from but once you choose one, it makes it more difficult to go back and choose another. Some other differences we also talked about related to family life, friends and values.

The best piece of advice I took from his talk with us was when I asked him who he looks to for advice. He excalimed that no matter how much of an expert you think you are at something, you are not. Why does Tiger Woods have a golf coach? Why do professional football players have trainers? Everybody has something else they can always improve on and everybody has their own special talents they can share with others. Above anything else, you can always read to attain new knowledge. That is one of the biggest things you can do to stay ahead in this world by never ceasing to harness new knowledge because so many times it is just that extra %5 that makes the most crucial difference in this world.

It was a great start out to our last week here in the Valley and we will continue it tomorrow with a trip to Hummer-Winblad which is the top venture capitalist firms here and a trip to Revision 3.

What extra %5 can you give today?

Create, inspire and be inspired.

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