Sunday, May 9, 2010

Application to The Founder Institute

So why am I motivated to do this crazy thing?

I mostly want to be a "Starter", because I feel like I have a knack for making great ideas work, and then giving them a life of their own. I really enjoy the idea of creating businesses by making a good idea real, finding and then helping teams of great people to make those ideas grow into something bigger than what I could have done by myself. The process of this "Starting" is to me a very creative process, even if it relies on some pretty basic rules.

Ultimately I want to prove to myself that I can build a business from the ground up, from nothing to something that makes a genuine impact on people's life. Something big that clearly would not have existed if I hadn't taken a role in its survival. I made a conscious decision not to have kids, this is my way to make "something that lives beyond me".

On the money front, I don't think that a business should put the money first. I know that sounds unnatural, but my opinion is that money comes from building a great business that others cant compete with, do that first and all else will come naturally. Once a business creates a place in the ecosystem, that is sustainable, it can stay at the plate and keep swinging until it hits a home run. I know something I do is going to be wildly successful, so to me its a matter of being available when the opportunity arises.

Not making a ton of money (at least at first) does NOT mean to me that I don't want to be profitable, my first financial goal before funding, is to be profitable. From that launchpad self determination is possible.

My experiences have been a reflection of my passions and have shaped them

I am trained as an architect, literally. I went to architecture school because I thought in the future we would all be in cyberspace, and the best software paradigm for helping people. At school I read a very inspiring book called “A Pattern Language” by Christoper Alexander, that actually served as the foundation for software architecture throughout the last 20 years. I worked at the largest architecture in the world at the time Skidmore Owings and Merrill. So architecture, built and virtual are clearly a passion for me.

Once I came to Silicon Valley I was hired by SGI, and greatly influenced by mentors such as Howard Look who was my boss, and John McCrea, Rikk Carey, Tony Parisi as well as many other superstars that went on to build much of the Valley culture we know now. So 3d and advanced technology is also a passion.

My professional training for the last 12 years has been in highly scalable Java based server architecture, and I am an expert at using utility computing such as the EC2 Cloud to build inexpensive technical infrastructures, I know how to do that very well, but what can be done with those infrastructures from a business point of view is actually more interesting. How can we gage sentiment over thousands of metrics for millions of people in real time? Now that's providing business value I can be passionate about.

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