Bill Warner, founder of Avid Technology (NASDAQ: AVID) is a Boston based entrepreneur and I guess angel. He is passionate about building the Boston startup ecosystem back to its old status as a rival to Silicon Valley. To that end he posted the following ‘Company Playbook’ which applies just as well over here. It is a brilliantly succinct set of guidelines for success that every company would do well to follow. I particularly like items 1. and 2.
1. Start Small
– Playing big doesn’t mean huge capital early on or huge teams.
– Make things that work and test them quickly.
– Be curious, try things.
2. Hire Tough
-too often we hire our friends, people we know.
-we have to be WAY tougher.
– Not to be confused with "demand amazing background and experience."
– Rather, hire those who are ready to rise to new heights. Demand that.
3. Lead Here
– Stay here and lead here.
– Build a global company from here.
– We can’t build our ecosystem by being an outsource shop for distant companies.
4. Buy Smart
– Do acquisitions, but do them right.
– Avoid the big swinging "industry changing" acquisitions that usually go so wrong.
(and have hurt many of our local companies)
– Know how you’ll integrate, and move fast and aggressively
I also buy into Bill’s assertion that to have a strong ecosystem you need strong local companies. As he says, being an outsource development shop for distant corporations is much less exciting than being in the headquarters. More European champions would help us all.