Notes from Bob Metcalfe’s Capital Factory Talk

One of my favorite talks at the Capital Factory Demo Day 2011 was from Bob Metcalfe. Bob is famous in the technology world for inventing ethernet and founding 3Com, a billion dollar company.

Here are notes from Bob Metcalfe’s talk:

  • Personal goal is to help with startup networking and networking startups
  • Four careers that were 10 years each: Scientist, entrepreneur, journalist, VC, and professor as his newest
  • Old and new knowledge, new info and old applications
  • Personal focus: entrepreneurial technology at scale
  • Art is at the center of stARTup
  • Success story
    On the board of the company that made PowerPoint and sold it to Microsoft for $14M
    PPT was from a pivot because the VP of Engineering spent so much time raising money and needed a way to tell their story
  • Dorio ecology of startups – 6 major species
    Research professors
    Graduating students
    Scaling entrep
    VCs and angels
    Strategic partners – willing to buy from unproven
    Early adopters
  • Introduction to startups and raising money:
    Deboz Montgomery – MIT class of 1969 and tennis team manager invited Bob, who was Captain of MIT tennis team, to lunch in Silicon Valley and taught him the industry
  • Steve Jobs:
    Jobs called to recruit him to Apple but Bob told him he’d just started a networking hardware company
    Jobs helped by introducing him to his networks
    Jobs introduced him to Venrock and Page Mill Partners angel fund
  • 3Com
    Sold 1/3 of 3Com for $1.2M in his first funding round to angel investors
    Raised $11M in IPO
  • Startup culture
    Rumors involve pulling all nighters and eating ramen noodles
    Need to be healthy to be successful
    Should sleep 8 hours a day
    Write all the time
    Speak all the time
    Sell all the time
    Engineers need sales people
  • Need to have a plan
    Had a plan to take Ethernet from $5k a chipset to $5 a chipset

Bob did a great job and UT Austin is lucky to have him leading the entrepreneurial charge for undergrads. The course he teaches at UT Austin is called 1 Semester Startup and it’s for undergrads who are actually starting companies (22 startups and 100 students).

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