Slow and Steady Wins the Race: Other Models for Entrepreneurship – December 2016

I have been writing consistently about entrepreneurs who target disruption and force change in
markets, change that existing market leaders often will not initiate. This can lead to spectacular success or spectacular failure. Remember, every major transformative change typically occurs on the backs of three rounds of dead investors. Global communications operating at ultralow costs exist today because companies such as Lucent put fiber across the globe but could not recover their investments.
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Identifying and Avoiding Some Common Traps – June 2016

As new entrepreneurs, we love our novel, game-changing technology, the advantages of which are obvious when compared with the ancient relics made by global market leaders. We also know that
when we get to scale and can make a million pieces, we will have a cost advantage and will surely win. Time to do a start-up and begin planning that Caribbean vacation! Although this is somewhat satirical and an oversimplification, it shows some of the traps entrepreneurs, especially first-time entrepreneurs, often fall into.
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What’s the Difference Between a US$0 Million and a US$0 Billion Company? – March 2016

During last year’s Khosla Ventures Summit, leading tech venture capitalist (VC) Vinod Khosla raised a very interesting question: what is the difference between a US$0 million and a US$0 billion company? Companies that are just starting out do not have a product, employees, or revenue—only a promise. So why, then, do different companies end at up very different places? Why do some, like WhatsApp, become unicorns, with stratospheric valuations, while some become modest lifestyle businesses, and so many others fail? Is it purely chance, or is there a structured way to go about building a billion-dollar company?

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You Have Decided to Take the Plunge—Now How Do You Fund It? – December 2015

There is an autobiography of a leading oil tycoon that starts with the statement “There
were these few oil wells that my father had left me…” This is clearly one way to fund your start-up, but it is one that is not open to most of us. How to get your promising start-up off the ground is probably the subject that generates the most angst and confusion, especially for first
time entrepreneurs. It is a complex subject and will be addressed in more detail in future columns. This time, we take a high-level view of the start of the process.
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What Do You Want Your Start-Up to Be When It Grows Up? – September 2015

There is a global surge of interest in entrepreneurship— from the United States and Europe to Africa, India, and China. A perfect storm of rapidly changing data, computing, Internet, manufacturing, and energy technologies is occurring, which is creating an opportunity for a massive disruption of almost every major industry sector. Billions of people are entering
the 21st century with a full spectrum of emergent and expanding needs— from health, education, housing, connectivity, water, food, waste management, energy, transportation, entertainment,
and the personal freedom to make choices.
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Validating a Business Model for a Minimum Viable Product – December 2014

As an entrepreneur, you have gone through the challenges of outlining a business opportunity
and have understood your target customer’s unarticulated needs. In addition, you have done the market research and analysis to define a preliminary market requirements document leading to a
preliminary product requirement document. These are relatively simple processes that lead to a minimum viable product (MVP) definition. The intent is to move rapidly and frugally to a point
where you can test your product and its fit against the latent market needs as well as understand whether your original business concept can make money at the scale envisioned or whether it requires changes in direction, strategy, or technology.
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Getting the Product Right – September 2014

Getting the product just right is perhaps the most difficult challenge an entrepreneur
will face in the early days. You have defined a market space, you think you see a need that is not being fulfilled, or you are an expert in a new emerging technology that can disrupt the market—these are all very reasonable starting points in your thought process, but they may not be the best place to start defining the product. The temptation to build on the existing familiar platforms will be very strong. As engineers, we often equate the market and product with the core technology.
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The Start-Up’s Dilemma – June 2014

So you are ready to take the plunge and become an entrepreneur. Most successful entrepreneurs
know they do not have all the answers, maybe they have none of the answers, as they set forth on their journey. However, there is almost always a latent need in the market that is visible to them, possibly only to them. Nobody is clamoring to have this need filled, and there is certainly
no budget for purchasing a solution to fill this need. Legacy competitors are behemoths with legendary technology gurus in their ranks, with spectacular products that defined “cool” just a
few years back.
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Are You Ready to Take a Dive? – March 2014

For most people, their final objective as they train to become engineers is to be gainfully employed, and there is no dearth of opportunity for power electronics engineers. Existing markets, ranging from wind, photovoltaic, industrial, power quality, robotics, aerospace, automotive, power supplies, and transmission/distribution control, continue to offer robust job opportunities as the new ones emerge. Hence, it is not surprising to see global giants vying for young talents with start-ups and quickly growing companies.
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