Vinod Khosla is a seasoned Silicon Valley investor and entrepreneur who is unafraid to speak his mind, however controversial his ideas.
Last Friday, Vinod did just that during a fireside chat moderated by Quartz editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney at General Assembly’s New York City campus. The conversation was live streamed exclusively to subscribers of Front Row, GA’s monthly online learning service. Viewers were encouraged to submit questions for the Q&A section that followed.
Vinod shared his view on a wide variety of topics including innovation, success, and Elon Musk. We’ve highlighted a few of our favorite quotes below, but encourage you to watch the hour-long video:
Congratulations to MakerBot, a Brooklyn-based company, recently acquired by Stratasys for over $400 million. MakerBot is an innovation company that has led the desktop 3D printing revolution and built a community around the technology since 2009.
Watch a video below from the General Assembly archives where co-founder, Bre Pettis talks about how he started MakerBot.
Name: Hunter Walk (@hunterwalk)
Occupation: Former Director of Product Management at Google (previously Director at Linden Lab, New Product Development at Mattel)
1. In 140 characters or less, what is Product Management?
Building. Communicating. Helping. Simplifying. Collaborating. (Sometimes) Crying. Leading.
2. Lets step away from digital for a second. Pretend the product you are producing is a watch. What are the types of questions a product manager would ask? What would some of your responsibilities be?
The goals of Product Management are the same whether you’re shipping websites or watches — it’s helping a team build a product that’s loved by the community.
On day one, I’d ask:
- What watches are we making today and who’s purchasing them?
- Who is the customer for this new watch and what are their needs (telling time, fashion, accuracy, reliability/durability, etc.)
- Is there a cross-functional team already working on this product? If not, let’s develop one.
Some of the product manager’s responsibilities would include:
- Ensuring everyone working on the project understands who the customer is, and what the product objectives are
- Making sure the team is properly resourced to achieve its goals. Does every work item have a clear owner?
- Managing a design and approval process that drives collaboration and cross-functional input, but doesn’t bog down into census-driven groupthink
Keep your goals in sight. You’ve made your resolutions — we want to help you keep them (at least the ones that aren’t food related). That’s why we’ve put together five simple things you can do to get started in Product Management.
Before Memorial Day, several of us from the GA team crammed onto a couch and talked about going west for the summer. Over the past two months, we’ve doled out no fewer than 300 *adorable* GA cookies, trekked what probably amounts to 50 miles of distance traveled from coffee shop to office to happy hour in various locations around SoMa, and most importantly, had the pleasure of introducing almost 1,000 students to General Assembly classes and workshops.
Crowdfunding has come a long way in a short period of time. What started out as a social experiment several years ago has been validated as a viable means for thousands of people to tap into their inner-entrepreneur. Recent data suggests that crowdfunding – defined here as a contribution toward a project in exchange for non-economic benefits — has enabled more than $1.5 billion to change hands and tens of thousands of projects to get funded, ranging from “passion projects” to real companies.
Name: Anne Libby
Class Taught: Managing Startup Teams
Described from early childhood as “bossy,” Anne grew up to love managing people and developing managers. She founded Anne Libby Management Consulting LLC, and when she’s not working with clients, or thinking and writing about managing people, Anne can be found balancing her body and mind on a yoga mat. Or, working to persuade GA to let her teach a class on the Leadership Lessons of Battlestar Galactica.
Name: Sarah Feingold
Class Taught: Intellectual Property Law for Startups
Born an artist, Sarah Feingold decided that the best way to to protect creative folk like herself was to go to law school. She currently serves as counsel of Etsy, Inc. and specializes in intellectual property, business and ecommerce law. When she’s not practicing law, she’s speaking or writing about legal issues (Sarah penned the ebook “Copyright for Artists“) or hammering silver and creating jewelry in her tiny Brooklyn apartment kitchen.
Name: Daniel Chait
Class Taught: Making Hiring a Strength of Your Company
Daniel Chait graduated college with a Computer Engineering degree, but has always been drawn to the human side of the technology business. He first got into recruiting at his previous company, Lab49, where he was involved in growing their talented team. Daniel is now the co-founder of Greenhouse, a platform that automates and optimizes recruiting.
Building an avid customer base is tricky for any new business – especially if you’re in a landscape as saturated as women’s fashion. Send the Trend has emerged over the last three years as a dynamic player in this space by offering their users personalized accessories recommendations (e.g bags, jewelery) every month. Send the Trend has almost one million users, and was recently acquired by the home shopping giant QVC.