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|Kathy Eisenhardt, co-director of Stanford Technology Ventures Program and professor in Management Science and Engineering, discusses the size and composition of successful teams. She recommends a team of 3-5 cross-functional people with diverse age group and experience.|
|Eisenhardt discusses the ideal markets for start-ups. She classifies them into emergent, growth and mature. Emergent markets are typically small and undefined, growth markets are between $30M-$50M with a high growth rate and mature markets are > $100M. She suggests that the ideal market for a company to start in is a growth market.|
|Eisenhardt explains her findings about teams and markets using the Surfer Model of Venture Growth. In her research, she found that there is great synergy between great teams and great markets. The returns obtained by this pair dwarf any other combination.|
|Eisenhardt describes the key elements associated with successful fundraising. She discusses the importance of asking for the correct amount of money at the right time from the appropriate people.|
|Eisenhardt stresses the importance of researching regional VCs and understanding the true motives behind their interests.|
|Eisenhardt discusses how to negotiate with an investor and the importance of closing a deal. She stresses the need for having a credible alternative, which can be leveraged to speed up the process.|
|Eisenhardt believes that markets are not chosen but created. She describes how this was successfully done at Amazon, eBay and Verisign. She explains that to be wildly successful it is important to become the cognitive referent to the market.|
|Eisenhardt shares several strategies that a small company can use to protect their market. This includes marketing alliances, getting funded by larger competitors, and buying out smaller competitors.|
|Eisenhardt shares her work on managing at the edge of chaos. She defines the edge of chaos as the perfect balance between being too structured and not having enough structure. In particular, she compares optimal strategies for the highly regulated and structured biotech market and the ambiguous mobile gaming market.|
|Eisenhardt provides an example of where structure and ambiguity live in harmony at Yahoo.|
KATHLEEN M. EISENHARDT is Professor of Strategy and Organization at Stanford University. She is widely known for her work on strategy, strategic decision making, and innovation in rapidly changing and highly competitive markets. She is the coauthor (with Shona L. Brown) of the book Competing on the Edge: Strategy as Structured Chaos, published by Harvard Business School Press. Using analogies from The Grateful Dead to the Tour de France and scientific underpinnings from complexity and time-paced evolutionary theories, this book describes how to compete successfully in dynamic markets.
Professor Eisenhardt's current research centers on collaboration and competition in the converging computing, telecommunications, and semiconductor industries, from the perspectives of complexity, evolutionary and game theories. For her past research on fast strategic decision making, she won the Pacific Telesis Foundation Award. She has also received the Whittemore Prize (with D. Charles Galunic) for her writing on organizing global corporations in high velocity markets, and the Stern Award (with Claudia B. Schoonhoven) for her work on the formation of strategic alliances in entrepreneurial companies. She was Co-Principal Investigator on the Global Electronics Study for Andersen Consulting.
At Stanford, Professor Eisenhardt has received several teaching awards including selection as one of the Top 8 Professors at Stanford and her course has been selected by students as one of the top 10 at the University. She also serves as the Associate Director of the Stanford Computer Industry Project (SCIP).
Professor Eisenhardt has consulted for a number of major corporations on topics surrounding strategy and organization in rapidly changing markets with particular emphasis on strategy, strategic decision making, product innovation, creation of cross-business synergies, and top management team dynamics. Her clients have included Intel Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Company, and SAP. She is a member of the McKinsey Strategy Forum.
Professor Eisenhardt is a Fellow of the Academy of Management and President of the OMT Division of the Academy. She is a former Senior Editor of Organization Science, a co-editor of the upcoming special issue on complexity theory, and a member of the editorial boards of Administrative Science Quarterly and Strategic Management Journal. Her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering is from Brown University and her Ph.D. is from Stanford's Graduate School of Business.
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