search 2013 adfgs

你要的是你的王國,還是一間成功的公司?

20111110-215904.jpg

今天下午,Cisco的前CEO,John Morgridge來幫我們上關於Cisco成長的故事。我下課時,感覺有點憤怒。

Cisco這間公司,是在史丹佛大學成立的。它的創始人,是對夫婦,當時都在史丹佛工作;一位是資訊系的MIS,另一位是商學院的MIS。當初,他們為了解決兩個部門間網路連結的問題,開發出了Cisco的第一代產品。

他們當初向Sequoia募了不少錢,Sequoia是矽谷創投大老,是Sand Hill Road上最大的創投業者。Sequoia的創始人,Don Valentine,去年曾來我們商學院演講,他也在很多公共場合都表示:他投資的時候,通常是先選擇快速成長的市場,再選擇這個市場中的贏家。他說,他可以換掉一家公司的管理團隊,但是他換不了一個市場。

Cisco向Sequoia募來的錢,跟著來的,就是Don Valentine。雖然他沒有Cisco大部分的股票,Don Valentine坐在Cisco的董事會上,並控制了多一席的投票權。他並引進了John Morgridge。

John Morgridge進來後,在短短的一年內,把創業團隊裡面四個人革職,換上有經驗的專業經理人。在兩年後,創立Cisco的夫婦都被趕出Cisco。(值得欣慰的是,Cisco股票已經上市,他們兩人也一共拿了一億七千萬美金。)

今天,在Morgridge的演講中,我們聽到的是,他覺得創業團隊不夠專業。但是,我們也感覺到他的言下之意:一個新來的管理人,必須要有自己的團隊,才能夠與創始團隊制衡。他將流血流汗的創業團隊換掉,目的似乎政治因素大於實質因素。

如果,你今天以一個創業家的身分,冒著很大的風險跟機會成本,成立一家公司,換來的是在成功之後,由一群「專業經理人」,為了「控制權」,把你趕出公司,你會怎麼想呢?今天Morgridge成功帶領Cisco茁壯,但是我以可以想像這樣子玩的專業經理人把公司玩垮後走人。如果你是創業家,你願意為你的公司,冒這樣的風險嗎?


Tags: , , ,



 

5 Responses to “你要的是你的王國,還是一間成功的公司?”

  1. on 11 Nov 2011 at 4:49 am 1. danielsky said …

    Why did you feel pissed off after the class? because what he said to replace the startup team with his own?

  2. on 11 Nov 2011 at 8:53 am 2. Hex said …

    Many entrepreneurs break their backs trying to start a company. They make sacrifices that people who join later cannot empathize or imagine.

    One of the sacrifices they make, is to give up part of the company in exchange for money from investors. This is all good. However, some investors feel that they need to “control” the company in order for it to reach its fullest potential.

    While this may be true, but their ruthlessness is startling. In yesterday’s speech, the speaker did not even show one bit of intention to even “grow” the original team. He just came in, and replaced the original founding team. That was mainly what I was angry about.

  3. on 12 Nov 2011 at 8:14 pm 3. danielsky said …

    I would feel the same as you did….investors, particularly the active ones like Carl Icahn, think they rescue all the businesses, big or small, young or old, regardless. Gotta deal with them in a delicate way…

  4. on 13 Nov 2011 at 8:54 am 4. cyyzephyr said …

    As an entrepreneur, i kinda know why you feel angry. But the other side of the story is that the VCs bring in so call “professionals” is because most VCs think the success rate for “professionals” are higher than entrepreneurs without experiences in managing companies, espeically when startups growing larger. So the last question you asked in your blog is not the right question. By default, it’s about probability.

    I think there are two questions we need to think about: 1) how we can protect our companies from being controlled by others; 2) how we can grow fast enough to comfort those VCs that we are the right people to manage the company, and maxmize their investments. The company is growing, so are the entrepreneurs.

    Live case, i did heard investors preferred companies still managing by founders, instead of professional CEOs. And indeed, they don’t trust those CEO, CFO, and CXOs. In my small talks with a Hedge Fund manager, we were talking about the case of MF Global, the CEO was braging about how good the broker house was, like few weeks before it went bankrupted. But, that’s in different market and for different audience. If you are CEOs or Chairmen for a listed company, you should already have grew at least at the same pace as your company.

  5. on 13 Nov 2011 at 10:00 am 5. Hex said …

    Cyyzephyr, you are right in that VCs introduce management whom they think will grow the company better than the founders. However, it is a concern to me how lightly they make this decision.

    In our class, our professors from TA Associates mentioned a joke, “when should you replace a founder/CEO?” The answer was, “the first time it crosses your mind.”

    We also need to keep in mind that the incentives for the founders, VCs, and the professional managers are not aligned. A VC is concerned about an exit, a professional manger is concerned about his bonus, and a founder/CEO is often more concerned about the longevity of his business. Under this dynamics, I think it’s easier to see who has the right “intentions” for the business.

Trackback This Post | Subscribe to the comments through RSS Feed

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.