Raj continues to discuss his criteria for evaluating EIR opportunities.
SM: How about the experience level of the partners – I imagine having the opportunity to learn from them was rather important in your decision to join Foundation? RV: I found it very useful to be able to talk under the same roof, first about core technology, then about what the market for it might be, then about how one could actually sell into that market, and finally about how one would need to staff against that business model. Many firms say that their partners “have all built and operated companies”. It’s a good idea to make sure they have, since you will get the most out of your time as an EIR that way – especially if you haven’t done this yourself.
SM: Finally you mentioned the personalities of the partners. This is a pretty subjective area and can be hard to measure. Why was it so important for you? RV: It is, of course, completely subjective. I just plain got along well with the partners. While this has many obvious benefits in smoothing working relationships, it’s just plain important for quality of life, and that is important to me. Make sure you like the people you work with, and they like you.
SM: Overall how do you feel about this experience? Was it valuable to your development as an entrepreneur? RV: As I mentioned earlier, I have this pattern of stumbling into a good thing, and this was certainly another example of that. I didn’t take a very structured approach to my decision process to join Foundation. in fact I can’t even really call it a process. Looking back on it, I feel like I now have a pretty clear idea how I should have evaluated it, and am relieved that I would unquestionably make the same decisions. I’m just lucky that I previously made, by good fortune, the same decisions I should have made with a bit more thought invested prior.