Some of the best entrepreneurs are engineers. If you can design and build new products, all you really need is an idea.
But many engineers believe that you need much more: the business skills to read a P&L, file articles of incorporation, raise money, get press, meet customers, manage employees, and all that other jazz.
I tend to think that’s the easy stuff. You can pick up some of it as you go, and hire other people to help you with the rest.
To convince you this is so, Redfin has put together a Startup Skillz program in San Francisco for our own folks to learn the tricks of the trade when starting a company, with lunchtime speakers talking candidly about what has and hasn’t worked for them.
And now we’re inviting folks from outside Redfin to attend these talks, too. The speakers we’ve scheduled so far include:
- This Tuesday, November 15, 2011: James Slavet, Greylock Partners, “How to Pitch a Partners’ Meeting, The Best and the Worst of What I’ve Seen“
- Wednesday, December 14, 2011: Paul Willard, Chief Marketing Officer at Practice Fusion, “Moneyball Marketing: Customer Acquisition At Scale“
- Tuesday, January 10, 2012: Roy Gilbert, CEO of Grockit, “The Great Exhilirator: Going From Engineer to Executive“
- Thursday, January 26, 2012: Ilan Lovinsky, Law Partner at Gunderson Dettmer, “Law & Order, Special Victims Unit: How Not to Get F***ed When Starting a Company“
Each talk runs from noon – 1. To sign up, just click the link. We’ll also rig up a dial-in for our Seattle team.
Earlier this year, we offered a more extensive curriculum on the same theme in Seattle, and we’ll schedule more San Francisco talks next year based on what worked before.
The reason we’re doing this is because it’s important for us to be the best place in the world for an engineer to work, so we can have the best engineering team.
We especially want to make Redfin a good place for entrepreneurial engineers to work: these are the folks with the creativity and confidence to pursue their own idea, with the poetry to make it beautiful, and with the passion to rally a whole team to get it out there fast.
The talks could of course backfire. If making Redfin a better place for entrepreneurial engineers to work also means making Redfin a good place for those folks to one day leave, too, so be it.
As Augustine once said in his prayer for chastity, give us Redfin spinouts, but not yet! To sign up for the talks, just click the links.