Advice for big companies from Legends of Silicon Valley

At the recent GIL conference, I asked a panel of legends of Silicon Valley, which included people like Timothy Draper and Thomas Fogarty what advice they had for big companies, and to summarize it in 2-4 words. The results are insightful and poetic:

Legends of Silicon Valley

Legends of Silicon Valley


  • Allow people to fail.
  • Large companies cannot innovate.
  • Start your own.
  • Buy small companies.
  • Standing still is not an option.
  • Fire in-house counsel.
  • Fire everyone.
  • Be the change you want to see.
  • Split the company up.
  • Have the guts to be different.
  • Ask yourself: do I really add value?


If people in big companies could just do a few of these things, it would be huge!

Thanks to the Legends of Silicon Valley panel for their entertaining insights:
Charles Berger, President and CEO of Extreme Networks
Lloyd Carney, CEO of Brocade
Timothy Draper, Managing Director of DFJ
Elizabeth Fetter, CEO of Symmetricom Inc.
Thomas Fogarty, MD., Chairman of Fogarty Institute for Innovation
Guy Gecht, CEO of EFI
HP Jin, CEO of Telenav
Patrick Lo, Chairman and CEO of Netgear
Marcus Ryu, CEO of Guidewire
Ron Sege, Chairman and CEO of Echelon Corporation
Ken Xie, President and CEO of Fortinet