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Lab to Startup

Nov 15, 2022

Martin Casado is a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), a pioneer of software-defined networking, and a co-founder of Nicira Networks. We cover the lessons learnt from Martin's journey as an academic entrepreneur founding Nicira and factors that aspiring entrepreneurs planning to translate their research to products should consider.

- Story of an accidental Ph.D., turned into an accidental but very successful entrepreneur
- Shares how working with others during grad school helped his entrepreneurial efforts later
- Titles don't mean anything- Forget titles and make sure decision makers are responsible for their decisions long term.
- Enterprise version of Product market fit means you have to be piped into the product, the market and the tech trends
- Discount the advice given by technology advisors who don't understand product market fit.
- Academics need to understand how people (customers) do their day to day processes and their current technology before proposing their new technology.
- Thoughts about timing and persistence.
- Advice on how to hire executives at startups.
- Picking board members.
- Thoughts on exits and how founders should think about exits
- Ph.D.'s can make great CEOs but remember that business problems are harder than technology problems