So as the ensemble(which it never really was) of spring quarter turns into a harsh, grating crescendo of the dead week - I find myself writing a blog yet again, perhaps as my own version of the primal scream. One fine May evening, I decided to go to this talk organized by the Persian Students Association at Stanford. So for people who think that Indians and Chinese rule the silicon valley, it would be a rude awakening to find out that the top non-founder posts at Google, AT&T and Cisco are occupied by Iranians. I happen to like the Google guy in particular. Omid Kordestani - Senior Vice President for Worldwide Sales and Field Operations at Google, also named among the TIME top 100 people in the world who shape the way we think. He gave a great talk, and to my mind probably the best talk I have heard at Stanford (which is a big thing because i have heard 'many' people give talks at the Farm) and in fact things he said made me re-think some of my own decisions and would probably act as a clutch I balance on while taking bigger decisions in the near future.
Why do I think Omid was great? Well, for one, he speaks fantastically and stands straight on stage - so many people I see often end up being bananas on stage. Also he appeared to be a pretty grounded person, even after being one of the wealthiest people in Northern California. He is probably one of the more famous Persians around, no wonder that I had to stand in line to get inside the Annenberg Auditorium (there are really not many opportunities when one has to stand in lines here in the US - well at least with my kind of life style).
Now here is what he had to say:
- One of the most important reasons for my success was something some of you in the auditorium might be aware of, especially who were not born in the US - the immigrant mentality. Immigrants who come into the US generally tend to have this thirst to succeed, this laser focus and the mindset that there are no boundaries to confine oneself in.
- Also, it is important for one to have a sense of community and what it can do for you.
- In trying to decide which company to work for, try to go to an organization where you are building things
- Dedicate yourself
- When building a company - only A grade people hire A/A+ grade people, B grade people hire C or below
- We (his company) is based on a pipeline of innovation. Why? Because economies change, markets change - so dont put all your eggs i one basket.
- Listen to your gut
- Career is not one right decision after next. But once you think you are at the right place, focus and put a huge drive behind what you are doing