What do Silicon Valley and the Italian dish, Pasta Carbonara, have in Common?

CarbonaraA seasoned SV entrepreneur and his younger colleague invited me to an Italian lunch in downtown San Miguel, California.  As a preliminary introduction, he mentioned he had met Steven Jobs on one opportunity. He then ordered a well-known dish, Pasta Carbonara.  The waiter brought his dish, and, strangely, 2 fried eggs (?) lied on top of the pasta. It occurred to me that, because many kitchens are staffed by Mexican-Americans in California, the cook looked up the recipe online and assumed incorrectly that the eggs were fried rather than mixed raw properly with freshly cooked pasta as an adhesive for the other ingredients.  This entrepreneur did not know the difference. That wrongly cooked dish sums up and is a metaphor on how startups operate in SV. https://jrzarco2001.wordpress.com/2017/07/02/the-barbarians-are-at-the-gates-in-silicon-valley/

As an example, at a Menlo Park event discussing board meetings for early stage technology companies, I bumped into a “founder” afterwards. He related to me that he ran his board meetings with yellow and red flash cards, similar to soccer warning cards, so that board members can elect to speak or vote on particular matters.  That way meetings would be held in a structured form. I pointed out that every board meeting I have held, as well as at publicly traded companies, applies the Robert’s Rules of Order formula, over 100 years old, to run board meetings.  He never heard of the Robert’s Rules of Order!  Why reinvent the wheel with some clumsy flash cards?  Board meetings are not soccer games.  And the “Rules of Order” covers every eventuality during a formal meeting.

Again and again, SV marches along its own rhythm with its own rules. Software engineers assume that everyone else in any other capacity is of marginal importance. They assume that the problem-solving tools for software engineering can apply to governance, medical technologies, etc. Wrong! Every managerial environment runs within its own structure (“structuralism”), mostly established by tradition or by local regulations. https://jrzarco2001.wordpress.com/2016/03/12/hiring-international-managers-what-to-avoid-what-to-look-for/  Ignorance is not an excuse.


About Juan Ramón Zarco, SVVGP 胡安•雷蒙•扎尔科

Juan Ramon Zarco, 胡安•雷蒙•扎尔科, Silicon Valley Ventures Growth Partners llp, Hygieia Healthcare Technologies Company, AllRest Technologies LLC, Crimson Growth Partners LLP, jrzarco2001@yahoo.com, is an experienced as CxO, General Counsel and Secretary to public and private companies with global operations. Established track record of producing practical, revenue-focused solutions. As Counselor and Secretary, demonstrating vision, integrity, and sound business judgment, to CxOs. Managed complex, strategic transactions, M&A, contracts support, PE Financing, IPO, SEC compliance, Corporate/HR governance, IP licensing, Budgeting, Staff, outside counsel management, International market access strategies, Domestic & foreign government relations and advocacy. Creative in designing and implementing market access strategies. Practices law beyond conventional model with low-overhead and project-based fees. Effective at managing departments, formulating marketing strategies, balancing budgets, and implementing cost-saving measures. Extensive in-house and private practice experience, advising clients on commercial, corporate, international business, and technology law and policy. http://www.docstoc.com/video/89135472/make-your-business-an-international-presence; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fx5gijf3yoc For Sprint, he managed iDen international development in Southeast Asia, Middle East, and Africa, and contractual issues with Verizon. In Private Equity, he worked with Pegasus in vetting international investment deals and interim President for portfolio companies, such as Data Foundation, a data storage company, handling marketing, strategy, fund raising, and accounting. Before Pegasus, Mr. Zarco, as CLO and V.P. of Corporate Development, played a principal role in the structuring, international expansions for 2 telecom companies, U.S. Cable Group and Viatel, Inc. in financing and M&A deals exceeding $200 million. Mr. Zarco earned a J.D. from NYU Law School, M.B.A. from Cornell, and B.A. from Williams College; is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, French, and German, with working knowledge of Russian, Arabic and Japanese.
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