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Zander Shares Blueprint For “High Value” Companies At TiECON 2004

Ketan Patel and Anil Saigal

Ed Zander’s keynote presentation on day two of TIECON focused on the keys to creating and increasing the value of an organization. The conference theme of “Creating the Entrepreneurial Renaissance” was well served by Zanders example based blueprint for creating enough value to become a “Category Players”. By using experiences from his past at Sun and at present in Motorola, Zander shared the three main components of his blueprint: Vision, Focus and Execution (VFE).

“First you need a “compelling vision” that can usually be summed up in a one sentence which will be your vision statement” said Zander. “At Sun the vision statement, the “Network is the Computer” unified and motivated all employees to work towards a common goal.” ”Intelligence Everywhere” was the vision for Motorola.

Zander went on to describe the need for focus. “Knowledge is the key here. I expect my managers to sweat the details and have complete knowledge of customer and competition.” said Zander. He spoke passionately about placing big bets. At Motorola the current big bet is on “Seamless Mobility” which would allow the customer to carry a videoconference from their home to the car and to the office without interruption.

Finally he spoke about execution. He emphasized ownership of intellectual property as an important key to successful execution. “Knowing what to own and what to license could be the difference between being a category player or an also ran,” said Zander. He spoke about the differences between Sun and Motorola in terms of size and how execution mattered more as a company grows.

During the question and answer Zander’s affable and approachable personality, began to shine. He told personal stories from his days at Data General and was self critical about his skills as an engineer. His advice was to always hire people better than you. When asked about the keys to his success he answered “I really don’t know, I suppose luck has something to do with it” As I listened I was reminded of a quote: by Thomas Jefferson “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”---

In an exclusive interview with Lokvani, Zander shared a few insightful comments.

On his acceptance to be the keynote speaker at TiECon 2004.

Zander: I really enjoy speaking at such forums. I spoke at a similar forum on the west coast. I think giving advice to entrepreneurs is a way for me to give back to society. As the CEO of Motorola I also hope these entrepreneurs will some day start businesses that may support Motorola.

Tips for entrepreneurs who are just starting out

Zander: Have a compelling value proposition. Keep it simple. Hire great people. Watch the cost structure carefully and most importantly engage your customers.

Advice for those majoring in high-tech areas.

Zander: I would urge students to think of High-tech as a career rather than as a money making machine. I would encourage graduates to work for a great company under good people to learn the basics of management. One needs to be patient. At a young age one has the ability to take risk. Know where the future is going, be aggressive and take risks.

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