9 Executives Give Advice

Quotes from the 2019, Society of International Business Fellows Silicon Valley Business Forum

Tim Draper, Founder Partner, Draper Associates and DFJ:

“Start your own business, so you can paint the ceiling any color you want to.”

Mark Platshon, Managing Director & Co-Founder, Icebreaker Ventures:

“Which business model makes more sense? Make an automobile for $40k with $2k profit OR make an automobile for $40k and use it to bring in $200k in revenue as a mobility service provider?”

“Of the top 20 names on the Original Equipment Manufacturers’ (OEM) list, there will still be 20 on the list in the future, but half of the names will have changed. OEM’s have multiple shots on goal, investing in many different verticals.” Mark predicts one company in each nation will survive the technology revolution.

“When investing in start-ups, know what the gross margins are, not if they are turning a profit…Tesla, Uber, Twitter and Amazon chose not to be profitable when they could have, and focused on reinvesting their profit…Reinvesting is crucial.”

Bonny Simi, President, JetBlue Technology Ventures:

“JetBlue is playing in the travel space, not just air.”

Ted Driscoll, Founder, DigitalDX Ventures:

“Is it possible we may never die and could live for 1,000 years?” If this happens, I agree with Ted; the planet is not big enough.”

“We are cavemen living in a world where we eat chemicals that we never thought we would eat…The ingredients that were originally in Wonder bread are no longer the same ingredients it is made with today.”

Karen Drexler, CEO, Sandstone Diagnostics:

Chase Cole, Waller Lansen Dortch & Davis from Nashville asked: “Is tech evolving fast enough to save lives that can be saved”? Karen responded, “It is never fast enough. The FDA does not even know what technology they are talking about when she contacts them…when I call the FDA I could be talking to a dentist when I’m talking about oncology…the regulatory and reimbursement arms are keeping technologies from coming to market.”

Lisa Hammitt, Global VP of AI & Data, VISA:

“Gen Z will be the most educated generation yet. In Silicon Valley 8th grade math is what I learned in high school…maybe this generation will be mining mineral in space…and physics is really important.”

Alyssa Simpson Rochwerger, VP Product, Figure Eight:

In AI, data needs to be vetted by humans. “There needs to be a backstop in place, so a machine can determine that it is a time for a human to intervene.”

Ankit Jain, Senior Research Scientist, Uber AI Labs:

“AI is the tool for a solution, not the solution.”

Mitch Colgan, Boston Consulting Group:

“Unfortunately, some parts of the country are not getting the same information and education that folks in the Valley and Bay area have access to.”