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February 27th: OKRs And The Executioner’s Tale

Ideas are cheap. Execution is everything.

This month, Christina Wodtke is giving a sneak preview of her SXSW talk and upcoming new book The Executioner’s Tale.

How do you inspire your team to be insanely great–and accountable? Google, Zynga, KPCB’s John Doerr and Intel all used the Objective and Key Result approach (OKRs) as the secret for providing the discipline for radical growth. Many start-ups as well as established companies are adopting it, hoping to throw accelerant on their execution.

But OKRs are controversial and while they sound simple, they aren’t easy. Christina’s been refining the OKR process with the start-ups she invest in and advises.

If you’re curious, learn more about OKRs here or read the Business Insider article about how Google uses them.

Drinks start at 6pm. Dinner and the panel start at 7pm, followed by lively discussions at each table. Seating is limited to 50 for this event. Thanks to Kayvan Baroumand and our friends at NestGSV for generously hosting us in their great Redwood City office.

About Christina Wodtke
Christina is an angel investor and startup advisor. She wrote the bestselling book Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web. Her upcoming book, The Executioner’s Tale, is about using OKRs, roadmaps and cadences to build high performing teams. She was a GM at Zynga and MySpace and worked in product and design at LinkedIn and Yahoo. You can learn more about her at www.eleganthack.com.

January 16th: Startup2Startup 2014 New Year Party

Startup2Startup is a group of Silicon Valley geeks, entrepreneurs, & investors dedicated to educating and helping the next generation of tech startups. We meet periodically over dinner to discuss relevant topics in technology & entrepreneurship, connect with new people & companies, and share our knowledge & experience.

Join us as we celebrate a New Year! This event will be at the HQ of 500 Startups in Mountain View starting at 6:30.

Proceeds will be donated Black Girls Code, a fantastic non profit run by a terrific entrepreneur, Kimberly Bryant

Unlike our regular dinner/discussions, this is a casual event and hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be provided.

Please come prepared to tweet your tech industry prediction for 2014. Use hastag: #startup2startup

We hope you can make it!

August 29th: Startup Board Meeting Secrets

Board meeting are supposed to provide a chance for startups to make strategic decisions and reflect on the course of a company. But as super-lawyer Ted Wang, a great observer of board meetings, put it in a recent article “most entrepreneurs view board meetings as somewhere between a total waste of time and mildly annoying. Outside board members are often similarly frustrated that they are unable to get the information and analysis they desire from these meetings.”

So we asked Ted, entreprenuer Hiten Shah and investor Rob Siegel to join a panel and provide advice and perspective. What are best practices for Entrepreneurs to get the most out of Board meetings? What are some cardinal Do’s and Dont’s for Entrepreneurs?

Drinks start at 6pm. Dinner and the panel start at 7pm, followed by discussions at each table. Seating is limited to 50 for this event. If you would like to invite others, please drop us a note and we’ll try to accommodate. We hope you’ll be able to make it.

April 17th: Asana’s Kenny Van Zant on Freemium and Bottom-up Sales Lessons

van_zant_180x180Kenny Van Zant pioneered the bottom-up sales models for selling software at SolarWinds and he now drives marketing and corporate strategy at Asana. We’re pleased that he’ll share some of the secrets and lessons that he’s learned along the way. Drinks start at 6, followed by Kenny’s talk, dinner and table discussions. We hope you’ll join us.

More about Kenny
Kenny Van Zant is a business guy at Asana. He was the SVP and Chief Product Strategist for SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI). He’s an angel investor and advisor to companies such as Assistly, Erply, Chart.io, Delphix, PagerDuty and PuppetLabs. Kenny was EVP of Marketing and GM of Communications for Motive (NASD: MOTV), and the co-founder of BroadJump. Kenny has a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas.

January 15th: The Annual Startup2Startup Holiday Party

Join us on January 15th as we we celebrate another successful year of Startup2Startup at our annual holiday party. We appreciate your support over the last 12 months and look forward to seeing you at the 2013 events coming shortly.

Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be provided. Proceeds will be donated to a charity announced at the end of the event.
Parking: There are free lots behind the building, as well as plenty of street parking.

EDIT: Pictures from the event can be found here.

September 27th: Hackers, Hustlers and Designers in Startups

Starting up a new company is hard enough. But how do you get engineers, business execs and product managers to work together when they don’t even speak the same language?

For our next Startup2Startup, Jessica Alter, founder of FounderDating, will lead a panel with AOL’s Ryan Freitas, Twitter’s Othman Laraki and Google’s Seth Sternberg. Each has been a founder of a successful startup and each comes from a different perspective. They’ll talk about the biggest issues between product, business and engineering and the lessons they’ve learned building their startups.

Before she started FounderDating, Jessica started Formative Labs and was in business development at Bebo, Hands-On Mobile and AOL.

Othman co-founded Mixer Labs before it was acquired by Twitter. He’s now VP of Growth and International. Previously he worked on Gears, Toolbar and infrastructure at Google.

Ryan co-founded About.me and now runs it after its acquisition by AOL. He was an experience design direct at Adaptive Path and is a product advisor to many startups.

Seth co-founded Meebo after business school. As CEO, he built service that reached 200M uniques before it was acquired by Google earlier this year.

July 25th: Startup2Startup Summer Party

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at our upcoming Startup2Startup Summer Party on July 25th in Atherton. Drinks and appetizers will be provided. If you’d like to join us, please fill out the form here.

February 23rd: Crafting Culture in your Startup

We first met Dave Kashen a few years ago after he sold the startup he co-founded. He had just started coaching fellow startup execs on scaling and building their businesses. But what was unique about Dave was his precise thinking about culture and values, two of the squishiest and most important concepts for any leader in a startup. Since then, he’s been advising some of the best startup teams in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, so we’ve asked him to come and talk about the importance of and–more importantly–how to build extraordinary cultures at startups.

The Values-Driven Startup: Building an extraordinary culture
Drawing insights from Google, Facebook, Netflix, Zappos, Eventbrite, Southwest Airlines, Trulia, JetBlue, Meebo, Joie De Vivre, and many others, startup coach Dave Kashen will share a methodology for building and scaling an amazing, high performance culture that will maximize your chances of success, and help you enjoy the journey.

As co-founder of Wellsphere, a fast-growing online health startup, Dave experienced firsthand the challenges of creating a great culture amidst the demands of building a company from the ground up. After Wellsphere was acquired, he took a step back to figure out what he really wanted to do with his life, and realized that his life’s purpose is to help people be fulfilled and increase the level of well-being in our society. Seeing business as a platform for increasing fulfillment and well-being, he made it his mission to inspire, empower and teach entrepreneurs to build companies that bring out the best in their people.

Through his firm Quantum Leading, Dave has spent the last few years working with startup CEOs and their teams to help them to intentionally and systematically build their cultures, and develop as authentic, inspired, values-driven leaders. He co-founded the Unleashed conference series, bringing together hundreds of startup CEOs with leaders who’ve created some of the world’s best cultures to learn about and discuss how to build workplaces people love. Dave also writes about building startup culture at awesomeculture.com.