A good place to work

When things go well, it doesn’t matter if your company is a good company. But when things go wrong, it can be the difference between life and death. Things always go wrong. Ben Horowitz explains why being a good company is an end in itself.

New Dog, Old Tricks: Quattrone Back in Banking

“Like a long drink of water after a drought” was how one tech executive described to me the news that former IPO kingpin Frank Quattrone is getting back into the i-banking business.

Quattrone earlier this week announced he’s launching the Qatalyst Group, described in lush terms in a press release as a tech-focused “merchant banking boutique.”

A merchant bank is really just a tonier name for an i-bank, which I find sorta funny, given Quattrone’s long-celebrated pride in his working-class, South Philly roots. (The banker’s mustache and “loud” sweaters were the totems Quattrone maintained to differentiate himself from his stuffier peers back in the day.)

So is this a new Frank? Maybe. He still sports the mustache — but my, if he’s not looking svelte! And the man clearly believes in sticking with formulas that work, which in his case was threesomes. dc16989-a.jpeg For a time it was expected that Quattrone’s longtime partners, George Boutros and Bill Brady, would join him in a new venture, but they’re staying put at Credit Suisse. Instead his partners in Qatalyst are corporate lawyer Adrian Dollard (pictured here, on the left) and Jonathan Turner, a tech M&A expert (to Quattrone’s right).

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‘Coach’ Bill Campbell on Cultivating Innovation

More great stuff from the McKinsey Quarterly today. This time it’s a Q&A with Bill Cambell, a tech titan who, McKinsey writes:

“has experienced firsthand the spectrum of Silicon Valley scenarios, ranging from technological breakthroughs to the rocket trajectories of new start-ups to failed spin-offs—and the mountains of cash that go up in smoke when products don’t catch on.”

Campbell founded Claris in 1987 (acquired by Apple in 1990) then ran GO, the pen-based software shop, and eventually became CEO of Intuit (1994-2002). He remains on the boards of Apple and Intuit.
More important, Campbell is a “low-profile, high-level counselor” to many tech companies, including Google. CEO Eric Schmidt has called Campbell “priceless beyond belief” adding, “our basic strategy is to invite him to everything.” John Doerrsimply calls him “The Coach.”
This Q&A discusses how to cultivate an innovative culture at your startup . It is behind the pay wall, so we’ll offer a few highlights. Read More about ‘Coach’ Bill Campbell on Cultivating Innovation