College & Engineering
After graduating from Cornell, I could not find any company interested in logic synthesis tool. Everyone still assumed that schematics would be the primary logic design method for a long time. Not knowing what I do now about patents and entrepreneurship, I let that project die and took a role at Trilogy Systems, the aptly named third company for its founder Gene Amdahl. There I worked on some new algorithms for static timing analysis and developed an operational team that monitored all of the EDA jobs running across our five IBM mainframe computers. In less than two years at Trilogy, I was managing a 44-person engineering team.
Unfortunately, Trilogy's aggressive business plan was failing. Mark Flomenhoft, my mentor who brought me to Trilogy, brought three young engineers together to write the business plan for Tangent Systems. Aki Fujimura, Steve Teig, and I joined Mark several weekends and evenings until we had a plan we thought we could use for fundraising. After a few months, we received funding from Intergraph Corporation and began developing the first commercial EDA tool featuring timing-driven place and route. Mark allowed me to also work on an MBA on a part-time basis at Santa Clara University. Thankfully, Aki and Steve put up with my occasionally less than start-up effort as I sought my degree. Still, it is amazing to look back now at the team Mark had assembled which has collectively garnered many c-level titles and had many successful companies. Tangent was a technological success, but not a huge financial victory for Aki, Steve and I - however, we did learn from this.
Marketing, Sales, & Business Development
Tangent was sold to Cadence Design Systems for a mere $14.2M. Inside Cadence, Tangent's technology would soon evolve into a $50M+ per year cash flow. As I had completed my MBA less than a year prior to the acquisition, this was the true launching point for my career on the business side of the house. With nearly ten years of engineering behind me, I soon found myself in multiple sales, marketing, and business development roles at Cadence. I worked a couple years in Cadence's major accounts organization, including one year where I was 388% of quota. I started the Digital IC division's channel marketing department, I handled product marketing for Frameworks (and served as co-chair on the CAD Framework Initiative's Design Representation subcommittee), and I also managed the company's Technology Partnerships organization while I personally managed the partnership with Toshiba. As five of the six partnerships were with Japanese companies, this is where my involvement with Japan truly accelerated although I had visited Japan a few times on previously on behalf of Tangent.
After leaving Cadence I worked for a string of start-ups, mostly as a vice president of marketing (and sometimes of sales and marketing) with many of them being acquired - including Silicon Architects, Gambit Automated Design, and Celestry Design Automation. I also developed Artisan Components (since acquired by ARM) Japan sales unit before being named VP, Corporate Ventures (partnerships and M&A) there. In some of these companies, I was also quite involved in fundraising, including successfully raising money for Aprio Technologies and Silicon Valley Research. In all cases, I traveled to Japan quite often developing a love of the Japanese culture as well as making many lifelong friends.
At Aprio, tensions grew as product bugs took their toll and a very promising alpha-level tool failed to become a successful product. it was difficult to leave the friends and company I had helped develop as the initial sales and marketing person there, but it was time to go. I decided to strike out on my own and create Randysan Marketing in 2005 (the first client came in 2006).
Business Consulting for Small and Medium-sized Businesses
When I launched Randysan Marketing, I envisioned a business where I would help establish and potentially run sales channels in Japan for US-based companies (the original company logo is shown on the left. While this did happen, the market for those services was not as large as I had expected. Beyond that, it was clear that this model would eventually suffer the fate of many other interim channel solutions - once the clients became large enough they would transition to direct sales and no longer need my services. And so I expanded the services portfolio to include a broad range of marketing, sales, and business development services.
One of the interesting things about running a consulting practice is that every engagement is different. Not only are the services customized for each engagement, often the business terms and relationships are as well. Sometimes clients have brought me in an interim management role, only to then ask me to take a VP or even CEO title. This would be more than a little bit disconcerting to see on a job application as you would think I was job hopping often - and occasionally working at multiple companies simultaneously! I may some day join a big company in a full-time role, but they would need to see beyond my confusing resume.
I am proud that many of my clients have been acquired. In some cases, these were huge wins for the founders and investors. In other cases, I was brought in to help a struggling business and the investors were happy to get some money back. At times I think my contributions on branding have given companies a higher valuation on exit, though the exit itself was not of my doing, nor is the incremental value easy to estimate. A partial list of past clients is available on this website.
Whether it be in an interim management role or providing marketing guidance, I try to use my leadership skills and competitive nature to drive organizations to successes previously beyond their reach. I see competition as hugely beneficial as long as it is not destructive to your personal relationships. Please see my page on this website about winning to gain an understand of how I feel about competition.