Here Be Dragons

Rule 1 in managing a technology start-up: beware the easy money

5 min read

Editor's Note: This is the first installment in Frans M. Coetzee's series "Here Be Dragons: Managing a Tech Start-Up," which discusses the perils and pitfalls of starting up your own tech company.

The day has dawned on your revolutionary idea. You and your partners are eager to start a company to bring your brainchild to market. If you are the chief executive officer, you will ruthlessly exploit the elephantine maneuvers of the competition with your hawklike perception, securely backed by your technical SWAT team. If you are the technological force, you will have the dream job of chief technology officer, directing development strategy, solving choice technical problems, and obliterating bureaucratic stupidities while your handpicked partners address the business side.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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