According to Komisar, globalization needs to be part of the tool set for every entrepreneur doing a start-up today. This doesn't mean immediately going global, but understanding the global market and having a plan for the future, he adds.
Globalization is a force that cannot be stopped. It's not new. It's age old. It's been going on since the Fenitians and earlier. And while we can make it better, the idea that somehow we can politically stop it. Or that we should is a fantasy. That means that entrepreneurs even in places as parochial as Silicon Valley. And I say parochial not in the sense of the credible diversity of people and talent we have in Silicon Valley but the nature of the focus of the markets at Silicon Valley. I think globalization needs to be part of the tool set for every entrepreneur doing a start-up today. It doesn't mean that they immediately attack markets in far off lands. It doesn't mean that they immediately outsource to India or China. It means that they understand the palette they have to work with. And begin to take consideration of that in the process of finding their business or business models and products. And so my sense is that every company is to become global in the sense of understanding what it means to be able to be effective globally and what you're business is going to look like as it matures. The extent that you're talking about being global in terms of taking products to various markets immediately or outsourcing, your innovation. I think that's premature. And I don't think start-ups need to be that proactive. Those are much more strategic decisions. In fact there's a lot of discussion about what gets outsourced. Everybody's terrified of all the offshoring to India and soon to China because India is too expensive. The reality is, there was a great article in New York Times or was it Wall Street Journal, one or the other. Innovation is hard to outsource. It's hard to offshore. It's not because people aren't very smart at the other end of that pipeline. They are very smart but they're too distant from the market and the ecosystems that they have to operate with. It's not intimate to them. And they're not intimate in terms of the group that they have to operate with. Rules-based structured development is well done at the other end of that pipeline. Innovation is not. And so early stage companies don't need to concern themselves as much with that. Depending upon what their business looks like. Your business is to take a product and pour it to new operating environment. By all means do it in India. If you're interested in creating the biggest network search environment in the universe, a la Google. You better have a pretty intimate group of people who can operate at light speed together.
Randy Komisar answers questions on Entrepreneurship for Stanford University students, part of the Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Speaker Series, on April 28, 2004. Randy Komisar, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, explains his title of Virtual CEO, which does not have a specific meaning. It is extremely adaptive and evolves to his changing roles. The purpose of the title was to provide a sort of identity on a business card that he could point at and say "this is what I do."