Saturday, February 23, 2013

Batting 3/5 : Opera acquires Skyfire

Last week, on February 14, 2013 Opera Software acquired Skyfire Labs where i am currently a product manager. Check out the press release on (and yes i am typing this blog post in Opera's Desktop browser !! ) :

Opera has been an internet landmark since before i could remember, joining the Opera family is an exciting opportunity and honor :)

Exits are very rare events even in Silicon Valley, so when you do have the good fortunate to participate in a successful start up exit, it is worthwhile to take stock of your career and reflect on what worked and what didnt work in the recently exited start up so that you can take these entreprenurial lessons forward.

Since 2005, i have worked on 5 start ups as well as a plethora of mobile/social/web consulting projects.
This post is ment to be less of a "retrospective"(that may come in a future post) and more of taking snapshot of my various start up experiences.

I am batting a 3/5 exit ration for the 5 start ups i worked on over the past 8 years:

VCEL, Flock, Fotochatter, Thred, Skyfire 
- 3 of the 5 co's have been acquired (VCEL, Flock, Skyfire)
- 2 of the 5 co's i founded ( VCEL, and Thred)
- 2 of 3 acquiring companies were public (Zynga, and Opera Software )
- 1 of the 3 acquiring companies was private (Angel and VC backed)
- 1 of the 2 companies i founded sold
- 1 of the 2 companies i founded failed

Looking back on these experiences, i am surprised by the fact that some of the most valuable lessons in entrepreneurship, product management, and software execution have come from the failures and not just the successes. Sure the exited startups provided positive reinforcement for what worked, but the negative reinforcement of what doesnt work was just as important IMHO.

I look forward to expanding my "entreprenurial stack" to include working for a publicly traded company (Opera Software is traded on the Oslo stock exchange). This will add to my experiences operating in bootstrapped, angel funded, venture backed,  and government funded (NIH research grants) scenarios :)

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