Founder-Ceo Succession at Wily Technology

Founder-CEO Succession at Wily Technology Lew Cirne sat stunned in his chair, digesting what Richard Williams had just proposed. As the founder, CEO, and chairman of Wily Technology, Cirne (pronounced “Ser-nee”) had worked hard to build the skills necessary to lead a start-up, had developed Wily’s early technology single-handedly, had hired 50 employees to help him build the company, and had successfully spearheaded a strategic transformation of the company.
He had led the company to the point where he had convinced several important customers to buy WiIy’s flagship product and had successfully raised two rounds of financing from top investors. ?Cirne????????? ,????? ·??????????????? ,CEO,???????? ,Cirne(??? “? -NEE”)??????? ,???????? ,???????? ,???? Wily????????? ,????? 50??? ,????????? ,???????????????????????? ,??????????? ,? WiIy????? ,????????????????????? However, after the last round of financing, at the behest of Wily’s lead venture capitalist, Cirne had agreed to give up his CEO position and step down to CTO and had helped find and recruit Williams to take over the CEO position.
Now, as the last condition before he would accept the job as Wily’s CEO, Williams Wanted Cirne to also give up the chairman position that Cirne had held since Wily’s founding. As he stared out the window, Cirne wondered how he should react: “Just how much am I going to have to give up to make this thing a success? When is it too much? Is this step i going over the line? ” As he thought back through Wily’s history, he also wondered what he could have done differently to avoid having to step down so soon as Wily’s CEO. ?? ,???????? ????????????????? ,Cirne??????? CEO???? ,?? ,CTO,?????????????? CEO?????? ,Wily? CEO,???????????????? ,?????? Cirne????????? ,? Cirne Wily?????????????? ,Cirne?????????? :“???????????????????????????????????? ”????? ,?? Wily??? ,?????????????? ,??? Wily? CEO??????? Early Years Lew Cirne grew up in rural southern Ontario, Canada, the only child of worIreminisced: ”I played a lot of hockey when I was growing up. I was a goalie_l used to play way out of the net, taking obscene risks to get to the puck. It’s a very entrepreneurial position.

When I wasn’t in the hockey rink or at music rehearsal, I was programming. My mom loves to say that she got me a Commodore PC when I was 12 and that she hasn’t seen me since. ” ? Cirne??????????????? ,????? worIreminisced? :“??????? ,?????????????? goalie_l,?? ??? ,???? ,?????????????????????????????????? ,??????? ,??????? Commodore PC? ,? 12? ,??????? ,??????? “ Academically, Cirne was a high performer and set his sights on becoming the first from his extended family to go to college. He headed south to New Hampshire, where he attended Dartmouth and majored in computer science.
All Dartmouth undergraduates were required to buy and use Apple Computers’ Macintosh PCs, and like many of them, Cirne became a fan of the Macintosh architecture. Each year, several graduates from the department went to work at Apple. One of those people was Jeff Cobb, who was a year ahead of Cirne and had served as a role model for him. After graduating in 1993, Cirne joined Apple, too. His first major project was developing one piece of the operating system for Apple’s Power Macintosh. He recalled: “That was the easiest project l’ve ever been able to explain to my mom.
I was supposed to create the cursor for the Power Macintosh, make the cursor appear on the screen. I could tell her, ‘See that little thing moving around, Mom? I did that! ” His next project was Copland, Apple’s next-generation operating system. Copland was based on object-oriented technology, and Cirne was assigned to the team working on Copland’s object-oriented user interface. During this project, Cirne learned some technical truths that five years later would be part of the underpinning for the founding vision of his company. Cirne said: ???? ,Cirne?????? ???????????????????????????????? ,???????????????????????????????????????? Macintosh??? ,???? ,Cirne???????? Macintosh?????? ,?????????????????????????? ·?? ,??????? Cirne,????????? 1993???? ,Cirne??????????????????????? Power Macintosh????????? :“???????? L’????????????? ,?????????? Power Macintosh,???????????????? ,”????????? ,???????! “??????????? ,??????????????????????????? ,? Cirne????????????????????????????? ,Cirne?????????? ,5????? ,?????????????? Cirne? : It was great to work with brilliant, technical people, learning from them how to solve tough technical problems.
But even with the most brilliant technology team, no one could explain how the operating system as a Whole behaved. Each person knew their own little piece, but no one had the visibility to be able to see the big picture. Without adequate visibility, even the best systems are going to have problems. Part of the epiphany for me was, how can I make this complex, object-oriented software system visible, so we can see how the whole system will perform? I thought, there’s an opportunity here to make the potential a reality. ?????????? ,???? ??????????????????? ,??????????? ,?????????????????????????????????? ,????????????????????????? ,???????????????? ,??????????? ,????????????? ,???????? ,???????????? ,??????? ,??????? Cirne loved the technical challenges and ”the fact that people came to work excited every day,” but he felt restricted by the narrow specialization his role demanded in such a large company. In addition, he wanted to start building the skills he would need to play a central role in a start-up: ”I wanted to learn how to be a founder or an early employee of a new company.
I wanted to gain breadth, compared to my more focused role at Apple. ” To do so, Cirne wanted to work for a smaller company for two years, after which he planned to leave to start his own company. That month, Cirne got a call from an executive recruiting firm that was trying to hire software engineers for Hummingbird Communications, a small public company. Cirne agreed to meet with Nick Gault, the vice president of corporate development at Hummingbird, who would be his boss there. Gault, who had engineering degrees from Stanford, had founded Common Ground Software.
When he was 32 years old, Ga. it had sold his 30-person company to Humrningbird. Cirne said: Cirne?????? “??? ,???? ,????? ,”????????????????????????????? ,?????????????? ,?????? ,?? :“????????????????????????????????? ,??????? ,????? “?????? ,Cirne?????????????? ,?? ,????? ,????????????? ,Cirne?????? ,??????? ,?????????? ,????? “?? ”??? Cirne?? ,???????????? ·??? ,? “?? ”,?????????? ,?????????????? ,??????????? 32???? ,???? ,????? 30???? Humrningbird? Cirne? : I met with Nick, and the job opportunity fit what I had in mind, between Hummingbirds size and Nick’s background.
The company had just hit $100 million in revenues with 350 employees, and Nick would be a great mentor for me. He was a developer turned business-man, just like I wanted to be. I was very up front with Nick, telling him, “You’ve had success at starting a company and selling it. I’d like to work for you and learn from you. ” ??????????? ,??????? ,???????????????????? $100??????? 350??? ,??????????????????????????????? ,??????????????? ,??? ,“???????????????????? ,???? ” Cirne joined Hummingbird as the lead engineer for its Macintosh product. Culturally, Cirne found Hummingbird quite different from Apple.
Apple was a product-driven organization, Hummingbird was sales driven. Apple employees would talk about “shipping the product,” while Hummingbird employees would talk about ”making our quarterly numbers. ” Cirne?? “?? ”???? Macintosh?????????????? ,Cirne?? “?? ”????????????????????????? ,???????????????? “,????? ”,? “?? ”????? “???????? ” Without informing Hummingbird’s headquarters, Gault created a “skunkworks” project to which he assigned Cirne, with the mandate to rewrite their viewer product in lava, an object-oriented language that was beginning to gain wide acceptance.
As he started using the technology, Cirne became impressed. He came to believe that companies would start using Java to develop enterprise systems but that those companies would face the same problems Apple had faced in developing Copland: that it would be very hard to knit together all of the individual components into a coherent system that performed and scaled well. Cine said: ??? “?? ”??? ,??????? “?? ”?? ,?????? Cirne,????????????????? ,????????? ,???????????????????? ,Cirne????????????? ,??????? Java??????? ,????????????? ,?????????? ?????????????????????????????????????? : The more successful lava would be, the more the problems would abound for these companies. It was a belief that came from my personal experiences, both at Apple and at Hummingbird. As I was driving home through the mountains, on a curvy road on the way to Santa Cruz, 1 had a second epiphany: that if I could make the Iava prog. ram “self-diagnostic,” then I could help those companies solve that problem in a big way. I would solve the problem l had experienced myself. When it hit me, I almost drove off the road.
When I got to Santa Cruz, I knew I’d start a company with this idea as a core foundational technology. ??????? ,?????????????????????? ,??????? ,??????????????????????? ,???????????? ,???? :????? IAVA prog. ram“???? ”,??????????????????????????????????? ,?????? ,????????????????? ,????????????????????? During discussions with Gault, Cirne shared his vision of the potential opportunity he had perceived during his ”epiphany,” and Gault helped Cirne understand how potential investors would view his venture, what types of people he should plan to hire to work with him, and a wide variety of other issues.
By the time Cirne left Hummingbird, he was leading a team of half a dozen people, managing both the technical and managerial aspects of the effort to develop a ]ava version of Hurnrningbird’s viewer product. ???? ,Cirne??????????? ,?????? “?? ”? Gault?? Cirne???????????????? ,????? ,????????????? ,?????????????????? Cirne? ,?????????? ,????????????? ,???? ] AVA??? Hurnrningbird??????? Founding Wily

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