Heidi Roizen

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“More business decisions occur over lunch and dinner than any other time, yet no MBA courses are given on the subject.” Peter Drucker’s comments are very applicable to networking and this week’s assignment. In the first ten years of Heidi Roizen’s career as a software entrepreneur we can safely say that much of her network building occurred over meals, during receptions and at conferences. Roizen has built an extensive network in Silicon Valley in her career and the “who’s who” of the valley are in her network. She is the epitome of the key forms of networking: professional, personal and social networking. In many cases these networks have been built using the shared principle that forge a stronger bond than causal personal connections3. This is seen from her role as President of SPA which was a trade group focused on the issues of software publishers. She has leveraged her relationships to build her own career and to grow companies in which she worked. Very early in her career she built not only operational network at her first job, Tandem, but also leveraged her role as a company newsletter editor to build a strategic network1 with the CEO of Tandem which helps her to gain admission to Stanford’s business school. She has also used the value of her connections to mutually benefit various professional and companies that are seeking occupational resources. Networking was not always easy for Heidi, as she moved from Apple to her “mentor capitalist” role she had to now evaluate both parties that she was looking to bring together and see if it created a symbiotic relationship. Also, because of the role she ‘s played in her venture capital firm Heidi had to make tough decisions on projects presented to her from members of her network. Handling how to tell someone “No” but at the same time not having them respond in kind or establish a “quid pro quo”. We’ll discuss this aspect of networking later on in the paper.

People are impressed by what you do, not what...
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