By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues

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(12 minutes)

Download Fresh Dialogues with Ann Winblad

I talked to celebrated tech leader and VC  Ann Winblad at Hummer Winblad on December 5th. New jobless figures had just been released, and were reminiscent of the mid 1970′s. Yet, despite that gloom, the views over the Embarcadero to San Francisco Bay Bridge were breathtaking, and Ann, in true venture capitalist style, was refreshingly upbeat.

She talked about her early days:

Working in the strawberry fields of Minnesota at age 7… “I learned that patience and focus is a very good balance with overall efficiency; and that’s served me well as an entrepreneur.”

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Download Fresh Dialogues with Ann Winblad – strawberry fields

Drinking the Kool-Aid. To be a successful VC, “we have to look at the glass as half full….we have to slurp up that Kool-Aid for an instant, but we can’t get addicted.” 

 

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Download Fresh Dialogues with Ann Winblad – Kool Aid

 “SDForum is an open door to entrepreneurs and innovators…we’ve funded several companies from walk-in meetings…Susan Lucas (Conwell) is our CEO and a remarkable director.”

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Download Fresh Dialogues with Ann Winblad – SDForum

  

Is Green Tech going to save Silicon Valley?  ”The press likes to focus on Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer; they forget about Prancer and Dancer and Donner and Blitzen. They want one cartoon character of salvation.”

 

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Download Fresh Dialogues with Ann Winblad – green tech and Rudolph

  

Ann has been friends with Bill Gates for over 20 years. What was the atmosphere like among software experts in the mid 80′s?  “Everybody was working so hard…we’d get together for dinners and we all had a lot of fun. People would share their stories…their dreams. That’s how we got to know that some people had bigger dreams than others.” 

 

Download or listen to this lively Fresh Dialogues interview

 

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Download Fresh Dialogues with Ann Winblad – friendship with Bill Gates 

 

In part two of Fresh Dialogues with Ann Winblad, we explore top market trends, cloud computing, virtualization and the attributes of successful VCs. Check back soon.

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