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Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing
Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing
Tom Anderson is vice president of Marketing for Breker Verification Systems. He previously served as Product Management Group Director for Advanced Verification Solutions at Cadence, Technical Marketing Director in the Verification Group at Synopsys and Vice President of Applications Engineering at … More »

What Would Joe Say?

May 2nd, 2013 by Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing

I’m dropping a bonus post in the middle of our usual two-week schedule to share some thoughts about Joe Costello’s talk with Jim Hogan at a special EDAC event last night. For those who may not follow EDA as intently as we do:

  • EDAC is the Electronic Design Automation Consortium, the main trade group for the EDA industry
  • Jim Hogan is a well-known EDA investor and entrepreneur
  • Joe Costello is the former President and CEO of Cadence, now leading Orb Networks

These facts don’t capture the almost mythical role that Joe Costello plays in the EDA industry.  I joined Cadence long after he had departed, but in my five years there I’ll bet I heard his name brought up nearly every week. His stint as the head of Cadence is inextricably intertwined with the glory days of the EDA industry. Many are nostalgic for those days and many have urged him to come back to the EDA fold. He has done so to some extent through his investments.

The title of this post is an homage to Peggy Aycinena’s inimitable “What Would Joe Do?” blog and she did a nice job of summarizing Joe’s advice for pitching your company to investors (and others). She clearly took better notes than I did, but I managed to jot down some suggestions and comments that I found interesting:

  • Your presentation must show “100% genuine passion” for your story
  • Your presentation style must be an extension of who you are, not a copy of someone’s else’s style
  • Investors want painkillers, not vitamins, and “you are the doctor” so you must be solving a pressing industry problem
  • One such problem is developing IP blocks at a higher level of abstraction while remaining connected to the physical world
  • “Rejection is not a bad thing” in that it helps you refine your message and sell it better
  • “EDA is a four letter word” for venture capitalists, so focus on angel investors and industry partners

The most entertaining part of the evening was Costello’s recollections of talking with Steve Jobs about possibly running Apple. That’s 15 years ago now, and while there was plenty of coverage at the time I had frankly forgotten how close he apparently came to getting the nod.

It was good to see one of the EDA industry’s best-known figures still in fine form, and it was great to connect with so many friends at this well-attended event. Thanks to Cadence for hosting and the folks from EDAC for making this possible.

Tom A.

The truth is out there … sometimes it’s in a blog.

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