“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker
This country was founded on the business acumen and strong entrepreneurship of our founders. But setting such a precedent for innovation and self-reliance hardly came without sacrifice and risk. People like James Madison, Ben Franklin, James D. Rockefeller, and Henry Ford all used their vision of the future to impact their communities and the future generations to come.
And then came the tech industry. Tech giants like Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and Palmer Luckey not only relied on the strong tradition of American entrepreneurs but they did so with no prior framework about how the industry, ‘should be’. These pioneers rocked the world with their advances in communications and ensured their place in technological history.
When looking for the next great American tech entrepreneur, perhaps one would be better served to look towards those that exude the same make it or break it ethos of our business-minded founding fathers rather than those building off their progress. For a taste of this self-made industriousness in 2018, one would be served to check out the founder of California based Tsunami XR, Alex Hern.
Alex Hern has been a seasoned tech entrepreneur for over 25 years. During this time, he focused on early stage businesses and on the incubation of technology companies. Hern co-founded and served as a Director of Inktomi Goldman Sachs-led IPO (INKT), which was behind the search technology for MSN, Yahoo and AOL. As of the last eight years, Hern started and is CEO of Tsunami XR, an immersive software and content solutions company for the enterprise market.
Hern recently sat down with Daniel Budzinski, from ‘Welcome to The Art of Success podcast’, to discuss how he learned and earned his success. Hern commented on his first step into tech, “I have been a serial entrepreneur. I started very early. In my first company that I started I actually licensed from Marvel the characters from the Marvel Universe for internet use and internet search.” Hern elaborated, “And what I was trying to do was start a kid’s safe search engine. And this was back in the early days of internet era 1.0. So, I actually found a technology that at UC Berkeley that had been DARPA funded. And I contributed my license to all the Marvel characters for internet use and for search use. They contributed their IP and we started a company called Inktomi. And Inktomi became the first big search engine company before Google.”
During the interview, Hern was asked about his thoughts on multi-tasking. Quick to give the ‘over-rated’ rating, Hern said, “I think it’s a myth quite frankly; this notion that we can take on lots of things at once. What you end up doing is a lot of things poorly as opposed to– and I’ve argued and 99% of entrepreneurs think they are just great multi-taskers. They’re deluding themselves. No one can really do a lot of things right at the same time.”
At the end of the day, innovation and solid ideas only go so far without the business acumen to propel them. Hern seemed quite familiar with the harsh realities of being a business owner in the tech field. “Now in business, things change over time. At the end of the quarter what matters is making the quarter. If you hire the right people and if you’ve fed the funnel and if you’re monitoring all the metrics along the way and the people that are supposed to be doing that are doing that, and if you routinely review, then you don’t have surprises at the end of the quarter.” Adding emphasis to this reality, Hern added, “Anybody that surprised at the end of the quarter is a terrible operator.” Listeners got a glimpse of Hern’s sink-or-swim work ethic.
For more on Tsunami XR and the man behind the up and coming company, check out their website at https://tsunamixr.com/.
Connect with Alex Hern on Crunchbase.com