On May 5, the inaugural event of Startup Grind Beijing welcomed Eric Feng to a packed house at Tech Temple. Eric is currently the Chief Technology Officer at Flipboard, a personal magazine application for mobile devices with more than 130M users worldwide.
Eric has had an incredibly wide-ranging career in the startup industry, having previously the founder and CEO of Erly, a partner at Kleiner Perkins focusing on greentech and digital media investments, and as the founding CTO at Hulu. Under Eric's leadership, Hulu.com was recognized as the Associated Press Website of the Year (2008), the PC World Best Product (2008), and the TIME magazine Best Invention (ranked No. 4 in 2008) among other honors. Earlier in his career, Eric's experiences include leadership roles at Microsoft Research and founding two startups which were both acquired.
Eric recounted his childhood and his father's influence in getting him into technology and teaching him to continue to "sharpen his ax." While he shared stories about his career experiences, he noted, in particular:
- how much product and engineering processes have changed over the past 15 years, and how much easier it is to create;
- a founding CEO's main job is to constantly be recruiting the best talent and the effectiveness of recruiting through referrals, so much so that one of the first things that Flipboard does with new hires is go through their LinkedIn profiles for more potential hires; and
- the importance of recognizing that a roles change as the size of an organization grows.