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October 31, 2004

Ram Shriram’s "Book of Mistakes"

Ram Shriram, founder of Sherpalo Ventures, and one of the first investors in Google, helped Google's co-founders "in the Menlo Park garage by consulting his 'Ram’s Book of Mistakes', reports SiliconBeat, a new blog by reporters at The San Jose Mercury News. One of the tenets in Shriram's book, which "he started eight or nine years ago to help remind him of all the bad decisions he’d made", is that "bad hiring decisions are the most fatal".

Other extracts from the posting, which was based on an interview given by Shriram to the President of TiE Silicon Valley Sridar Iyengar about the “Google story":

--..there are huge opportunities afforded by the new Internet economy -- in China and India, especially.

--Launching a company is easy. The great thing about the Internet is you can launch and test an idea easily, and cheaply. If it doesn’t work, you can go back to the drawing board. “If you build your field of dreams, and no one comes, you can shut it down,” he said.

--The trick is small engineering teams. “Bite-sized engineering projects,” as Shriram calls them, where you can “know and measure each person’s output on a project.” That allows you to remain innovative and to launch and scrap projects quickly.