My name is Will Herman and as a result of the hand I was dealt and the path I have followed, I’ve been afflicted with only two speeds; fast and stop. As it turns out, I’m not even that good at the stop part. Officially, I’m retired, having sold my last company in 2002, but I seem to have no time for the classical retiree activities. I end up spending all my time on a variety of true passions – helping young entrepreneurs; working with and investing in small companies; taking everything apart to try to either improve it or figure out how it works; cycling; photography; woodworking and playing with anything with a motor.
This blog is about all of those things, but my primary goal here is to put my thoughts and experiences about running a business, in general, and entrepreneurial leadership and management, in particular, into bits and bytes. Ultimately, I’d like to build a place that contains the small bits of wisdom I’ve garnered over the years so that I can point people to it when they feel compelled to ask me questions.
Hope you find things interesting and maybe even useful.
Some of the stuff you’ll find in this blog can be found in much greater detail in the book I wrote with Rajat Bhargava, The Startup Playbook. It’s now in its second printing and was picked up by Wiley.
Here’s the more detailed and boring bio information:
In my current life, I’m an active angel investor, corporate director and startup mentor. I was previously a serial entrepreneur, having started 5 companies – mostly successes, but a couple of miserable failures. I live and work mostly in the Boston area.
I sold my last company, Innoveda (NASDAQ:INOV), a supplier of Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software tools to Mentor Graphics in 2002. Innoveda was created when Viewlogic, my previous company, did a reverse acquisition of Summit Design, a public company. I co-founded Viewlogic (NASDAQ:VIEW) in 1984 and left the company in 1992, a year after the company’s IPO. I then rejoined the company in 1995 initally as President, then as CEO. Viewlogic Systems was acquired by Synopsys in 1997. One year later, most of the assets acquired by Synopsys were re-purchased by a small team I led via an MBO reforming Viewlogic as a new private company. Confused yet?
During my hiatus from Viewlogic, I was first the President of Scopus Technology, a startup supplier of software automation tools in the customer information systems marketplace. I later helped create Silerity, a developer of high-performance logic and electronic physical synthesis tools where I was President and CEO. Silerity was purchased by Viewlogic in 1995, thus completing my great career circle of life.
Prior to founding Viewlogic, I held management positions at Digital Equipment Corporation and was involved in two other software startup operations, Dataware Logic, which I founded, and Health Care Computer Systems. I am currently a director at JumpCloud and Pointillist. I’m also a mentor at TechStars and Bolt, where I’m also the outside fund advisor for all of its venture funds. I actively advise about a half dozen individual startups. Previously, I served as a director of several other public and private companies including, Template Graphics Software, Hall Kinion, Rebar, Lexra, Quintus, Viewlogic Systems, Innoveda, Silerity, ChannelWave, AccuRev, Bionaut Pharmaceuticals, Zipix, MobileDay, Carbon Design and Standing Cloud.