Careers: Interviews
Ross Mayfield: Serial Entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of Socialtext.com

This week, Stephen Ibaraki, has an exclusive interview with the internationally regarded entrepreneurial innovator, Ross Mayfield.

Ross Mayfield is a serial entrepreneur with over 10 years of startup executive management experience and a focus on helping people and companies communicate effectively.

Most recently, Mayfield served as VP of Marketing for a Fujitsu spinout developing enterprise software for the telecommunications industry, and as Interim VP of Marketing for an Immersive Group Simulation provider to military and homeland defense markets. Previously he was CEO of an enterprise risk management software company.

Mayfield co-founded and served as President of RateXchange (AMEX:RTX), the leading B2B commodity exchange for telecom. RateXchange reached $1 billion market capitalization, raised over $45 million in equity and debt and generated a thousand-fold return on investment for initial shareholders. His management of marketing led to majority market share, perceived leadership in its market category and recognition by Forbes as "The Best of the Web."

Mayfield served as the Marketing Director of the largest privately held telecommunications group in Eastern Europe and was the internal lead manager of their Initial Public Offering. He also founded an ISP, a web-design company and has served on a number of Advisory Boards of high tech startups.

Mayfield is a former advisor to the Office of the President of Estonia and began his career in the non-profit sector. He holds a BA in Political Science from the University of California at Los Angeles and completed the Management Development for Entrepreneurs (MDE) program of the Anderson School of Business. He resides in his hometown of Palo Alto with his wife and two children.

Discussion:

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Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic

00:38: Socialtext is the world’s first Wiki company who has returned to its Open Source Roots. Precisely define what this all means to the uninitiated?

05:42: You were a major participant at the Web 2.0 conference. Can you provide an overview of the conference and its objectives - that is, from your perspective? How would  you define Web 2.0, its various components, and their implications to internet users?

09:18: Socialtext facilitated a Wiki Eventspace for the 2nd year in a row for the conference. Can you describe the technology and then the broader implications of what you provided?

14:54: Ross, forecasting this out to 2008, describe a typical bogger or user interfacing on the internet?

18:07: Were there any particular internet technologies at the Web 2.0 conference that you found really compelling. if so, for what reasons?

23:42: Moving into a financial vein, how would you view the overall investment climate? What kinds of investments today would make for notable IPOs in the future?

27:09: Are you able to describe your funding history?

28:57: Based on your background, what tips would you give to other start-ups looking for investment?

30:42: You mention the market place in relation to Western markets. Where do you see the status of Wiki and blogging in the Asian marketplace (for example, China and India)?

33:52: Now, for some fun questions: What is your favorite gadget?

  What is your favourite passion?

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