Monday, June 11, 2012
Blog insight into Robert Pera
By Henry Abbott
Marc Stein is reporting that Robert Pera has entered an agreement to purchase the Memphis Grizzlies from Michael Heisley. The agreement still has to be approved by the NBA.
In the meantime, what kind of manager is Pera?
His blog at RJPBlog.com offers some insight.
After leaving Apple as an engineer he started his business, Ubiquiti Networks, on the cheap. This is not typical of tech companies, which very often involve venture capital. His blog does not have many posts, and a good percentage of the total content is about the art of "bootstrap financing." Pera writes:
It was March of 2005 and my $600/month studio apartment lease down the street from Apple HQ was coming up for renewal. Instead of committing to another year, I moved my futon and my HW lab into an economical $650/month office surrounded by bail bonds shops across the street from the San Jose Courthouse where I would make my home for the next several months. Although there was sufficient capital from upfront customer down payments to fund the first manufacturing builds, I was locked in survival mode and entirely focused on how I was going to setup manufacturing, make the shipment lead-times, support initial customers, come up with new product designs, and build the Ubiquiti brand.
I had no real advisors, no board members, no corporate lawyers, no accounting, and no IP strategy. I was completely winging it and was playing to survive another day.
The same blog post goes on to say that he wishes he would have spent more money earlier for the company's long-term good. And along those lines, he has another photo-rich tale from a few days ago, showing off his company's sleek new San Jose offices. Memphis fans will appreciate the "spend the money to attract the best talent" philosophy:
I really regret not making this upgrade sooner … I have a feeling that the additional overhead costs of an inspiring work environment is more than offset by the intangible value of having very happy engineers and in turn, having their productivity boosted. The positive impact on the company culture has also been very apparent. Additionally, this new office has already made a difference in recruiting new top engineering talent!