Hanns Windele: Despite the fact that you work within the structure of a company, you’ve always been something of an entrepreneur… what qualities do you think this requires?
Gude Dasaradha: The way I look at this is always very clear. Whether you are in a big company or a start-up, I always feel that unless you ‘want it’ you won’t be able to make things happen and won’t be able to take things to the next level very quickly. I always feel that I am good at start-ups and the number of companies I have started is in two digits now. I always try to do things in the same way. Even when in a big company, I try to create the start-up atmosphere. Am I afraid of failure? Of course. I’m always afraid to fail, but I never want to be in the position where I will think tomorrow that I was the root cause or the reason for the failure. So typically due to this part of my nature, I am always driven to success. There are many reasons to fail, such as the market, but I don’t want it to be because of my individual effort and so I ask if I am doing everything the right way. If a disaster comes along then you can’t do anything about it.
HW: The high-tech industry can be a volatile place and there is the constant risk of failure. How do you mitigate against that?
GD: First of all you have to believe in what you are doing and your team has to believe you can take them to the next level. If your team doesn’t believe, that means you have failed from the very first step. Failure comes from lack of stability. If your team is not behind you that means you have already failed. I strongly believe that if you find yourself losing your way it will come back again. It also takes time. It may take two years instead of four if your team backs you and believes in your idea. So I would always like to work with my team and get their belief throughout to progress to next level.
HW: When you are considering your next start-up, how do you select which markets to approach? Is there a specific thought process?
GD: There is an IP and ASICs company that I started a year ago called Invecas. I strongly believe we can bring in the revenues and my wish is to become the number one in the next four years. The main reason to choose this area is due to the semiconductor consolidation. Major companies are getting into the IP market and there are no third parties today who can support these companies. Even if you look at foundry enablement, like GUC or any other company, they have not come to a point where they are doing ‘me too’ kind of ASICs. If you really want to do high-end support for companies, whether it’s Qualcomm, AMD or any other company, they expect to have some kind of support outside. I believe this is the time for me to invest in this area.
HW: Do you think that the industry will consolidate?
GD: It will, because big companies cannot afford to do IP development in house. But they need to have independence and we are going to provide that. My focus is only on IP and support, unlike other companies. As an IP and ASIC company, I believe in five years we will be number one.
HW: But you don’t just set up new companies and ventures. You are selling them too. Doesn’t that feel like abandoning your work, when you have put in so much blood, sweat and tears?
GD: To be honest, when we start a company, we have already decided when to sell it. For each and every company, we already have the time frame of when we want to sell and at what stage we want to sell it. So we don’t decide about selling suddenly – it’s planned the day we start our company.
HW: So is it just about making money?
GD: It’s not the money. It’s about potential for money. For example: Invecas, I didn’t try to sell it right away. I am trying to take it to the next level. My revenue targets are strategically planned and I intend to make it much bigger.