Clara Shih's lessons learned: it's about the people

Faith Merino · July 8, 2011 · Short URL:

CEO of Hearsay, Clara Shih, discusses what she learned from working with the major tech giants

Clara Shih, CEO of Hearsay Corporation and author of “The Facebook Era,” has worked with virtually all of the tech giants, from Microsoft, to Google, and now Facebook. So what has she learned? It sounds cliché, but it’s true: it comes down to the people. As Shih explains in this “Lessons Learned” interview, what all of those tech giants have in common is that they all hired great people.

But how do these massive tech giants affect culture on the whole? Shih notes that companies like Facebook and social media in general are altering and enhancing the depths of human relationships. That, she says, is why “The Social Network” is a movie and Mark Zuckerberg was named TIME Magazine’s “Person of the Year”—because people are realizing how much technology truly pervades their everyday lives.

What do all of these companies have in common? They were all paradigm-shifters—companies that offered something that changed the way people do business and communicate with one another. In the ‘80s, it was the PC, and Microsoft dominated the PC era. Then you had the Internet, and Google became the big heavy-hitter: “And you had a lot of people leaving Microsoft to work on the new era in technology,” explained Shih. Today, we have the Facebook era, and so it stands to reason that you have a lot of Google engineers leaving en masse to go to work in the next generation of technology.

“We’re building the next evolution of Web technology in terms of not just being aware of information and Web pages, but actually people and identity,” said Shih. 

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