While I was reading this story in the Mercury News about President Obama’s dinner yesterday with a number of Silicon Valley tech titans, an odd thought occurred to me: Boy, I’d hate to make the seating chart for that dinner!
How do you prioritize Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Eric Schmidt, Reed Hastings? Who gets to sit near the President? Who has to sit far away?
So when saw this photo in the paper, I thought I’d add some value and turn it into a seating chart for your interest and amusement. In the end, having Obama sit between Zuckerberg and Jobs wasn’t that surprising, but the structure among the rest is still fun. (Bear in mind the dinner was held at Doerr’s house, so he and his wife were the hosts.)
I’m Dave Kellogg, advisor, director, consultant, angel investor, and blogger focused on enterprise software startups. I am an executive-in-residence (EIR) at Balderton Capital and principal of my own eponymous consulting business.
I bring an uncommon perspective to startup challenges having 10 years’ experience at each of the CEO, CMO, and independent director levels across 10+ companies ranging in size from zero to over $1B in revenues.
From 2012 to 2018, I was CEO of cloud EPM vendor Host Analytics, where we quintupled ARR while halving customer acquisition costs in a competitive market, ultimately selling the company in a private equity transaction.
Previously, I was SVP/GM of the $500M Service Cloud business at Salesforce; CEO of NoSQL database provider MarkLogic, which we grew from zero to $80M over 6 years; and CMO at Business Objects for nearly a decade as we grew from $30M to over $1B in revenues. I started my career in technical and product marketing positions at Ingres and Versant.
I love disruption, startups, and Silicon Valley and have had the pleasure of working in varied capacities with companies including Bluecore, FloQast, GainSight, Hex, MongoDB, Pigment, Recorded Future, and Tableau.
I currently serve on the boards of Cyber Guru (cybersecurity training), Jiminny (conversation intelligence), and Scoro (work management).
I previously served on the boards of Alation (data intelligence), Aster Data (big data), Granular (agtech), Nuxeo (content services), Profisee (MDM), and SMA Technologies (workload automation).
I periodically speak to strategy and entrepreneurship classes at the Haas School of Business (UC Berkeley) and Hautes Études Commerciales de Paris (HEC).
Reed Hastings is between Ellison and Hennessy.
Thanks for filling in Ann Doerr, I couldn’t figure that one out. In fact, I haven’t seen any news report list her at the table.
This post has really confused the adbots that are trying to target your site, by the way.
Thanks Walter. I have fixed my picture. By defaulting to assume that the table was symmetric it made it easy to leave someone out on the top side. The asymmetry means, btw, that no one gets to sit directly opposite Obama creating two seats of equal value on the top (Doerr and Ellison) as opposed to one. Interesting.
I don’t get your comment on the adbots and would love to understand.
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Back in the days of Camelot, of course, the King had a Round Table constructed, so that his knights could all be seated equally close to him; which makes absolutely no sense, of course, unless he were sitting in the center of the table. Leaving design requirements ambiguous can be problematic; strict egalitarianism brings its own problems.
I saw some ads on your page for seating at sporting events, etc., probably keying off “seating chart”. I don’t see them now.
From a reader to me via email:
The US Military has considered the subject carefully, though not with tech titans.
Some nuggets: ambassadors are ranked by time of service. other high embassy officials are ranked by their ambassador’s time of service. governors are ranked by date their state was admitted to the union, except in their own state. very detailed ranking for everything from dod officials to church officials in appendix d. also note that when you are approved for promotion, you do not yet sit with the higher ranking folks, but if you are “frocked” (officially approved to wear the insignia of the higher rank but not yet receiving the pay) you sit in between…
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