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The Power of Founders

Ravi Belani, Stanford Engineering

It’s no coincidence, says Stanford Department of Management Science and Engineering lecturer Ravi Belani, that four of the biggest tech companies — Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet — all had founders who stayed on as CEOs long after the companies went public. He suggests that there’s more than just intellect at play here. Any company can hire brilliant strategists, but something about going from “zero to one” and navigating the rough water of early venture development enables founders to think differently, and pursue opportunities that don’t seem at all linear or obvious.