Bing Gordon’s Founder Checklist: Animal Energy, Blind Confidence, And A Toupee - Startup Grind

Editor’s note: Derek Andersen is the founder of Startup Grind, a 40-city community bringing the global startup world together while educating, inspiring, and connecting entrepreneurs.

As an Electronic Arts’ intern eight years ago, I asked Bing Gordon then the chief creative officer and the only remaining early founding team member, a question about vision. “How can I know where the puck is going to be?” While he delivered a satisfactory response, two weeks later I received an email from Bing saying, “I answered that question poorly a few weeks and I wanted to try again.” A few weeks ago Bing joined me at Startup Grind in Silicon Valley where he delivered some great advice that has become one of his trademarks.

In 2010 Mark Pincus called KPCB general partner Bing Gordon (look for a bald guy on the front row) one of the world’s “great CEO coaches” supporting founders on the boards of companies like Amazon, Zynga, Klout, and Zazzle. Here are some excepts from our recent interview.

Derek: Tell us about your family and where you grew up?

BING: So I grew up in a suburb of Detroit. My dad was a first generation Scotsman and his dad was a janitor. And he was somebody that believed the grass was always greener and didn’t have, kind of, context or resources. Thanks, Dad! We were the first to move in to a subdivision built out of farmlands surrounding Detroit, so I grew up kind of in the creek. Playing sports with my brother who remembers growing up in the House of Pain. So I had a good Midwestern upbringing. I didn’t work in an office before going to Stanford business school, but I did think I was a pretty damn good teenage caddy. I played hockey and lacrosse at the university level and played both, kind of, for most of my adult life…