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Eugene Kleiner

Eugene Kleiner

Eugene Kleiner was a founder of Fairchild Semiconductor where he played a key role in the growth of the company and the semiconductor industry.

Eugene received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Polytechnic University of New York and an MS in Industrial Engineering from New York University. In 1989, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering Degree from the Polytechnic University of New York.

Kleiner’s Laws

  • Make sure the dog wants to eat the dog food. No matter how ground-breaking a new technology, how large a potential market, make certain customers actually want it.
  • Build one business at a time. Most business plans are overly ambitious. Concentrate on being successful in one endeavor first.
  • The time to take the tarts is when they’re being passed. If an environment is right for funding, go for it. Eugene, more than anyone, knew that venture capital goes in cycles.
  • The problem with most companies is they don’t know what business they’re in.
  • Even turkeys can fly in a high wind. In times of strong economies, even bad companies can look good.
  • It’s easier to get a piece of an existing market than to create a new one.
  • It’s difficult to see the picture when you’re inside the frame.
  • After learning some of the tricks of the trade, some people think they know the trade. This reflected some of Eugene’s own humility; he recognized that many venture capitalists thought they were experts when they had just a bit of knowledge.
  • Venture capitalists will stop at nothing to copy success.
  • Invest in people, not just products. Eugene always respected founding entrepreneurs. He wanted to build companies with them not just with their ideas.