Category Archives: Silicon Valley

San Francisco trip in June 2014

Hello San Francisco! I left this magnificent City in September 2013 after graduation from my MBA program from Hult Business School. I was looking forward to come back. We were planning the trip with my wife and luckily it happened! A lot has changed in my life since I left the City. This time I came here neither as a student, not as an leisure visitor. Business is the main reason I came here. In 2014 I launched Valley Wizard and I joined CityHour. Both projects are global and will live in San Francisco.

We arrived on June 10th. We checked-in at Vertigo Hotel at Nob Hill close to Union Square.

Next morning I took BART to the East Bay, rented a car and rushed to Mountain View to take part in an investment conference. We just opened the next seed round at CityHour and started raising $1.5M. This was the reason I came to Silicon Valley Open Doors.

I was pitching on June 12th. Well, this was the first experience. I felt I was not ready enough. People said it was ok. My wife said it was close to perfect. Still I know we need to work on many things. I am glad we started this journey.

Jet leg and two days at the conference were pretty hard. I felt pretty tired. Still on Friday June 13th I went to meet Jim my mentor from IBM and Yassi from ISSIP.

The weekend was cool. We visited Carmel, took the 17-mile drive, enjoyed the sun, the ocean, spent the next day in Santa Cruz. Very good experience.

The journey continues. I am meeting a lot of people. We are very busy, but it’s a real fun!

Stay tuned!

Services for Startups from Valley Wizard Corporation

Check the new section on my company web-site http://valleywizard.com/for-startups/

We added a separate section on our web-site – “For Startups” http://valleywizard.com/for-startups/. We introduce a number of services for companies, projects and teams that only started their business journey. We are here to help startups overcome the death valley and become successful eventually.

We all know about the three sources of funds for startups. They are usually referred to as “the three F’s” – friends, family, fools. In the best case scenario these funds will cover the prototype creation, which is vital and cool. But still you will not have enough funds to hire professional marketers to help you grow. Marketing is the blood system of every company. Inbound marketing is vital for every company that wants to grow high and fast.

If you are a US company, I doubt that you will be able to hire even a lousy marketer for $60K annually. If you are a non-US company, than you are even in more difficult and dangerous position as you will need an expert in the US market. In both cases Valley Wizard is here to help you. We are experts in digital marketing solutions. We are experts in North America business and market and we are credible and have a good reputation in Silicon Valley. And we are very startup-friendly. We want to grow with you. We want to help you grow and prosper. We promise to boost your bottom line!

We crafted some packs to make it easier for you to understand how we can help you. Every pack will be customised and tailored to the needs and necessities of the company we work with. Choose the one you think will fit you and contact us to make it happen!

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MBA. Part2. Schools

The choice of school is extremely important for any MBA program.

I would recommend to pay attention to the following factors:
1) school rankings – there is a number of the – Wall Steer Journal, Financial Times, The Economist, Forbes to name a few. They differ in methodology and show sometimes contradictory data. But you ought to study them
2) geography – The easiest option is to attend a local school, maybe evening lasses or something. I do not recommend this option unless you live in Silicon Valley or Boston and you local school is Stanford GSB or HBS. However, a lot of people go to local schools. So the most wise decision is to change geography and go somewhere else. There are some strong and reputed schools in Europe like Insead, London School of a Business, IMD, IE, maybe some more. All the rest are at least second tier school.
3) program duration – the best option is two-year classic full-time program. But there some red flags here. This is the best option when you are single, under 30, want to change the three domains of you future: function, industry, geography. I should warn you – in no case this is a success factor. Neither business school guarantees you a jib after graduation. You can be lucky to get into the program(element if luck is always present), but you should work hard all the time, under constant pressure. I chose one-year full-time, accelerated program. It was tough, but I am glad I did that. I am married, I have a daughter and I was 29 when I graduated.

I would recommend the following while choosing the school:
1) do a deep research of the rankings and choose the 10-20 short-list
2) study the business schools web-sites. They are usually big portals with a lot of information.
3) find alumni in your circles and approach them with an informational interview request. You can even find some people whom you do not know on LinkedIn and ask for the same. It is considered a good practice and refusal is very unwelcomed in this community. Every worthy MBA graduate should find time to talk to potential students.
4) visit an MBA fair that is held every year at least once in many big cities
5) find a good GMAT tutor or sign up to online and offline courses

I recommend to apply to at least five schools not less. You can have one or two schools of your dream, but do not limit your choice just to them. Be clever enough not to underestimate the risks and odds of not bring accepted. But you should have some schools with which you will feel chemistry and magic traction.

Study hard and get ready!

My new project – Valley Wizard Corporation

It happened! We launched it! At last!!! I am so happy to announce that a project once inspired and supported by my beloved wife Hanna was launched. Valley Wizard Corporation, an innovative inbound marketing agency incorporated in Delaware, headquartered in San Francisco, the heart of Silicon Valley and one of the most lovely cities on the planet.

I invite you all to the web-site www.valleywizard.com Please spread the word and tell everyone to sign up to the blog and be update pd on everything new we are going to launch.

I thought a lot about launching my own company, but something interfered me all the time. I had enough job offers and I was ok in my own comfort zone. However the first red flag appeared in 2008 with the world financial collapse. Later on I was lucky to live in San Francisco during my MBA and I was a frequent guest in Silicon Valley. I got to know a lot of intelligent people and I was blown away with the spirit of freedom and entrepreneurship. I came back to Ukraine and witnessed the collapse of the ruling party, President resignation and complete relaunch of power. This signaled that even at first sight the most powerful and wealthy may fall. We truly live in turbulent and volatile times. Recalling Taleb’s Antifragile concept – entrepreneurs are antifragileby nature. Guess it’s worth the shot.

The new journey started.

Rick Isaacson – The Magic Museum

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I want to introduce my friend – Rick Isaacson. Rick is an Associate Professor at San Francisco State University. Our mutual friend, my Professor at Hult Jeff Saperstein introduced us to each other. We first met in Mill Valley in summer 2013.  Rick had just finished his first book for children – The Magic Museum. I was among the first people to read it. I was truly astonished by the idea of the book and Rick’s vision of future literature genre. Magic-Museum-cover

The Magic Museum was definitely a Blue Ocean – the completely new undiscovered market of unbounded opportunities. At the time when we have so much trash on bookshelves at bookstores, Rick created a new product. That was a true appeal to intellectual curiosity of both parents and children. The book fosters visual literacy and art appreciation by showing art in adapted form specially for children. Being a father myself , I imagined the delight of my daughter to have such a precious gift.

I decided to help Rick with the book marketing and online promotion. I truly believe in the success of The Magic Museum and in Rick as a talented author. I am waiting eagerly for his next book The First Magic which should see the world this summer. Hopefully I will be among the first people to read and review it.

Meanwhile feel free to sign to Rick’s blog and read his professional posts regarding raising children, visual literacy, art appreciation and many more http://isaacsonseries.com

And you can order his book on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Museum-Isaacson-Series-Literature-Volume/dp/0984493840/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397077215&sr=8-1&keywords=the+magic+museum