Monday, February 14, 2011

RSA Monday

Well, despite this being a St Valentine's Day away from home, and a damp day in San Francisco, Monday was as I had hoped.

Maria and the America's Growth Capital team once again put on a fine conference for CEOs, SVPs and interested financial organizations at the Westin SF. As for the past few years this was a very long day, but a day filled with interesting topics, old friends and colleagues, and stimulating conversation. AGC manages to bring together so many people involved in the security marketplace. Most people I saw spent the entire day discussing new opportunities, meeting old friends and finding ways to change the game.

In addition, my colleague John Soper and I met with local San Francisco lawyer David Tollen. David provides outside legal services to local tech and other firms, and also offers training to help contract and legal teams in medium-sized tech firms to help them improve their skills and comprehension. We discussed the potential to collaborate on delivering services to Business Development and legal/contract teams in those firms to help them improve communication between contract teams and BD, and to improve their overall effectiveness in completing the alliance deals they need to maintain their competitiveness in the market, and to build long-standing alliances.

Specifically, we would aim to improve the BD team's comprehension of the business issues implicit in typical alliance contracts, and their ability to communicate using structured term sheets. Likewise, to help the contract team understand the business imperatives and gain trust in the BD team's representation of the issues, to improve the overall outcome and so that otherwise legal "hard stops" can be explored more fully in the negotiation process. I am interested in whether my readers see value in this. John may bring this to the local ASAP chapter for discussion if there is interest.

Particularly exciting to me was the unexpected opportunity to spend time with an old friend from 20 years ago who has some great strategic business development opportunities. Without this conference, we'd never have talked. Because of the conference, we may both have new opportunities. Such is the magic of this week in San Francisco!

Tomorrow is the first full day of the RSA Conference - for me, a day filled with meetings and my chance to visit the show floor. I'll plan to provide a synopsis of what I see as major trends.

Until then...


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