Time auction – meeting with David Zhu

In time auction event, through volunteering for 10 hours, you could win an opportunity to meet with an awesome entrepreneur or professional.

This time, we met David Zhu, cofounder of Divide which got acquired by Google in 2014.

David shared his experience in starting a number of startups, a brief journey in the banking industry and his view of the startup culture in the Silicon Valley and Hong Kong.

His sharing, especially the part about leadership in engineers, resonated with me as he also came from a technical background.

Here are some key takeaways:

(Wording may not be exact)

Good engineers in start-ups are self-selected to face the extra challenge.
Leaders naturally arise as circumstances force people to lead. Leaders are not promoted.
Leaders need to earn their respect from their peers by (1) being great in technical skills, or (2) being helpful (e.g. willing to spend time to help a colleague to debug etc.)
How to differentiate a good programmers v.s. great programmers? Great programmers can talk like human.