Silicon Valley Executive Network | Brian Reynard

About Brian Reynard

Brian Reynard is the CEO and Founder of the Silicon Valley Executive Network (SVEN). He is a silicon valley cxo program native and attended Santa Clara University where he received his Undergraduate and Graduate degrees. In 2007 be founded the Silicon Valley Executive Network, an organization focused on bringing together CXO/VP Tech Executives, Venture Capitalists and Serial Entrepreneurs where they can interact in both a professional and informal way. Previous to founding SVEN Brian worked for Apple, SuperMac and Cisco.

 

Transcript of: Silicon Valley Executive Network | Brian Reynard

Alan
I’m here today with Brian Reynard, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Silicon Valley executive network. Brian, welcome to today’s show.

Brian
Great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Alan
So Brian, can you give me your background and how you got up to be the chief executive officer of?

Brian
Sure. I’ll explain it in a short spell. I’m a Silicon Valley native. So I grew up here, I’ve seen all the orchards turning technology companies, did my undergraduate and MBA at Santa Clara University and started my career off at Apple and then went to another company in Apple space called supermax, and then eventually spent most of my time at Cisco 15 years at Cisco. That’s where, you know, I sort of came up with the idea for the Silicon Valley executive network, and eventually spun that on my own. And I’ve been doing that for the last seven years since 2007.

Alan
So in 2007, you’re working at Cisco? Correct? Okay. So like, what, what caused you or inspired you to take the leap out of Cisco? And to create this? To move to this concept?

Brian
Great, great question. I felt that the problem I was trying to solve was, I felt that there needed to be a more intelligent way for the inner ring of Silicon Valley meeting CXO, VP, tech executives, venture capitalists and serial entrepreneurs to sort of connect intelligently, both on a social realm as well as a business realm to really solve their needs, and their opportunities more effectively. And that’s really the the genesis of why put the group together. And there was a social underpinning to that which, you know, is important, because the social aspect is really what allows business relationships to flourish.

Alan
Now, when you first started off, you had a group organized, about how many individuals?

Brian
About 25, or 30, VP, CX. So execs from large companies like Cisco, Intel, Oracle, etc. That’s what the genesis of the group was. And then it really grew from there. Outside of traditional IT, obviously, we have a significant amount of IT companies, but we’ve definitely branched out into digital media, healthcare, energy, and are really focused on you know, everything within technology that in that intersects with it.

Alan
And your membership today is about how many members

Brian
There’s just over 600 executives a compromise. You know, senior tech execs, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. That’s the limit. And the restriction of who we allow in the group,

Alan
when an individual comes to you. It typically, your mission statement is is that is to do what within the group? How are you helping them?

Brian
Other mission statement is really got three points. I mean, our ultimate goal is we’re trying to make the companies in our group and the executives more successful, my hypothesis is individuals and companies need to rely on their personal networks more than ever to solve their problems and meet their opportunities. And so that’s part of what we’re doing day to day. We’re gathering people, domain experts on every subject area, approximately 25 times a year. So we’re pretty active group, we do that to really clarify the landscape of emerging technology, we’ve got critical mass and pretty much every area of technology in every industry. So clarifying technology is one aspect. Building key relationships as the other we do that off site outside of the events connecting the dots intelligently between the group. And then the the third piece is really to provide kind of key strategic advisory to companies and executives in the group. But we don’t do it with our staff, we kind of use a crowdsourcing model so that with the executives in our groups of a company has an issue or problem. They want to address, we gather, you know, core set of executives within the group that can help do that sort of like a loose advisory group, kind of like a board of directors but no agenda, no bias.

Alan
What are some of the key issues facing companies today?

Brian
Some of the key issues are, you know, probably outside of finding talent, our understanding, you know, what’s next what’s on the horizon three to five years from now, many companies are short sighted thinking, you know, zero to 12 months ahead. If they do just that they’re going to kind of miss the boat on the three to five year plan. You obviously need to have both a short and a long term focus, but we’re really trying to focus on what is gonna change in the next three to five years and have our conversations around that the big opportunities are market changing things that are are going to create the new Facebook’s the new Google As the new Yahoo’s etc.

Alan
I’m visiting here today with Brian Reynard. He is the chief executive officer of the Silicon Valley executive network, and membership organization with about 600 members strong, it’s focused in on helping the companies get to the next level. Welcome back, I’m here today with Brian Renard. He is the chief executive officer, the Silicon Valley executive network. And, and Brian, in the first segment we had been visiting about, you know how you got this thing going breaking up from Cisco and, and starting with a group of 25. And now your 600 members strong. You know, focus on trying to connect the dots dial the the key executives and the deal makers in the valley. But I want to drill down a little bit more. Okay, so is the Silicon Valley executive network, public, or private?

Brian
The Silicon Valley executive network is a private invitation only group. It’s restricted to CXO, VP tech execs, venture capitalists, and serial entrepreneurs, we do allow a select number of executives from Global Fortune 2000, or global government entities to participate now just because tech companies obviously need to partner with those groups as well. But it is a private invitation invitation only group.

Alan
Okay, so an individual comes to you. And you know, when you’re when you’re talking about who is it for? What type of person will get the most mileage? There’s obviously a lot of executives in the valley, but more specifically your your target market group?

Brian
Yeah, I think it’s obviously influences influencers and decision makers, but it’s people that believe in the idea that the network can be more powerful than any individual or any company, you know, everybody’s got a personal network, whether it’s loose or formalized on LinkedIn, or Facebook, but how do you get that network to help and work for you is really, you know, the difference of what our group is trying to do, we’re literally trying to connect the dots and turn the idea of business development upside down, where your network is really coming to you as an individual or company and helping to solve problems, you know, present opportunities, etc, in a very intelligent, filtered manner.

Alan
So as the Chief Executive Officer, people, as they approach here, they’re outlining a problem saying, Brian, this is what I’m facing. Can you help me connect dots?

Brian
Yeah, very different than, you know, a consulting entity, what we use is the domain expertise in the group, we’ve realized that there’s really no problem or no opportunity that a company can have that we can’t address. And that’s not because of my domain expertise. It’s because we can crowdsource the executives in our group in, you know, face to face meetings, private, strategic advisory sessions with companies or individuals and address the issues, opportunities or problems that they’re trying to get answers to, from a set of domain experts in usually a very collaborative and safe environment. It’s usually with people, you know, many people they already know. So they’re not sharing issues or people they know, you know, in passing, but it’s not a group of strangers that they’re unwilling to share some of their information with, so it’s a very much a, like I said before, in the in, in the earlier part, a loose advisory board that has no agenda, and no bias, but a significant amount of domain expertise.

Alan
Why do people participate in this?

Brian
There’s usually three reasons people participate in our group one is the the peers that participate in our group, obviously, if we have an event, and there are 40, or 50 people, which is kind of the target the biggest that we ever do, the ability to connect with other people on a regular basis, you know, for catching up or new business is critical. That’s usually one of the core things that people get involved. The second is the content. When we got to probably two or 300 people in the group, which was three or four years ago, we realized there was no topic that we couldn’t cover. And so it’s mostly a programming challenge for us to figure out what we’re going to do We’re in our 25 events a year, but we can cover a significant amount of ground in terms of technology areas and industry areas. And then the third is is venues and social we grew in the beginning as a social group, you know, through events like private golf and sporting events. And so the social act aspect is a very important piece of what we do. We usually tie both business and social things together.

Alan
Welcome back. I’m here today with Brian Rinard. He is the chief executive officer of the Silicon Valley executive network. And we’ve been visiting on the types of events and activities that Silicon Valley network executive network gets involved with. I like to I like to draw this comparison how you differentiate yourself from other groups in the valley?

Brian
Well, that’s a good question, we really don’t do a lot of competitive analysis, the way I explain how we do differentiators is pretty much three things. We are a private invitation only group, so many groups out there allow anybody to attend. So the private aspect is one part. The second aspect is really the diversity. So we’re not a CEO, only group, Chief Marketing only group, a CFO group or Venture Capital Group, we mix all of those together, unlike any other group. And that’s really the special nature and the diversity that allows us to attack topics in a much different way than if it was just CEOs or chief marketing officers. And then the last, and probably most important differentiation is we really act as a business engine for our group. We are literally trying to connect the dots between every executive and every individual, we feel it’s our duty to, you know, part of our objective to determine what the needs and the wants are of every company and individual and more intelligently connect those together than they can do on their own. So that is probably what the key differentiator is, is we act as a business engine, or an intelligent business connector within the network.

Alan
The name Geoffrey Moore, I want to first start on outlining who he is, and how he relates back to your, the investing inside your group.

Brian
So Jeffrey is really as people in Silicon Valley know, a key advisor to many of the companies in in high tech. He’s one of the product marketing gurus, he wrote crossing the chasm and many other books that companies from the biggest down to the smallest of startups use, you know, as their Bible, in product marketing, and in other facets to really drive what they’re doing in their company, and customer adoption. We’re fortunate that Geoffrey Moore has moderated many, many events over the last seven years, he’s been involved in our group from almost the beginning. He does all his moderation pro bono, which we’re probably one of the few groups that he does that for and his unique is unique capabilities are he adds value to a dialogue and really ways that nobody else can I can’t count on one hand how many people that I know in the world can do what he can do. He can look at any industry or any technology and categorize it in a way that business people don’t look at. He tries to you know, put things in context of what is disruptive in terms of innovation, what’s going to either help a company succeed or identify what’s going to help you know what’s going to allow a company to fail and for executives, in big companies all the way down to small companies, for them to understand those in either take advantage of the pit to take advantage of the opportunities or avoid the pitfalls, you know, can make and break a company. And so he has just a very unique way of you know, of helping moderate our events that bring out life that you just can’t, even with a set of domain experts talking about their area. He brings this different dimension to our events when he does moderate.

Alan
Your events are very unique. A tip to call in some case where maybe the social element plays a bigger role than just, you know, the technical, can you give me an example of some of the fun things that you’ve done, you know, nobody

Brian
Wants to go to the next, you know, boring cloud computing discussion. So what we try to do is marry both critical content and important people, and a venue that, you know, is going to kind of draw people, the biggest challenge I have is, is people’s time, so we have to come up with, you know, a set of things that, you know, allow an executive to justify in their mind that they’re going to take a half a day off, or an entire day off for something like this. So you have to be doing things that they feel are absolutely critical. You know, a typical event is we’ll have anywhere from 30 to 50, CXO executives, venture capitalists and serial entrepreneurs, will dialogue about an issue for a good hour or two, and then have very open interactive discussions where we can then dig into each member, or participant that’s there and allow them to raise their individual problems, opportunities and lead the peer advisory that can happen within the group happen on site. So we’re very collaborative, a collaborative network, what we typically do is we’ll in that with a pretty premium social event, recently, we did an event with the warriors, we talked about sports and technology, we had Joe Laker who’s obviously their owner. And then, you know, we’re fortunate enough to be able to spend, you know, the rest of the game using his sweets to watch the game. So having those premium social capabilities, due to the connections in our group is, you know, one example of what we try to do, we have ties to pretty much all the local sports teams do pretty premium events, and then other private clubs, obviously, people let us into their homes, and we have some of the, you know, better known homes available to us in Silicon Valley, and places like Pebble Beach to hold events. So we’re typically doing events in a venue or a fashion that is just typically, you know, very premium very, you know, unusual for, you know, standard people to get access to. And that’s what we try to provide for our members unique experiences.

Alan
So these social aspects, how do the sales tax bits pay into the group.

Brian
The responsibility of people outside of just talking about technology is to interact on a human level with people. And so what we want is we want the social angle of the group to really extend the business discussions we have in a more loose and, you know, safe environment than strictly talking about business.

Alan
Welcome back and visiting here today with Brian Reynard. He’s the chief executive officer of the Silicon Valley network. And Brian, we’ve been visiting them the mission statement, the role you started this network some seven years ago. And it seems that I’m drawing a conclusion that she got some pretty special people in here. And what are the differentiators? Is that access for different corporate events? Can you comment on on that area?

Brian
Yeah, we’re fortunate to have you know, pretty much every large, well known company in the valley associated and involved in the group. We’re often invited by, you know, companies like Google and Cisco, Oracle, Intel, to come in and talk to their senior executives and usually private advisory sessions where we’re sharing information, it’s not for them to just do a dog and pony show that they do you know, many times a year, we’re typically helping them grapple with key issues where we can bring in 30 to 50 leading experts to help tackle a problem or an opportunity that they have. And so that is part of the reason that, you know, we hold special events are invited in by some of the senior executives of Silicon Valley’s leading companies.

Alan
And so what is the vision for the future of the Silicon Valley executive networks.

Brian
Scale, what we’ve done to date, you know, we’re holding significant events and allowing people to really understand more about technology connect with their peers and things executive level, it’s also a problem solving situation. So we’re doing that on a certain level. And what we really need to do is scale it we’re doing that using events and human intelligence. And our real future is can we build a platform that extends the ability for our group to connect intelligently, so that if two people you know, that need to connect didn’t come to an event and meet each other, that connection should still be made. And we’re trying to make that we just feel that doesn’t happen in normal environments. It’s very tough for individuals and companies to make their their network come to them. And so the future of our group is to continue the great things we’ve done, but to scale the intelligent connecting and making our individual successful, the company successful and allowing them to achieve things on a larger scale than we’re doing right now.

Alan
How do you see Silicon Valley continuing its advantage as a leading center of innovation?

Brian
Great, great question. You know, growing up here, I have a little bias. But I also have a little fear. I do think that, you know, obviously, other geographic areas are, whether it’s within the United States or even internationally are certainly trying to replicate Silicon Valley, I think that’s perfectly okay to do. And communities and countries should be doing that. Silicon Valley will have to act similar to kind of what Andy Grove always felt at Intel, which is to have that paranoia, healthy paranoia about keeping its competitive angle. We’ve got key institutions like Stanford and Berkeley and other academic things that are a route, as well as the ecosystem. But if we don’t continue to keep that ecosystem healthy, you know, other geographic areas are going to catch up. I see other ones catching up. But Silicon Valley I see will probably retain its its lead for at least another decade. Beyond that, it’s hard to tell, I think we’ll have to see what other regions do between now and that time to catch up or even potentially succeed.

Alan
Right? How does a person find out more information on the Silicon Valley executive network?

Brian
Well, we’re a private group, we do have a website that has basic information. It’s at www.sv N dot o RG. And that’s where people can find out a little bit more about the key people who are in our group what we do and whether or not they’re, you know, potential fit.

Alan
I’ve been visiting here today with Brian Reynard and he’s the Chief Executive Officer of the Silicon Valley network. Brian, thanks for being on today’s show. And join us next week right here on American Dreams.

 

To receive our free newsletter, contact us here.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more interviews and updates.

This transcript was generated by software and may not accurately reflect exactly what was said.

Alan Olsen, CPA

Alan Olsen, is the Host of the American Dreams Show and the Managing Partner of GROCO.com.  GROCO is a premier family office and tax advisory firm located in the San Francisco Bay area serving clients all over the world.

Alan L. Olsen, CPA, Wikipedia Bio

 

 

GROCO.com is a proud sponsor of The American Dreams Show.

 

American-Dreams-Show-Accounting-firm-in-ca-cpa-tax-advisors-groco-alan-olsen

The American Dreams show was the brainchild of Alan Olsen, CPA, MBA. It was originally created to fill a specific need; often inexperienced entrepreneurs lacked basic information about raising capital and how to successfully start a business.

Alan sincerely wanted to respond to the many requests from aspiring entrepreneurs asking for the information and introductions they needed. But he had to find a way to help in which his venture capital clients and friends would not mind.

The American Dreams show became the solution, first as a radio show and now with YouTube videos as well. Always respectful of interview guest’s time, he’s able to give access to individuals information and inspiration previously inaccessible to the first-time entrepreneurs who need it most.

They can listen to venture capitalists and successful business people explain first-hand, how they got to where they are, how to start a company, how to overcome challenges, how they see the future evolving, opportunities, work-life balance and so much more.

American Dreams discusses many topics from some of the world’s most successful individuals about their secrets to life’s success. Topics from guest have included:

Creating purpose in life / Building a foundation for their life / Solving problems / Finding fulfillment through philanthropy and service / Becoming self-reliant / Enhancing effective leadership / Balancing family and work…

Untitled_Artwork copy 4

MyPaths.com (Also sponsored by GROCO) provides free access to content and world-class entrepreneurs, influencers and thought leaders’ personal success stories. To help you find your path in life to true, sustainable success & happiness.  I’s mission statement:

In an increasingly complex and difficult world, we hope to help you find your personal path in life and build a strong foundation by learning how others found success and happiness. True and sustainable success and happiness are different for each one of us but possible, often despite significant challenges.

Our mission at MyPaths.com is to provide resources and firsthand accounts of how others found their paths in life, so you can do the same.

Brian Reynard on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
Brian Reynard

Brian Reynard is the CEO and Founder of the Silicon Valley Executive Network (SVEN). He is a silicon valley cxo program native and attended Santa Clara University where he received his Undergraduate and Graduate degrees. In 2007 be founded the Silicon Valley Executive Network, an organization focused on bringing together CXO/VP Tech Executives, Venture Capitalists and Serial Entrepreneurs where they can interact in both a professional and informal way. Previous to founding SVEN Brian worked for Apple, SuperMac and Cisco.

Alan Olsen on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
Alan Olsen

Alan is managing partner at Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen & Co., LLP, (GROCO) and is a respected leader in his field. He is also the radio show host to American Dreams. Alan’s CPA firm resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and serves some of the most influential Venture Capitalist in the world. GROCO’s affluent CPA core competency is advising High Net Worth individual clients in tax and financial strategies. Alan is a current member of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (S.I.E.P.R.) SIEPR’s goal is to improve long-term economic policy. Alan has more than 25 years of experience in public accounting and develops innovative financial strategies for business enterprises. Alan also serves on President Kim Clark’s BYU-Idaho Advancement council. (President Clark lead the Harvard Business School programs for 30 years prior to joining BYU-idaho. As a specialist in income tax, Alan frequently lectures and writes articles about tax issues for professional organizations and community groups. He also teaches accounting as a member of the adjunct faculty at Ohlone College.

Posted in