When I was in my 20’s I worked at Convergent Technologies, a company that was proud to be known as the “Marine Corps of Silicon Valley.” It was a brawling “take no prisoners,” work hard, party hard, type of company. The founders came out of the DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) and Intel culture of the 1960’s and ‘70’s.
As an early employee I worked all hours of the day, never hesitated to jump on a red eye to see a customer at the drop of a hat, and did what was necessary to make the company a winner.
I learned a lot at Convergent, going from product marketing manager in a small startup to VP of Marketing of the Unix Division as it became a public company. Two of my role models for my career were in this company. (And one would become my mentor and partner in later companies.)
But this story is not about Convergent. It’s about entrepreneurship and family.
Like most 20-somethings I modeled my behavior on the CEO in the company. His marketing and sales instincts and skills seemed magical and he built the company into a $400 million OEM supplier, ultimately selling the company to Unisys.
But his work ethic was legendary. Convergent was a 6-day a week, 12-hour day company. Not only didn’t I mind, but I couldn’t wait to go to work in the morning and would stay until I dropped at night. If I did go to social events, all I would talk about was my new company. My company became the most important thing in my life.
But the problem was that I was married.