Tech entrepreneur, Clara Shih, was recently elected to the Starbucks Board of Directors to replace Facebook’s Sheryl
Sandberg–who will not be seeking re-election in 2012. Although she doesn’t want to opine on why Starbucks would want to hire her, I suppose this could answer the question: Starbucks considers her a pioneer within the technology industry.
Pioneer indeed. Shih is one woman who created a niche for herself even before creating a niche for her company.
Did she always know she wanted to be entrepreneur, even while a student at Stanford? My curiosity at a caffeine-induced level, I was anxious to know how she managed to accomplish so much, to be where she is today.
I asked her and she answered without hesitation, “I wanted to become an entrepreneur. Stanford taught me to be an entrepreneur,” she added, noting the weekly stream of successful entrepreneurs who came in to speak to them each week.
Before interviewing her, I had wondered how a young company such as hers—10 months old—gets to develop such a successful niche within a crowded space like social media. How incredibly smart her company’s positioning must have been in order to get such traction—multiplying its customer base sixfold within six months—within such a short time. How incredibly smart she must be in order to be elected to the prestigious board of Starbucks.
She developed the first business application on Facebook—Faceconnector—and wrote the book, The Facebook Era; landing her on the New York Times Bestseller list and making her a Harvard textbook author. As to how she felt when she found out that Harvard was using her book as a marketing textbook, “I was floored,” she answered. “I felt so lucky to be at the right place, at the right time.”
But luck is when preparation meets opportunity. And Shih was prepared.
Although she admits… (READ MORE)
Article by: Cheryl Isaac
Published at: Forbes.com