Robert Siegel is a General Partner at XSeed Capital, and his investment areas include enterprise software, business operations where computational technology helps automate / improve company performance, and computing platforms that shape both business and consumer behaviors.
He sits on the Board of Directors of Lex Machina, Zooz, DropThought and ZipLine, and he led XSeed’s investments in CirroSecure (acquired by Palo Alto Networks – NYSE: PANW), Breezeworks, Cape Productions, Dispatcher, Teapot, Chatous, The League, Smart Coffee Technology, Neon, Pixlee, Caller Zen and SIPX (acquired by ProQuest), and also supports other portfolio companies such as Citrine Informatics.
He is currently on the faculty at the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he teaches Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation, Formation of New Ventures, The Industrialist’s Dilemma and Entrepreneurial Finance. In these classes he has led research and written cases on companies including Google, Box, AngelList, SurveyMonkey, Zuora, Minted, 500 Startups, TrueCar, Axel Springer, General Electric and Starbucks (La Boulange), amongst others. Robert is the Co-President of Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs, an alumni association that fosters relationships to strengthen the Stanford startup community, as well as the Chairman of the Strategic Advisory Board for TTTech in Vienna, Austria.He has co-authored several articles for California Management Review, is a Wall Street Journal Startup Guru, and is a frequent contributor to Forbes and VentureBeat.
Prior to joining XSeed, Robert was General Manager of the Video and Software Solutions division for GE Security, with annual revenues of $350 million. Robert was also Executive Vice President of Pixim, Inc., a fabless semiconductor firm specializing in image sensors and processors (acquired by Sony). Before Pixim, Robert was Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Weave Innovations Inc. (acquired by Kodak), a network services developer that invented the world’s first digital picture frame, and delivered photos and other digital media to PCs and internet / mobile devices.
Robert served in various management roles at Intel Corporation, including an executive position in their Corporate Business Development division, in which he invested capital in startups that were strategically aligned with Intel’s vision. Previous to Intel, Robert was promoted to a series of senior sales and marketing positions at GeoWorks, which went public in 1993. Robert holds a BA from UC Berkeley, an MBA from Stanford University, is the co-inventor of four patents and served as lead researcher for Andy Grove’s book Only the Paranoid Survive.
What do you do best?
Teach in the classroom. It is the one place where over time I have developed a level of comfort with the ambiguity that comes when discussing a topic and not knowing how a group of 72 intelligent and bright students will react, and what they will say to me, each other and our guests.
What makes you the best?
I think that it would be presumptive for anyone to say definitively that they are “the best.” If I accomplish anything in the classroom it is through preparation which requires an unbelievable amount of hard work to gain mastery of one’s craft.
How will you stay the best?
While I don’t know if it is ever possible to be declared the “best” in anything, my goal is to learn from my teachers and mentors, who model excellence every time they get in front of a classroom. I also never stop trying new things and pushing into unchartered territory. I don’t ever want to get stale or take my preparation for granted.
What are your aspirations: business & personal?
Personal: To be a great husband, father and friend. To have people talk about me the way they spoke about my grandfather – as someone who was kind, strong and there when needed.
Business: To be considered at the top of my game at my job(s). When I interact with people professionally I want them to know that they are going to get outstanding output and effort.
What fascinates you?
Human nature. I am always intrigued by what makes us who we are as human beings – our opinions, our thoughts, our feelings and our intellect.
For today and its blessings, I owe the world an attitude of gratitude.
Newport Beach, Hawaii, Vancouver, Paris
My Nexus 5 was the best phone I ever owned in its day.