Peter Yared has been involved in a mind-boggling number of startups. These are just those we know that he has turned into businesses and technologies which have been bought.
In our recent interview on the DealMakers podcast, Peter Yared shared his early experiences, how he has taken to coding just like any other form of communication, a number of his side projects turned sizable exits, why not to launch a startup in San Francisco, and the waste of being too early with an idea. Plus, what industries are booming in the wake of COVID-19.
Citizen of The World
Yared experienced a flurry of countries and cultures growing up. He was born in Geneva to an American mother and Lebanese father.
In Switzerland, he learned to speak French. Then finding himself in the Middle East and Turkey, Peter learned English.
After London, they moved to Austria where he picked up German. All of this before landing in Washington DC at just 14 years old. These were all building block experiences that taught him about different perspectives.
Getting Into Computers
His earliest experiences on computers were on the Apple II and the Commodore. Coding was just another language. One which he quickly mastered and used to create games.
By the time Peter was in high school he was already working for the government. A government contractor put him on Macintosh SEs, and he began to program. The built systems for the Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Then he found the University of Maryland. They didn’t require pre-requisite classes. A big draw for the smart, entrepreneurial geek. Sergey Brin was also one of them.
Peter’s first ‘project’ came out of building client/server tools on top of an existing language. He found it amazing that just one person could build workable enterprise-class software. He did.
Then he ended up being bought out of his royalties on the project. It was probably less than $100k, but it was a start.
He used the money to fund himself doing it over again. This time creating j.rad, when a friend at an Apple conference in Sweden recommended he check out Java. That was acquired by NetDynamics, which in turn was acquired by Sun Microsystems. It was a $200M deal.
During his time at Sun Microsystems, Peter Yared got to be on the other side of the table. He helped buy many other companies. Even public companies.
Then he fell in love with Python and went onto his next venture WaveMaker. This is where he learned the pain of being too early. Almost 10 years in this case. Then the pain of pivoting too late and playing catch up too. Timing is everything in a startup.
He learned that while you may have a vision, you still have to watch where the market is going and iterate with it. Sometimes that is going to mean resetting everything. In these cases, it is better to do it big and once, rather than incrementally.
Once An Entrepreneur, Always An Entrepreneur
Transpond was Peter’s next project. One built on a thesis that people preferred aggregators over visiting individual websites. Their customers included NBC and CBS.
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