Family of Voices

Founding a Business

We made a tremendous amount of mistakes. It became quite difficult and the business lost money from almost the beginning of 1971 until probably '75 or '76. [more...]

I knew that Miami wasn't the greatest business place, especially in 1961, so the idea was to find those items imported into the United States which I could get the opportunity to represent, or that I could obtain from Japan at a cheaper price than wherever anybody else was buying. [more...]

I was very happy to come here, and I was happy to be able to demonstrate to myself—demonstrate to the world—that even though I was educated somewhere else, even if I grew up in a completely different environment, I managed to come here and be recognized as someone who can be a strong contributor to business. [more...]

Then I was still very young, so I took that information and went to Korea, and located the fabric manufacturer and placed the order. I refinanced my house. I told myself, "This is it. If I don't make it, I'll lose everything and will have to bankrupt the company or lose everything." [more...]

So basically I wanted to change the whole technology model and that's what has helped to revolutionize the whole IT industry. [more...]

And I kept telling him, "We have to do something different. We have to do something different." And in the end, I thought I would do it myself. [more...]

I was exhausted because I was running the company with 300 people, and I was very young. But I guess my entrepreneurship came out. [more...]

There was a law at that time that if you’d invested a certain amount of money in a business, you could apply for a green card. So I hired a lawyer, and we filed for the green card in 1976. [more...]

I arrived in Basel, Switzerland, the center of Swiss chemical and pharmaceutical industries, in the spring of 1963, with two suitcases and went to work hiring employees [more...]

I was starting from scratch, trying to change an industry, training and hiring people—it took a long time. Judy was so supportive and wonderful. She knew I wouldn't fail. [more...]

It took me three years to develop a business plan, market it, and find the financing. But I got it done, and we started the Strategic Investment Group in November of 1987, right after the devastating crash. [more...]

In the late 80s when I got out of school, video was analog. I thought "You know, it should really be digital.  Maybe we could create a company that would enable this transition. And if we did that, we could build semiconductors that did the compression and decompression of the digital video." [more...]

In 1988, at age forty-three, I founded SunDisk (later renamed SanDisk) in Santa Clara, at the heart of Silicon Valley, a stone’s throw from Intel’s headquarters, with a vision of a new kind of storage technology, a solid state memory that would have no moving parts and would store information for many years with no external power applied to it. [more...]

I had to do my own designing, manufacturing, selling, packing, and shipping, but I really enjoyed it because I had the drive, and I was just going to give it all I had. One of our first showings was in New York, and by chance one of my former classmates recognized me there. It turned out that she was a buyer for the Home Shopping Network. She loved the product, and the next thing I knew was we were selling on the Home Shopping Network, and the rest is history. [more...]

After I bought J. Paul’s in Georgetown, we built over twenty restaurants and our first creation was Paolo’s. It was the first open kitchen on the East Coast, and I really focused on making it perfect. [more...]

People often ask me, "You're a venture capitalist; isn't that risky?" I just sort of stare at them. What are you talking about? Compared to what? The Holocaust or the Revolution or the electrified fence? For an immigrant, there was no such thing as risk. [more...]

I didn't realize that even at the age of ten, I was heavily influenced by a gentleman named Washington Sycip in the Philippines. He's a Chinese American who started a highly successful accounting firm in the Philippines. I loved my work and thirty-seven years later, I wasn't ready to retire, so I founded my current accounting firm WuHoover. [more...]

I have to be very honest that I never thought it would become what it did. It was really two grad students—David and Jerry—in their shorts, not having slept for God knows how many hours, just tinkering around. That's what it felt like to me. [more...]

After Watergate, in 1975, I founded International Developers Inc. (IDI), and over the last forty years, I developed numerous projects throughout the Washington metropolitan area. [more...]

I took over a printing press building in Culver City in 2005. Now, NantWorks has thirty acres between here and El Segundo. The pen and the quill in the NantWorks logo represents a perspective of the world the way da Vinci may have seen it. Now I always say, “Imagine if da Vinci had a supercomputer in his hand as opposed to that quill.” [more...]

I started a venture capital business, and we funded a dozen or so different companies from the ground up. Half of them failed right away, but the other half turned out to be very successful. [more...]

I wanted to do something where we could build a product from scratch and own the rights. So I started Cogent. We developed fingerprint identification technology. [more...]

 Chinese students always complained that they could only be engineers; they never got into management. So I [wanted] to be a manager and prove that Chinese could do that too. [more...]