Ray Stata is Chairman of Analog Devices, Inc., based in Norwood, Massachusetts. Working out of his basement, Mr. Stata co-founded Analog Devices in the 1960s. As of 2009, ADI serves over 60,000 customers, has 9,000 employees and a market capitalization of over $6 billion.
The interview’s theme is Entrepreneurship and Technology Leadership. Two sample excerpts, the first on the best kind of education:
“We’re finding that it is very, very challenging to be at the top of your game as an engineer. First, the technical knowledge required is both deep and broad, often cutting across multiple disciplines. And products are so complex that it often takes large teams of engineers with different specialties working across international borders. That requires human skills and communication skills to encourage collaboration and manage teams with quite varied backgrounds and experiences. And engineers must understand the financial implications of manufacturing and product development cost, as well as customer requirements and where products should be positioned in the market with respect to competition. The most successful engineers truly are ‘Renaissance Men’ and not just technical specialists.”
And the second on trust:
“First, one way or other you’ve got to be good at something, even though that something will no doubt change over time. As you enter your career, strive to achieve excellence at whatever you do.
“Back to some of the things we talked about, you soon find out that you don’t get very much accomplished in life on your own. Now there are exceptions, like musicians, artists and writers who can go off on their own and accomplish remarkable things. But most of us find that we accomplish more by working in concert with others to leverage our combined skills and competencies.
“I’ve found that one of the most important factors in being a leader, or more generally in engaging with people, is to build trustful relationships. What does that mean? Trust is built on honesty, integrity, reliability, sincerity, competence. Conduct yourself so that people can depend on what you say and what you do, on the fact that you’re more often right than wrong, on the fact that you meet your commitments, on the fact that you are straight with people and tell it how it is. If people trust you and you trust them, you can get a lot more out of relationships and out of life.”
Update: Ray Stata will be commencement speaker for MIT’s 2010 graduation ceremony.