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CTRL/ALT/Disrupt: Into the Valley with Larry Sonsini

Deep insights from one of tech’s most experienced industry insiders

May 3, 2021

min read

Larry Sonsini’s path as an internationally recognized corporate lawyer began in the Silicon Valley more than five decades ago. His mile-long resume includes instrumental work in many of the financings, IPOs, mergers, acquisitions, and other key transactions of Silicon Valley and beyond – with Fortune calling him “the most influential and well-connected lawyer in the industry.”

Today, as senior and founding partner of Wilson Sonsini, a 900-person firm with a global presence, Larry continues to be as engaged as ever in new innovations and the tech industry – both its potential and the issues it faces.

As part of Koch Disruptive Technologies Ctrl/Alt/Disrupt series, Larry talked with Jason Illian, managing director of KDT, about today’s biggest tech issues and the promise of the coming decade.

 

ENTREPRENEURIAL MOJO

Working with and advising countless entrepreneurs throughout his career has given Larry unique insights into what makes them tick. He explains how a single-minded passion, the ability to pivot and knowing your limitations are among the ingredients that allow individuals to succeed.

 

STICKING THE PIVOT

With the ever-changing pace of technology, knowing when to stop doing something one way and start doing it another way is essential to survival. It is dependent on a company culture that embraces change and follows technology. 

 

THE DIVERSITY CATALYST

Larry explains he believes the acceleration of technology is driven by diversity in thought, culture and interchange. He reflects on the development and success of a Silicon Valley – in the past and today – that puts the concept front and center, not just as the right thing to foster in an organization, but also as a powerful technology accelerator.

 

TECHNOLOGY OR PHILOSOPHY

What if the key to technological breakthrough wasn’t really all about discovering the "next big thing"? Larry explains why authentic enduring success is instead achieved through a philosophy and diverse culture that empowers people to collaborate responsibly and leverage the tools of technology.

 

THE ROARING TWENTIES

Will the post-COVID decade bring us bursting bubbles or more boom? Larry offers his optimistic take on how, with the right human approach, technological advancements can unleash immense value that make society better. 

 

This story is part of the CTRL/ALT/Disrupt speaker series presented by Koch Disruptive Technologies. Access past sessions on Koch Newsroom here and the full series on KDT's website here.