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Rahul Sood - Startupday 2015
Unikrn CEO Rahul Sood on stage at GeekWire Startup Day

When Unikrn CEO Rahul Sood took the stage at GeekWire Startup Day, he opened with the time he told Michael Dell to f**k off.

It was 2005, many years after he launched luxury PC brand Voodoo, and his wife told him that the Dell founder and CEO was on the phone.

“I knew it was my brother, so I said tell him to suck it, but I didn’t actually use those words,” he said.

His talk was peppered with funny anecdotes like the interchange with Dell (which he eventually sorted out), but he also served hearty helpings of advice to hopeful entrepreneurs.

“Decide if you want a lifestyle or growth,” he said. “If you want a lifestyle stay at Microsoft. Stay at Amazon. They’ll pay you really well. But if you want growth, if you want capital growth, then you have to go out and you have to be an entrepreneur.”

Sood, who eventually sold Voodoo to HP, went on to lead Microsoft’s global startup activities before leaving and founding Seattle-based gaming startup Unikrn. He emphasized one point to the Startup Day crowd several times: If you want to be an entrepreneur, you’re in the right place.

“Seattle is the best place to build a startup company right now because of the talent pool. There is no better talent pool on the planet,” he said. “It’s not nearly as bloodthirsty and cutthroat as in The Valley. In The Valley people are fickle. You hire people, they leave, they go to the next startup. It’s all a bunch of kids coming out of school and they have this sort of air about themselves. They think they’re worth more than they are.”

He went on to discuss the importance of company culture and finding the right angels and talent. Sood also touted the resources available in Seattle, from co-working spaces like WeWork to incubators like 9Mile and Techstars.

After sharing more insights from his journey, Sood offered up one last piece of advice to entrepreneurs.

“Find a rich spouse. This is what I’d recommend to my son. Marry rich.”

Watch the full video above, and stay tuned for more insights from Startup Day speakers in the days ahead.

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