Amy Chua Has Nothing On Mrs. Shih

Amy Chua has raised two very promising children and presumably will make millions from her book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother“.

But there is another Chinese mother whose secrets are at least as valuable.

Reader of Sinocism have no doubt heard of Dr. Victor Shih, the star academic who has done groundbreaking work on China’s financial system and whose research first surfaced China’s local debt problems.

Dr. Shih has a 29 year-old sister who not only has her own hot startup-Hearsay Social-but also is now the newest board member of Starbucks. BI summarizes Clara Shih’s background:

She attended the same magnet prep school in Chicago that had spawned a bunch of earlier entrepreneurs who went on to PayPal, Yelp, and Palantir and from there went to Stanford.

After graduating, she quickly moved between jobs at three high-powered tech companies: Microsoft, Google, and Salesforce (she also interned at Oracle).

In 2007, she was inspired by the release of Facebook’s social graph to create a little side project that would integrate Facebook profiles into Salesforce. She didn’t tell her employer about it, but bunch of her Facebook friends installed it, and that drew the attention of a Forrester research analyst, who blogged about it.

That led to a book deal. Her book, “The Facebook Era,” explained to companies how they could tap into social networks to drive sales. The New York Times liked it so much, they wrote a two-page profile about her and the book.

From there, she called her college friend Steve Garrity and convinced him it was time to seize the opportunity to form the company they’d always wanted to form together.

The cofounders went on to raise $21 million Sequoia and NEA, and have since turned Hearsay into a fast-growing success story.

I want the Shih family secret for my kids.

Follow me on Twitter @niubi or Sina Weibo @billbishop.

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