Silicon dinner table: Teaching entrepreneurship family style

Not everyone can grow up with a parent who launches new tech companies, but those who do have some lessons to share with the rest of us.

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Imagine you are the father and major breadwinner of a family of eight children, half of whom are teenagers. Your startup is about to go into the weeds and you aren't sure if you are going to be able to pay your staff of several dozen people, let alone figure out how to feed and clothe your family.

That was the situation faced by Bob Lozano 17 years ago during one of the most stressful periods of his life. "I didn't know where the money was going to come from. I asked my family for their advice," he told me in a recent interview. His son, Gabe, 14 years old at the time, remembers that day very well. "I told him not to worry, and if this company didn't work out, he should keep trying until he found something that would. That was the moment that I realized that I was going to become an entrepreneur just like my dad."

Bob Lozano took his son's advice and started several companies, but his family is just one of many inter-generational families that have spawned numerous startup tech companies. You may have heard of the Draper family (father Bill and his son Tim are big venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, and Tim's children are now starting their own tech companies). There is the Lee family that has owned Samsung for generations. And there are many other less-famous families that have long been involved in IT startups.

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