10 episodes

Voted a "top ten Silicon Valley podcast" by both Startup Basecamp and The Six Fifty, and a "top 25 Silicon Valley podcast" by Urban Marketplace.



Ray Zinn, Silicon Valley's longest serving CEO, discusses entrepreneurship, leadership, executive management, humanistic business and more.



Zinn, a Silicon Valley legend, started Micrel Semiconductor without venture capital, and ran it for 37 years, 36 of those profitably. Zinn's insights in disciplined management, the value in all people, corporate culture and true leadership are guiding lights for anyone working for a better future.

Tough Things First Ray Zinn

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 7 Ratings

Voted a "top ten Silicon Valley podcast" by both Startup Basecamp and The Six Fifty, and a "top 25 Silicon Valley podcast" by Urban Marketplace.



Ray Zinn, Silicon Valley's longest serving CEO, discusses entrepreneurship, leadership, executive management, humanistic business and more.



Zinn, a Silicon Valley legend, started Micrel Semiconductor without venture capital, and ran it for 37 years, 36 of those profitably. Zinn's insights in disciplined management, the value in all people, corporate culture and true leadership are guiding lights for anyone working for a better future.

    Insurance and Options

    Insurance and Options

    Insurance is one of the highest cost for business, and alternatives are needed. Ray Zinn, Silicon Valley’s longest serving CEO, is joined by John Butler, and expert in business insurance and some of the interesting alternatives available today. Ray Zinn: Well hello everyone, welcome to another wonderful podcast of Tough Things First, we are so delighted to have with us […]

    • 19 min
    Corporate Optics

    Corporate Optics

    Machines are made-up of cogs. But if you spend all you time looking a cogs, you have no idea if the machine as a whole is running right. Ray Zinn educates us on how business leaders should focus. Guy Smith: Hello everybody, and welcome to another episode of the, Tough Things First Podcast. My name is Guy Smith, I’m your […]

    • 15 min
    Woke Capitalism

    Woke Capitalism

    Every CEO needs to heed their stakeholders. But can any CEO possibly have a company represent the values of every stakeholder. Ray Zinn, Silicon Valley’s longest serving CEO, draws lines between being woke and being overreaching. Guy Smith: Hello, and welcome again to another episode of The Tough Things First podcast. I’m your host today, Guy Smith, and I’m really […]

    • 19 min
    Startup Nervous Energy

    Startup Nervous Energy

    When entrepreneurs channel nervous energy constructively, they take the healthy awareness that their business could fail and we use that awareness to stay on their toes. In this Tough Things First podcast episode, Ray Zinn – Silicon Valley’s longest serving CEO – chats with Dr. Chloe Carmichael, and expert on the psychology of emotional energy for teams and how it can best […]

    • 20 min
    Revenue Rebound

    Revenue Rebound

    How companies rebound from prolonged revenue depression is not just for a post-pandemic world. As Silicon Valley’s longest serving CEO, Ray Zinn has led the way through major dips and explains strategies for exiting them. Guy Smith: Hello again, and welcome to another episode of the Tough Things First Podcast, where we absorb the wisdom of Silicon Valley’s longest serving […]

    • 16 min
    Going 100% Work-From-Home

    Going 100% Work-From-Home

    The pandemic taught many companies that work-from-home was a viable option for many employees. Some companies went all the way. In this Tough Things First podcast, Gerry Sweeney, CEO of Hornbill, a cloud-based provider of workflow management solutions, discusses with Ray Zinn, the longest serving CEO in Silicon Valley, how his company cancelled their corporate HQ office lease after a […]

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

Lexington Frolfing Club ,

Practical Advice and Right to the Point

I enjoy this podcast because I always get practical advice. Ray Zinn’s direct style allows each episode to pick a punch in just a couple of minutes.

Coolcat boss ,

Love it!

It’s great to hear wisdom from such a successful CEO and hear the best practices of corporate culture!

Rico Z4 ,

Love this point of view

There is an alternative to the VC route in Silicon Valley. Love it!!

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