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.

    Essential Leadership: Part 2

    Essential Leadership: Part 2

    Leaders of all shapes and sizes can fall victim to one of the great challenges managers face, the danger of trying too hard only to find they’re doing the same thing over and over again. In this special edition of the Tough Things First Podcast, Essential Leadership Episode two, Ray looks at being realistic and knowing when to change tactics. […]

    • 15 min
    Essential Leadership: Part 1

    Essential Leadership: Part 1

    From doing the right things in the right way, to considering how you dress and represent yourself and your company, the characteristics of essential leadership stand the test of time. In this special series of podcasts, Ray Zinn provides the finer points for leadership and leadership qualities and how to develop them. Rob Artigo: Welcome to a special edition of […]

    • 17 min
    Small Business, Small Conglomerate

    Small Business, Small Conglomerate

    Diversifying, pivoting, or just opening a lot of businesses to see what works, there’s a line between being a conglomerate and an unfocused business manager. In this edition of the Tough Things First podcast, Ray Zinn defines the differences and how to stay on track. Rob Artigo: Welcome to this edition of the Tough Things First podcast. I’m your guest […]

    • 14 min
    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

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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