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
    • 4.5 • 8 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.

    The Cryptocurrency Gamble

    The Cryptocurrency Gamble

    Not too long ago we talked about chasing unicorns in Silicon Valley and the downfall of Elizabeth Holmes. Now the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX. In this Tough Things First Podcast, Ray Zinn discusses how investing should be more than just a casual wager. (Watch the video version here…) Rob Artigo: Welcome to the Tough Things First Podcast, your indispensable […]

    • 18 min
    Is Your Startup Doomed? It doesn’t Have to Be.

    Is Your Startup Doomed? It doesn’t Have to Be.

    Is your startup doomed, or headed in the right direction? What it comes down to is will people trust that you know what you’re talking about. In this Tough Things First Podcast, Ray Zinn breaks down the difference between a fleeting idea and a genuine money maker. Rob Artigo: Rob Artigo here. Once again, your guest host for this edition […]

    • 12 min
    Micromanagement for Success

    Micromanagement for Success

    Micromanagement. Does it get a bad rap? As head of Micrel Semiconductor for 37 years, Ray Zinn took a taboo management style and turned it on its head. The results were nothing short of amazing. In this Tough Things First Podcast, Ray breaks down the reasons that putting a positive spin on micromanagement can transform workplace culture. Rob Artigo: I’m […]

    • 12 min
    The Right Company Hires the Right Person

    The Right Company Hires the Right Person

    In thirty-seven years as CEO of Micrel Semiconductor, Ray Zinn has done his share of hiring at all levels. In this Tough Things First podcast, Ray talks objectives when interviewing candidates and how to get hiring managers to sing the same tune. Rob Artigo: I’m Rob Artigo here once again, your guest host for this edition of the Tough Things […]

    • 12 min
    Tax Payers to Help U.S. Chip Makers with $52B. Is it Doomed to Repeat History?

    Tax Payers to Help U.S. Chip Makers with $52B. Is it Doomed to Repeat History?

    The US Government is set to spend billions on American semiconductor manufacturing. Is it an aggressive, much needed, offensive against aggressive, international dominance or destined for disaster? Few industry leaders know where this is headed like Ray Zinn. In this Tough Things First podcast, Ray explains where the industry stands and what it really needs. A do not miss podcast […]

    • 23 min
    Business Survival in Downturns and Recession

    Business Survival in Downturns and Recession

    There is little debate that the economy has hit the skids. Is your business ready? In this Tough Things First podcast, also available in video, Ray Zinn explores being prepared and what to do in the thick of financial woes that will keep you ahead of the game. (Watch This Podcast on YouTube)   Rob Artigo: I’m Rob Artigo, writer […]

    • 16 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 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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