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.

    Circular Action is NOT Action

    Circular Action is NOT Action

    Running in circles pushing a cart full of goals will lead to two things. Exhaustion and a cart full of unfulfilled goals. In this Tough Things First podcast, Ray Zinn explores the difference between action for action’s sake and action with purpose. (Watch the Video Podcast here.) Rob Artigo: Rob Artigo here, once again your host for this edition of […]

    • 13 min
    Wages Have Consequences

    Wages Have Consequences

    Good or bad, a rise in wages results in reaction. The earner may first have more money, but prices follow and can wipe-out the gains. In this Tough Things First reality check, Ray Zinn explores a game that is less than zero sum when it’s forced.   Rob Artigo: We once talked about kiosks. What we were talking about was […]

    • 12 min
    What Kind of Leader Are You?

    What Kind of Leader Are You?

    Effective leadership is about being a people person, not about people pleasing. In this Tough Things First podcast, Ray Zinn wonders if a better understanding of your own leadership style can help you communicate better with different personalities. Ray Zinn: Hello there, Rob. Rob Artigo: Your idea was, what kind of leader are you? And I bet the listeners are […]

    • 11 min
    Conservative vs. Liberal: Not politics, but people.

    Conservative vs. Liberal: Not politics, but people.

    Diversity is a natural course of business. Not just in gender and race, but in thought. In this Tough Things First podcast, Ray Zinn discusses the key differences between the proverbial left and right brains on the job. Rob Artigo: Now you’re someone who has run a diverse workplace at Micrel. You’ve ran it for decades, all walks of life […]

    • 13 min
    Enemies of Innovation

    Enemies of Innovation

    The enemy of innovation comes in many different forms, but usually the goal is the same. To throw you off your game. As Ray Zinn tells us in this Tough Things First podcast, stifling innovation can take a whole company out. Rob Artigo: Let’s talk about this, ways in which innovation can be stifled in our businesses, in our organizations, […]

    • 11 min
    Ruined by Mismanagement and Greed

    Ruined by Mismanagement and Greed

    Some train wrecks are easily seen coming down the tracks while others go off the rails because of bad drivers. In this Tough Things First podcast, Ray Zinn discusses the faulty CEO who goes off the rails because their priorities get out of whack. Rob Artigo: Well, a company called Stability AI was sold to investors as a, quote, “Herculean […]

    • 10 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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