Boiling it Down: 5 CEOs Describe Their Corporate Culture and San Diego’s Status as a Digital Media Cluster

9/16/09Follow @bvbigelow

Xconomy Seattle’s editor Greg Huang got this idea going last month when he conducted an informal and wholly anecdotal survey about the startup culture in the woodsy Pacific Northwest. His premise was that you can tell a lot about a company’s corporate culture from its chief executive.

Within a couple of weeks, Xconomy’s founder and editor-in-chief Bob Buderi followed suit with a survey of corporate culture in Boston’s startup community (and based on Bob’s endorsement, may I just take this opportunity to say this is terrific idea!)

To make this a trifecta of corporate culture insights, I followed the examples set in Seattle and Boston by contacting some San Diego CEOs to ask them to describe the corporate culture at their companies in a single word. In a variation on a theme—what I like to think of as a fugue in our continuing coverage of technology innovation—I chose San Diego CEOs whose business is focused on digital television and video. It is an industry that has been subject to fast and furious changes, which will likely continue for the foreseeable future.

In another twist, I asked each CEO if they think there are enough TV-and-video technology companies in San Diego to constitute a cluster or even a mini-cluster of innovation. Technology clusters, defined by Harvard University’s Michael Porter as geographic concentrations of interconnected companies, specialized suppliers, service providers, and associated research institutions, have become a touchstone for promoting prosperity as well as advancing innovation in specific fields.

Packet Video (San Diego)

CEO: James C. Brailean
Culture: “Innovative.”
Comments: Brailean responded to my journalistic lob with a volley of innovations that Packet Video has introduced since 1998, when he says the software developer for wireless media was the first to demonstrate video on a handset. “PV has been out in front of several of the key trends in mobile multimedia over the last decade.”

“We do have a significant cluster,” Brailean says. “It may not seem like it, since we are focused on different aspects of digital video. However, we all have compression, transmission, and managing digital video at our core…The move to digital video was driven by … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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