Title: A Startup in Harmony
Speaker: Ge Wang, Jeff Smith (Smule)
By sanctioning rebellion you’ve taken all of the fun out of it. (Ge Wang)
Every last person on this planet has the ability to be creative. (Ge Wang)
Technology is something that does not have to be in our face all the time. (Ge Wang)
Technology is something that should enable human reaction. (Ge Wang)
Thousands of people singing Lean on Me in support of the Japanese people after the 2011 tsunami: https://www.smule.com/japantribute
It is good to ask why. (Ge Wang)
It is about how you execute on the vision. (Ge Wang)
The authenticity of what you’re trying to do is something that is important to think about. (Jeff Smith)
The best technology doesn’t win all of the time. (Jeff Smith)
The best product wins pretty much every time. (Jeff Smith)
Nothing is more important than product. (Jeff Smith)
Title: Build Your Personal Charisma
Speaker: Olivia Fox Cabane (Author)
Charisma gets people to like you, trust you, and want to be led by you.
Charisma can make the world go round because it makes people want to do what you want them to do.
Charisma is the result of specific behaviors.
Everybody can learn enough charisma to see a measurable difference in their daily lives.
Presence is the real core of charisma. It is the foundation on which all else is built.
Nothing ruins trust or charisma faster than appearing inauthentic.
Focus on your toes for a split second and then get back to the conversation.
Really focus on the colors in the eyes of the person you’re speaking with.
Together with presence, power and warmth combine to create charismatic magnetism.
We look for power in a person’s body language.
When you assume a more powerful posture you feel more powerful.
Shame is a real performance killer.
Our thoughts are not necessarily accurate at all. Just because a thought is in our head does not mean it has any validity whatsoever.
We have a limited capacity for conscious attention.
Warmth is how much somebody gives us the impression they like us.
Warmth tells us whether someone would be inclined to use whatever power they have in our favor.
We perceive warmth almost directly through body language and behavior.
You cannot fake warmth.
Our brain cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality.
Never assume your immediate assumption is the valid one.
Choose whatever version of reality that puts you in the most useful mental state.
Book: Difficult Conversations
Naming a dynamic often eases a dynamic and makes it less powerful.
Title: Timing Matters
Speaker: Geoff Yang (Redpoint Ventures)
Your time is arguably a more valuable resource than money.
Entrepreneurs are extraordinary.
Entrepreneurs really aren’t created. They’re compelled.
It is idea first. The idea compels the founder.
You have to have a passion for it.
Entrepreneurs have a driving passion to change the world.
One of the attributes of winning entrepreneurs is the ability to see patterns where others see chaos.
You have to have the ability to articulate (the vision).
You don’t want an entrepreneur who won’t solicit advice.
Anybody who is not paranoid is going to end up getting eaten.
Be able to recognize and support your own weaknesses.
By the time you get all of the information it is too late.
In an early stage company you don’t have the luxury of time.
Don’t linger on bad decisions.
Sweat the details.
Not all entrepreneurs are great leaders.
You have to be able to share responsibility and successes because if you can’t share responsibility and successes you can’t share failure.
You win as a team.
Never give up.
Personalization is really important.
The ability to create a market is very interesting.
In any given market the market leader has 50% market share.
Venture capital isn’t for everybody.
Once you start (with VC) there is no going back. It becomes a marriage.
“Customers are always right” is kind of true but not always. Customers don’t have any vision.
Entrepreneurs see order where others see chaos.
Customers are not always right.
When the board makes decisions it is time for a new CEO.
Never compromise on people.
Don’t focus on dilution. Focus on outcome.
Learn from others who have gone before you.
Data is huge.
All great entrepreneurs have a product mentality.
Title: Impact: Stanford Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Speaker: Steve Garrity, Roelof Botha, Kit Rodgers, Divya Nag, Heidi Roizen, Chuck Eesley, William Miller (Stanford)
You still have a chance (to be an entrepreneur) when you’re old.
(Entrepreneurship) is a career choice.
Writing and communicating is tremendously valuable.
If you’re in school line up your classes with your business. (Take a marketing class for your marketing, etc.)
Book: The Hypomanic Edge
There is a high correlation between the way entrepreneurs describe themselves and how hypomanics describe themselves.
Title: The Founder’s Dilemmas
Speaker: Noam Wasserman (HBS)
Failure is a fact of life.
A high percentage of startups are going to fail.
The interpersonal and the human are the key reasons why ventures fail.
Teams that are friends and family are the least stable of all of the teams.
If you split (equity) early on the chances are a lot higher you’re going to do an equal split.
Use if-then-else in your equity split agreement.
Founders focus on the best case scenario.
You’re going to pivot, on average, three times.
Just because you are founding does not mean that life events will stop happening to you.
Don’t underestimate the uncertainties.
Title: Path and Purpose of a First-TIme CEO
Speaker: Jess Lee, Peter Fenton (Polyvore)
We spend a lot of time idolizing the people who have arrived and not enough time studying the people on their ascendancy to greatness. (Peter Fenton)
There is a value chain in any industry. (Peter Fenton)
The CEO is the editor-in-chief. (Peter Fenton)
There are far fewer ways to succeed than there are to fail. (Peter Fenton)
Success is its own unique breed of an education. (Peter Fenton)
The transition to CEO is a big one. (Peter Fenton)
The role of a CEO shifts from building the product to building the team that builds the product. (Jess Lee)
There are two types of people that come to be CEO. Those that want to be CEO and those that earn the title. (Peter Fenton)
A common mistake that entrepreneurs make is to be too slow to have someone leave. (Jess Lee)
Personal taste is incredibly arbitrary. (Jess Lee)
Taste is always evolving. (Jess Lee)
The little human touches make a lot of difference. (Jess Lee)
A company of thirty people is radically different than a company of 150. (Peter Fenton)
Take the more challenging path. (Jess Lee)
It is so much better to do a few things well than many things poorly. (Jess Lee)
Identify the one thing that matters and make it as great as possible. (Jess Lee)
Don’t go it alone. (Jess Lee)
If you don’t have an idea you’re passionate about it is hard to get through the ups and downs. (Jess Lee)
The first step (of conflict resolution) is always to get people focused on the right goal. (Peter Fenton)
It is better to move in a direction than it is to not move at all. (Jess Lee)
Title: Pursue Passions with a Vengeance
Speaker: Melinda Gates (Gates Foundation)
All lives have equal value.
It is really true innovation that is going to lift people up all over the planet.
You have to push through the frustration.
Computer science is like a puzzle but there is not a closed-end solution.
Figure out what your passion is and pursue it with a vengeance.
Gather experts around you in fields you’re uncomfortable in.
Do something now.
If you believe in innovation there are things you can do to change the world.
Margaret Mead said, “Never underestimate the ability of a group of committed individuals to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.”
A great teacher makes an enormous difference in a student’s learning.
Students do know if they have a good teacher.
Title: A Healthy Respect for Innovation
Speaker: Sue Siegel (GE)
Transitions are the most ambiguous times of your life.
Assume noble intent.
Stand behind your product. Be truthful. Be accountable.
If you’re leading you need to hire. You also need to fire.
Fundamentally innovation is the important element.
You’ve got to network like crazy.
If you’re a workaholic it is a problem.
(Being a workaholic) is the only sickness that gets condoned around the world.
Network. Network. Network. Let people get to know you.
You’ve got to be authentically you.
You’ve got to find the environment that really, really makes you feel great.
Title: Disruptive Innovation Can Happen Anywhere
Speaker: Hank Wuh (Skai Ventures)
It takes as much time and energy to build something that is a game changer as it does to build something that is incremental.
Entrepreneurship can take place anywhere, by anyone, in any subject matter.
Corneas is the number one human transplant procedure in the world.
Big markets. Strong IP. Great management team.
Startups are difficult.
Everybody is different.
It is a rare moment when things all go well as an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship is a risky game.
You want to fail early so you can go on.
The worst thing is never taking a chance in the first place.
Always hire up (somebody smarter than you).
Title: Drive Change Through Entrepreneurship
Speaker: Steven McCormick (Moore Foundation)
Overall managing a big enterprise in the nonprofit sector, the for-profit sector, and the government sector has a lot of similarities.
One of the biggest challenges in the nonprofit world is understanding how well you’re doing.
In a nonprofit keeping your eye on the prize is a challenge.
The culture of a nonprofit is very much, “We’re all in this together.”
Reach for the fences.
Foundations have no incentive to change.
The amount of money going into structured philanthropy is increasing dramatically.
The distinction between nonprofit organizations and for-profit organizations is going to blur.
What you measure gets managed.
An entrepreneur is an entrepreneur no matter what sector they’re in.
Title: White Space is Everywhere
Speaker: John Lilly (Greylock)
You need to figure out the people you want to be on your team.
Find your tribe. Invest in the people that are in your tribe always.
Do what makes your soul sing.
People mostly don’t want change.
Being an entrepreneur is super hard.
It is important to do things that speak to you, feed your soul, and help you grow over time.
Growth is human and growth is key.
The job of a leader is to create other leaders.
Software needs architects just like buildings need architects.
You really tend to take the lessons from the first place you work through your whole career.
You learn more from successful companies than from failures.
Being a founder is a complex set of things.
You have to be successful enough that people see promise yet fragile enough that people think you need their help.
Nobody wants to join a thing where they don’t need you.
All venture capitalists do all day is try to find the best entrepreneurs they can and respond to as many entrepreneurs as they can.
Time is everything.
You need to understand the person you’re talking to. We all do things differently.
Anybody can be a great product person as long as you have the passion and the ability to follow up on the details of the product to make them great.
Everything is in play right now.
Almost every meeting you can learn something from.
The Internet is driving down costs to start.
Try hard to put yourself in situations that are hard.
Every VC responds best to the people they work with (in regards to pitches).
Title: Calling All Entrepreneurial Heroes
Speaker: Tim Draper (DFJ)
There are a lot of global opportunities.
If you are creative enough you can start a business that spreads all over the world.
If you’re in a startup you’ll do anything to make sure the thing works.
There is some great technology coming out of Russia.
Entrepreneurs are in great demand in countries around the world.
Things are spreading faster around the world.
When you go after something make sure you go after something very big.
Wherever there is a monopoly go after that. Go blow it up.
Look for zeros in your business model.
Entrepreneurs are heros.
Title: An Enterprising Approach to Investment
Speaker: Cindy Padnos, Thomas J. Kosnik (Illuminate Ventures)
Every time there is a shift in technology there is a change in the business processes and a fundamental change in the way companies do business. (Cindy Padnos)
Lean startup doesn’t mean cheap. It means being capital efficient in the early years while you fine tune. (Cindy Padnos)
Relationships matter a lot. (Cindy Padnos)
It is a lot easier to raise capital for a startup than it is for a venture capital fund. (Cindy Padnos)
A-quality people hire other A-quality people and B-quality people hire C-quality people. (Cindy Padnos)
A quick no is better than a lingering maybe. (Cindy Padnos)
Never do your first deal. (Cindy Padnos)
You never, ever, ever make an investment you’re rushing into for any reason. Ever. (Cindy Padnos)
Business buyers fundamentally demand choice. (Cindy Padnos)
If you are doing early stage investing you have to invest in what you know. (Cindy Padnos)
It is really hard to create and replicate what we have here in Silicon Valley. (Cindy Padnos)
Title: The Path to Palantir
Speaker: Stephen Cohen (Palantir)
So much of entrepreneurship cannot be taught. So much of it has to be learned through experience.
There is a lot computers can’t do.
Computers will do all things computers can possible do.
The users ultimately don’t know the product they want.
Have long-term time horizons.
It is very important in any startup to generate as much momentum as possible.
You want to take that long-term time horizon and focus it in the most creative and energetic way possible.
Focus on having a positive impact.
Title: Launching into Uncharted Space
Speaker: Dan Berkenstock, Julian Mann, John Fenwick, Ching-Yu Hu (Skybox Imaging)
Hiring your friends when you need to hire fast sometimes actually works. (Dan Berkenstock)
Rapidly iterate your technology to market but don’t kill your team in the process. (Dan Berkenstock)
All it really takes is a simple idea. (Dan Berkenstock)
For getting a business going (the idea) isn’t sufficient. You have to find that near-term path to revenue to make the company tick, to make investors happy, to make it all work. (Julian Mann)
Passion is a really infectious thing. (Ching-Yu Hu)
Don’t take no for an answer. (Ching-Yu Hu)
Be scrappy. (Ching-Yu Hu)
Most of the times you’d be surprised at what you can get if you just ask. (Ching-Yu Hu)
Develop a healthy disrespect for seemingly impossible tasks. Nothing is too big. (Ching-Yu Hu)
Learn how to scale your transparency. (Ching-Yu Hu)
Always error on full disclosure. (Ching-Yu Hu)
You have to grow from being an entrepreneur to an executive. It takes years. (Dan Berkenstock)
If you’re going to start a company you need to think about what you want your life to be like the next five years. (Dan Berkenstock)
Title: Create More Value Than You Capture
Speaker: Tim O’Reilly (O’Reilly)
Your mobile device knows so much that you don’t have to tell it as much as you used to.
You have to embrace hardware as well as software.
Rethink workflows and the experience that someone has.
Create more value than you capture.
If you can make other people successful you can make the world a better place.
There is a balance when you’re building an ecosystem between the central party controlling the ecosystem and the other players.
Find interesting ideas and amplify them.
Really great companies have ideas about transforming the lives of their customers.
Every new technology starts with a maker movement.
Sensors are becoming a part of everything.
Title: How Things Gain from Disorder
Speaker: Nassim Taleb (Author)
You should make lemonade every time someone gives you a lemon.
Unpredictability is a problem in the real world.
Milk uncertainty and try to exploit disorder.
The opposite of fragile isn’t robust.
The word trial-and-error is a misnomer.
Make sure you have optionality–that you’re not locked into a business plan.
An entrepreneur by design is not broad.
You should never let a crisis go to waste.
Nobody should ever put someone else at risk.
Title: Mobile Can Disrupt Social
Speaker: Monica Lam (Stanford)
The social networks we have today are intranets.
If you really want to have a social network you need to interpolate across people who care about privacy and who don’t care about privacy.
You can create a new experience and draw people to the experience.
(Your phone) is your personality.
Only simple things work.
You have to give them a better experience.
On mobile devices there are so many creative experiences.
AFAP: As Frictionless As Possible
People have to come first.
When your apps are contextual they get used more often.
Open competition rules.
Everything is social. We are social animals.
Title: What You Learn by Doing
Speaker: Akshay Kothari, Ankit Gupta (Pulse)
Time is more valuable than money. (Ankit Gupta)
Keep it simple. (Akshay Kothari)
It is all about people. (Akshay Kothari)
The more side projects you do the more mistakes you make and the more learning you have. (Akshay Kothari)
You never know when a side project will become a big company. (Akshay Kothari)
If you stay focused on product and keep putting things out there you might be sitting on the next big product. (Akshay Kothari)
Getting feedback quickly is really important. (Akshay Kothari)
Balance (in employee gender) is really good. (Akshay Kothari)
Culture is one of the most important things that every founder should think about. (Akshay Kothari)
Culture changes very fast. (Akshay Kothari)
Every person should be thinking about product. (Akshay Kothari)
Give open feedback. (Ankit Gupta)
If you can create a scenario where they need you more than you need them then you’re in a good position. (Akshay Kothari)
It all comes back to: What is your mission? What are your values? What does your product actually do? (Ankit Gupta)
Focus on building a great product. (Akshay Kothari)
Luck is very ambiguous. (Ankit Gupta)
Luck is your subconscious algorithms. (Ankit Gupta)
You can create luck. (Akshay Kothari)
Title: Own Your Own Success
Speaker: Kate Mitchell (Scale Venture)
Stanford is not a trade school. It is a school that teaches you how to think.
The Internet thing worked out.
If you are interested in building a startup the Silicon Valley Bank has some incredible resources. They have a program called the Entrepreneur Services Group. (http://www.svb.com/esg/)
Am I a horizontal or vertical person? Do I build cathedrals or hit golf balls? Neither is good or bad. Vertical is a speciality (engineering or Google’s search engine). Horizontally is bringing things together, conscious, pattern recognition, judgement, moving things forward. Knowing that about yourself early on is really helpful.
Understand not just what your strengths and weaknesses are. Embrace that you can’t be everything. The best people in any function figure out how to complement themselves with others whose strengths are the same as your weaknesses.
Your mentor can be a composite of people.
Mentors help you understand what you’re doing well and what you’re not.
Having champions for your career is really important–particularly early on.
Make it easy for somebody to give you feedback. It is incredibly valuable. Ask for it repeatedly. It is usually helpful.
Keep as wide an aperture as possible. You don’t know what is going to happen to you or around you. To become too narrow too early is a negative.
When you are interviewing for your first job the opportunity to learn is important. Think about whether you’re going to learn from the people you’re talking to. Look for an opportunity where you can distinguish yourself. Choose something where you’ll earn a little bit less if you think you can learn more.
Two phases of an investment: one, can you get the product to work? Two, can you get the product to market?
First investment decision is which markets do they think is ready to take off.
To make the returns they need they need to invest in not just a company that is dominant in a sector but a sector that has a tailwind behind it.
The initial tests of sales and marketing doesn’t take a lot of capital. You can do it online.
Scaling takes a lot of capital.
V.C.s want a company that can be one, two, or three in its sector. That is how you build a big company.
Venture capital is small. It is 0.2% of assets invested in the markets.
Venture backed companies generate 21% of GDP and 61,000,000 private sector jobs.
Venture capital is shrinking. Venture industry is down eighty percent from the peak in 2000.
Venture capitalists like exits just doesn’t like it when it is their own.
Not every successful company needs to be venture backed.
Entrepreneurs need thick skin to pitch.
The biggest challenge to get venture backing is if your opportunity is big enough. Is the market large enough? Is it a winning solution (doesn’t mean it has to be the best technology)? The best technology doesn’t always win.
The user and the buyer are sometimes two different people.
To get in front of a venture capitalist you need an introduction.
Be optimistic but realistic. Confident–not cocky.
You don’t need to start out as an entrepreneur.
Think about whether you’re an entrepreneur or a wantrepreneur. You have to decide if you really have it in you.
You have to own your own success.
Aim high and aim wide.
Speaking up matters.
Make a deposit into the karma bank. The best way to get help is to give it.
Making investments is a very hard thing to do. It is a high risk business.
Title: Leading Big Visions From the Heart
Speaker: Justin Rosenstein (Asana)
It feels like something is coming through me that wants to be expressed to the world.
Make the world a happier and more interesting place.
When people tell you something is impossible be very skeptical.
The number one most requested feature that Facebook gets is the dislike button.
Like button was designed as a way to help the world inform each other rather than a world in which we tear each other down.
The source of all of his passion is that multiple times throughout the day he has moments of complete and utter shock and awe and joy that we are alive.
It is very easy to get distracted by the day to day.
Live every single day to the fullest.
The way we achieve joy is by the giving of ourselves.
The kinds of things we’re capable of doing today are amazing relative to the kinds of things we were capable of doing before email, cell phones, telegraph.
Imagine if all of humanity could coordinate its collective actions seamlessly. Imagine if everybody could work together towards a single common goal.
Do we have the will and tools to align ourselves as a single species?
We have a giant opportunity right now to make the world a much more exciting place.
Values are things we repeatedly come back to.
Mindfulness is knowing what you’re doing and to reflect on what you’re doing. Make sure it is something you want to be doing and that it reflects your values.
Problems are just opportunities.
Every time you’re faced with a decision there are two extremes you can take. In general the extremes lead to negative consequences. The solution isn’t necessarily to find a compromise. Ideally you’ll find a middle way that transcends the negatives.
Pragmatic craftsmanship is that there is no intellectual answer on how to make the call. Hire people who are really good at making judgements.
Understanding the big picture can go down to the tiniest decisions. Focus more on providing people with context about their work, context about the overall goals of the company, and context about values rather than trying to control them.
The most important part of being a leader is managing your own psychology.
Don’t confuse self-doubt with self.
We are today writing the story of human history.
Title: From Lockup to Startup
Speaker: Chris Redlitz, Beverly Parenti, Heracio Harts (The Last Mile)
The Last Mile is a program that teaches entrepreneurship to convicts.
Members pledge to maintain respect and integrity.
Don’t make judgements on something you know very little about.
California spends more on prisons than on higher education. Average cost per prisoner to taxpayers is $45,000.
The inmates are required to tweet on a daily basis. The tweets are hand carried out and entered by volunteers on the outside.
You don’t commute to work in prison.
Biggest challenge was getting the system to understand what they were trying to do.
Pay it forward.
You’ll get farther with the public sector if you don’t approach with your hands out.
Title: Deep Inside Facebook
Speaker: Jocelyn Goldfein, Tina Seelig (Facebook)
Being a manager is a lot about social engineering. It is about what makes people tick and what makes teams tick.
Other people make her motivated to bring her A-game.
Always think about where you can have the most impact (on the company, on your team, and on the users).
You never want to feel like you won. You always want to feel pretty hungry.
Space (office layout) is very important to culture.
Culture arises from many small things. You can’t just create it.
Culture is the behaviors you reward and punish.
Facebook has conversations about empowering women in the workplace.
You should hate housework. An hour of your time is so valuable. Pay somebody to do it.
You should pursue work that you love, that you’re passionate about, otherwise the trade-off isn’t worth it.
Ruthlessly eliminate from your life things you aren’t passionate about.
Live close to work so you don’t have to waste your time commuting.
Every employee has a right to try things and take risks.
For an idea to be innovative something about it has to look stupid or impossible.
As a company you would rather try ten things and have nine of them fail with one of them be 20x successful. That is a bad ROI for the employees as humans hate failure.
Innovative ideas are going to fail at a pretty high rate.
You need to be willing to try ten things in a row that fail if you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur.
Don’t repeat the same failure over and over.
Hire people that really care about what they are building.
Title: Magician Leadership
Speaker: Ferdinando Buscema (Magic Experience Designer)
A magical experience is one that is surprising. One that brings you out of your normal context.
A magician leader is someone who is able to navigate reality in an artful way, open to possibilities, keeping his mind open to what is going to happen.
What you can hear and what you can see is a tiny slice of the full spectrum (of what exists).
It is very difficult to make sense out of a complex and evolving landscape.
Leadership in the 21st century is like dancing on a slippery floor. If you try to stay in control your energy will be focused on not falling. If you relax it will be more fun and effective.
Secrets are meant to be revealed.
For those that believe no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe no explanation will suffice.
Goal is to make the world a better place for everyone.
Always have two options. Never make a decision with one option.
In industry entrepreneurism is fairly well understood.
Don’t forget why you started.
Try to have fun.