Blog

  • May 2, 2016

    The Upside of Obsession

    With entrepreneurs all vying to come up with the “next big thing,” it’s easy to see why everyone is putting work first — and the rest of life second. There are, however, some positives that can result from being obsessed, along with the better-known negatives we seek to avoid. So, while it’s important to keep ...read more

  • April 28, 2016

    Yoda was Wrong: Apply Design Thinking to Life’s Problems

    Stanford Engineering Professor Bernard Roth, a founding faculty member of the university’s renowned design institute, told audience members attending one of his recent talks at Stanford University how to “stop wishing, start doing and take command of your life.” That’s the subtitle of Roth’s new book, The Achievement Habit, and he summed it up in ...read more

  • April 22, 2016

    It’s Everybody’s Business Now

    In the startup world, there may be no such thing as becoming too successful. But for those few ventures that end up growing into a consumer business that reaches massive scale, well, it can get complicated. In the early days of Airbnb, when its founders were happy to just get out-of-towners into their San Francisco ...read more

  • April 14, 2016

    Is the App-pocalypse Nigh?

    It’s easy to see why much of America sees Silicon Valley as out of touch, even as we tap and swipe our devices with renewed vigor each time an entrepreneur churns out a new app. Exhibit A: Tech workers in San Francisco make news when they develop an algorithm that does exactly what the startup ...read more

  • April 7, 2016

    Hierarchy is Good. Hierarchy is Essential. And Less Isn’t Always Better

    I was raised to view hierarchy as a bad thing. My late father, an entrepreneur, often ranted about the idiocy he battled in the corporate and government bureaucracies that made life difficult for his little company. He loved the Peter Principle because, to him, it explained why so many organizations were packed with people who ...read more

  • March 21, 2016

    What Real Impact Means

    Nowadays, it seems every budding startup claims its new app, product or service will change the way you live. But before passively accepting hyperbole as the new norm, let’s instead ask the question: What does real impact looks like? It’s fine if friends want to post “Best. Ever.” with a phone pic of the burger ...read more

  • March 13, 2016

    A More Tactical Way to Prototype

    If you ask, experienced entrepreneurs will make it very clear how difficult their job is, and how slim your chances are of launching the next Uber or Facebook. And yet, around the world, the allure of entrepreneurship grows stronger by the day. It coincides with the mantra that innovation is the answer to all of ...read more

  • March 10, 2016

    The Secret Sauce of Silicon Valley

    I require my students at Stanford to write a failure résumé. That is, to craft a résumé that summarizes all their biggest screw-ups — personal, professional, and academic. For every failure, each student must describe what he or she learned from that experience. Just imagine the looks of surprise this assignment inspires in students who ...read more

  • March 3, 2016

    China Study Reveals Why Startups Succeed

    This article originally appeared in the Stanford Report. Downtown San Jose, Calif. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) From humble beginnings known for its fruit orchards, Silicon Valley has transformed into the heartland of entrepreneurship and innovation in the United States. Each year hundreds of budding entrepreneurs from all over the world descend on Silicon Valley in search of ...read more

  • February 19, 2016

    Who Funds You, Baby? New Study Shows VCs Outpace Other Innovation Backers

    These days, organizations across the board claim to be focused on innovation. But when you look at how well different types of entities responsible for bringing new products and services into the world actually do so, some are better than others. The most obvious type of organization that helps launch new products is a venture ...read more