Never Work for a Stanford Student Again
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Never Work for a Stanford Student Again



Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman discusses what other universities can learn from Stanford about developing entrepreneurs.

Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman discusses what other universities can learn from Stanford about developing entrepreneurs.



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Never Work for a Stanford Student Again Never Work for a Stanford Student Again Presentation Transcript

  • Never Work for a Stanford Student Again
    (Or anyone else. I like Stanford, actually.)
  • Thank You!
    (Redfin’s UW computer science graduates are awesome)
  • My First Employer
    Stanford Technology Group
    (Cal’s Kafkaesque/Hobbesianworld made me a rule-follower, than I went to work for a Stanford graduate)
  • First the Basics
    Write a program that prints the numbers from 1 to 100. But for multiples of three print "Fizz" instead of the number and for the multiples of five print "Buzz." For numbers which are multiples of both three and five print "FizzBuzz."
    (What startups need most is people who can code. Many applicants, from any school,can’t do the basics.)
  • What Will Drive UW’s Reputation?
    NOT… more coding-fodder for Google, Microsoft
    Academic break-throughs
    But also break-through students
    Encouraged to follow their dream
    Page: “the best advice I ever got”
    Good students
    Good outcomes
    (UW won’t become a great CS department without producing a great entrepreneur)
  • Seattle’s Greatest Entrepreneurs
    (None went to UW. We have to grow our own.)
  • Seattle vs. Silicon Valley
    (Seattle entrepreneurs are older. We need a youth movement.)
  • What We’ll Never Have: A Sense of Entitlement
    Almost annoyingly poised
    “I’m the CEO… bitch”
    Willing to challenge authority
    Able to fail without…
    Dying of humiliation
    Or accustomed to ostracism, with nothing to lose
    (Harvard and Stanford kids have a swagger. That is good.)
  • Where I Came From & My Affinity for Public Schools
    You guys have it real easy. I never had it like this where I grew up. But I send my kids here because the fact is you go to one of the best schools in the country: Rushmore. Now for some of you it doesn’t matter. You were born rich and you’re going to stay rich. But here’s my advice to the rest of you. Take dead aim on the rich boys. Get them in the cross-hairs. And take them down. Just remember, they can buy anything but they can’t buy backbone. Don’t let them forget that.
    Thank you.
    (But public-school kids have grit)
  • What We Need: An Intellectual Community (The Dorm)
    Student clubs are important…
    (Commuters, fraternities != project collaboration)
  • Human-Computer Interactions
    Under-rated skills
    HCI, product design
    Public speaking
    10 minutes of accounting
    “I can write on the back of this envelope everything you need to learn at business school.”
    (Pay attention to design, public speaking, not an MBA)
  • Breadth is Good
    Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country... I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations… it was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle… None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me.
    (Being well-rounded is good. Compare
    Stanford entrepreneurs to MIT or Caltech)
  • Internships: Entrepreneurs Learn From Entrepreneurs
    Recruit start-ups to recruit interns
    On-campus talks
    Mentorship program
    Subsidized internships
    Recruit VCs
    Organized & able to plan ahead
    Portfolio = stability
    (Internships are the best way to toe-dip in a startup. VCs should drive this)
  • A Sense of Adventure, Curiosity
    Unstructured vs. structured projects
    Hip technologies
    Stanford Facebooks apps, Amazon cloud computing
    Hadoop, Scala, Cassandra, iPhone, HTML5
    Commercial appeal (guitarists vs. violinists)
    Competition drives excellence
    Recognition drives excellence
    Online voting
    Big-shot judges;
    (Stanford’s Facebook class got students excited, even if it wasn’t technically novel)
  • The Alternative
    (If you’re not going to create something you love at a startup, the rational thing to do is sell your soul to Goldman or a hedge fund. This how Harvard students think, not Stanford students. UW should be like Stanford, not Harvard.)