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Never Work for a Stanford Student Again


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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

  1. 1. Never Work for a Stanford Student Again<br />(Or anyone else. I like Stanford, actually.)<br />
  2. 2. Thank You!<br />(Redfin’s UW computer science graduates are awesome)<br />
  3. 3. My First Employer<br />Stanford Technology Group<br />(Cal’s Kafkaesque/Hobbesianworld made me a rule-follower, than I went to work for a Stanford graduate)<br />
  4. 4. First the Basics<br />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."<br />(What startups need most is people who can code. Many applicants, from any school,can’t do the basics.)<br />
  5. 5. What Will Drive UW’s Reputation?<br />NOT… more coding-fodder for Google, Microsoft<br />Academic break-throughs<br />But also break-through students<br />Encouraged to follow their dream<br />Page: “the best advice I ever got”<br />Good students<br />Good outcomes<br />(UW won’t become a great CS department without producing a great entrepreneur)<br />
  6. 6. Seattle’s Greatest Entrepreneurs<br />(None went to UW. We have to grow our own.)<br />
  7. 7. Seattle vs. Silicon Valley<br />(Seattle entrepreneurs are older. We need a youth movement.)<br />
  8. 8. What We’ll Never Have: A Sense of Entitlement<br />Almost annoyingly poised<br />“I’m the CEO… bitch”<br />Willing to challenge authority<br />Able to fail without…<br />Starving<br />Dying of humiliation<br />Or accustomed to ostracism, with nothing to lose<br />(Harvard and Stanford kids have a swagger. That is good.)<br />
  9. 9. Where I Came From & My Affinity for Public Schools<br />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.<br />Thank you.<br />(But public-school kids have grit)<br />
  10. 10. What We Need: An Intellectual Community (The Dorm)<br />Student clubs are important…<br />(Commuters, fraternities != project collaboration)<br />
  11. 11. Human-Computer Interactions<br />Under-rated skills<br />HCI, product design<br />Public speaking<br />10 minutes of accounting<br />“I can write on the back of this envelope everything you need to learn at business school.”<br />(Pay attention to design, public speaking, not an MBA)<br />
  12. 12. Breadth is Good<br />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.<br />(Being well-rounded is good. Compare<br />Stanford entrepreneurs to MIT or Caltech)<br />
  13. 13. Internships: Entrepreneurs Learn From Entrepreneurs<br />Recruit start-ups to recruit interns<br />On-campus talks<br />Mentorship program<br />Subsidized internships<br />Recruit VCs<br />Long-term<br />Organized & able to plan ahead<br />Portfolio = stability<br />(Internships are the best way to toe-dip in a startup. VCs should drive this)<br />
  14. 14. A Sense of Adventure, Curiosity<br />Unstructured vs. structured projects<br />Hip technologies<br />Stanford Facebooks apps, Amazon cloud computing<br />Hadoop, Scala, Cassandra, iPhone, HTML5<br />Commercial appeal (guitarists vs. violinists)<br />Competition drives excellence<br />Recognition drives excellence<br />Online voting<br />Big-shot judges<br />;<br />(Stanford’s Facebook class got students excited, even if it wasn’t technically novel)<br />
  15. 15. The Alternative<br />(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.)<br />