I’ve been following this series of lectures recorded at Stanford and posted on YouTube. It is a good chance to see some important people in the industry (Silicon Valley), to get a feeling about their personalities and skills and to understand how some enterprises came to exist.
I was particularly impressed by the first lecturer, Steve Juvertson. He is a an engineer turned venture capitalist who spends all his time thinking about the future of our (global) society, the needs that will be satisfied by new technology and the people who are able to accomplish it. He is a very fast talker and you can feel he is also a very fast thinker. The talk will start with their search of passionate entrepreneurs and disruptive technology and walk through innovation from domains like IT, synthetic biology, nanotechnology and quantum computers.
The second guy, former CTO at Sun MicroSystems, was rather disappointing: he started by claiming “engineering is a constructive art” and almost asked the scientists in the room to leave 🙂 His personal frustrations were easy to spot, he was simply repeating his company mantra, and you couldn’t find any spontaneous thinking activity in his look.
Third guy is an old former INTEL CEO who started his career in the 60s. His lecture is easy and calm like a story told by a grandfather. I learned that Intel was in a weaker position in the 80s, and the Japanese were much ahead. Also he was a colleague with the famous Moore (who gave the Moore’s Law).
Forth guy is from Zynga (who made Farmville on FB). He talks about Internet treasures (like big brands) and he aims to build the first one for Internet Fun. Also, he complained it is difficult to attract employees from other important companies like Google, because they have a “high bullshit meter” 🙂
Take lecture 8 if you want to know something about the internals of research activity of the big Pharma. It’s funny to see how this former professor adapts to life in a big company and how shy he is when he talks about the huge budgets they have.
In lecture 9 you can see some sexy and highly successful entrepreneurs from Latin America talking about partnership.
Lecture 11 is like a cheap motivational book. I also don’t recommend 12 and 13.