Posts Tagged ‘Stanford’

Come See Me Speak at Stanford Next Friday

March 22, 2009

A quick speaking update: I have been invited to moderate a panel at the Stanford Global Technology Symposium on Friday March 27. The event will be held at the Arrillaga Alumi Center on the Stanford campus. This year’s theme couldn’t be more timely “Entrepreneurship and Investment in a Turbulent Economy.”

T. Boone Pickens, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson are giving keynote addresses or fireside chats.

We’ve got a great panel. The topic is corporate venture capital and we’ve lined up top executives from IBM (Claudia Fan Munce), Microsoft (Dan’l Lewin) and Google (David Lawee) to participate. My panel is from 3pm – 4pm.

Please come and say hello. I may be selling books afterwards.


New Video of My Stanford Talk on the Birth of America’s Entrepreneurial Economy

March 14, 2009

Stanford just posted videos from the talk I gave for its Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Series back in February.

The school created three short videos from my talk on the birth of venture capital and America’s entrepreneurial economy, which runs 56 minutes in its entirety. One video focuses on the birth of the industry: another is on the industry’s first home run (Digital Equipment Corp.); and the last asks and (hopefully) answers the question: why did Silicon Valley take over leadership of the tech world in the 1970s?

Click here to see the videos. The Stanford ecorner also has hundreds of other great videos from pioneers and current leaders in Silicon Valley. So it’s worth checking out even if you don’t want to see my stuff.

Speaking update: Looks like I am heading back to lovely Palo Alto. I just got invited to moderate a panel at Stanford’s Global Technology Symposium on Friday March 27. I am moderating the panel on corporate venture capital with executives from IBM (Claudia Fan Munce), Microsoft (Dan’l Lewin) and Google (David Lawee).

History of U.S. Innovation and Venture Capital: Podcast of My Stanford University Talk

February 10, 2009

Check out a podcast of my talk from last week on the history of American innovation from Stanford Technology Ventures Program Entrepreneurship Corner, which publishes podcasts from the school’s Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Seminar Series.

The podcast runs about an hour and includes about 40 minutes of my talk, plus 15 minutes of questions and answers from those smarty-pants Stanford students as well as a few older folks in attendance, including a cool new entrepreneur/VC I met afterwards named Manu Kumar. Click here to listen to or download the podcast.

I have been getting a lot of positive feedback on the talks I gave in the Valley last week, including this one. I think the main reason is that I am sort of a contrarian who believes that great companies and innovations can emerge from a downturn. Let me know what you think if you listen to the podcast.

As one venture capitalist who attended a talk I gave at Quadrus, put it: “Thanks so much for putting the event together and for the invitation; it was inspiring to remind VCs to focus on the heart of entrepreneurship (vs. Being financial asset managers).”

[The Sierra Nevada mountain range from my plane window flying home.]

Startup Fever Lives: Creative Capital’s Valley Tour Recap

February 7, 2009

Last week, I hit the Bay Area trifecta for an author: I had the honor and privilege of being invited to speak at Stanford, Berkeley and in front of a group of 100 of Silicon Valley’s movers and shakers at the Quadrus Center on Sand Hill Road.

Below I’ve posted some pics from the speech I gave at Quadrus, which was hosted by the Valley law firm Montgomery & Hansen, the Silicon Valley Bank, and Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs (SVASE), a nonprofit in Northern California dedicated to helping startup entrepreneurs. Click this link to see the rest of the pics.

The Quadrus event was the vision of John Montgomery, founding partner of the aforementioned law firm. One day last fall I got a call from John, who told me he loved the book because he thought it embodied the back-to-basics philosophy that the Valley needs to return to in order to thrive.

There was also a personal connection with John. During my research for the book, I interviewed his father, Parker Montgomery. Parker was the CEO of Cooper Laboratories, a successful pharmaceutical company backed by American Research & Development. Parker occasionally talked about Doriot to John but he never got the whole story about this mysterious guy that his father admired. That’s why he appreciated the book. “You connected the dots for me,” said John.

This is the kind of feedback that authors dream about, and I am grateful to John for reaching out to me and expressing his thoughts, and for putting this event together.

One other thought about this recent tour.

The startup dream is still alive at Stanford and Berkeley. About 100 folks showed up at my Stanford talk. Most of the audience was undergraduate computer science and engineering students. I spoke to a few of them afterwards and they told me they were interested in doing startups.

I also gave a talk to Jerry Engel’s class of MBA students at the Haas School. Jerry is Executive Director of the School’s Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The founder of Google Earth spoke before me. And then I gave a talk about the history of innovation. I spoke to one of the students afterward and he told me he wanted to do a startup as well, and that many of his classmates were considering the same path.

Tomorrow I will post some of the remarks I made to the folks at Quadrus.

Mark Your Calendars: Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Winter 2009 Speaking Lineup

January 13, 2009

As some of you may know, I was thrilled to get an invite to speak at Stanford University’s Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Series Seminar. The weekly seminar series on entrepreneurship is run out of the Engineering School, and is co-sponsored by the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, BASES (a student entrepreneurship group), and the Stanford Technology Ventures Program.

The series recently posted its Winter Quarter lineup, which I repasted below.

I am scheduled to speak on Feb. 4 from 4:30pm to 5:30pm in the Skilling Auditorium. Hope to see you there.

Check out the great archive of podcasts and videos from past speakers, including presentations from Vinod Khosla, Judy Estrin and Guy Kawasaki, among other tech luminaries.

Winter Quarter Lineup Announced
2009 Winter Speaker Lineup

January 14
Skilling Auditorium
Hugh Martin
Chairman and CEO – Pacific Biosciences

January 21
Skilling Auditorium
Soujanya Bhumkar, Josh Schwarzapel, Austin Shoemaker
Founders, Cooliris

January 28
Skilling Auditorium
Teresa Briggs
Managing Partner – Deloitte, Silicon Valley

February 4
Skilling Auditorium
Spencer Ante
Computer Department – Business Week
Author – Creative Capital

February 11
Skilling Auditorium
Tom Siebel
Chairman – First Virtual Group
Founder – Siebel Systems

February 18
Kresge Auditorium
John Hennessy
President – Stanford University
Launch of Stanford University Entrepreneurship Week!

February 25
Kresge Auditorium
Debate moderated by Tony Perkins
Founder – Always On
Conclusion of Stanford University Entrepneurship Week

March 4
Skilling Auditorium
Elizabeth Holmes
Founder and CEO – Theranos Inc.

Book Review of Larry Lessig’s REMIX

October 24, 2008

I am a huge admirer and fan of Stanford Law professor Lawrence Lessig. I have followed his writings over the years and have drawn inspiration from his work. He’s made me smarter and more thoughtful, that’s for sure. So it pains me to report that I did not love his new book, REMIX: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy.

On his blog today, Lessig wrote that it “was a tough morning swallowing Spencer’s review. My reaction was — “really, that’s what you see in the book?!” None of the key points that made it worth my writing the book were visible to him (or at least, as evinced by the review). And that, frankly, was astonishing, and astonishingly depressing.”

Maybe I missed something here. Or maybe the doom and gloom of today’s world has so permeated my being that I don’t even realize it, as one commenter on Lessig’s blog noted today. I am not one to easily criticize a new book, especially now that I myself am an author. So I look forward to seeing how other people respond to REMIX. In the spirit of the blogosphere, perhaps I will remix my review after hearing what people have to say.

Heck, I would even welcome a response from Larry. I thought I understood the key points but maybe my head is so clouded with falling stock prices and fear that I didn’t.

Here’s the header of the BW review:

Editor’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

The Good: A good primer on the debates over copyright in the Digital Age.

The Bad: Like Martin Scorsese doing another mobster flick, Lessig seems uninspired, groping for a fresh take on familiar themes.

The Bottom Line: An uninspired work by an important thinker.

Check out my full review here.