At this time of year, minds can wander toward the new year and everything that comes with it - new classes, new resolutions, new DFJ ETL speakers, new business ideas, and new opportunities. Here are five videos to inspire a new outlook and new ideas in 2011.
Dell explains where he would look to start a new company. According to him, there are many companies that are slow to innovate. He would focus on a creating a company in a large, fast-growing, yet inefficient industry that is not keeping pace with change.
With 34 full-time employees and 25 interns, Cooliris has brought innovation into attracting the best talent. Here, Product Manager Josh Schwarzapel and CEO Soujanya Bhumkar discuss their company's unique recruiting process for both engineers and interns. For the former, Schwarzapel sells the company to potential engineers during the interview as he would a VC - striving to get them excited, and giving away a small piece of proprietary information in the process. To find the best interns, the team identified and recruited well-respected and hypersocial "connector" students from top universities to evangelize the company and hand-pick the best available members of the "party team". In short, Cooliris gives weight to finding the top talent across the board, whether they are board members, full-time staff, or unpaid innovators.
Though the ambitions of those who wish to start a great learning institution are admirable, chances are, says Stanford President John Hennessy, that they lack the financial resources to make it so. Ten billion dollars is mere seed funding, says Hennessy. If one still decides to pursue the business of academia, he suggests that the rollout is slow. Start small and excellent, with a single great program, and scale gradually. Your organization will go farther than if you begin both broad and thin. If your institution is quality, it will attract top talent from across the globe, promoting its own future success.
Young people with mammoth commercial success have bred a new kind of philanthropic entrepreneur, says Google.org's Executive Director Larry Brilliant. And Brilliant also explains his optimism in smallpox, using it as a case study on a managed disease that once killed half a billion people worldwide. Through global unity and a concentrated effort, akin to what Google.org strives to accomplish in other areas, the virus was eradicated; thanks, in equal parts, to scientific discovery and philanthropic will.
When CEO Eric Schmidt started at Google, his job was largely centered around providing some organizational design. The culture was working well but the company needed more structure. He hired a financial and controller system, instituted staff meetings, and set and reviewed quarterly objectives.