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Most Popular eCorner Videos of the Year: 2012-13

Mike Peña, Stanford University July 19, 2013

Summer is perfect for catching up on the many things we miss out on from day to day, especially in the world of academia. Yes, it’s true we’re busy preparing for the 2013-14 Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders (ETL) seminar series. But we also think now would be an ideal time to present some of the most popular video clips from the past academic year.

Be Present

First up is acclaimed charisma coach and author Olivia Fox Cabane, who delivered the most-viewed ETL talk of the fall quarter. Here, she describes how being present plays a crucial role in exuding charisma and explains how humans can perceive a facial expression even over a fraction of a second that signals non-presence — such as your eyes glazing over.

“Presence is the single most requested aspect of charisma when I’m coaching executives,” Fox Cabane said. “They want to increase their boardroom presence or their executive presence, and they’re right to focus on it.”

Do Less

Now, when technology sage Tim O’Reilly told his audience to think about doing less, he wasn’t suggesting they go out to the backyard and nod off in a hammock. The phrase “do less” summed up a trend he sees in technology whereby we no longer need to actively input data — like location — into our devices because so much “implicit context” is already contained in them.

In this clip from his March 2013 talk, the renowned technology investor conveys this concept through the app Square, which lets businesses using the app know when someone who also has it running on their smartphone is in the vicinity. No introductions needed (although, as O’Reilly points out, some sort of greeting would still be nice).

Solutions Over Ideas

When the co-founders of the news app Pulse spoke at Stanford last spring, a pearl of wisdom they imparted was that entrepreneurs should first focus on solving a problem that matters to users. Ankit Gupta, who earned a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford, speaks from experience in the clip below about how pursuing one’s own idea just because it’s clever — but devoid of any real-world demand — may be all for naught.

The Stanford Technology Ventures Program thanks Draper Fisher Jurvetson for supporting the Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders seminar series. ETL talks will resume in the fall, with the first one scheduled on Oct. 2.