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Take a Chance at the Edge of Innovation

John Hennessy, Stanford University

Universities and research labs force people to live on the edge of technology, says John Hennessy, President of Stanford University. And this exploration, he points out, helps them to uncover that which is not obvious. Hennessy recalls a case study to prove his point. Thinking back to his first interaction with the Yahoo! prototype, he notes that the company’s founders were motivated by a need for real navigation. He also talks about how the meaning of search evolved as the web’s user base and content grew, and that Google’s approach better met that market need. Both companies identified real opportunity and acted accordingly.