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Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
51 minutes | a day ago
Howie Liu (Airtable) - Building Startups, Fast and Slow
Howie Liu is the co-founder and CEO of Airtable. Inspired by his own experiences learning to code and building customized business apps, he co-founded the company in 2013 to democratize software creation. Prior to that, he was the founder of Etacts, an intelligent CRM tool that was acquired by Salesforce. While Etacts was a furious one-year sprint to acquisition, Liu followed a very deliberate, long-term approach with his second startup. In this conversation with Stanford lecturer Ravi Belani, he offers advice to innovators who seek to create complex products that can’t be prototyped in a week-long hacking session.
50 minutes | 8 days ago
Miriam Rivera (Ulu Ventures) - Diverse Businesses Are Better Businesses
Miriam Rivera is the co-founder and managing director of Ulu Ventures, a seed stage venture fund focused on IT startups. Previously, she was a vice president and deputy general counsel at Google, where she joined as the company’s second attorney. In this conversation with Stanford adjunct lecturer Heidi Roizen, Rivera discusses the state of diversity and inclusion in Silicon Valley, how she evaluates investment opportunities to eliminate bias, and the importance of great mentors.
50 minutes | 15 days ago
Michelle Zatlyn (Cloudflare) - Scaling with Resilience
Michelle Zatlyn is the co-founder, president, and Chief Operating Officer of Cloudflare, an internet security, performance, and reliability company that is on a mission to help build a better internet. In this conversation with Stanford lecturer Ravi Belani, Zatlyn discusses the intense challenges involved in scaling a high-growth business, and offers insights about how to find optimism and build a great team amid those challenges.
54 minutes | 22 days ago
Othman Laraki (Color) - It’s All About Access
Othman Laraki is the co-founder and CEO of Color, a distributed healthcare and clinical testing company. From population genomics programs to high-throughput COVID-19 testing, Color provides the technology and infrastructure to power large-scale health initiatives. In this conversation with Stanford lecturer Toby Corey, Laraki discusses the genesis of Color, the immense challenges and opportunities in the healthcare sector, and Color’s race into COVID testing when the pandemic hit.
23 minutes | a month ago
Research Insight: New Data on Lean Startup
In our first-ever ETL Research bonus episode, we look at one of the first empirical studies of lean startup. In a recent paper published in the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, researchers Michael Leatherbee and Riitta Katila find that lean startup’s emphasis on “customer discovery” — that is, directly testing business hypotheses with potential costumers during product development — does help teams converge on business ideas. They also find that MBAs are both hesitant to embrace the method and especially successful when they choose to employ it. Katila is a professor in Stanford’s Department of Management Science and Engineering and research director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, and Leatherbee is a professor at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile as well as President of the Advisory Board for Startup Chile. In this conversation they are joined by Stanford adjunct professor Steve Blank, whose Lean Launchpad class and 2003 book The Four Steps to the Epiphany were foundational to the lean startup movement.
47 minutes | 2 months ago
Hemant Taneja (General Catalyst) - Build, Don’t Break
Hemant Taneja is a managing director at General Catalyst, and has been an early investor in market-leading companies like Digit, Grammarly, Gusto, Livongo, Mindstrong, Samsara, Snap, and Stripe. His 2018 book Unscaled articulates the need for accountability, transparency, and explainability in AI technologies, and his 2020 book UnHealthcare proposes a new model for impactful healthcare innovation. He is also the author of the influential Harvard Business Review article “The Era of ‘Move Fast and Break Things’ is Over.” In this conversation with Stanford professor Tom Byers, Taneja discusses recent technological paradigm shifts, and urges founders and investors to build responsibly and drive positive social change by measuring and valuing impact as much as financial returns.
48 minutes | 2 months ago
Aicha Evans (Zoox) - Driving Innovation
In January 2019, Aicha Evans was named CEO of autonomous vehicle startup Zoox, which was acquired by Amazon in 2020. Prior to joining Zoox, Evans served as Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Intel, where she drove Intel’s transformation from a PC-centric company to a data-centric company. In this conversation with Stanford adjunct lecturer and former Zoox board member Heidi Roizen, Evans discusses building cutting-edge technology in a crowded market, dealing with skeptics, and leading an innovative team.
50 minutes | 2 months ago
Katrina Lake (Stitch Fix) - Making Entrepreneurship More Inclusive
While attending Harvard Business School, Katrina Lake saw an opportunity to combine data science with human stylists to reinvent the retail space. Lake founded Stitch Fix in 2011 to help women everywhere discover and explore their style through a truly client-focused shopping experience. In this conversation with Stanford lecturer Ravi Belani, Lake discusses experiencing and fighting bias, achieving massive and unexpected financial success, and leading with authenticity.
51 minutes | 2 months ago
David Rogier (MasterClass) - Finding the Right Motivation
David Rogier is the founder and CEO of MasterClass, a streaming platform that allows members to watch video lessons from top-performing professionals like Steph Curry, Margaret Atwood, Martin Scorsese, Sarah Blakely and Serena Williams. In this conversation with Stanford lecturer Ravi Belani, Rogier discusses why he created MasterClass; how he engaged the right investors, advisors, and talent; and how he dealt with hundreds of people telling him that his idea was impossible.
49 minutes | 3 months ago
Vlad Tenev (Robinhood) - Weathering a Storm
Vlad Tenev is the CEO and co-founder of Robinhood, a fast-growing brokerage platform giving millions of people access to investment opportunities and financial tools. In this conversation with Stanford lecturer Ravi Belani, Tenev offers a behind-the-scenes view of high-stakes decisions related to the GameStop crisis, discusses the future of the financial services industry, and reflects on both past missteps and ongoing efforts to innovate at Robinhood and transform securities trading in the 21st century.
45 minutes | 3 months ago
Stephanie Lampkin (Blendoor) - Data-Powered Diversity
Stephanie Lampkin, a TEDx speaker and former downhill ski racer, is the founder and CEO of Blendoor, which creates enterprise software that leverages augmented intelligence and people analytics to mitigate unconscious bias in hiring. Her 15-year career in the tech industry has included founding two startups and working in technical roles at Lockheed, Microsoft, and TripAdvisor. In this conversation with Stanford lecturer Emily Ma, she discusses her experiences as a Black woman in tech, the importance of expanding our social graphs to solve diversity challenges, and why she’s largely opted out of chasing traditional venture capital.
49 minutes | 3 months ago
Tony Mugavero (Rad) - Hype vs. Reality in VR
Tony Mugavero is the co-founder and CEO of Rad (formerly known as Littlstar), a consumer streaming platform delivering live and on-demand Esports, music, comedy and sports. A veteran of the content streaming space, Mugavero has witnessed virtual reality’s transformation from an over-hyped new technology into a growing, real-world consumer experience. In this conversation with Stanford lecturer Emily Ma, he discusses how to build a sustainable business in a cutting-edge niche, why relationships are central to entrepreneurship, and how Rad has thrived amid the bumpy progress of VR.
50 minutes | 3 months ago
Alyssa Ravasio (Hipcamp) - A New Approach to the Great Outdoors
Alyssa Ravasio is the founder and CEO of Hipcamp, a platform for booking outdoor stays, from national parks to blueberry farms. Hipcamp partners with private landowners to unlock more ways for people to get outside, while also preserving land and ecosystems. In this conversation with Stanford lecturer Emily Ma, Ravasio discusses the early days of Hipcamp, analyzes several major pivots, and unpacks the values that drive the company.
6 minutes | 4 months ago
2020 Insight: Start with Just One Thing
In this special micro-episode of ETL, Stanford lecturer Ravi Belani reflects on his key entrepreneurial takeaway from 2020. In a year that defied expectations, he notes that most companies start with good ideas but ultimately fail because founders spread their focus too thin. Belani shares clips from two 2020 ETL talks — one from PlayVS founder and CEO Delane Parnell and one from Zoom founder and CEO Eric Yuan. Both Parnell and Yuan, observes Belani, exemplify the laser focus that drives successful ventures.
5 minutes | 4 months ago
2020 Insight: Connecting the Dots
In this special micro-episode of ETL, Stanford lecturer Toby Corey reflects on his key entrepreneurial takeaway from 2020. Corey emphasizes that the entrepreneurial journey is a process, particularly when entrepreneurs are presented with extreme challenges or are solving big problems. He shares a clip from the ETL talk “Reimagining Meat,” featuring Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown. Brown shares how his early experiences with animal agriculture, his concern about the connections between meat consumption and climate change, and his interest in the science of building meat from plants culminated in starting Beyond Meat.
5 minutes | 5 months ago
2020 Insight: A Lens of Racial Equity
In this special micro-episode of ETL, Stanford associate professor Chuck Eesley reflects on his key entrepreneurial takeaway from 2020. In a year that defied expectations and presented entrepreneurs with unique challenges, Eesley stresses that entrepreneurs have a responsibility to create a more diverse and inclusive tech ecosystem. To drive the point home, he shares a clip from the ETL talk “Entrepreneurship and Racial Justice,” featuring OHUB executive director and CEO Rodney Sampson and RUNWAY CEO Jessica Norwood. In this clip, Sampson highlights the importance of viewing entrepreneurship through an antiracist lens.
6 minutes | 5 months ago
2020 Insight: Infusing Decisions with Principles
In this special micro-episode of ETL, Stanford professor Tom Byers reflects on his key entrepreneurial takeaway from 2020. In a year that defied expectations, Byers underscores that more than ever, entrepreneurs have a responsibility to consider the implications and consequences of their technologies and ideas on society. He shares a clip from Floodgate founding partner Ann Miura-Ko’s 2020 ETL talk “Disruption and Abundance,” in which Miura-Ko emphasizes the importance of responsible tech.
7 minutes | 5 months ago
2020 Insight: Innovating at a Distance
In this special micro-episode of ETL, Stanford professor of the practice Tina Seelig reflects on her key entrepreneurial takeaway from 2020. Seelig observes that, especially in times of great change and uncertainty, entrepreneurs can be empowered by the necessity to innovate. When it comes to COVID-19, the challenges of the pandemic also presented an opportunity to refine remote work. Seelig shares a clip from Digits co-founder Jeff Seibert’s 2020 ETL talk “Making Remote Work Better,” in which he explains how his company has leveraged remote work to drive both efficiency and creative collaboration.
46 minutes | 6 months ago
Sarah Friar (Nextdoor) - Building Better Online Communities
In December 2018, Sarah Friar was named CEO of Nextdoor, the world’s largest private social network for neighborhoods. Prior to leading Nextdoor, she was CFO of Square and SVP of Finance & Strategy at Salesforce. She serves on the boards of Walmart and Slack, and is the co-founder of Ladies Who Launch, a nonprofit that celebrates and empowers women entrepreneurs. In this conversation with Stanford professor Tom Byers, she discusses what attracted her to Nextdoor, and explores how she aims to amplify helpful, neighborly behavior on a social network.
42 minutes | 6 months ago
Ravi Mhatre (Lightspeed Venture Partners) - The Language of Technology
Ravi Mhatre is a founding partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners and focuses primarily on software/cloud infrastructure, applications and internet investments. Before starting Lightspeed, Mhatre was an investor with Bessemer Venture Partners and before entering the venture capital industry, he was with Silicon Graphics, where he was a product manager and later directed the company’s workstation market development efforts. In this conversation with Stanford lecturer Ravi Belani, he explores what a career in VC looks like, and talks about some of the sectors and technologies that he believes are poised to transform the future.
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