Seeing Your World in TechniColor

Most people see the world in black and white, missing most of the opportunities in their midst. But, there are some people who see the world in Technicolor. Their eyes are wide open and the endless opportunities are always evident. When we look at their lives, we are amazed by all they accomplish, by the fascinating things they are doing; and we often wonder how to make our lives as rich and stimulating. It’s actually pretty easy… all you need to do is remove the blinders! 

Secrets to a Successful Job Interview

There are simple secrets to a successful job interview... Read on to find out why you should use the interview as an opportunity to learn, how to find ways to hook your interviewer, the importance of getting rid of your verbal tics, and why you should keep the entire experience in perspective. And finally, remember that no matter how an interview goes, it isn't over until you write a thank you note. 

What's Your Risk Profile?

Trying new things requires a willingness to take risks. However, risk taking is not binary. 

Harnessing the Thrill of Surprise

Education should be designed to tap into our natural attraction to novelty. Most material is inherently surprising and should be presented in a way that allows students to be astonished by the unexpected.

Tempt Luck Your Way

Lucky people share traits that tend to make them luckier than others. They are observant, open-minded, friendly, and optimistic. By cultivating these attributes, you will surely tempt luck your way.

It's all in your head

It’s all in your head... That is, the way we each see the world around us is determined by how we engage with it. A simple writing assignment is a poignant reminder that the environment is filled with flaws and flowers, and we each decide which to embrace.

Startup Love

Why is starting a relationship like launching a business?Let me count the ways... As someone who teaches innovation and entrepreneurship at Stanford, I know a great deal about what it takes to start a new venture. And, based on the years when I changed my boyfriends like my socks, I now realize that these are the same tools that are required to launch a new relationship.

Creativity Rocks!

There are few things that are more satisfying than coming up with a creative solution to a vexing problem. In fact, the feeling you get from finding a clever way out of a mess, of seeing old things in a new ways, or of making something from nothing can be wonderfully addictive.

Break the Rulz!

When is a rule just a suggestion? And when do suggestions morph into rules? What if you challenge the underlying assumptions, and what happens when you break the rules? Of course, you shouldn't break the law or do anything unethical. But, there are often very creative ways to get to your goals by taking roads that are much less traveled.

Teaching Kids to "Cheat"

As an educator who focuses on teaching students about innovation and entrepreneurship, I spend my time encouraging students how to find creative solutions to problems. They are urged to expand their frame of reference so that they can uncover a wider variety of solutions, to gain insights from everything and everyone they can, and to use all the tools in their midst.

Time is More Valuable than Money

Each day another 24 hours is deposited into each of our “bank accounts.” We each get a choice about how to spend they hours. We can decide how much gets invested for the future, how much we spend right away, and how much we give away.

Mastering the Art of Living

Look for a place where your passions overlap with your skills and the market. If you can find that spot, then you’re in the wonderful position in which your job enriches your life instead of just providing the financial resources that allow you to enjoy your life after the workday is over.

Life is an Open Book Exam

In school we are evaluated as individuals, there is a right answer to most questions, and often when we win someone else loses. This is completely different from life beyond school where most work is done in teams and there are endless answers to every question.

Mastering the Art of Everyday Negotiations

Most of our interactions with others are essentially a series of negotiations, and we do ourselves a huge disservice by not knowing the basic tenets.

The Worst - I mean BEST - Idea in the World

In many cases, the worst ideas are really the best ideas in disguise. This post describes an exercise that demonstrates that if you open your mind to solutions to problems, ideas - even if they look silly or stupid on the surface - can be mined for very interesting solutions to challenging problems.

It's a Small World... Don't Burn Bridges

Because we live in such a small world, it is critically important not to burn bridges - no matter how tempted you might be. You aren’t going to like everyone, and everyone isn’t going to like you, but there’s no benefit from making enemies. This post tells how to avoid this all too familiar trap.

Never Miss an Opportunity to be Fabulous!

It’s easy to meet expectations, knowing exactly what you will get in return. But amazing things happen when you remove the cap. In fact, there’s a huge pent-up drive in each of us to blow off the cap! Like a soda bottle that’s been shaken, individuals who remove perceived limits achieve remarkable results.

Brainstorming: What do do and what NOT to do

Running a successful brainstorming session actually takes a lot of skill and practice. The key is to set the ground rules at the beginning and to reinforce them.One of the most important rules is to expand upon the ideas of others. With this approach, at the end of a good brainstorming session, multiple people feel that they created or contributed to the best ideas to come out of the session.

Making Something from Nothing

I count "The 5 Dollar Challenge”, described in my last blog post as a success in demonstrating that with an entrepreneurial mindset, opportunities are abundant. But it left me feeling a bit uncomfortable. I didn’t want to communicate that value is always measured in terms of financial rewards. So, I added a twist the next time I assigned the project. Instead of five dollars, I gave each team an envelope containing ten paper clips.

The $5 Challenge!

What would you do to earn money if all you had was five dollars and two hours? This is the assignment I gave students in one of my classes at Stanford University, as part of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program... Each of fourteen teams received an envelope with five dollars of “seed funding” and was told they could spend as much time as they wanted planning. However, once they cracked open the envelope, they had two hours to generate as much money as possible. I gave them from Wednesday afternoon until Sunday evening to complete the assignment. Then, on Sunday evening, each team had to send me one slide describing what they had done, and on Monday afternoon each team had three minutes to present their project to the class. They were encouraged to be entrepreneurial by identifying opportunities, challenging assumptions, leveraging the limited resources they had, and by being creative.

Fail in Order to Succeed

Have you ever written a "failure" resume? It is a summary of all your mess-ups - personal, professional, and academic. This simple exericse is an effective way to see each screw up as a learning opportunity. In fact, failure is a critical part of the learning process, and if you aren't failing some times, you aren't taking enough risks.