• Calender

    October 2015
    M T W T F S S
    « Sep   Nov »
  • Contact

    Send us press releases, events and new product information for publication..

    Email: nchuppala@ outlook.com

Picture This: Olapic Catches the Next Wave of e-Commerce


Roure Parera, Joan; Segurado Llorente, Juan Luis


Original document: Olapic: Migrating the Business Model

Year: 2015 

Three Spanish students at Columbia Business School in New York had an idea and launched a startup in early 2010. When they graduated later that year, they changed their original idea to fuel growth. And then they changed it again in 2012….

This is not a story of fickle entrepreneurs: It is the story of agile business-model innovation.

The fact that Olapic, offering a visual marketing platform, is today well-funded and fast-growing shows the results of relentless innovation on the part of its founders — Pau Sabrià of Barcelona, Luis Sanz of Zaragoza and José de Cabo of Madrid.

How did a company that started out providing a platform to share wedding photos morph into one that allowed newspaper websites to pull visual content from readers, and then into a service enabling brands to promote their products with crowdsourced images? A case study prepared by Joan Roure Parera and Juan Luis Segurado of IESE follows the evolution of the company as a teaching tool for entrepreneurs. The case, titled “Olapic: Migrating the Business Model,” tracks the company from its founding through its first three years, as it faces big decisions in pursuit of growth.

Wedding Bells
Olapic’s name captures the idea of a wave of pictures (ola means wave in Spanish).

The original idea behind Olapic certainly fired the imagination, both winning a contest at Columbia, in their second year of the MBA, and attracting investors early on. In its first incarnation, Olapic provided a photo-sharing service for brides, grooms and their wedding guests. The platform allowed friends to upload wedding photos to a common site. There was a free version (for fewer than 100 photos) and a premium model that cost well-exposed newlyweds $80.

The wedding project allowed Sabrià, Sanz and de Cabo to capture early clients in the form of friends, who were beginning to get married. It also tapped a market sure to be interested — brides and grooms intent on capturing every moment of their special day. When they won first prize with the “Greenhouse Program” at Columbia, totaling investment of $25,000, de Cabo highlighted that they won not for having the best idea, but because it had already been deployed (and it worked).

But there were problems. After all, ideally, clients only get married once. This meant that there were no repeat orders to help the business grow, and that money had to constantly be reinvested in marketing strategies to meet new customers. Olapic’s wedding-photo platform might function, but it wasn’t likely to be a blockbuster idea.

Eye for Innovation
Too often, companies experiencing some growth and success cling to what they perceive to be working, overlooking revolutionary changes that might breathe new life into their firm. Olapic, according to IESE innovation expert Tony Dávila, made the right move by keeping its options open. Professor Dávila cites Olapic in this video titled Beating the Innovation Paradox.”

Dávila points to the differences between incremental innovation — small steps to steadily improve a product or service — and breakthrough innovation, which involves large-scale changes that may change a company’s whole purpose and business plan. It’s about changing the rules of the game.

“When you’re successful, you think the world is not going to change,” Dávila says. “Probably because you don’t want the world to change.” It will change with or without your permission, however, and the only way to move with the times is to be flexible and think big.

What the Olapic team did next was a true reconfiguration: innovating by “connecting the dots” between changes in technology, demographics and markets, among other factors. The surging wave of consumer-generated content and the dynamics of social media together changed Olapic’s best opportunities and the company was agile enough to take advantage of them. Why Olapic, and not others? A plausible explanation is that Olapic’s founders were engaging in an active search for opportunities, they were alert to them and they knew the potential industries or markets.

Media Dreams
When venture capital firm First Round Capital introduced a program for startups in the media sector, partnered with the New York Daily News, Olapic’s founders jumped at the chance to participate. After all, the NYDN had a circulation of 14 million online users, as the case study explains. It was 2010, Instagram had just arrived on the scene and digital connectedness was capturing corporate imaginations.

Olapic adjusted its photo platform to serve a new need: It allowed readers to share newsworthy photos. At the same time, it allowed media companies to benefit from the traffic. A snow storm offers a classic example: Anyone with a smart phone can help report the story on the ground, sharing photos out of reach to any one newspaper’s staff.

The media industry looked like a better fit for Olapic — and launching with the New York Daily News properties was an auspicious start. But, even so, complications emerged: the digital landscape was changing constantly and media companies were slow to adapt. Media contracts tended to take a long time to finalize and were difficult to attach a precise value to. Direct competitors were also beginning to appear.

Next Stop: e-Commerce
When Facebook purchased photo-sharing platform Instagram in April 2012, big brands started seeing more value in image-based communication with customers. Olapic was poised to take advantage of this. They launched a new platform to enter the e-commerce market — the only trillion-dollar industry boasting double-digit growth, as the case study notes.

Olapic’s team built its new product on the idea that customers trust photos taken by other customers more than they trust a brand’s own publicity shots. On e-commerce sites, Olapic said they found that potential customers were more likely to click “buy” when a product was contextualized by real customer photos, gleaned from Instagram, Facebook and other social media networks.

In this new model, Olapic offered companies user-generated images of products to use on their sites, right at the point of sale. For example, furniture-seller West Elm used Olapic to populate an image gallery filled with customers’ cute dogs and cats lounging on West Elm products. “Powered by Olapic” appeared as a signature on clients’ pages, marketing Olapic’s service to other potential e-commerce clients.

At the close of the case study, Olapic founders ponder future funding options to fuel growth. Plenty of options were open to them. If there’s one thing their trajectory so far has highlighted, it is that an agile approach to the business model makes them more likely to catch the best wave.

Book review: Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader

Outsight_Principle_herminia_ibarra_ch1 Stepup as a Leader

Published: 08/04/2015 – Filed under: Tried & Tested »


Act Like a Leader, Think Like a LeaderI was prepared to dislike this book. From the title, which seems to emphasise heading off on a course of action without fully considering the consequences, to the coining of “outsight” as a “cycle of acting like a leader and then thinking like a leader“, it was tempting to put the book down.

I’m glad I persisted. There’s a huge amount of practical advice in it, and the argument quickly becomes persuasive after the first few pages.

First up, author Herminia Ibarra of INSEAD states a few truisms. Namely, that the way we think is a product of our past experience and so the best way of changing our mind-set is to act differently.

Ibarra has three main central chapters each on a different aspect of how to act like a leader, and each involves redefinition — of your job, your network, and yourself.

Firstly, our jobs. We like to do what we already do well, and because of that, we get better at it. This applied just as much in Adam Smith’s time with the specialisation of labour to our more skilled based jobs today.

We allocate more time to what we are good at, and so devote less time to learning other things that are also important to our development. Over time, it therefore gets more costly to invest in learning to do new things because the opportunity cost of spending time doing something else is high, and in this way we become trapped.

Circumstances change, we find it difficult to do so, we’re in trouble, and we certainly aren’t acting like a leader.

Ibarra delineates the difference between management (routine work) and leadership (what should we be doing instead) and the need for a leap of faith “because transformation is always more uncertain than incremental progress”.

Instead of acting like “a hub“, in our business we need to become “a bridge between our team and our external environment” because then we gain the outsight needed to develop a point of view on the business, see the big picture organisationally and set the direction accordingly.

The networking chapter successfully disarms our standard objections to having anything to do with networking, firstly by pointing out that we tend to network with those closest to us and most resembling ourselves – which the author terms as being “lazy and narcissistic“.

The objections to networking — that it does not feel authentic — is using people, you have more urgent things to do and relationships should be allowed to form spontaneously in any case are dealt with, and the benefits both to you and others in the form of perspective and knowledge explained.

Lastly, there is the challenge to change the way you act. In part, this is to stop using being “authentic” as an excuse for poor behaviours.

As Ibarra points out: “The biggest problem with the true-to-self approach is that it defines authenticity according to the past and, by consequence, defines change as a loss.” In place of this, Ibarra advocates imitating others, and by doing so, creating a new synthesis which combines your own qualities with the qualities you are hoping to assume.

It’s a playful plagiarism, not of one person or mode of behaviour, but many. In this way, we can reinvent ourselves and the way we respond to life, beginning a process of what Harvard psychologist Robert Kegan calls “self-authoring”, although others might call it a mid-life crisis.

It is when we start to work out who we really are and what it is we want to do, finally freed from the pressures of much earlier in our life when often we fell into a career and a way of thinking about ourselves which might now be increasingly irrelevant.

So, an interesting book, which once you can leave behind some of the terminology, has lots of practical advice, and a nice way of persuading you of its point of view.

I read it in one sitting (London to Doha), then re-read the best bits Doha to Mumbai. Well worth the time.

Harvard Business Review Press, £20


  1. The challenge of growing as a leader is to develop new habits without them becomming habits – mindless routines that dull us to innovation and change.
  2. To Step Up as a Leader, You Need to Step Out
  3. To become a successful leader, you have to ditch the conventional “think before doing” logic and instead start acting like a leader in order to start thinking like a leader
  4. Develop new habits without them becomming habits
  5. Ironically, by only ever focusing on applying the skills and competencies that have made you successful up until now in your daily work, you are actually limiting the time needed to devise clear strategies for reaching your longer term career goals.

How to Act and Think Like a Leader

Herminia Ibarra, Professor of Organisational Behaviour and the Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Learning at INSEAD. | March 17, 2015
image: http://knowledge.insead.edu/sites/www.insead.edu/files/styles/w_650/public/styles/panoramic/public/images/2015/03/super_woman.jpg?itok=gOa_KD22

To become a successful leader, you have to ditch the conventional “think before doing” logic and instead start acting like a leader in order to start thinking like a leader.

“I’m like the fire patrol,” says Jacob, a thirty-five-year-old production manager for a mid-sized European food manufacturer. “I run from one corner to the other to fix things, just to keep producing.” Following a buyout of his company by a private investor, Jacob’s responsibilities had changed – although his job title had not.  He was now being asked to manage two plants.  With a new location, a distant boss and few peers with whom he could exchange ideas about modernising the plants, he was not best placed to step up to the leadership challenge.

Jacob saw himself as a demanding, hands-on leader; his direct reports were tired of his constant  micro-management and bad temper. He knew he should be focused on strategic issues such as how best to expand the business, how to increase collaboration, and how to anticipate the fast changing market. But, somehow he never got to it. His solution was to try to set aside two hours of uninterrupted thinking time every day. With the constant fire-fighting and cross-functional conflicts at the factories, it wasn’t working.

Many executives like Jacob believe that if they just carve out more time to think, they will have more and better strategic ideas.

This is not only wishful thinking, it’s backward thinking.

We are much more likely to act our way into a more strategic way of thinking, than to think our way into strategic action.

As I explain in my book, Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader, what Jacob is lacking is not thinking time but “outsight” – the fresh, external perspective we can get when we do new and different things – plunge ourselves into new projects and activities, interact with very different kinds of people, and experiment with new ways of getting things done – and then observe the results of our actions. Reflection wasn’t going to help him because his deep-seated way of thinking was precisely what was keeping him from making the behavioural adjustments necessary for leadership. Jacob and other potential leaders can gain “outsight” from three critical sources:

  • New ways of doing your work (your job)
  • New relationships (your network)
  • New ways of connecting and engaging people (your self)

The Competency Trap

To be successful, Jacob first needs to redefine his job by shifting his focus from improving current factory operations to creating a shared strategic vision among his functional peers so that his manufacturing operations are better aligned with organisational priorities.  He has typically fallen into the competency trap of doing what he does and likes best. He needs to move away from the comfort and urgency of the old familiar routine and to start to prioritise activities that will make him more attuned to his outside environment.

We all like to do what we already do well.  Sports coaches tell us that amateur golfers spend too much time practicing their best swings, at the expense of the aspects of their game that need more work.  Likewise, every year, we see the downfall of yet another company that was once the undisputed leader in a given product, service or technology, but that missed the boat when a new, disruptive technology came along.

That is precisely what happens when we let the operational “day job” crowd out our engagement in more strategic activities.  Like athletes and companies, managers and professionals overinvest their strengths under the false assumption that what produced their past successes will necessarily lead to future wins. We fall into a competency trap when these three things occur:

  • We enjoy what we do well, so we do more of it and we get better at it.
  • When we allocate more time to what we do best, we devote less time to learning other things that are also important.
  • Over time it gets more costly to invest in learning to do new things.

Like most of us, Jacob came to define his jobs in terms of his core strengths and skills. Moving forward he needs to make the transition from work firmly rooted in his own functional knowledge to work that depends on guiding diverse parties, many outside his direct control, to a shared goal—that is, the work of leadership.

Becoming a Bridge

The most valuable role that Jacob can play is to be a bridge or linchpin between the production environment and the rest of the organisation.  The exchanges and interactions with a diverse array of current and potential stakeholders are not distractions from his real work but are actually at the heart of his new role.  As experienced leaders understand, lateral and vertical relationships with other functional and business unit managers are a critical lifeline for figuring out how our contributions fit into the overall picture and how to sell our ideas, learn about relevant trends and compete for resources.

Vivienne Cox is a classic example of the leader as a bridge between her team and the relevant parties outside her team.  When she took charge of a newly formed Gas, Power and Renewables group at BP, she inherited a number of small, “futuristic” but peripheral businesses, including solar and wind energy and hydrogen gas. A neophyte on alternative energy, Cox gathered inputs from a broad group of outsiders to her group and company to analyse the business environment and to brainstorm ideas. These conversations brought to light the urgency of moving away from a purely petroleum-based business model.  Her success is well documented.

No matter what kind of organisation you work in, team leaders who scout ideas from outside the group, seek feedback from and coordinate with a range of outsiders, monitor the shifting winds within the organisation, and obtain support and resources from top managers outperform those who dedicate themselves solely to managing inside the team. Part of the secret of their success is that all their bridging activity gives them the outsight they need to develop a point of view on their business, see the big picture organisationally, and set direction accordingly.

Be More Playful with Your Self

Moving into a bigger leadership role usually involves a shift from having good ideas to selling them to diverse stakeholders. But Jacob, like many inexperienced leaders, finds the process of getting buy-in distasteful and “inauthentic” because it feels artificial and political to him; he believes that his work should stand on its own merits.

As much as transitions require us to move way beyond our comfort zones, they can also trigger a strong countervailing impulse to protect our past identities. We easily retreat to old habits, especially those that have been rewarded in the past.

Making significant changes, not just in what we do but how we do it, requires a playful frame of mind. I recommend that people think of leadership development as “playing with” rather than “working on” their identity (which, let’s face it, is not much fun). When we adopt a playful attitude, we’re more open to a diverse, even divergent, set of possibilities. It’s OK to be inconsistent from one day to the next.  We’re not being a fake. That’s just how we figure out what’s right for the new challenges we face. The trick is to work toward a future version of your authentic self by stretching way outside the boundaries of who we are today.

In essence, knowing the kind of leader we’d like to become is not the starting point on our development journey, but rather the result of increasing our outsight.  By redefining our job, network and ourselves – and by acting on all three – we will gain the experiences we need to reflect on and learn from them.  Through this process, our outsight is acquired on what it means to be a leader.

Three subsequent blogs will focus in greater detail on how to start redefining your job; networking across and out; and being more playful with your “self”, together with managing the stepping up process.  Sometimes the journey leads to a major career shift; other times, the transition is internal: you’ve changed the way you see your work and yourself.  Whichever way, the time to start acting is now.

Herminia Ibarra is Professor of Organisational Behaviour and the Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Learning at INSEAD.

Read more at http://knowledge.insead.edu/blog/insead-blog/how-to-act-and-think-like-a-leader-3894#HEMjctsXlGWG6pL0.99

  1. How to break free of our own comperency trap

Who Killed Nokia? Nokia Did

Quy Huy, INSEAD Professor of Strategy and Timo Vuori, Assistant Professor of Strategy, Aalto University | September 22, 2015

Despite being an exemplar of strategic agility, the fearful emotional climate prevailing at Nokia during the rise of the iPhone froze coordination between top and middle managers terrified of losing status and resources from management. The company was wounded before the battle began.

Nokia’s fall from the top of the smartphone pyramid is typically put down to three factors by executives who attempt to explain it: 1) that Nokia was technically inferior to Apple, 2) that the company was complacent and 3) that its leaders didn’t see the disruptive iPhone coming.

We argue that it was none of the above. As we have previously asserted, Nokia lost the smartphone battle because of divergent shared fears among the company’s middle and top managers led to company-wide inertia that left it powerless to respond to Apple’s game changing device.

In a recent paper, we dug deeper into why such fear was so prevalent. Based on the findings of an in-depth investigation and 76 interviews with top and middle managers, engineers and external experts, we find that this organisational fear was grounded in a culture of temperamental leaders and frightened middle managers, scared of telling the truth.

Deer in the headlights

The fear that froze the company came from two places. First, the company’s top managers had a terrifying reputation, which was widely shared by middle managers—individuals who typically had titles of Vice President or Director in Nokia. We were struck by the descriptions of some members of Nokia’s board and top management as “extremely temperamental” who regularly shouted at people “at the top of their lungs”. One consultant told us it was thus very difficult to tell them things they didn’t want to hear. Threats of firings or demotions were commonplace.

Secondly, top managers were afraid of the external environment and not meeting their quarterly targets, given Nokia’s high task and performance focus, which also impacted how they treated middle managers. Although they realised that Nokia needed a better operating system for its phones to match Apple’s iOS, they knew it would take several years to develop, but were afraid to publicly acknowledge the inferiority of Symbian, their operating system at the time, for fear of appearing defeatist to external investors, suppliers, and customers and thus losing them quickly. “It takes years to make a new operating system. That’s why we had to keep the faith with Symbian,” said one top manager. Nobody wanted to be the bearer of bad news. However, top managers also invested in developing new technological platforms that they believe could match the iPhone platform in the medium term.

“Top management was directly lied to”

Top managers thus made middle managers afraid of disappointing them—by intimating that they were not ambitious enough to meet top managers’ stretched goals. One middle manager suggested to a colleague that he challenged a top manager’s decision, but his colleague said “that he didn’t have the courage; he had a family and small children”.

Fearing the reactions of top managers, middle managers remained silent or provided optimistic, filtered information. One middle manager told us “the information did not flow upwards. Top management was directly lied to…I remember examples when you had a chart and the supervisor told you to move the data points to the right [to give a better impression]. Then your supervisor went to present it to the higher-level executives. There were situations where everybody knew things were going wrong, but we were thinking, “Why tell top managers about this? It won’t make things any better.” We discussed this kind of choice openly.”

This shared fear was exacerbated by a culture of status inside Nokia that made everyone want to hold onto power for fear of resources being allocated elsewhere or being demoted and cast aside if they delivered bad news or showing that they were not bold or ambitious enough to undertake challenging assignments.

Innovation impotence

The high external fear among top managers and high internal fear among middle managers led to a decoupling of perceptions between the two groups of top and middle managers about how quickly Nokia could launch a new smartphone and develop advanced software to match the iPhone. Given the optimistic signals coming from the middle managers, top managers had no qualms about pushing them harder to catch up with Apple—after all, top managers were only stretching targets. Fearful that Nokia would lose its world dominance and post weak financial results, top managers exerted pressure on middle managers to deliver a touchscreen phone quickly. They acknowledged this in interviews with us. “The pressure we put on the Symbian software organisation was insane, because the commercial realities were so pressing. You must have something to sell” said one top manager.

A leader from the MeeGo organisation, which was set to be the successor technological platform to Symbian said, “we spoke of a delay of at least six months, if not a year. But top managers said ‘let’s go, you have to run faster.’”

Beyond verbal pressure, top managers also applied pressure for faster performance in personnel selection. They later admitted to us that they favoured new blood who displayed a “can do” attitude.

This led middle managers to over promise and under deliver. One middle manager told us that “you can get resources by promising something earlier, or promising a lot. It’s sales work.” This was made worse by the lack of technical competence among top managers, which influenced how they could assess technological limitations during goal setting.

As one middle manager pointed out to us, at Apple the top managers are engineers. “We make everything into a business case and use figures to prove what’s good, whereas Apple is engineer-driven.” Top managers acknowledged to us that “there was no real software competence in the top management team”.

The final blow

Nokia therefore ended up allocating disproportionate attention and resources to the development of new phone devices for short-term market demands at the expense of developing the operating system required to compete with Apple.

The quality of Nokia’s high-end phones thus gradually declined. In 2007, Nokia launched the N95 smartphone, which had full music features, GPS navigation, a large screen (albeit not a touch screen) and full internet browsing capability. Software compromises were accepted to get it ready on time. It was a success, but serious quality problems soon emerged.

In 2008, Nokia launched its first touchscreen phone, the 5800, at a lower price point than the iPhone. It was a commercial success but it was about “one and a half years late” because of software development problems. In 2009, the N97 was launched to overthrow the iPhone, but one top manager admitted the phone was “a total fiasco in terms of the quality of the product.”

In 2010 came the purported “iPhone killer” with a touchscreen, one year later than planned, but it underperformed in usability and failed to match up to the sleek competition of iOS and Android. A new CEO—Stephen Elop–hired later that year decided that Nokia would be better off buying software from elsewhere and formed an alliance with Microsoft in 2011. As we know, this move accelerated the company’s decline and Microsoft went on to acquire Nokia’s phone business in 2013. The market value of Nokia declined by about 90% in just six years, hovering around 100 billion US dollars.

Despite its enormous R&D firepower, its technical prowess and foresight — Nokia’s patents still generated about US$600 million a year paid by its thriving rivals like Apple and Samsung — Nokia’s ultimate fall can be put down to internal politics. In short, Nokia people weakened Nokia people and thus made the company increasingly vulnerable to competitive forces. When fear permeated all levels, the lower rungs of the organisation turned inward to protect resources, themselves and their units, giving little away, fearing harm to their personal careers. Top managers failed to motivate the middle managers with their heavy-handed approaches and they were in the dark with what was really going on.

While modest fear might be healthy for motivation, using it indiscriminately can be like overusing a drug, which risks generating harmful side effects. To reduce this risk, leaders should be attuned to the varied emotions of the collective. As Huy pointed out in other research, those able to identify varied collective emotions are seen as effective transformational leaders. Leaders can develop a collective emotional capability in their organsations. Fear can only be a useful motivator if management can provide workers with the means to address these fears. Nokia’s top managers should have encouraged and role modeled more authentic and psychologically safe dialogue, internal coordination and feedback mechanisms to understand the true emotional picture in the organisation. They might then have been able to better gauge what was possible and what was not, and most importantly, what to do about it.

image: http://knowledge.insead.edu/sites/www.insead.edu/files/images/quy-huy.jpeg

Quy Huy is Professor of Strategy at INSEAD. He is also Programme Director of the Strategy Execution Programme, part of INSEAD’s suite of Executive Development Programmes. 


Timo Vuori is an assistant professor in strategic management at Aalto University, Finland.

Read more at http://knowledge.insead.edu/strategy/who-killed-nokia-nokia-did-4268#hjkVibawJVVQwo7v.99

David Cheriton

Source: http://engineering.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/Stanford_Alumni_Innovation_Survey_Report_102412_1.pdf
David Cheriton

Video interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCIiQoPDFjc

If entrepreneurship is a battlefield of David against Goliath, Stanford professor David Cheriton is battle-tested. Coming to Stanford from Canada was a culture shock for the computer science professor, serial entrepreneur and angel investor who found an exhilarating environment of people working in a university setting, then leaving to launch companies.

Cheriton was interested in finding solutions to “real problems—things that people actually cared about” and also in the “technology transfer process” in which ideas from the lab could be turned into solutions and products for the general public. This didn’t always happen in the research world, he found, where research papers, not products, were often the end result.

Cheriton has had experience moving ideas from academia to commercial reality. In 1995 he and Stanford alumnus Andy Bechtolsheim founded Granite Systems to build Gigabit Ethernet switches. In 1996, Granite was acquired by networking giant Cisco Systems. Five years later, the pair co-founded Kealia, which was acquired by Sun in 2004. Currently, they are working on their third startup, Arista Networks, co-founded in 2004 and a leader in high-speed cloud networking.

To succeed in their many ventures, Cheriton and Bechtolsheim needed to identify both cutting-edge research ideas and market opportunities. Cheriton advises that the entrepreneurial experience is not always linear and the ability to adapt and change is crucial to a market opportunity.
If you’re David going out into the battlefield with many Goliaths, you don’t want just one slingshot. When you start a company, you have to have at least one good thing going for you, but it’s a lot better to have two or three. You can’t have just one reason to found a company, you have to have several,” he said. “You need to know what the market is doing, the state of the technology, and something about the competition.”
As an example, Cheriton recalls Google creators Larry Page and Sergey Brin coming to him for advice shortly after Granite Systems had been acquired. “Their original interest was in licensing their software.” Cheriton’s advice was that licensing the software was the wrong approach. “I told them, ‘it’s your baby. Unless you raise it, nothing will happen.’ ”

Page and Brin worked on fleshing out their idea and came back a year later asking how they could raise money. He and Bechtolsheim both became early investors. “With Larry and Sergey, we met at the front porch of my house in Palo Alto and at that first meeting, Andy was the first person who wrote a check without any further deliberation. There was no business plan and Google was not even incorporated, but the idea of better search seemed to have potential.”
“I never would have guessed it would grow to this size and this level of success,” Cheriton admits. In fact, at the time it wasn’t even evident to him that it would succeed. A number of companies had tried to be search engine companies, and basically the conclusion was that that was not a business.

Fortunately, Page and Brin ignored that common wisdom. Cheriton said, “I recall some advice I got from a theater instructor years ago. He said ‘whenever anybody comes to me and asks whether they should be in theater, I say no because if they take no for an answer, then they shouldn’t be in theater. If they say screw you I’m going to go there anyway, then at least there’s some hope.”

Starting a business includes responsibility, said Cheriton. “I’ve seen a few companies where they’ve run out of money, they’re shutting down and people have put heart and soul in it. You just don’t go into this lightly. You really have to be committed to making it work. I think that’s the number one element.”
Another great challenge is building a team. The greatest way to reduce the risk is to bring in people you already know and work well with. There is a tremendous value in remembering that as you go through Stanford and use every opportunity to get to know people. I sometimes tell my students that one of the most valuable things you get out of a class is the people you meet in the class.”

IoT: Some charts

Raise your Digital Quotient



This series explores how companies can create the strategies, culture, organization, and capabilities that put digital at the core of the enterprise.

Click here

The Future of Data Warehousing: ETL Will Never be the Same

Live Webinar

Join Ralph Kimball as he dives into the Kaiser Permanente use case and the future of data warehouse ETL.

DATE October 5, 2015
TIME 10am – 11am PT Register Now

Traditional data warehouse ETL has become too slow, too complicated, and too expensive to address the torrent of new data sources and new analytic approaches needed for decision making. The new ETL environment is already looking drastically different.

In this webinar, Ralph Kimball, founder of the Kimball Group, and Manish Vipani, Vice President and Chief Architect of Enterprise Architecture at Kaiser Permanente will describe how this new ETL environment is actually implemented at Kaiser Permanente. They will describe the successes, the unsolved challenges, and their visions of the future for data warehouse ETL.