Last weekend the University held its 121st commencement ceremony in Stanford Stadium. The ceremony not only marks a milestone in the life of each graduate, but it is the moment each of these students join the ranks of Stanford alumni that go on to change the world.
As well as leaving an incredible legacy during their time on The Farm, many of these new alumni will choose entrepreneurship as the way of creating impact on all of our lives. In honor of our newest grads, and the great things we know are sure to come, here is a collection of entrepreneurial insights from some prominent Stanford alums.
Finding the Problem is the Hard Part
Instagram Co-Founder Kevin Systrom believes building solutions for most problems is the easy part; the hard part is finding the right problem to solve. Of course, once you solve the problem in an elegant way, good things can happen.
Here he opens up about how he and fellow Co-Founder Mike Krieger (both Stanford Mayfield Fellows) identified the problems they wanted to solve around sharing photos through mobile devices. Systrom also reminds entrepreneurs to embrace simple solutions, as they can often delight users and customers.
Learn More by Starting at the Bottom
Acclaimed film and television producer Gale Anne Hurd tells the story of leaving a role in marketing to take an entry-level position on a film set, based on a promise she received from a fellow Stanford grad, legendary filmmaker Roger Corman.
It was hard to watch Stanford peers in other industries succeeding during this period, says Hurd, but she values the decision she made to accept the challenge of starting over, making herself indispensible on movie sets and earning the respect of her colleagues.
You Must Take Intelligent Risks
LinkedIn Co-Founder and Stanford alum Reid Hoffman articulates why individuals and companies who do not take intelligent risks will eventually marginalize themselves over time. To completely avoid risk, says Hoffman, is to avoid the moments of incredible opportunity that successful entrepreneurs strive for.
Hoffman describes why companies must take risks to create breakout products and innovations. He also shares the importance of holding and testing contrarian views throughout the entrepreneurial process.
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