Jonna recorded an episode of Oprah in which Dr. Pausch, a Computer Science professor suffering from terminal pancreatic cancer, gives his “farewell lecture”, apparently an exercise at the university where you give a lecture acting as if it was your last. In this case it is. Dr. Pausch provides an extremely inspirational message.
This video is basically a series of excerpts, but inspiring nonetheless.
There were a couple of things that stuck with me out of this talk:
Money for a startup is like air. You shouldn’t be concerned with it unless you are in a vaccuum. In other words, money can’t be the reason you are in business.
The difference between ‘success’ and ‘failure’ for a startup is microscopic. The difference between a Yahoo or Google and a failed startup could be just a matter of a few days
Startups need to use the “gravity” of larger companies to stay alive.
If you are working on anything Web 2.0 right now, its not new anymore. He compared it to a surfer catching the back of a wave. They don’t do it because all of the energy is gone by that point. “No one every caught the back of a wave and hit shore”. You need to catch a wave at its start, to utilize all of its energy. So surfers make a “bet” that the coming wave has the energy to get them to shore. The quote he uses is “If its already in WIRED, its already too late”.
It was a very interesting talk. Check it out if you have some time.
There is a great talk by Googles Marissa Mayer on the Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders podcast (see the Spring 2006 section). Marissa talks a lot about Googles culture and what makes them a great place to work. There are some GREAT things in this podcast. A must listen!