Dr. Randy Pausch Farewell Lecture at Carnegie Mellon University

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.

The university has a page where you can order the lecture on DVD. You can also visit Dr. Pausch’s personal site.

Update 10/29/2007

Tom the Architect points to what looks like the full session from his del.icio.us links.

The Physics of Startups – Shai Agassi

One podcast I listen to pretty religiously is the Entrepreneurial Thought Leadership podcast from Stanford University. Recently, Shai Agassi, formerly of SAP gave a talk called The Physics of Startups, which was very interesting.

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.