Mr. Lucas Oliveira Muldoon - taking a snooze
I was just flipping through the just-released FBI file on Steve Jobs. Among the numerous references to his drug use, out-of-wedlock daughter, and lawsuits, shows his high school record:
Fremont Union High School District provided a copy of the transcript for STEVEN P. JOBS … JOBS attended Homestead High School until June 15, 1972, at which time he graduated. He earned an overall grade point average of 2.65 on a 4.0 scale.
Recall that Jobs went on to Reed College (before dropping out), which is now a highly-selective national college. If he were to apply again today, he would never have been admitted — only 1% of current Reed students had a high school GPA below 3.0. Of course, there’s grade inflation — but still, I appreciate remembering that smart and ambitious people can do well without the obsessive focus on that one magic number.
I’ll continue the thought when I write up some reflections from my second year of interviewing high-achieving New York City high schoolers for Harvard, next time.
So I’m watching a video of Stanford professor Steve Blank sum up his class on entrepreneurship, through Stanford’s Entrepreneurship Corner (AWESOME resource). It’s the end of the semester, and he’s talking about all the guests who have come to speak. There are some startup entrepreneurs, the CTO from Sun Microsystems, VCs, etc. The big Silicon Valley players.
And then — Chamillionaire, the Houston rapper known for “Ridin’ Dirty”! He apparently participated in Stanford’s Globation Innovation Tournament.
I’ve personally always liked Chamillionaire’s tunes, ever since someone gave me a discarded copy of The Sound of Revenge CD in the summer of ‘06. I even taught one of his songs in my English class in Brazil. So even though it was such a random appearance, props to Stanford for bringing in some new characters.
Steve Blank video: http://ecorner.stanford.edu/authorMaterialInfo.html?mid=2327
Video of Chamillionaire at Stanford (with a pretty funny moment at 2:35 where he reveals his modestly hidden chain under his shirt):
I am using Khan Academy to brush up on my calculus and physics in preparation for some challenging math and electronics courses next semester. First of all, in case anyone out there didn’t realize this, Khan Academy absolutely a treasure to the world. If it weren’t for these videos, I’d either be hunting around online for bits and pieces of this material, with no guide whatsoever as to the quality and accessibility, or I’d be studying from textbooks, which even for a nerd like me, wear me out. The Khan videos, on the other hand, are split into convenient 10-minute chunks and they are amazingly easy to follow and well-explained. I just finished an electricity video and noticed this comment at the bottom:
I have been using Khan Academy for a few months. I have been using it to learn advanced calculus, differential equations and linear algebra. I am also watching the physics playlist and the cosmology playlist which are equally as interesting.
I really like the videos since you make such seemingly complicated concepts so easy to understand, even to a 12 year old like me. Thank you so much for the videos and how much time you devote to education.
I have a request. Could you please do videos on advanced topics like Differential Geometry, Clifford Algebra, Lie Algebra, Exterior calculus, Tensor Algebra, Fourier Transforms, Quantum mechanics, Special and General relativity and Quantum field theory?
This kid is 12 years old.
Good video interview with Facebook’s first investor and the backer of the “20 under 20” initiative to encourage smart kids to start companies instead of go to college. He thinks that innovation is dead in America, and the solution is really a political message about encouraging everyone to do their part.
From a BusinessWeek article this week:
The Green Bay Packers are a historical, cultural, and geographical anomaly, a publicly traded corporation in a league that doesn’t allow them, an immensely profitable company whose shareholders are forbidden by the corporate bylaws to receive a penny of that profit…
When you talk to Packer management, you start to realize that success is a tribute to the careful, constant maintenance of two things: the product on the field and the community’s warm feelings about that product. “It starts with football,” says Murphy. “We structure the organization in a way that we can be successful on the field. But a big part of it is also remembering that this team has a special place in this community. We’re owned by this community. We can’t be perceived as gouging the fans.”
I’m in the middle of thinking through a lot of the non-profit/for-profit issues in the education space, and I wish I understood the football industry, because Green Bay seems like a fascinating case study.
My first thought is that the Packers have “done well by doing good.” By prioritizing fans and the community, they created a brand and a customer relationship that has become extremely lucrative. It doesn’t seem like there’s anything stopping heads of for-profit teams from doing the same.
But then you get a chicken-and-egg issue: if the team doesn’t already have great fans and a great brand, where to start? By winning games? But you really have to take a long view to cultivate a whole talent system over time, which is tough, especially when ownership changes and neither fans nor shareholders are necessarily willing to give new owners a long time to get results.
I see this as two interconnected cycles: long-term performance and branding/loyalty. When you can get both cycles going together positively, they are mutually reinforcing. When fans are engaged with their teams and expect results, there is additional pressure for teams to deliver; when teams deliver, fans become more engaged.
Loyalty and performance don’t always go together — in baseball, the Cubs have high loyalty/poor performance, the Florida Marlins have high performance/low loyalty. But those are exceptional cases — Cubs have a beloved stadium, Marlins don’t really have a hometown (just a home state). But it seems like in most cases, you have to work on both at the same time.
So to get back to Green Bay — given fan ownership, they have a tremendous, ingrained traditions of loyalty and long-term focus, so they really don’t need the profit motive to incent management to cultivate them.
New Radiohead remixes, excellent music to work at home to.