Thursday, January 15, 2009
Our first thing on the agenda for today was to meet with Guy Kawasaki. Guy was Apple's evangelist (he told everybody about a little brand named Macintosh) when they were first getting off the ground and is a very important, influential person here in the valley. He is a true veteran and we were able to harness a lot of his knowledge during our meeting with him this morning. His career has ranged from an evangelist, venture capitalist and speaker at over 95 events a year.
Stephanie has let me borrow one of his books to read and it has lots of information about being an entrepreneur. It contains information on how to sell, speak publicly and present yourself, raise money and how to build a team. Aside from my reading, there were many pieces from listening to him talk that have stuck with me. He encouraged us that if we feel we have something important to say, say it and say it often. There is so much information out there and what you don't know, you don't know. It can be your job to empower people and help make this world a better place by sharing your talents with the world. It is the ideas of great men and the reality that they let everybody know about them that have established the world we see it as today.
After our talk with Guy we had an hour to kill around Palo Alto so we visited the local Apple store and then walked around downtown.
We then had lunch with Charlene Li, an analyst at Forrester Research and author of the book Groundswell. The book is also written with another analyst and incorporates "practical, data-based strategies for companies that want to harness the power of social technologies like blogs, social networks, and YouTube." There are many opportunities for companies to grow if they properly used these applicatoins. We also talked about how her career started and the difficulties of balancing home life along with work.
After lunch, we walked from downtown to Stanford University and checked out the campus and its bookstore. It was a beautiful day today and I felt a little guilty knowing that everybody back in the midwest is stuck in miserable below zero temperatures. Stanford has a beautiful campus and I am sure pictures are being posted as I am writing now.
After leaving campus we headed to Tesla motors which is a company who first envisioned a car where people could have the look of a sports car along with the economy of a hybrid. What they came up with is a totally electric vehicle that can go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. These cars are incredibly sleek in their design and cost pennies per mile to run. With a price tag around $110,000 I do not forsee myself owning one anytime soon, but they are really cool. In a sence they consider themselves a tech company because the batteries they use to run the cars are litium ion batteries much like the ones we use to run our computers and iPods. Unfortunatly the cars exterior is made of carbon fiber which can also contribute to why bicycles are so damn expensive as well.
The cars themselves are assembled here in the US but with products shipped from all over the world. We were able to see the shop and drivetrain instiliation plants here in Palo Alto.
We then headed to a neat Indian restaurant for dinner with current Google employee and former Luther professor, Craig Cornelius. Dinner was excellent and we will see Craig again tomorrow when we visit the Googleplex and then we are off to Apple in the afternoon and the Sharks game to cap of another awesome day.
Until next time,
Create, inspire and be inspired.