Stanford

Use Posterous at Graduation to Create an Instant, Collaborative Event Photo Album

Before you hit the ceremonies and post-grad party scene, make sure your iPhone is photo-ready with the best iPhone app for group celebrations. Posterous for the iPhone lets you create a event photo album to which everyone attending your event can share, instantly and effortlessly. It’s perfect for graduation because all the photos are showcased in a beautiful archive for later viewing.

I wish something like Posterous had existed when I was in college. Every class I was in, every dorm I lived in, every group I was a part of had an email list. But it was a dumb list serve, and I have none of those emails today.

How cool would it be if today I could:

  • View the photos everyone took at each dorm I lived in
  • See the old handouts and assignments from the classes I took
  • Relive the memories from all the amazing basketball and football games I attended

It’s 2011 and it’s still too hard to share photos together.

But we’re getting there. You can use Posterous for the iPhone to create a collaborative photo site based around a location. Very cool for an event like graduation! Check it out.

More info is here.

Hail, Stanford, Hail

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Stanford is one of the most beautiful campuses in the world. I love being on The Farm, surrounded by so many incredible memories.

This past weekend, Kate and I attended the wedding of our friends Geoff and Evan. It was a beautiful ceremony in Memorial Church, a super fun reception at the faculty club, and an after party that went long into the night. I loved it when “All Right Now” played at the reception.

Stanford’s a bubble, but it’s a bubble I love being inside.

Does business school teach people how to assert power, before they’re actually ready to be leaders?

Last week Trinity Ventures had a CEO leadership dinner, which included a really great talk by Dr. Deborah Gruenfeld, Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Dr. Gruenfeld’s talk was titled, “Acting with Power”. She explained how behavioral cues affect perceived levels of power.

  • You can demonstrate authority when communicating with someone through body language. For example, expanding your body to take up as much space as possible, making direct eye contact, and speaking slowly.
  • Even if you are in a situation with power, there might be times you want to “play low” in order to get what you want. You bring yourself down to the level of the other person. 

There was some role playing, including a situation where someone played a manager in need of work and someone else played the assistant. By not calling the assistant by name, by not looking them in the eye, by not even waiting for a response before storming off, the manager could assert power over the assistant and get stuff done.

Dr. Gruenfeld teaches this stuff to business school students at Stanford. So I left with one big question:

Should business school students be taught how to act with power, before they have earned it?

I was never formally taught how to communicate with people, regardless of power level. I learned from watching my dad, through my managers at Apple, through trial and error. I still don’t claim to be great at it, but I learn more each time I speak. If I talk to a customer at my dad’s restaurant, a teller at a bank, or a bouncer at a Las Vegas club, I act differently to try to get what I want.

Last year when we bought our house, the then-property manager of the unit was terrible, he almost ruined the sale. Yet I played down to him, bought him a six pack of beer, often blamed mistakes on my lack of knowledge, always gave him the benefit of the doubt so that he would stay on my side and help me. On the inside, I knew he was a moron.

 

It seems wrong to me that business school students are being taught how to act in situations they have never been in, how to assert their power over people, perhaps before they even have any.

Silicon Valley startups have a bias against business school graduates. As engineers, we like to think that great innovation means coming up with interesting ideas and actually building them. Young business school students sometimes come off too strong, too cocky. Young product managers talk down to engineers. Could classes like this one be causing that?

Business school should stick to teaching the mechanics of running a successful business as much as possible, and leave the psychology out of it. The interpersonal part of running a company is best learned organically, with experience.

Simply teaching people how to assert power over people and then sending them off into the real world seems a lot like the Stanford Prison Experiment.

You should follow me on Twitter here.

Stanford School of Medicine is giving an iPad to all first-year medical students

The School of Medicine in August undertook a trial program for iPad use by distributing the device to 91 first-year medical and master’s of medicine students. Charles Prober, senior associate dean for medical education, noted growing challenges from the rapid flow of information, which the iPad’s mobility and graphics might manage better.

Integrated iPads as part of the education process is a larger hurdle than the cost. Kudos to Stanford for thinking forward.

Photos from Chris and Connie’s wedding

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A really incredible wedding in Huntington Beach, CA on July 4th weekend. Beautiful ceremony overlooking the ocean, and then a super fun reception. It was a great gathering of many old friends from Stanford. Congratulations, Chris and Connie!
 
Somehow I’m actually in a lot of these photos (which is rare). Eric had my camera for much of the night, and others as well I think.

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