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In The Media

I Taught Stanford Engineering 145 and Got Called Paris Hilton

by Larry Chiang on August 20, 2013

Engineering 145, “#ENGR145’s” 4, 3, 2 formula and this video moves you to the right on the entrepreneur bell curve
Larry Chiang’s book, What They Don’t Teach You at Stanford Business School (WTDTYASBS), helps you rise and differentiate from the rest of the Ivy league. The hashtag, ‘#WTDTYASBS’ is a result of executing Mark McCormack’s, book, “What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School“. It was penned in the early 80s. Larry Chiang launches at SXSW and New York Fashion Week regularly. Duck9 mentors students 17-24 years old to get a FICO well over the 90th percentile of credit scores. In Cambridge, you’ve seen “What They Don’t Teach You at Stanford Business School” and “Lets Succeed at SXSW ” in “Harbus”. If you’re a public school student…, Harbus is like the Daily Illini, but at Harvard (see their B-school’s blog).This is why Larry Chiang was called the Paris Hilton of Silicon Valley…

“NY Fashion Week looks great from the front row.”
– Larry Chiang, CEO
By Larry Chiang

After teaching a class called Engineering 145, a student called me, “Paris Hilton of Silicon Valley“. I am writing a blog about this because there is genius and street smarts to be gleaned before and after you take Stanford Engineering, E145.

And like all comedy and criticism, there are slivers of truth!

The initial reason, I was called that was because I carry my dog in a bag. I love him. He loves parties. But lets us focus on the entrepreneurship lessons and bullet point some incredible startup insights. NOTE: I won’t refute or argue the label. Its pretty accurate.

-1- He took my class and received a non “A+”

The dreaded Stanford “A-“. I know because I couldn’t dole out an A+ when you do not launch. Engineering 145 is about distributing something that you engineer. It is not ‘nail the PowerPoint’ and t-a-l-k.

-2- He did not learn the entrepreneur concept of sequel.

A sequel is part of the above video. The video and the concept of sequel helps you avoid failure. It helps you shift to the right side of the bell curve. If you think there are new ideas, you’re sorely mistaken. Someone before you has had your idea way before you did.

For example:
Apple. Mouse driven User Interface was at Xerox (haha, literally)
Facebook. Hot or Not; but for Harvard girls.
SnapChat. See Mission Impossible TV shows in the 1960s. “This massage will self-destruct”

err, message. Darn that autocorrect.

If you believe something to be invented as 100% original, you’re The Sucker. Name the founder and I will name the 2-10 ‘prequels’. Wright brothers had six mentors. The invention of flying had 6 prequels. The stuff that gets adoption has a story spun about its beginnings…
Back. On. Focus. Me and Paris Hilton know: The critical two axis are ‘money versus time’. Sequel concepts help companies live longer and make more money. More below on sequels… (because ENGR145 thrives on DJ-ing the work of others and DJ-ing API’s. By thrive, I mean you can choose to succeed by building something on top of something that exists!!)
-3- He then wrote a Quora.
Quora is a question and answer site that is popular in the 94025 (Sand Hill Road). It’s also a pretty good tool to rip on people anonymously 😀

-4- He removed the sequel passage.

He said in the Quora thesis: “How is Larry Chiang like Paris Hilton”

“piggybacking off people and institutions of real success. One prime example: He once clearly recommended our class to build businesses off of existing businesses and replicate names similar to existing brands. I don’t remember what term he made up for that approach.”
Google “WP Engine” -It hosts WordPress sites as a hosting service.
Google “Stanford Law Review” – Its a sequel to Harvard Law Review because Peter Thiel was at the 94305 in law school. And not cambridge. If he were in HLS, he would have written, “What They Do Teach You At CS 183 Because He Taught That.”
Google “Federal Express” –Its a sequel business to the post office that is not very federal.
-5- This is the passage that was removed
“Piggybacking off people and institutions of real success. One prime example: He once clearly recommended our class to build businesses off of existing businesses and replicate names similar to existing brands. I don’t remember what term he made up for that approach.”
-6- This is the concept of sequel that I didn’t convey to the Internet complainer (you will have to google the hashtags) 
Sequels help you to do 
– 13 Gua Gua Guacamole recipes. Guacamole is a great metaphor because the majority of people consume instant guacamole. I encourage “guacamole recipe hacking”
Before you google, there’s is video that introduces you to these concepts which hinge on the concept of “sequel”. Yes it’s the video above called, “Lemonade and Gua Gua Guacamole
-7- Cross the Chasm from the Right

In saying Cross the Chasm, this is entrepreneur speak for “Crossing the Innovation Chasm”. Doing a sequelized concept helps you mitigate risk by pattern iterating. Said in plain English, when you join a parade in-progress, you have a lot less risk. Plus, you practice selling and promoting something that exists. Selling as a sales virgin while simultaneously building a product is pretty near impossible to accomplish as an undergrad who is taking three other classes while also playing a varsity sport called “Football”.

So, effen do a sequel.

There is a ten minute video that sums up my sequelized concept of “Cross the Chasm from the Right”. 
Of course, Geoffrey Moore wrote: “Crossing the Chasm”

Yes, I just innovated a concept that is not mine. This leads perfectly into #ENGR145; Lec 3 “Brainstorming”.

(8) Half-BAKED:

To knowledge activate classroom concepts of brainstorming, we would play, “Three quarters baked“. This is based on the game that VC Dave McClure invented called Half-baked. Remember, in Engineering 145, you must come up with an idea and pitch it to get co-founders.

The way you play half baked is you stand in a circle of 4 -50 people and the goal is to practice pitching companies you just brainstormed. The way it works is one person says a word, the next person says another word. Then the next person in the circle must pitch the two words combined as a startup to the entire circle. The way you play Three quarters baked is that one of the words needs to be a major brand.

get it?! you’re a step closer to being fully baked if you’re three quarters baked!!

Yes, you should do a sequel to a concept that isn’t yours that you master well enough to do a sequelized concept.
Come to think of it…
Hilton Hotels were not the first luxury brand of hotel. They were the first luxury brand of hotel at a moderate price.
CEO of Duck9
Stanford University Entrepreneur in Residence, Emeritus
Duck9 = “Deep Underground Credit Knowledge” 9
125 University Avenue/ 100
Palo Alto CA 94301
650-566-9696 (direct)
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Editor of the BusinessWeek Channel “What They Don’t Teach at Business School”
Read my last 10 tweets at
Author, NY Times Bestseller
“What They Will NEVER Teach You at Stanford Business School” comes out 11-11-14
52 Cards. Two Jokers. What They DO Teach You at Stanford Engineering
Emergency swings and cutting deals as an 9 year old
Duck9 is part of UCMS Inc.

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