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The Removed Passage from Paris Hilton is the Larry Chiang of Silicon Valley

by Larry Chiang on November 16, 2012

ENGR145’s Anchor Concept: Lemonade and Gua Gua Guacamole

It moves you to the right on the entrepreneur bell curve

By Larry Chiang

Removing passages tells you a lot.

In the hilarious Quora thread of my being Paris Hilton, the anonymous non-Stanford engineering student took ENGR 145. Its a class for technical majors only. He clearly and vehemently took personal offense by airing his grievances on Quora. Remember, in this class, I handed out EVALUATIONS that directly impacted grades.

Let’s examine this non-technical majors shortcoming as it specifically pertains to being street smart. Yes, learning from what the wrong side of the bell-curve is smart.

The student was at odds with an anchor concept (co-founding a sequel) that is designed to get *technical* majors to the successful side of the bell curve.

He said of the concept of doing a sequel to a business that you didn’t co-found:

“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.”

Examples of people doing sequels to businesses abound and are everywhere.

Star Trek –> Star Wars Federal Express –> USPS Thomas Jefferson –> John Locke Wicked, the play –> Wizard of Oz The Bible. Gua Gua Guacamole –> LuluLemon 1SemesterStartup –> ENGR 145 Physics 107 –> ENGR 145 Any romance novel. Any Quentin Tarantino movie is a remake 🙂 Facebook –> HotOrNot for Harvard Google –> “Backrub” w Goto’s business model Apple –> Xerox Parc ENGR 145 at Stanford –> ENGR 145 #WhartonSF

Seasoned executives like VCs listen for how exactly your new business is a sequel to something. A startup is likely to fail. It is incredibly much more likely to fail if you’re creating something from scratch. Remember, VCs have low domain experience. They just listen for “sequelization”

The anchor concepts to ENGR 145 are Lemonade and Gua Gua Guacamole

I clearly failed at reaching the student taking Stanford ENGR 145 in the summer quarter.

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