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What courses in Stanford have highest impact on your career?

by Larry Chiang on November 12, 2015

By Larry Chiang

I was asked to answer this question…

What courses in Stanford have highest impact on your career?

Thanks for the A2A. “Engineering 145, “Technology Entrepreneurship”. E 145 has the highest impact on your career.

Learning the platforms and the frameworks for innovation is useful even if you do not start something. Learning the checklists that mitigate risk is incredibly helpful during the start of your career. Setting the table to be a “purposeful, accidental entrepreneur” is part of a ‘personal business plan’ (session 14/ Lec. 14; #ENGR145).

There is even a lecture of street smarts. When I took it Othman Laraki came in to speak. He laid out his first 17 startup steps. He sold a startup to Twitter. Something that I was not able to wrap my head completely around was “Crossing the Innovation Chasm from the right”. Perhaps, that will be a future dissertation.

Note: There are five different and legendary teachers who taught E145. There are slight variations. It would be wise to take and re-take the class because
– The guest speakers
– OAP (opportunity assesment protocol) get different board member quality execs visiting class
– 5-15% tweaked content per #ENGR145
– Dense content.
– #ENGR145 is the practice of entrepreneurship. Not the perfection of doing a startup.

Similar, offshoot classes [I hashtagged them so you can find them in the RSS feed of Twitter with blog posts, annotated texts and curated YouTube playlist videos]
– #ENGR245 (this is lean launchpad at the D-school.
– #stramgt353 (This is in the b-School)
– #EGR201 (this is at the Stanford in the Ivy called Princeton)
– #ChemEng297 (a chemical engineering startup class)
– and a few others where I cc’d #ENGR145

** Personal opinion START **
Personal opinion: I think there is a need for #ENGR145S (“s” for sequels and sales). When you promote and sell something that you did not engineer or code, you can just compartmentalize failure. Thus, you fail FORWARD. If you sold it, then HOORAY, YOU. If you cannot close or sell them, “Well then you didn’t make it. You CS106b’s TA’s coterm coded that up.”

You also win at #ENGR145S when the executive you’re trying to sell says: “Larry Chiang, I need for that widget to also plug in my Eventbrite CRM. Can you make that happen?” Itd be technical co-founder, promotion class with sales in real money.

** Personal opinion END **

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