The most amazing thing about the internet is the access it gives us to people and information. From my office in Washougal, Washington, I can listen to some of the smartest people on the planet share their stories. I can engage with people I’ve never met and access an almost unlimited amount of information.
Of the endless possibilities, one of my favorite resources is the Stanford University Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series. Since 2005, I’ve listened to their weekly podcast (while school is in session) and am consistently impressed by the diversity and quality of speakers they are able to attract. One week it could be the CEO of an up and coming tech company, and then be followed by the leader of a non-profit fund. Past speakers include people like Mark Zuckerberg in 2007 (back when it was still called ‘The Facebook’ and they had just launched their photo sharing feature), Steve Young (the former San Francisco 49’s quarterback), Evan Williams (the co-founder of Twitter…before he co-founded Twitter), and William McDonough (Architect, author, and one of Time Magazine’s ‘Hero for the Planet’), among many others.
Over the years, I’ve listened to countless hours of brilliant insight because of this series; I’ve listened to talks while running, on the way to work, road trips, and in lieu of television or radio.
Interestingly, the podcasts I’ve enjoyed the least (you can still learn something) have been from venture capitalists, politicians, and really ‘successful’ CEO’s. There’s something off-putting (to me) about a canned speech or those lacking authenticity. My favorite talks were by the speakers who revealed their shortcomings and how they learned from adversity; the ones that offered experience and thought process over instruction.
At the risk of excluding many worthy talks, in no particular order I offer nine of my favorite talks for your consideration. Give them a listen and let me know what you think.
I’m looking forward to upcoming talk by Sal Khan and learning more about what he’s doing at the Khan Academy, where their mission is to provide a world-class education for anyone anywhere.
Where do you like to go for information?