Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Stanford Re-cap

What a week! I (Eric) am now safely back in Palo Alto and just wanted to reflect a bit on the incredible week that my teammates and I had in New Orleans.

First, it was awesome experience working with Jen at Drop the Chalk. Jen has an incredible mix of domain expertise (teaching, computer science) and business savvy and she's targeting a need that absolutely must be addressed. Jen's tool is spot on in terms of what needs to change in education - analysis of student performance done in a way that frees up time for teachers. Here's Dave and Leonard hanging out with the boss.

From my perspective it was great working to help along such an important product. If I can give some credit to my teammates, I think the Stanford team did an awesome job of opening up some growth avenues for Jen's products and figuring out a plan to get the company from A to B. Of course we left town with lots of work to be done (Jen at 7pm on Thursday night: "I think you guys are off to a great start!"), but I think the right questions were raised and the path forward is a little clearer. The picture to the left is of Rachel bringing us home in our presentations.

Finally, what can I say to adequately describe my new found love of New Orleans? I'm not quite sure if it was the food (crawfish, gumbo, oysters, catfish, Mr. B's, Cafe Dumonde), the people (hospitality from the Beers and James Carville/Mary Matalin) the fun (Trombone Shorty, betting it all on red at Harrahs, mint juleps) or the entrepreneurial spirit that came up nearly everywhere, but this city is DEFINITELY on a roll. I have a completely different perspective on what can be accomplished down in New Orleans. It's incredible and it's contagious!

Thanks again to Drop the Chalk, the Idea Village, Berkeley, Cornell, Northwestern, Chicago, the local schools and my teammates for making it such a memorable and rewarding week. I'll definitely be back soon...

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