1 min read

A Business Mind

From Tina Seelig’s talk on “What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20”:

… I also have the honour of participating in the new Stanford
D-School, the design institute. Last quarter, I was invited to teach
one week on entrepreneurship. So I figured out how do I distill this
down, this concept of turning problems into opportunities, into one
I gave each of the 14 teams an envelope with seed funding. It
contained, you’re not going to believe this, a total of 5 dollars.
Every time had as much as they wanted from Wednesday afternoon to
Monday morning to brainstorm and do whatever they wanted. But as
soon as they opened the envelope, they had 2 hours to make as much
money as possible.
This was about identifying opportunities and creating value.
On Sunday night, they had to give me one powerpoint slide to
describe what they did and how much they made. And on Monday, they
get to do a 3-minute pitch to the class on what they had done.
Think about it for a second and think what YOU might do? If you had
5 dollars and 2 hours. How much money do you think they could have
Well, the winning teams brought in well over 600 dollars. And the
average amount that was brought in was 200.
The trick is that the teams that made the most money did not use
those 5 dollars. These were ideas that they looked around and found
these incredible opportunities lying on the floor.
So, the winning team that made 650 dollars, they challenged all the
assumptions. They sold their 3-minute pitch time in class on Monday
to a company that wanted to recruit the students in the class. But
guess what? They were incredibly successful.
And there were more teams like this. For example, this other team…

The rest of the video is on the Stanford