The week began with Ziv Navoth. If there is anyone who should probably not be given responsibility – of anything – it’s him. The general impression from his clothing and his personality where less than credible. I would not doubt if he was still feeling the effects of the night before as I read it on his face and general disposition.
His insight to business was surface level. One would expect that a person who started several businesses would have formalized at least a few steps, but the way he made it sound was he was extremely lucky. When people say luck was the key to their success, either they are absolutely honest and really do not know anything, or they are holding something back. Therefore, it is hard to say I learned something other than to try my luck at gambling.
David Hochman felt to be the absolute opposite. Clear in thought, direct in presentation, he was able to speak with confidence and intention about the sprouting IT sector in NYC. In addition to his insight to how innovation creates hubs around a particular industry (his example was how universities and business collect talent because of a natural relationship of talent creation and talent need, which emphasizes the belief in being in a city to work in a certain industry), his table on how old and new economic developments (slide 14) added a whole new dimension to how I will look at the business world.
– As a side note, too often do classes stress one type of industry. Whether it is production rates in a factory, strategy of an MNC, or factors to consider for a new company, sometimes the thinking gets silo-ed. How Hochman’s table connects to this note is it draws the current landscape. It demonstrates the changes that have taken place within the passed 20+ years. The shift away from focal centers to diffused societies is the standard of our day. Banks, hubs, and other location dependent businesses are not as critical in the knowledge-based economy. What has not changed is that it helps to be in the same general area. As mentioned, even though Cornell is a top engineering school, it is missing out on some great new thinking because it is so far from the main throughfare.
Combining diffusion and centrality is WeWork, potentially. I know WeWork is just a shared office space, but the potential to generate business is amazing. I saw the office as a collection of dozens of businesses, which could be thought of as dozens of departments of one business in one location. What makes that so amazing is that if people do collaborate, are able to find partners, and are able to team together, there is the very real possibility of doing something greater than what one company could do alone. Having access to all those different minds and experiences is an essential characteristic to collaboration. Whether by chance or fate, people are thrown together in one office, all of them with an entrepreneurial spirit, I would not doubt amazing things could happen. However, it can potentially happen. Being an entrepreneur means being a salesman, which means being personable, approachable, and insightful. These different people from different companies will need to be open enough to share their business in order to do more and greater business.