In this Friday’s Five I wanted to share some resources that have added a lot to my understanding of business, startups, and venture capital. Two points upfront:
- The Internet (especially YouTube) has become a huge equalizer for startups and small businesses. Ten years ago, the information that is shared on the channels listed below was very difficult, if not impossible, to come by. Now it is available to everyone willing to learn, and don’t write off YouTube as a learning tool. The first channel I recommend below is the entire semester for a Stanford computer science course.
- At first blush, it may seem that the channels are focused on tech startups, but the lessons and general business discussions are great for any business owner running any type of company, in any industry.
So here are five YouTube channels I recommend every employer/entrepreneur should follow:
Sam Altman, the President of Y Combinator, conducted this class for Stanford’s computer science school. He brought in some of the preeminent investors and entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley as guest lecturers for the class. All 20 lecturers are on YouTube, so no need to be a student at Stanford. I’ve watch all of the lectures, but some of the best ones that are definitely worth the time to watch are:
I have to be honest, I did not like Gary Vaynerchuk when I first came across him a few years ago while he was growing his wine business into a $60 million business. However, his Ask Gary Vee Show has been very insightful for social media marketing. He has recognized recently that his persona may turn a few people off, but he has taken steps to regulate it a bit more. However, as he regularly professes, everyone needs to be their true self, and he does not hide who he is. I have to admit that I thought social media was not for me, or for lawyers for that matter, but as Gary points out that social is part of marketing now, and every business must engage in social. Another major takeaway I learned from him, it does not hurt to try new social media platforms and learn how they work, there is simply no downside to trying and learning.
Stanford’s School of Business places great content in shorter segments (less than 10 minutes) on a wide range of business topics. The videos are produced with regular consistency, and cover a wide range of topics. Recently, one video discusses Human Resources issues that face a startup – posted below. Consider this channel your continuing business education.
Foundation is a series of interviews of entrepreneurs by Kevin in an informal setting. The first 15 or so interviews are must watches. For entrepreneurs, it is great to hear the stories of successful entrepreneurs and the struggles they had. For business owners, the series provides insights into how these individuals started, managed, and grew their businesses.
Mark Suster is a venture capitalist at Upfront Ventures in Pasadena. He interviews guests about startup issues and investing with a focus on technology. His blog, Both Sides of The Table is also a good read for anyone interested in venture capital, and the Los Angeles tech scene.
Also, I have to add my YouTube channel to the list as well. If you have any questions or topics you would like to have me cover in a video, please reach out to me on Twitter at @anthonyzaller or email me.