Passion and Perseverance
Passion and Perseverance (The Book + Highlighted Quotes + Startup Guide)

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Passion and Perseverance

Last updated on 2017-02-20

About the Book

Stanford's Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders lecture series has been one of the most valuable learning experiences of my life. I've listened to every lecture of the past ten years (242 of them) and many of them more than once.

I was, and still am, in awe of the people that they had speak. They were of amazing caliber--truly people having an outsized impact on society--and each and every one of them brought something special. While they did offer plenty of actionable advice it was their stories that provided me inspiration to pursue entrepreneurship full time.

While the lectures most often are centered on business it is the lessons about working on something you are truly passionate about that inspired me most. That coupled with the idea that you can only fail if you stop trying is what led to the title of this collection.

I believe that people looking to start a business or people looking to grow their business will take the most out of the quotes included as that was where my mind was at while listening to them. But there is plenty of career and life advice included that anybody can benefit from hearing.

Everybody gets something different from talks which is why I recommend listening to them if you have the opportunity. If you don't have the time then Passion and Perseverance might help you find the lectures that interest you most.

I want to take a moment to thank Stanford University for providing this amazing lecture series on the Internet for all of us to enjoy, the professors that run it and everybody involved in its organization, and the speakers for generously donating their time so that the students of Stanford and all of us in Internet land can learn from them.

The book is broken up into ten sections (one for each year) with one chapter for each lecture. Most chapters are only a page or two long and contain the quotes that stood out most to me. Business topics covered include:

  • ​Ideas
  • Execution
  • Hiring
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Fundraising
  • Strategy
  • Scaling
  • Motivation
  • Negotiation
  • Pricing
  • Management
  • Networking

Life topics include:

  • ​Passion
  • Perseverance
  • Productivity
  • Family
  • Happiness
  • Dreams
  • Success
  • Balance

"If you're not an interested person you're not an interesting person. Be interested in what is going on in the world (not just what is going on around you)." - Carol Bartz (Autodesk)

​"The harder I work the luckier I get." - Tina Seelig (Stanford)

"Creativity loves constraint." - Marissa Mayer (Google)

"Culture is the most important part of any organization." - Ken Wilcox (Silicon Valley Bank)

"Try and fail but don't fail to try." - Vinod Khosla (Khosla Ventures)

"Be childlike as often as possible. Be childish as little as you can." - Tom Kelley (IDEO)

"There is no substitute for execution." - Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook)

"Great entrepreneurs don't have better ideas, they have better processes." - Eric Ries (Author)

"Make a dent in the universe." - David Heinemeier Hansson (37 Signals)

"If you're going to invest your life and time it had better be a crusade and not just a job." - William Hagstrom (Crescendo Bioscience)

"Be world class at whatever you do." - Ann Miura-Ko (Floodgate Fund)

"Learn from organizations where there is a constant drumbeat of innovation." - Aaron Levie (Box)

"Expect the unexpected and whenever possible be the unexpected." - Jack Dorsey (Square)

"Your best day is always in front of you." - Mark Forchette (OptiMedica)

"Conduct a premortem so you never conduct a postmortem." - Guy Kawasaki (Author)

"Innovation is the only sustainable competitive advantage any company can have." - David Friedberg (The Climate Corporation)

"Now is the best time in the history of the universe to start a company." - Phil Libin (Evernote)

"Create the life you want to create. You'll be better at creating the products you want to create." - Brad Feld (Foundry Group)

"People want to know you care before they care what you know." - Kristina Johnson (Enduring Energy)

"Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for. It is a thing to be achieved." - Jeff Church (Nika Water)

"Do what makes your soul sing." - John Lilly (Greylock)

"A-quality people hire other A-quality people and B-quality people hire C-quality people." - Cindy Padnos (Illuminate Ventures)

"You should never let a crisis go to waste." - Nassim Taleb (Author)

"Play the long game." - Sal Khan (Khan Academy)

"Close doors. You can't be one foot in and one foot out." - Linda Rottenberg (Endeavor)

"Vision is what you are not willing to change." - John Collison (Stripe)

"Solve a problem that you can imagine spending the rest of your life working on." - Joshua Reeves (ZenPayroll)

Table of Contents

  •  
    • Preface
  • Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders 2005-2006
    • Entrepreneurship Viewed as a Tool and When to Use it in Industry & Science
    • Entrepreneurship Within a Marriage
    • The Microfinance of Entrepreneurship
    • The Technology of Podcasting
    • The Passion and Perseverance Behind a Start-up
    • From Harvard to the Facebook
    • From Start-up to Market Dominance in the Field of Surgical Robotics
    • Twenty Years of Experience in Developing Software in Silicon Valley
    • Using Creative Leadership
    • Ten Enduring Success Factors for High Technology Entrepreneurship
    • Two Brothers Building a Company From Scratch
    • Entrepreneurial Leadership Qualities
    • Strategies in the Biopharmaceutical Industry
    • Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy Through the Eyes of an Immigrant
    • Lessons Learned in the Life Sciences Industry
    • Balancing Work and Life
    • Life Inside a Law Firm
    • What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20
    • The Story of Proactiv Solution
    • The Fairy Tale of Innovent and How it Came to Be
    • Secret to Successful Negotiations
    • The Ins and Outs of a Successful Biotechnology Company
    • Nine Lessons Learned about Creativity at Google
    • Groundbreaking Healthcare Initiatives and the Entrepreneurial Minds Behind Them
    • The Contrasts of a Big Company and a Small Start-Up
    • Stimulating Innovation and Creativity in the Workplace
  • Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders 2006-2007
    • Research Lens on Understanding Entrepreneurial Firms
    • Vision, Values & Strategy
    • Founding Prosper, a People-to-People Lending Marketplace
    • A Culture of Making a Difference
    • The New Frontier in Gaming
    • Confessions of a Serial Silicon Valley CEO
    • Words of Wisdom from an Experienced CEO
    • The New Adventures of Old VC’s
    • Changing the Game of Enterprise Software
    • The Dynamic Relationship Between an Entrepreneur and VC
    • Choosing the Entrepreneurial Path
    • 5 Must-Haves of an Entrepreneurial Career
    • An Entrepreneurial Perspective on the Life Sciences Industry
    • The Role of Entrepreneurship in Solving World Problems
    • It’s Your Ship: Lessons in Leadership
    • Phases of a Startup
    • The Physics of Startups
    • Leadership and Choice
    • Overcoming Adversity and Taking Risks
    • Adventures of a Startup CEO: No Guts No Glory
    • Negotiations On and Off the Field
    • Community-Based Organizations
    • The No Jerk Rule
    • The Positive Impact of Entrepreneurship in the American Economy
    • Social Networking 3.0
  • Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders 2007-2008
    • From Venture Capitalist to Entrepreneur
    • Lessons from the Electric Roadster
    • Startups: The Need for Speed
    • The Art of Negotiation
    • The Growth of Solar Ventures
    • Connecting Common Experiences
    • Delivering a Digital Torrent
    • How to Build a Successful Company
    • Angel Investing Revealed
    • Intersection of the Environment and Financial Markets
    • Entrepreneurial Practices for High-Impact Non-Profits
    • The Path to an Acquisition
    • Healthy Entrepreneurship in Medical Devices
    • Representing the Socially Responsible Enterprise
    • Banking on Corporate Culture and Strategy
    • Entrepreneurship That Clicks
    • Concentrated Power in a Global Economy
    • Rewarding Sky-High Innovation
    • Unreeling the Documentary Film
    • The Evolution of Yahoo!
    • The Next Wave of Corporate Philanthropy
    • Under the Microscope: Socially Responsible Biotech
    • A VC Perspective on the Life Sciences
    • Music Artists Go Entrepreneurial
  • Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders 2008-2009
    • Retooling Early Stage Development
    • The Next Wave of Industry: Global Clean Tech
    • Balancing Economy, Equity, and Ecology Through Design
    • The Black Swans of Energy Invention
    • Is Innovation Withering on the Vine?
    • A Cuil Tune-up for Search Engines
    • Young at Heart: How to Be an Innovator for Life
    • 13 Mistakes and 13 Brilliant Strokes
    • The Growth and Bloom of Cooliris
    • Making a Big Company Feel Small
    • A History of Venture Capital
    • Emerging Opportunities in a Post IT Marketplace
    • Innovation as the Crux of Entrepreneurship
    • What is the Next Big Thing?
    • Developing the Future of Home Healthcare
    • Vision Matters
    • Building an Organization, Building a Team
    • Spotlight on Scalability
    • Under the Lid of BioFuelBox
    • The Future of Microsoft, The Future of Technology
    • Inside the Mind of a Reluctant Entrepreneur
    • Clean Tech Challenges and Solutions
    • The Art of Teaching Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders 2009-2010
    • Lessons From China: The Evolution of The Globe’s Largest Search Engine
    • Evangelizing for the Lean Startup
    • Innovation in a Disruptive Environment
    • Responsible Engineering in the Modern Age
    • A Historical Perspective on Semiconductors and Moore’s Law
    • A Serious Take on Internet Game Play
    • Successful Independent Promotion: From Artist to Entrepreneur
    • Fall 2009 Quarter Roundup: What Did We Learn?
    • Evolution of a CEO
    • Unlearn Your MBA
    • Risky Business: Analysis from an Engineering Perspective
    • Entrepreneurial Journeys in Healthcare
    • Panel of Young Entrepreneurs
    • Sharing a Measure of Success
    • People, Passion, Perseverance: You’ve Got Entrepreneurship
    • Success and Failure Drive Innovation
    • Getting to Plan B
    • Collaborative Innovation and a Pull Economy
    • The Ebb and Flow of Clean Tech and Entrepreneurs
    • A Pandora’s Box of Start-up Expertise
    • Investing for Market Strategy and Capital
    • A Panorama of Venture Capital and Beyond
    • The Perfect Storm in MedTech
    • The Diplomacy of Technology
  • Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders 2010-2011
    • Chile: Launching a Global Entrepreneurship Hub
    • Entrepreneurial Lessons: Find Value and Make Impact
    • Solving Problems Makes a Great Business
    • Honest Advice on Starting a Company
    • Leadership and Disruptive Technologies
    • Funding Thunder Lizard Entrepreneurs
    • Customer Focus Builds Global Growth
    • What Great Leaders Do
    • How Ideas Take Flight
    • Social Entrepreneurship Changing Education
    • Delivering Innovation for the Enterprise
    • Following Your Startup Vision
    • Relentless Pursuit of Innovation
    • The Power of Curiosity and Inspiration
    • Live for the Future and Survive Success
    • A Devotion to New Ideas
    • Creating Enchantment
    • Effective Models for Sustainable Growth
    • A New Vision for Capital Markets
    • How to Build Instant Connections
    • Developing Products that Save Lives
    • Reach Your Escape Velocity
    • From Stanford to Startup
    • The Value of True Partnerships
    • Innovate for America
  • Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders 2011-2012
    • Entrepreneurship Gives Life Meaning
    • No Exit Strategy for Your Life’s Work
    • Great Entrepreneurs Go Out and Do
    • Products With a Purpose
    • Believe In Something Bigger Than Yourself
    • Method to Success
    • Understanding Venture Capital
    • A Startup is a Learning Experience
    • Talking About a Revolution
    • Tools for Business Model Generation
    • Building an Entrepreneurial Career
    • Embrace Uncertainty
    • Find Your Vector of Impact
    • Live Life in Permanent Beta
    • Energies that Power a Career
    • Two Generations of Entrepreneurship
    • The Wave of Social Entrepreneurship
    • Producing a Career from the Ground Up
    • Small Acts and Big Impacts
    • A Story of Change and Opportunity
    • A Playlist for Entrepreneurs
    • Secrets at Apple’s Core
    • Finding Your Way as an Entrepreneur
  • Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders 2012-2013
    • A Startup in Harmony
    • Build Your Personal Charisma
    • Timing Matters
    • Impact: Stanford Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    • The Founder’s Dilemmas
    • Path and Purpose of a First-TIme CEO
    • Pursue Passions with a Vengeance
    • A Healthy Respect for Innovation
    • Disruptive Innovation Can Happen Anywhere
    • Drive Change Through Entrepreneurship
    • White Space is Everywhere
    • Calling All Entrepreneurial Heroes
    • An Enterprising Approach to Investment
    • The Path to Palantir
    • Launching into Uncharted Space
    • Create More Value Than You Capture
    • How Things Gain from Disorder
    • Mobile Can Disrupt Social
    • What You Learn by Doing
    • Own Your Own Success
    • Leading Big Visions From the Heart
    • From Lockup to Startup
    • Deep Inside Facebook
    • Magician Leadership
  • Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders 2013-2014
    • There is Always a Way Forward
    • Realizing Innovation at Enterprise Scale
    • You Have to Break the Egg
    • Revel in the Adventure of New Ideas
    • A World of Changemakers
    • Thirsting for a Life of Service
    • Opportunities Abound in the Big Data Space
    • The Path to More Inclusive Innovation
    • Accelerating Real Change in Healthcare
    • The Gospel of a Lean VC
    • Moving from Hubris to Confidence
    • Shaping the Future of Data
    • Scaling Up Excellence
    • The Music Industry Unplugged
    • A True Model for Embracing Change
    • Acceleration Through Community
    • Be an Authentic Entrepreneur
    • Education Reimagined
    • An Emphasis on Excellence
    • Creativity, Inc.
    • Crazy is a Compliment
    • The Road to IPO
    • Do Something You Love
    • Adventures in Entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders 2014-2015
    • Optimal Traits and Sustainable Advantages
    • The Power of Not Knowing
    • From Inspiration to Implementation
    • Tackle Projects Others Don’t Want
    • Life is Too Short for Bad Software
    • Seeking the Full Potential of Education
    • Consumers and Brands in the Digital Age
    • Nailing the Hard Things
    • Make Government Work Better for All
    • Find Your Niche, Help the World
    • Growing a Creative Company
    • Making Complicated Things Simple
    • Figure Out What’s Important
    • Putting Startup Success in Perspective
    • The Startup Journey: A Marathon, Not a Sprint
    • Injecting Innovation into Intractable Systems
    • Experience is Your Reward
    • Impact Will Keep You Motivated
    • Non-Linear Path to Leadership
    • Simple Rules for a Complex World
    • Blue is Where You Should Be
    • Creativity Unleashes Value for the World
    • Entrepreneurship Takes Flight
    • Find Your Venture’s Emotional Core
    • Thanks for Reading

About the Editor

Will Johnson
Will Johnson

I'm an entrepreneur in the financial technology industry. Having spent over a decade working for others in the industry it is the lectures of the Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders series that inspired me to make the jump to entrepreneurship.

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