Saturday, September 16, 2017

Stanford's $1 Trillion Money Machine

I enjoyed this article by Peter Cohan who is Founder, Peter S. Cohan Associates titled:

An Inside Look At Stanford's $2.7 Trillion Turbo-Charged Money Machine

 Mr. Cohan brings out the following:

"Stanford got to be such a huge economic engine due to three factors: great men, the right culture, and California's values. Great men spurred Silicon Valley's initial success. For example, as MIT Sloan School Lecturer Jorge Guzman pointed out in a July interview, Silicon Valley would still be peach orchards were it not for William Shockley -- the inventor of the transistor who moved west to found Fairchild Semiconductor. MIT Sloan School David Sarnoff Professor of Management of Technology Ed Roberts said in a July interview that Frederick Terman, an MIT professor, came to Stanford in 1925 and later helped two of his students, William Hewlett and David Packard to found HP. Terman helped HP succeed by connecting the company to Defense department contracts."

I know that I have heard the story of Frederick Terman helping his two students Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard many, many times over the years.  

 The numbers are amazing as the following indicates:

"Adding up the value of 15 well-known public companies founded by Stanford alumni yields a whopping $1.39 trillion in value - Charles Schwab & Company ($53 billion market capitalization as of September 12, 2017, according to financial information site, Morningstar), Cisco Systems ($161 billion), Dolby Laboratories ($5 billion), eBay ($41 billion), E*Trade ($11 billion), Electronic Arts ($37 billion), Google ($651 billion), Hewlett-Packard Enterprise ($21 billion), HP ($33 billion), Intuitive Surgical ($39 billion), Netflix ($80 billion), Nike ($88 billion), NVIDIA ($101 billion), Tesla Motors ($61 billion), and Zillow ($8 billion).

If you include the price at which another nine have been acquired -- Instagram ($1 billion), LinkedIn ($26.2 billion), MIPS Technologies ($406 million), Odwalla ($181 million), Orbitz ($1.6 billion), Silicon Graphics ($275 million), StubHub ($310 million), Sun Microsystems ($7.4 billion), Yahoo ($4.5 billion) -- that adds nearly another $42 billion to that total. Then there are the well-known privately held companies -- Gap, Trader Joe's, and Whole Earth Catalog - of unknown value."

 It's interesting the number of discussions I have had over the years with professors at countless universities that they should really follow the Stanford model.  I have heard one excuse after another on why it can't work and does not make sense.  I would just shake my head and say that they should really take a hard look at the numbers, because they speak for themselves.  When I hear, "well, that's California", my response is, "that culture was purposely created, so why can't it be duplicated in other areas?"

As a reminder, the Sun in Sun Microsystems stood for Stanford University Network and at one point SUNW's market cap was $200 billion.