Norm as Guest Lecturer at Stony Brook University Business School

It was so much fun speaking to a Social Media class at Stony Brook University’s acclaimed Business School this week. In preparation for my lecture and interaction with the kids, I asked for current and relevant motivational words from my favorite mentors, the Co-Father of the Internet Vint Cerf and Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg.

I started the lecture with this personal message from Vint Cerf to the Class of about 65 Undergraduate Students:

Dear Norm,

This is an interesting time to be involved in further Internet evolution and application. Smart phones and social media are joined by the incipient Internet of Things to become a new infrastructure for the 21st Century. Software has always been an endless frontier and now it has an equally spacious platform on which to grow and evolve. I envy the young people just beginning their exploration of the Internet’s possibilities. And I can hardly wait to see what they will imagine and create as the next decades unfold.

Vint

After I read the class these incredible words from Vint Cerf, I then told them I had Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO) answer a question for me that I knew the class was going to ask

Norm’s question to Sheryl:   If I build “the next thing” start-up, would Facebook be most keen at looking at us with 30,000,000+ users (but no revenue in mind) or with less users but growing revenue?

Sheryl’s Answer to Norm:  Norm, feel free to share with the class that, typically, the pattern is to focus on users first and then revenue.

After these opening messages to the class from Vint Cerf and Sheryl Sandberg, we spent the next 1.5 hours discussing how we were going to conquer the world!

Thank you for the opportunity to present to your class, Dr. Ethan Pew!  I really enjoyed it and I share in Vint’s excitement and enthusiasm for what lies ahead!

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