Sunday Espresso: Stanford, Spark Plugs, Sharks

    Sunday Espress Editorial Clint

    Sunday Espress Editorial ClintIn the this new world of “performances,” every action can be seen as masterful illusion or simple glorification of reality. A fine line. Who’s to say that last Facebook status update you saw the other day was really input by a human, and not a robot. Or worse: a cat. All the world now is a social stage. It is the new Shakespeare.


    These are just some of the concepts and sound bites from one of several sessions at yesterday’s Leading Matterns conference hosted by Stanford at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Part mega-million dollar ad, part networking opportunity, part idea sharing forum, over 1,500 alumni enthusiastically came together to celebrate learning, innovation and some pretty darn impressive multimedia presentations.

    Although Loni is official alumni, she is always quick to remind me that I’m not. The executive marketing program, at under two weeks long does not qualify, despite a hefty price tag, and 8% acceptance rate; two facts I somehow use to stroke my saddened ego. I remember we tried to get the Stanford GSB to champion the strategic marketing management program as “official” alumni, but to no avail.

    What I enjoy most about alumni events—aside from the joy of being the anonymous guy on Loni’s arm—is that each is so different.

    I remember a small one in Palo Alto with only about 50 in attendance. Held at a wine bar, somehow Loni and I ended up talking with Sergey Brin and Larry Page (yes, this is name drop Sunday!). It was hard to find the right subject matter. What do you talk about? The Toyota Prius? Saving the World? Fry’s Electronics? Loni decided to talk about satellites, or something like that. I had no idea what she was talking about. It was another fun impromptu moment. For some reason Larry seemed to really get into space talk.

    Spark Plugs

    Honda vs. Audi. For a while the former was winning the car reliability race, but now it’s my silver bullet that is leading when it comes to maintenance bragging rights. Loni’s Honda, once a symbol for all things well engineered, now creates drama almost daily.

    On the way home from a show in Berkeley I find myself, for example, stopping into a late-night Walmart to buy some Prestone anti-freeze to keep her little gem from boiling over every quarter mile. Then it’s changing a flat.

    This time it was the spark plug wires. Her mechanic said the most painful words the other day, “Oh, yes, this car will go for another five years. No worries Ms. Loni.” Not exactly music to my ears.


    I will miss today’s Sharks game. Shocking, I know. In some ways, it might be for the better. If they win then I can take solace in the fast they’ve at least survived long enough to play another game at HP Pavilion. If they lose, I don’t have to witness the sweep.

    Kudos to Chicago. The more I think about the series, the more I believe it’s about Chicago’s talent and youth than it is about San Jose’s lack of clutch performances.

    SportsTap will be constant companion today on Moto Droid as I check in on SJ Sharks while at an outdoor show in Marin. Theater over hockey. My how times have changed from my ice hockey days back in Ottawa in the 1980’s.

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