MIT, Entrepreneurship and a Boston VC Internship

By Larry Chiang

Bad news MIT.

Paul Graham threw up his arms and left you.

Maybe he did not think MIT was good, maybe he believed the stereotype that MIT students build cool stuff for the PrePubescent boyish vanity of building cool stuffs. Yes, the plural of stuff is stuffs. Mr Paul and his organization, Y combinator have left you for Palo Alto.

Relax and do not fret MIT.

You’re one keynote and 22 pieces of French toast away from making the transition from engineer to entrepreneur. It’s the journey that took my father, Remmington Oxley IV aka R4Ox4, 20+ years.

Remember that for as great of a tech institution that MIT allegedly and purportedly is, all y’all see

– MIT is incredibly limp in entrepreneur energy. At MIT’s tEqualsZero conference, half the speakers canceled because no one coordinated and wrangled them after the emailed invite
– Me, I showed up to speak anyway because that is my MO (modus operandi. It’s Latin for mode of operation)
– MIT is incredibly administrator heavy
– MIT’s frown on low brow activities like sales, selling and doing a E145 lemonade stand business
– MIT’s are ok with the cliche of working for Harvard alum or worse A Street Smart Harvard athletics econ majors. Or female MBAs from HBS (heck I’d be ok with leaving my role at Stanford, 12 board positions, ceo at Duck9 or my cash GP position as a VC. Err I mean cush position.

This is the point in the formulaic Larry Chiang blog post where I execute and solve a problem. Your problem.

But I won’t.

I too am like Paul Graham.

But like Star Wars episode iv, all y’all do have a new hope. I’ll be leading up the effort to recruit a VC intern to park at Polaris. Magic spews out of Polaris Dog Patch Labs’ Gua Gua Guacamole Pit.

YOU will be conjuring up entrepreneur magic in method and manner that will impress Paul Graham. Impress me this summer and I’ll wrote you a recommendation letter (it’ll be the first ever, because Larry Chiang doesn’t wrote recommendation letters– I mean why wrote you a recommendation when I wrote you a blog post?!)

Do well and I’ll write you a recommendation letter for Paul Graham’s y-Combinator.

Larry Chiang
CEO of Duck9
Stanford University EIR (Entrepreneur in Residence)

Contact me at

Duck9 = Deep Underground Credit Knowledge 9
125 University Avenue/ 100
Palo Alto CA 94301
650-566-9696 (direct)
650-283-8008 (cell)

Editor of the BusinessWeek Channel “What They Don’t Teach at Business School”
CNN Video Channel:

Read my last 10 tweets at

Author, NY Times Bestseller

“What They Will NEVER Teach You at Stanford Business School” comes out 11-11-12

Duck9 is part of UCMS Inc.

By mitentrepreneurweek

Larry Chiang’s Startup Advice for MIT

by Larry Chiang

So at SXSW, I was annointed #1 in Entrepreneurship Education. I would like to credit MIT for a large part of that.

You see, your school recognized me way ahead of everyone else at LAST years SXSW. I met Douglas Hwang at Second Market’s bus trip to Salt Lick. Inside of 24 hours I had him wrangled into CNN Grill and he closed me on speaking at MIT about the stuff I was mentoring the MIT SXSW Tour 2011. My topic at MIT was the “Tom Chiang Engineer to Entrepreneur Transformation”.

Here are some specific techniques that will take you from theoretical to practical. They center around building a ‘Lemonade Stand Business’

-1- Lets start with a live-action case study.

My neighbor was a product manager for IP Infusion. I recommended that she start execute a lemonade stand business concept — She picked selling knock-off purses. Business boomed until you guessed it. The exercise of taking in money, getting something up and going, doing menial tasks, staying semi focused… all lead into her next business. Menlo Logic. Except this time, it was a legit business that did SSL-VPN. It solved ONE problem. One big problem.

Similar to my Ga Ga Guaranteed exits pattern that we will be replicating this summer at Stanford Engineering 145, solving the problem led to a quick exit. Menlo Logic was sold to Sonic Wall.

-2- Me and Mark Cuban Love College Entrepreneurs

Mr Mark wrote this genius post. “Making Money as a College Student”

It is an example of a lemonade stand business

-3- Easy to Do. Easier not to do it.

There is a cautionary tale for us MIT people. We don’t wanna get caught 30 years from now teaching college at UW-Platteville. Teaching there snuffs out your life energy as an MIT grad. I am Chinese. The people in my family that know someone not street smart all have a friend or friend of a friend that ends up having gone to MIT and then banished to UW Platteville. I wrote about “Ivy Hero, Life Zero”.

Entrepreneurship is at times, mind numbingly remedial. Do it anyway MIT. Do the stuff that is easy to do and rest assured that our MIT classmates will shun these entrepreneur tasks because they are way easier not to do it.

-4- Another Lemonade Stand is to Co-host a Dinner or Evening Session.

Read Jacob Cole’s “how to hack an afterparty at SXSW”. It will introduce you to the Minimum Viable Party’ street smart maneuver.

-5- Join me and Jacob for MIT Entrepreneur Week March 31-April 5, 2012.

It is on Plancast.

By mitentrepreneurweek

Stories from SxSW with Larry Chiang

Hi-Larry-ous story #1: Larry, some friends, and I were sitting in a Hilton hotel lobby late one evening and got hungry, but unfortunately the restaurants were closed, so we decided to order pizza. We were about to order when Larry suddenly stopped us and said: hang on, there are about 100 other hungry people walking around — let’s order 10 pizza’s and sell them for $5/slice!
We better than broke even within 45 min. And we got free dinner for ourselves on top of the practical lesson on entrepreneurship!

By mitentrepreneurweek

SxSW Saturday 3/10 Evening

Basically, I’ve roughing it out here in the the Wild West, wrangling myself Angus steaks out in the badlands of my Marriott Hotel Lobby Restaurant, braving rabid VCs, becoming the co-subject of a crazy documentary film, and attempting to sell (a company I very definitely don’t own…yet) to Columbia pictures. Eh, it’s SxSW, I guess that’s just what happens here.

This last item was our big endeavor of last night — reblogging from Nick Spiller’s site!

Resurrection of Plancast

In Uncategorized on March 11, 2012 at 8:47 pm

A little under a month ago the event sharing site Plancast was abandoned. Their team lost passion for what they were doing. Despite having over 200k+ impressions per month the company was unable to monetize A group of undergraduates (including me) directed by Larry Chiang are teaming up at SXSW Film festival to attempt an unprecedented resurrection by monetizing the business in order to make this SXSW legendary. In order to do this we are going use the site to promote the launch of 21 Jump Street by offering a limited number of refunds on tickets bought through Plancast. This will create social media buzz, which has a strong correlation with box office success. Through this strategy we will attempt to sell plancast to the movie studio behind the film, MGM, as a powerful social marketing platform with higher ROI than traditional advertising, which produces only on the order of $6 return for each $10 invested.

By mitentrepreneurweek

SxSW Evening 1 — At a glance

I spent the evening networking and talking to UT Entrepreneur Nick Spiller and his friends at the W Hotel, where we encountered someone who looked suspiciously like Lady Gaga.

We discussed what it takes to build with discussed the fundamental elements of a makes a collegiate entrepreneurial community work. A few  realizations about what makes the entrepreneurial community work at MIT included:

a) making apps has to be what people do for fun in afternoon.

b) the litmus test for whether a business is good or not is whether you’d still want to do it if you weren’t getting paid. This both filters out instances in which you’re deluding yourself through the allure of money, and it also guarantees that you’re be doing something you want to do anyway. This has led to, off the top of my head alone,,,, and, less directly perhaps, companies like For this sort of instantly adoptable technology, a pleasurable first 10 seconds of use is  necessary, as Bing Gordon tells us in his gamification talk.

Of course, this is only a very limited subsets of the projects one can do. I also met, for instance, UT undergrad uberentrepreneur Richie Gill who started a major real estate business  at 20, which you can find at For more project ideas, check out Paul Graham’s notes form today.


I’m going to see if I can present my friends’ and my various projects over the next couple of days: BigKeyboard/Swyp, and maybe even see if I can network with some business owners relevant to CapitalSphere

Observation: SxSW has a high density drunk venture capitalists.

By mitentrepreneurweek


As you well know, the long awaited Swyp Hack Night @ Intrepid Labs is coming up on 2/18 this evening.

Sat, 02/18/2012 – 6:30pm – Sun, 02/19/2012 – 2:00am
222 Third Street, Cambridge, MA 02144

Check out and discuss cool ideas for projects with this revolutionary new multi-phone connectivity API created by MIT freshman Alex List, or post your own at! And don’t miss our 11 minute afterparty, at the same location, where we present an exclusive Zero2Hero interview with Jeremy Lin! — Blog Post Larry Chiang  Previews Swyp Hack Night Afterparty Youtube Jeremy Lin, Knicks Post Game Interview. Lakers Game Feb 10. Swyp Hack Night Zero2Hero Afterparty:  Jeremy Lin Interview — Eventbrite Swyp Hack Night! RSVP!

Let’s change the face of UI tonight.

By mitentrepreneurweek

Jacob and Larry Unofficial Afterparty: Funding the Next Big Thing

Funding the Next Big Thing is the kickoff event of Boston Beta‘s start up strategy series, which will be held  6:00-9:00pm on Feb 2, at MassChallenege, 55 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210. It will host, among others:

Graham Brooks — Graham is a principle at .406 Ventures, where he is involved in the investment and portfolio management process and leads the university outreach initiatives.

Mina Hsiang — At General Catalyst Partners, Mina focuses on early stage businesses in wireless technology, medical technology, robotics, and consumer tech… She has worked at DEKA Research & Development Corp., building novel robotic arms for amputees, and the William J. Clinton Foundation where she worked closely with the government of Malawi to design a program for rural water infrastructure and healthcare system development.  She has also worked for Boston-area startups in molecular diagnostics and in stroke rehabilitation technology.

Matt Witheiler — Matt is a Principal at Flybridge Capital Partners, which covers companies and technologies across the IT sector. He is involved in financial technology, digital media, and semiconductors at Flybridge and is a Founding Executive Committee Member of FirstGrowth Venture Network… He also served for four years as co-owner and Senior Hardware Editor of the successful hardware review website,, where he helped build one of the world’s largest hardware review sites.

We will be gathering before the event in Maseeh Dining hall (left side) at 5:15 pm. Look for the balloons!  Unofficial Pre-party at MIT* (cost: $13.50 unless you have a meal plan)

We’ll also be topping off the event with an Unofficial Afterparty at Strega Waterfront, in the same building · Thursday, February 2, 2012, 9:05-9:45pm

By mitentrepreneurweek

MIT Entrepreneurship Week

Well, month. From Feb 7-Mar 7 there’ll be a series of entrepreneur- themed events at MIT culminating in a StartupBus ride to the acclaimed SXSW!

In early March: “You and a  team of strangers on a bus [to SXSW <>] traveling at 60 mph have 48 hours to conceive, build, and launch a startup.”

Interest meeting:
MIT Maseeh Dining Hall (left, S, wing) · Tuesday, February 7, 2012, 7:45pm

Cost: $13.50 (free with dining plan). Look for the balloons!

Event info: <>

By mitentrepreneurweek