• Baker Institute Team

"One common theme – great people"


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Ethan Smith '22 | New Boston, NH

Major | Finance

Minor | Entrepreneurship, Management


When attending a networking event, interviewing, or catching up with an old friend – “What do you do for work?” is a common question to ask. While this may provide some insight into the day to day life of the employee or entrepreneur it does not speak to why they are doing, what they are doing.

Over the past few days in Silicon Valley, there has been an emphasis on the descriptive “why” component. Whether it be why Zipline chose to disrupt the medical industry with their innovative drone technology, why Tim Eades invests in certain companies, or why Joe Blair decided to start a podcast to showcase the amazing things that people are doing. It is in the “why” that the true and inspiring stories come out. A resume shows what you are doing and what you have done however it is in the “why” stories that those words jump off the page and become more meaningful. I don’t think that I have had a conversation with Chris Kauzmann where he did not ask “why?” at least a half dozen times. The answer to a why question is not always easy or obvious but these questions force you to think dynamically and discover the meaning behind what you are doing.

I have been inspired by the candid and insightful stories, lessons, and experiences that some of the top names in Silicon Valley have shared with us. Across all industries, business segments, and companies there is one common theme – great people. Employees, from CEO’s to entry level analysts are the backbone of a company – they keep the ball rolling. Products and service matter, however for a company to set itself apart from competition it is essential to have hungry employees, willing to devote their blood sweat and tears.

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