"The most incredible, jam-packed window."
Updated: Feb 7, 2019
Delaney McCaffrey '19
Major | IDEAS: Journalism and Computer Science Engineering Minor | Documentary Storymaking
Hometown | Montgomery, NJ
This week has been the most incredible, jam-packed window into a world that I now can see myself being a part of. We’ve had the opportunity to glimpse behind the scenes of companies of all shapes and sizes—from large established powerhouses, to brand new bootstrapping start-ups and nonprofits. It was fascinating to hear such a diverse array of entrepreneurial stories. However, I also noticed the that there were various common themes across the board. One thing in particular is that the people you surround yourself with are more important than the product you are creating. They emphasized that bringing together ambitious, passionate people is essential for success. Building off of that, many people stressed bringing your whole self to work and making sure that you love what you do.
The business world can have this perception for being particularly cut-throat and vicious, but this week we have heard an overwhelming amount of community-minded stories. Every founder and CEO we’ve had the chance to talk to emphasized collaboration and staying true to your values. Even the fact that all these people were willing to candidly share their stories with us this week speaks to that. I’m not sure if the positivity is a result of the culture out here in California or this entrepreneurial bubble, but it’s an incredibly refreshing concept.
I think what has been the most rewarding for me is being exposed to so many people and places and ideas that are pushing the boundaries of innovation beyond what I ever thought would be possible. Today we got to tour the studio of Liz Hickok, an artist working in unique mediums, whose artwork is currently sitting in places such as the offices of Google. She’s made cities of Jell-O and grows crystals in her studio. The coolest part of today was when she showed us how she’s been experimenting with augmented reality in her artwork. We could hold up an iPad to one of her photographs and watched as it came to life on the screen. She predicts that augmented reality will be commonplace in the next five years, and she wants her artwork to be ahead of the curve. I love the concept of seeing possible directions the world might be moving in within the next decade. It’s such an inspiring atmosphere to be around and it’s something I don’t want to lose when I return home tomorrow. I want to continue to be curious as I explore the world and surround myself by people who think outside the box.