I came to Stanford to study development, technology policy, innovation and entrepreneurship. Yes, I wanted to learn how Silicon Valley can be replicated and brought to other parts of the world including my home country Lithuania. I know many people have tried that without much of the luck, but I am young, fearless, highly motivated - I am gonna succeed.
Then I took Stanford Facebook Class. Let me tell a few words about it. The class was taught by a team of professors including top expert in the world on persuasive technology, previously successful entrepreneurs and high tech professionals. We had people from Facebook coming to our class lab explaining the aspects how Facebook API works. People from Slide and Rock You (these companies have created 7 of 10 most popular applications on Facebook) would come to every second class and share their experience what it takes to create and market successful application. Then Google and Myspace guys would come to talk about their new project “Open Social”. Someone from top tier Silicon Valley venture capital business would give their advice how a “silly Facebook application” could be turned into a business that venture capitalists would be interested in. The students in the room were the most entrepreneurial ones that I met at Stanford. The experience is so rich that you can feel it only by being there.
Here is my point. It would impossible to replicate Stanford Facebook Class in any other part of the world. One simple class. And many people (including me) have a naive goal to replicate the entire Silicon Valley. It is good to dream, and I will keep on dreaming. But knowing your limits also helps.