Palo Alto, CA
Alma maters and degrees
Andy received his doctoral degree from the Management Science and Engineering Department in Stanford University’s School of Engineering, where he was named Boeing Fellow and Sloan Foundation Future Professor of Manufacturing. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University’s Product Design Program in the Mechanical Engineering Department.
How long have you been teaching?
What classes/topics do you teach?
Management of Innovation
Business Plan Clinic
Why are innovation and entrepreneurship important?
The world is constantly changing and the one skill you will always need is the ability to recognize, quickly react to, and even drive such change. That ability is what we mean by the term innovation and, when it happens in small companies or even in new ventures within large companies, it’s entrepreneurship.
What was your biggest influence upon pursuing a career focused on innovation and entrepreneurship?
Growing up in Palo Alto, I was surrounded by some of the earliest forms of the technologies that shape our lives today: computers, software, chips, the Internet. And that meant I had a front row seat at how those early science projects were transformed—through design, innovation, and entrepreneurship—into real products and processes. Later, studying product design at Stanford gave me to chance to work with executives and designers at some of the Silicon Valley’s most innovative companies.
What do you see as the “next big thing” in your field?
The means to create and scale a successful business have never been more accessible to those who take the time to understand and master the process.
What blogs and websites do you visit regularly for info related to innovation and entrepreneurship?
10 Twitter feeds:
@ericries Eric Ries, (entrepreneur now author of The Lean Startup)
@msuster Mark Suster (entrepreneur now venture capital investor)
@om Om Malik (entrepreneur now venture capital investor)
@techreview MIT Technology Review
and don’t forget me…
What professional achievement are you most proud of?
The Apple laptop power supply, which 20 years later remains largely unchanged.
What’s your favorite thing about UC Davis?
It’s the combination of a great college town and cutting edge research, all conveniently located between the Sierras and the San Francisco Bay.
What’s the single biggest thing you want students to take away from their time in your program?
See “the next big thing.”
What posters were up in your dorm room?
I spent most of my time in the design loft and machine shop, where the walls were covered with the art and engineering projects of former students. It was energizing to have everyone’s best (and worst) efforts out there.
Looking back, what do you wish you had known about college before you started?
There are so many pockets of excellence hidden around the university where brilliant people do amazing things or amazing people do brilliant things. You’ll never discover them all, but it’s worth trying.
What’s an interesting or surprising fact about you?
My first job after college was coaching the Freshman Crew at Dartmouth.
What are your top five thing would you want if you were stranded on a desert island?
A pencil and notebook
A return ticket