Stanford Business Magazine

Summer 2018 — Catalyst

This issue explores the theme of Catalyst through the lens of Stanford GSB faculty, lecturers, alumni, and visiting scholars. We interview a finance professor who’s gathering a massive database designed to parse how the venture capital industry really works. We meet a brave alumna who challenged and helped to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for gay members of the military. We explore the many ways that blockchain technology is being deployed for public good worldwide. If you have a good story about a catalyzing episode in your life or business, please share it by sending an email to Stanford Business.

— Deborah Petersen, editorial director

June 26, 2018
Marla Blow knew her nascent credit card company would face an uphill climb. She did it anyway.
Marla Blow | Photo by Jared Soares
June 21, 2018
A former marketing executive loves his unlikely third act as a prison-education reformer.
Jim Farrin, credit: Sean Pressley
June 20, 2018
The Stanford Venture Capital Initiative is quietly assembling a massive database from people who prefer to stay mum.
 Ilya Strebulaev, credit: Mike McQuade
June 20, 2018
With the Corporations and Society Initiative, Anat Admati hopes to make Stanford GSB a better citizen of the world.
Anat Admati | Nancy Rothstein
June 20, 2018
First-time workers do better when trainers focus on “unwritten skills,” such as how to talk to strangers.
Professor Aruna Ranganathan with factory workers| Courtesy of Aruna Ranganathan
June 15, 2018
How a Ghanaian entrepreneur stitched together a clothing company that employs and houses homeless women.
SEED transformation participant, Linda Ampah | Gabriela Hasbun
June 11, 2018
A new study questions the effectiveness of targeting “hubs” at the center of social networks.
Flowers on a vine | Illustration by Harriet Lee-Merrion
June 1, 2018
Stanford’s Rebecca Lester teams up with two graduate students to find out.
A vacant, boarded up house is seen in a once thriving neighborhood of Detroit, Michigan | Reuters/Rebecca Cook
May 25, 2018
No one asked, but she told, and the rest is a memorable chapter in civil rights history.
Zoe Dunning | Alanna Hale
May 18, 2018
A new Stanford study looks beyond the hype to examine how decentralized transactions can solve social ills.
A photo illustration of block chain shapes over "I Voted" stickers.  | istock/filo, Reuters/Chris Keane
May 8, 2018
These seven technologies are making farms smarter.
Farmers work in their vegetable field. | Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom
May 8, 2018
This app helps ranchers manage their land while improving the environment.
Christine Su | Courtesy of Pasturemap
May 8, 2018
This vertical farming startup plans to reimagine farming.
Nate Mazonson | Photo by Drew Kelly
May 8, 2018
Fifty miles outside of Abu Dhabi, startup Pure Harvest plans to grow fresh fruits and vegetables in an inhospitable climate.
Sky Kurtz and fellow founders of Pure Harvest | Photo by Siddharth Siva
May 1, 2018
New research shows that streaming music subscribers listen to a more diverse array of artists — and more music in general — on digital platforms.
A woman smiles and dances as she listens to music | iStock/NKS_Imagery
April 12, 2018
The researchers who warned about abuses of Facebook data show how psychological profiling gets results.
A dazed man with an overlay of symbols of eyes, shopping carts, computers and other marketing symbols | Photo Illustration by Tricia Seibold with iStock/izusek and iStock/axel2001
April 5, 2018
A Stanford study explores how communities recover — or fail to recover — from disasters.
Residents of the El Salto neighbourhood share a meal during New Year's Eve after Hurricane Maria damaged the electrical grid in September, in Morovis, Puerto Rico December 31, 2017. | REUTERS/Alvin Baez
February 19, 2018
A new book shows the value of memorable defining moments on customer and employee experiences.
a person holding a popsicle | iStock/etorres69
February 7, 2018
Latinos are starting businesses at a higher rate than other ethnic groups, but scaling remains a challenge.
Latina woman working at her desk | iStock/monkeybusinessimages
December 8, 2017
A new big data analysis spanning 200 years of patents shows that innovation bursts in the 1800s had greater social impact.
Photo illustration of early sewing factory and computer chip. | Tricia Seibold (with art from iStock/elen11)