The University at Albany’s College of Computing and Information held a talk called the Bunshaft Lecture on Friday, April 5, 2013. The Bunshaft Lecture was initiated by Albert Bunshaft ’80 and Caryn Bunshaft ’82. The goal and main purpose of the lecture is to provide information to students on a variety of topics in Computer Science.
This year’s Bunshaft Lecture featured Jonathan Rochelle as the guest speaker. As you may or may not know, Rochelle is one of our many successful alumni of the University at Albany. He is the current director of Product Management for Google Apps. Before Google, Rochelle was the co-founder of startup companies which he eventually sold: ITK Solutions, a technology focused consulting firm and 2Web Technologies which is a software company that developed XL2Web. Google acquired 2Web Technologies and used their technology to develop Google spreadsheets, leading Rochelle to the company. Later launched in 2006, it transformed into what we all know as Google Docs.
At his lecture, Rochelle shared his advice on how to become and stay innovative. He began by explaining that innovation is “the creation of an original solution to a problem.” He believes that not every problem has the right answer. We shouldn’t only learn and test our knowledge through standardized tests that are limited to only a few answer choices, but learn by trying many answers. Rochelle also mentioned that we can learn by not fearing to fail. I thought this was great advice. We all learn from our failures, and if we fear it then we won’t progress. He also mentioned that we learn by getting out of our comfort zones and do things we’ve never done before. In order to succeed and be innovative, we must find what we love to do and are passionate about, take a stand by being opinionated and also experiment and try new things.
Jonathan Rochelle’s advice on how to be innovative was very inspiring. It was a pleasure to listen and learn from a successful individual.
By Kirstine Jessamy
Image by Jennifer Goodall