“Thought flows in terms of stories – stories about events, stories about people, and stories about intentions and achievements. The best teachers are the best storytellers. We learn in the form of stories.”
— Frank Smith, in To Think, in Language Learning and Education
What is eClips?
eClips is a media collection that features wisdom from the stories and journeys of entrepreneurs and other business leaders and experts in the form of short, focused digital video clips. The collection features thousands of videos on Entrepreneurship, Business and Leadership, organized into hundreds of topics and themes. eClips Audio products, are made up of individual audio clips and podcast shows, including:
- TenGoodMinutes – focused on career development.
- Sound Advice – featuring the “best in show” clips on various topics.
- Lessons Learned – delivering a collage of clips on “how to” subjects.
- eClips uncut – full on interviews and presentations.
- CEN on Demand – focused on speakers from Cornell’s Entrepreneur Network
Our speakers include:
- Entrepreneurs young and old, across many races, ethnicities and orientations with backgrounds from:
- Science, Technology and Engineering
- Financial Services
- Performing Arts
- Food Industry
- Medicine and Healthcare
- Textiles, Fashion and Apparel
- Design, Art and Architecture
- Consumer Products
- Media and Entertainment
- Real Estate
- Other Business experts such as:
- Venture capitalists
- CEOs of large companies
- Marketing and advertising specialists
- Human Resource experts
- Career Coaches
- Young Professionals discussing career issues and the workplace.:
- Other International experts from:
- Academics talking about:
- business management
- technology transfer
- global sustainability
- international development
- gender issues
- Our reach:
- Thousands of universities, community colleges and high schools.
- Nearly 100 different countries.
Why I created eClips
eClips was born out of project I started in the early 90s. Part of my teaching philosophy has always been to use stories and events from the business world to breathe life into the concepts of economics and business that I teach in my entrepreneurship classes. Who better to tell those stories than guest speakers?
As it turns out, guest speaker don’t work as well as you might think. Despite the best of intentions, outside speakers can be nervous, distracted, unfocused or just plain boring. Even when they are firecracker good (like Paul Joseph, pictured here) students can be spaced out, unprepared or – worst of the worst – asleep in class.
How to solve this problem? I knew that all the speakers who came to my class had gems of wisdom, but timing them and delivering those tidbits just at the “teachable moment” for the students was tricky. So I began to imagine that I could stop, rewind, and replay guests anytime I wanted. When I figured out how to do that, eClips was born.
At first, I carried around a cheap tripod and a consumer-level camera (not digital back then) and did all my own interviews. Although some of the content I collected was so good — I still use those clips in class (such as my original interview with Kevin McGovern) – my little collection was definitely not ready for prime time. I liked to call it “educational quality.” For each interview, I divided the material into short clips, to be used in class. The process was all done with a lot of manual effort – all mine. And by the turn of the century, it was time for a change.
As digital media started to get easier to produce, and quality standards increased, I decided to “go professional.” Using the Failing Endowment, I was able to hire a professional videographer and media specialist (Jamie Kalousdian), a content and IT expert (Kirsten Barker) and talented staff members at Mann Library (Jon Corson-Rikert, John Cline) to put together an online collection in which clips could, for the first time, be searched and viewed for free and downloaded by other educators. We streamlined production processes and I stepped out of the production process, concentrating on developing my abilities as an interviewer.
Like most website/database projects, there have been various versions. We started with an idea I had of showing a mosaic of all the faces in the collection.
Feedback from users was that they didn’t really understand the site and besides, the faces took a long time to load. Our next design used Flash videos to showcase parts of the collection and allowed users to choose a “door” depending on whether they were an educator, students, trainer or entrepreneur.
Again, we sought and received feedback from users was that they still were confused about the site and didn’t like having to click through a doorway before seeing anything. Our most recent design tried to address these concerns. In addition, the world had moved along rapidly and we saw that “e-dash-Clips” was starting to look old-fashioned. We took out the dash and also trademarked our name and logo.
Our vision: To capture and transform the real world wisdom in the everyday stories of experts and leaders of today to inspire, inform, and educate the leaders of tomorrow.
Our mission: To help our users realize their own visions of success, eClips creates and delivers value-added, rich-media content that assures users will find what they want, when they want it.
To achieve our vision and mission, eClips will continue to grow, but we are also working hard to create new and different ways to serve up our content. Examples are:
- New audio products
- Multimedia case studies
- Improved navigation and searching
An important new development in April 2008 was the completion of a commercialization agreement with CCTEC (Cornell Center for Technology Enterprise and Commercialization) and the subsequent formation of a new company, called Prendismo. Prendismo will take advantage of marketplace opportunities to leverage what we have learned in building eClips.