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In Podcast

By Daniel Kao

BrightEyes Podcast Episode 1 – Tiffany Stone

On 13, Oct 2014 | No Comments | In Podcast | By Daniel Kao

I’m extremely excited to announce something that I have been working on for the past couple of weeks.

Ever since I started diving into the world of podcasts about a year ago, I’ve wondered what it would be like to host my own.

As a team member of BrightEyes, a study tour program that provides undergraduates at UCSD with the opportunity to experience an industry firsthand, I’ve decided to leverage the BrightEyes platform for my podcast. In this episode, I have the privilege of interviewing one of my mentors and the founder of BrightEyes herself.

Tiffany is the founder of BrightEyes, Marketing Coordinator at Sols, UCSD Alumni, among many other things.

The BrightEyes Podcast is the official podcast for BrightEyes. Tune in every month for a new podcast! The podcast features various individuals part of the BrightEyes community. BrightEyes team member, Daniel Kao, will be joined by founders, investors and various industry professionals to chat about college to real world transition, career development, industry trends and startups. Visit our site ( to learn more about the program and what’s next!

Give this podcast a listen, and feel free to contact me if you have any thoughts, questions, or comments!



Show Notes and References

  • Tiffany’s background (2:09)
  • How Tiffany began exploring careers in college (3:30)
  • Tiffany’s trip to New York and how that impacted her career (5:18)
  • How do you reach out to professionals? (7:02)
  • How did BrightEyes get started? What were the challenges in the beginning? (8:56)
  • The two years of BrightEyes tours, and the difference between them (11:52)
  • Where BrightEyes is headed in the future (15:45)
  • Self-awareness and the power of knowing yourself (17:52)
  • Networking is about adding value and building a relationship (21:05)
  • What it’s like to be on the mentor side of the relationship, and why Tiffany does BrightEyes (23:35)
  • What is it like to be a female in a very male dominated industry? (25:30)
  • What does success mean to you? (28:29)
  • What advice would you give your 10 year younger self? (31:10)
  • What daily routines are crucial to your life? (31:52)
  • Find out more about Tiffany @tiffanydstone,
  • Find out more about BrightEyes @brightEyes_news,

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In Life

By Daniel Kao

4 Characteristics of a Relational Leader

On 25, Nov 2013 | 2 Comments | In Life | By Daniel Kao

If you’ve ever been in a leadership position of any sort, you know that there is always a certain authoritative feeling that comes with the title.

However, the mark of a true leader is one that is able to inspire and empower people, regardless of whether he or she has a title.

How many people do you know that have brought significant change to an environment just by being themselves? These people have a way of uniting and connecting people and really inspire them to also be the best version of themselves.

How many people have simply started movements just by being extraordinary in their everyday actions?

I believe that these are the true leaders.

I decided to make a video about my thoughts on leadership. In this video, I talk about four aspects of an extremely effective leader that I have found to be extremely valuable.

A relational leader leads by example. The most powerful leader is one that allows their life to be the message above their words. They should be able to demonstrate the attitude and mindset that they want to see in their group.

The reason for this is because the attitudes and mindsets that a leader has, regardless of whether it is blatantly communicated, will usually be seen as a model for followers to reproduce. If a leader does not set an ethical, helpful, and generous example, the people who are under their leadership will assume that it is okay for them to do the same.

Leaders should always be learning and growing. Leaders who assume that they have all the answers are leaders that don’t believe there is more room for improvement. Leaders should be confident in what they have learned, but also open and willing to hear input from everyone who has their best interest in mind.

Leaders should always seek to get to know people for who they are. Leaders genuinely care about the well being of their group, because no matter the context, the whole group is healthier when the people that make up the group are whole. Even if what people are going through seems irrelevant to the group’s purpose, an effective leader is able to have an interest in people that goes beyond simply getting work done. It’s about the leader creating a safe environment for people to truly be themselves.

Effective Leaders should be able to raise up leaders. A leader that is capable of naturally creating relationships and getting people to follow them is a good leader. But the most effective leaders understand that the success of the group cannot depend on solely on the leader. In other words, if a leader were to be removed from the group, the group should be able to eventually function just as well without him or her and not completely fall apart.

Thus, the goal of a leader should never be to make people more dependent on the leader, but to empower people to become leaders in their own capacity.

What are other characteristics of leaders that you think are important?

photo credit: quixotic54 via photopin cc

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The Secret to Innovation

On 11, Nov 2013 | 4 Comments | In Life, Technology | By Daniel Kao

Everyone has a paradigm, a perception of reality, and a mental framework that they think within. To them, their perception of reality shapes what they believe to be “normal”.

But what is normal?

Nikola Tesla was an inventor from that past that pioneered some of the most outrageous and extraordinary innovations. His most famous innovations include alternating current, wireless radio, wireless power transfer, and the ubiquitous tesla coil.

Mr. Tesla’s perception of reality and what was possible reached beyond the box that people of his generation thought within.

The box told him that alternating current would never be adopted.

Innovating without Boxes

There are countless stories of individuals who were told that they could never amount to anything, that their invention would never work, or that their ideas were outright ridiculous. But yet, these are the people that have stepped forward and completely revolutionized the world that they lived in.

“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” – Albert Einstein

There are so many things that we’ve been socially conditioned to accept. We accept it because it is a box that has been passed down for generations. However, we don’t always recognize how much the box has changed prior to it being passed down to us, nor do we always recognize how much of a change the box is about to experience.

Maybe you’re sitting there asking yourself the same question right now. Maybe you’re wondering how blogging about your ideas is going to change anything. Maybe you’re concerned about disrupting traditions in your family, maybe you’re afraid of stepping out into the unknown.

Humans make new discoveries all the time, and somewhere down the line, if you aren’t the one to think outside the box and revolutionize what people think, someone else will. Someone else is going to make a new discovery that changes everything, and you’ll be faced with a shift in the way that you see things whether you like it or not.

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.” – John Cage

And when you begin to see things outside of the box that has been widely accepted, “normal” looks different to you.

What are some ridiculous ideas that you have that other people have dismissed as crazy? Just hit reply in your email or submit a comment below! (I read every response)

photo credit: Sergiu Bacioiu via photopin cc

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The 80/20 Rule of Disproportionate Results

On 22, Dec 2012 | One Comment | In Education, Productivity | By Daniel Kao

I’m weird. While most people study different subjects, I study different ways of studying.

After reading things from Tim Ferris, Michael Ellsburg, and others, I have found that the 80/20 rule applies practically anywhere.

The idea is that 20% of the work produces 80% of the results.

The challenge then, is deconstructing and figuring out which 20% gives you the most results. For example, in every language there are words that are the most commonly used words, which often make up a large majority of the whole language. If you are able to supercharge your learning by learning what matters, everything else comes a lot easier.

This concept has saved me countless hours of academic work, by prioritizing material to learn. In my most recent writing class, I experimented on how to read and analyze multiple articles and write a two to three page response in less than half an hour. With the end paper in mind, I began typing my response to the articles while I was reading them, knowing that all my teacher wanted was a thoughtful response to the articles.

This concept explains how people like Tim Ferris are able to master skills in extremely short periods of time. (Look him up if you’ve never heard of him)

Therefore, it is no longer about how you study, how long you study, but also what you study and the order you study it in.

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