February 23, 2005: From the Editor
In this issue, our annual look at business, we offer a range of stories about very different risk-takers and pioneers, and the work they do. In our cover story, Brett Tomlinson examines the growing ties between University professors and businesses that want to fund their cutting-edge — and potentially profitable — research. Jordan Paul Amadio ’05, one of our student On the Campus columnists, reports on a class taught by engineering professor Ed Zschau ’61 that has prompted numerous Princeton students to become entrepreneurs. Kathy Kiely ’77 writes about Brian Binnie *78, who recently piloted the space plane SpaceShipOne and who sees potential for civilian space travel; and Mark Bernstein ’83 interviews Andrea Jung ’79, CEO at Avon Products and one of the country’s leading female business leaders.
What sort of personal qualities distinguish entrepreneurs and others who help ensure that businesses thrive? Heather Beach Maclean ’94 writes of the insights she acquired during her on-the-job training with an expert: Richard Branson, the daredevil chairman of Virgin Group Ltd. Maclean spent three months filming Branson’s television reality show, Rebel Billionaire, which aired on the FOX network between Nov. 9 and Jan. 11.
In the show, she and other cast members had to meet the unconventional challenges posed by the unconventional British entrepreneur. Maclean, who already was an entrepreneur when she joined the show — she had founded a children’s media company called Little Laureate Inc. — writes humorously of Branson’s unusual tests of instinct, risk-taking, and business acumen, and says that there are indeed lessons for real life in reality TV.
Of course, Maclean is not the only Princetonian to engage in recent business reality shows. Jennifer Massey ’96 was the high-profile runner-up on Donald Trump’s The Apprentice. (Though she did not get the big prize, Massey, a lawyer, says on her Web site, www.jenmassey.com, that she is exploring professional interests in television, fiction writing, and fashion.) Graduate alumni also are in on the act: Deanna Manfredi *94, who has a Ph.D. in psychology and works as a marketing consultant, was a contestant on the Game Show Network’s American Dream Derby, which was to end with a live race broadcast Feb. 21. A New York Times review of the show singled out Manfredi’s equine knowledge, noting that she is a third-generation thoroughbred fan and grew up on a horse farm. The prize — $250,000 and a stable of eight thoroughbreds — could get any horse-lover involved in a new line of work.
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