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Some 140 years ago, Leland Stanford became intrigued by what seemed like a straightforward question but was a matter of real debate among horseracing enthusiasts: Does a running horse at some point in its gait maintain all four feet off the ground? To find out, Stanford invited the photographer Eadweard Muybridge to conduct a series of experiments. On what’s now part of Stanford University campus, he set up a series of cameras triggered by trip wires to snap a quick series of shots as Stanford’s Kentucky-bred mare Sallie Gardner galloped around a track. Their finding, to the surprise of both the art and science communities, was that the answer was yes.
Stanford’s efforts to discover the answer to this question is illustrative of something deep in the DNA of the university he founded soon after: a thirst for knowledge and understanding, and for innovative approaches to problem solving.
Stanford Business celebrates these values. As we began rethinking this magazine 18 months ago, we asked ourselves two questions: What is special about Stanford GSB, and what do we hope to achieve with this publication? Our answers reflect the school’s commitment to the joys of inquiry and innovation, and the delight of discovery. They serve as guideposts in our editorial decision making and push us to try new things.
In this issue, you will find stories that echo these ideals. Read on and see what we mean — and let us know what you think at StanfordBusiness@Stanford.edu .
— Michael Freedman, Editorial Director