A version of this article previously appeared in Forbes.
Who would have thought academic videos recorded at a state university would generate nearly 23 million views? Certainly not I when I took over the program three years ago.
The speaker series, which is part of the UC Santa Barbara’s Technology Management Program, has attracted an impressive cadre of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and philanthropists, including: Peter Levine (Partner, Andreessen Horowitz), Dan Engel (sold one of his companies to Google), Dan Burnham (CEO Raytheon), Tracy DiNunzio (CEO, Tradesy), George Powell (Founder, Skate One Corp, discovered Tony Hawk), Jim Zarley, (CEO, ValueClick) and Kirsty Spraggon (Host of KirstyTV).
Our high viewer engagement encouraged us to morph to an interview format in which my students and I ask our guests questions. This conversational approach has proven more entertaining than the conventional “speaker behind a lectern” methodology, which has further increased our viewership. The series is reaching nearly 6 million global viewers annually, many of whom are downloading the free episodes via iTunes.
I have enjoyed all of our speakers and have been honored to share the stage with them. From dozens of fantastic talks and interviews, I have selected five that were especially impactful and continue to be widely watched, month after month.
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Bob Wood – Public Servant CEO & Mentor Extraordinaire
“Your friends see you as you are. A mentor see you in your potential, sees who you could be. ”
Bob Wood has been a mentor to dozens of professionals during his long career in public service. Despite retiring several years ago, he continues to provide guidance to young (and not so young) professionals.
As noted in You're Never Too Old (Or Too Successful) For A Mentor, Bob has become not only my mentor, but also my friend. Thus, I was honored when Bob agreed to share his insights regarding mentorship with my entrepreneurial students. You can hear Bob share his insightful mentorship lessons HERE.
Barrie Bergman – Founder & CEO Of Record Bar (Second Largest Record Chain In US) and Founding Chairman of Bare Escentuals
“My experience is that successful people are successful at home and… in business.”
Barrie Bergman is a humble, self-made man who realized early in life that being nice provides a significant business advantage. Barrie, along with his lifelong wife and business partner Arlene, epitomize the American Dream.
From a single used record store, Barrie and Arlene grew Record Bar into the second-largest record chain in the U.S., with over 200 locations. The Bergmans sold the chain for approximately $100 million.
After taking a multi-year victory lap, Barrie and Arlene purchased Bare Escentuals out of bankruptcy. They eventually turned the failing, four-store cosmetics chain into a global, public company. You can lean how Good Guys Finish First HERE.
Mark Templeton – CEO, Citrix Systems
“If you set out to make a fortune, you probably won't. If you set out to make a difference in the world, you will and you might make a fortune.”
Mark Templeton knows a bit about success and what it takes to reach the top of one's industry. He began his career at Citrix as a middle manager in its Marketing Department, eventually rising to the ranks of CEO. He was later fired from this role, only to be re-hired as CEO a couple years later. During Mark's tenure, Citrix has grown from 50 employees and few million dollars of revenue to a company of over 10,000 employees, generating revenue in excess of $3.1 billion.
Mark’s talk has been viewed nearly 700,000 times, making it one of the TMP’s most popular videos to date. You can learn how Success Isn't What Happens To Other People - It Can Happen To You HERE.
Marten Mickos – CEO, Eucalyptus Systems (sold to HP) and CEO, MySQL (sold to Sun Microsystems)
“I think entrepreneurship is ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Becoming a successful entrepreneur isn't... about your skills or your abilities or your DNA, it's about what you refuse to give up on - what you will keep doing until you succeed.”
Marten Mickos has enjoyed a celebrated entrepreneurial career. As an early executive at MySQL, he helped build the company into the world's most used open source database. MySQL was eventually acquired by Sun Microsystems for $1 billion.
Marten next venture was Eucalyptus Systems, which he successfully led for several years and eventually sold to HP. You can learn how Marten went from a “serially unsuccessful entrepreneur” in Finland, to one of the most respected CEOs in Silicon Valley HERE.
John Ferriter – Real Life Jerry Maguire, Top Hollywood Agent
“I answer the phone and the woman says, 'Hi… I need the most mature person you have who can deal with difficult people.' And in one of those ‘How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying’ moments, I (said) 'His name is John Ferriter and I will send him over right now.' (applause) That was the first job I got for somebody. That job lasted nineteen and a half years."
With no industry connections or family ties, talent agent John Ferriter applied basic entrepreneurial principles to reach the pinnacle of Hollywood's elite. He became the agent for a number of celebrities, including: Jerry Garcia, Dr. Drew, Carson Daily, Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Carolla, Tom Green, Dick Clark, Keanu Reeves and Ryan Seacrest.
His also an award winning Producer of a number of successful reality TV shows, including: Fear Factor, Biggest Loser and Project Runway. You can watch John describe his surprising Hollywood journey HERE.
You can follow John on Twitter: @johngreathouse.
Image: Bob Wood, courtesy UCTV