This week, Cory speaks to entrepreneur and investor Kevin Hartz, who’s well-known for co-founding the leading global self-ticketing platform Eventbrite. In this weeks episode, Kevin talks about how he got started as a 26-year-old founder, gives advice on how to connect with brilliant people, the moment he knew he was onto something big, the best way to attract and retain talent and much more.
Eventbrite Co-Founder and investor Kevin Hartz has always placed a significant amount of importance on learning. While earning a Master’s Degree in British History from Oxford University seems like an odd path for a tech entrepreneur, Hartz says that it “was an opportunity to learn how to learn.” Kevin has used that ability to grow a company that in 2013 surpassed $2B in sales.
In the early days of Eventbrite, Hartz and the Eventbrite team shared offices with other entrepreneurs and startups including Clickster (acquired by Warner Brothers), Tripet (acquired by Concord), and Zynga. “Mark (Pincus) had his first office in the office we had…we always had these really great founders around us.” Kevin has learned important lessons from entrepreneurs and investors from Roelof Botha to Peter Thiel. “Peter has always challenged me on conventional thinking. I think that we can always be in this mode of kind of going with the flow and not even realizing it, realizing that there are other realities out there. Peter, in any conversation, always has a provocative, unconventional view of the world.”
Early in my journey as an entrepreneur, many have learned, from Kevin and others, the importance of surrounding myself with other motivated and talented entrepreneurs, and people with other views and skillsets. While Cory was building relationships with and learning from hundreds of entrepreneurs, he was encouraged to find a way to bring those connections together while providing them value. Cory created the NextGen Conference in 2009, which is now Internapalooza, and I invited Kevin to speak. He spoke at the first event and they’ve stayed in touch since.