The day Rich started a pencil insurance company in Mrs. Evan’s Third Grade class, an entrepreneur was born. For a mere 5 cent weekly premium, if you broke your pencil, Rich would give you a new one. Thwarted by government regulation (a.k.a. his mother, also a teacher, who forbid Rich from taking money from other students), Rich’s first endeavor failed. However, those first lessons – in need-finding, bias toward action, failing forward, and how to pitch an idea – continued to develop through a software engineering career and the creation of three consulting companies, and a venture-backed e-commerce company.
Rich is a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business co-teaching “Acting with Power” led by Deborah Gruenfeld, he has been teaching “Creativity and Innovation” at the d.school with Tina Seelig since 2011. He is also a guest instructor at London Business School and Aalto University in Helsinki teaching leadership and innovation.
Rich’s Management Consulting Firm, People Rocket, combines Art+Science+Design to bring disruptive elegance to Business, Organizations and Ventures and create better people, teams, and cultures. Rich has worked with executives, leaders and teams at organizations such as the Clinton Global Initiative, Istanbul 2020 Olympic Bid Committee, Mozilla, Google, Cisco, and JP Morgan Chase.
Rich is also an improv performer and coach. His improv troupe Fully Improvised performed full length plays in the style of David Mamet, and musicals in the style of Stephen Sondheim. He integrates improv tools and mindsets into his work on creativity, innovation and leadership.
Rich believes that we, humankind, know how to do much of what we are doing today better than we are doing it today. He is on a crusade to help everyone reach their full potential and make the world a better place.
And, if you break your pencil, he will give you a new one – free of charge.