Michael Lee Foundations of Entrepreneurship Professor Finnerty October 18, 2012 How to Succeed in Business without Being White Story

My father was the first Korean to ever attend and graduate from West Point. He is often asked about his experience there and whether or not it was difficult. The obvious answer is that it was difficult being an Asian American at a predominantly white institution like West Point in the 70s. He often tells me that he found himself having to work harder inside and outside of the classroom to prove his worth. Today, my father is an executive at a fairly large company and has been relatively successful. He attributes much of his success to the challenges he faced growing up as an Asian American. 3 Main Concepts How to Succeed in Business without Being White – the Lessons of Earl Graves, CEO of Pepsi Cola  Describes the lessons he learned over his life about being a successful African American in business 1. Recognize that you are a minority and use it to your advantage a. There are lots of successful minorities, and it is important to leverage them for their experience and resources 2. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger a. Being a minority is an advantage, because minorities need to be better than the average to stand out, and thus, are uniquely qualified for their position b. Because of the challenges minorities face they typically develop a thick skin and a degree of confidence that many of your colleagues may not have developed 3. Money is the great leveler – makes people color blind and culturally neutral a. Money makes people listen because it is something everybody wants and needs. b. Argues that if you don’t have money you become invisible and that it is imperative for minorities to make money Conclusion While my father has never read this book, he has observed many of its lessons over its life. Like my father, Earl Graves is a man I greatly admire. Collectively, the two men have given me a road map on how I can succeed in business without being white. Question: What prompted you to leave your executive position at Blackboard to found your own company? Also, what prompted you to sell Presidium to Blackboard of all buyers?