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  • >> WELCOME TO THE LIVE RADIO SHOW,

  • CRITICAL MASS SPEAKER SERIES.

  • CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY LONG BEACH

  • IN FRONT OF A LIVE AUDIENCE.

  • I WANT TO THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING OUT TONIGHT.

  • YEAH, BABY!

  • [ CHEERING AND APPLAUSE ]

  • WE HAVE AN EXCITING SHOW PLANNED FOR YOU TONIGHT

  • AND WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOU COMING TO THE EVENT HERE

  • ON THE BEAUTIFUL CAMPUS AS WELL AS LISTENING TO US

  • ON THE STREAM ON OCTALKRADIO.NET.

  • TONIGHT'S THEME IS CURIOSITY AND CURIOSITY IS DEFINED

  • AS A QUALITY RELATED TO INQUISITIVE THINKING

  • SUCH AS EXPLORATION AND LEARNING EVIDENT IN OBSERVATION

  • IN HUMAN AND ANIMAL SPECIES.

  • THE LATE YOGI BERRA ONCE SAID,

  • "YOU CAN OBSERVE A LOT BY WATCHING."

  • TONIGHT WE'RE GOING TO EXPLORE THE CONCEPT OF CURIOSITY

  • TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE ROLE IT PLAYS IN ONE'S LIFE

  • AND PROFESSIONAL CAREER.

  • TO HELP ME DISCUSS THE POWER OF CURIOSITY,

  • WE HAVE TWO PANELISTS.

  • TO MY FAR LEFT, DEAN MICHAEL SOLT.

  • HE IS THE DEAN OF THE BUSINESS SCHOOL HERE

  • AT CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY LONG BEACH.

  • GIVE HIM A BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE!

  • [ CHEERING AND APPLAUSE ]

  • ALSO JOINING US TONIGHT, WE'RE VERY EXCITED TO HAVE HIM

  • AS WELL HERE IN THE AUDIENCE AND ON THE PANEL IS WILL POMERANTZ.

  • HE IS VICE PRESIDENT SPECIAL PROJECTS VIRGIN GALACTIC.

  • [ APPLAUSE ]

  • THIS IS OUR COLLEGE SPEAKER SERIES AND I'M HONORED

  • TO BE BACK ON THE CAMPUS OF CAL STATE UNIVERSITY LONG BEACH

  • AND WE ARE STREAMING ON OCTALKRADIO.NET.

  • THE SHOW WILL BE AVAILABLE AS A PODCAST ON ITUNES

  • AND YOUR FAVORITE PODCASTING SOFTWARE NEXT WEEK AS WELL

  • AS FROM MY WEBSITE, CRITICALMASSFORBUSINESS.COM.

  • THIS IS A DISCUSSION, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

  • DESIGNED TO BE INTERACTIVE BETWEEN THE PANEL AND ME

  • AND THE PANEL AND YOU, OUR LIVE AUDIENCE.

  • AS I SAID, WE HAVE A MICROPHONE HERE FOR YOUR USE.

  • DON'T BE SHY IF THE SPIRIT MOVES YOU, JUST GET UP AND COME

  • ON DOWN AND WE'LL LET YOU BE A PART OF THE LIVE SHOW AS WELL.

  • LET'S GET STARTED AND I WONDER IF MAYBE WE COULD ASK

  • IF YOU COULD BOTH TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND

  • AND TRY TO TIE IN THE CONCEPT OF CURIOSITY

  • AND HOW IT'S SERVED YOU IN YOUR CAREER.

  • DEAN SOLT, ARE YOU GOING TO GO FIRST?

  • >> SURE. WELL, GOOD EVENING EVERYONE.

  • THANK YOU, RICK, FOR INVITING US TO BE HERE.

  • WELL, I'VE BEEN DEAN OF THE BUSINESS SCHOOL HERE SINCE 2008

  • AND THAT'S A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MY BACKGROUND,

  • BUT BEFORE THAT I WAS A PROFESSOR

  • OF FINANCE FOR MANY DECADES.

  • FOR 17 YEARS I WAS A PROFESSOR OF FINANCE AT SAN JOSE STATE

  • AND FOR PART OF THAT TIME I WAS AN ASSOCIATE DEAN

  • AND GOING WAY BACK I WAS A LITTLE BABY BUCKEYE NUT

  • IN OHIO GROWING UP AND BY THE TIME I GOT

  • TO COLLEGE I WAS A BIG BUCKEYE NUT OR JUST MADE ME NUTTY

  • FOR THE BUCKEYES, I DON'T KNOW.

  • BUT, THROUGHOUT MY ACADEMIC CAREER, I'VE BEEN A TEACHER

  • AND A RESEARCHER AND I THINK THAT HAS TIED

  • IN WITH CURIOSITY A LOT.

  • THE RESEARCH PART IS TRYING TO DO SOMETHING NEW AND ORIGINAL

  • IN MY FIELD, WHICH IS FINANCE, THAT HADN'T BEEN DONE BEFORE.

  • SO, THAT TAKES A LOT OF CURIOSITY TO THINK ABOUT THAT

  • AND DESIGNING COURSES LIKE NEW VENTURE FINANCE

  • OR INTERNATIONAL FINANCE, MAKING THEM INTERESTING FOR STUDENTS.

  • THAT MADE ME CURIOUS ABOUT THOSE SUBJECTS TOO.

  • SO, CURIOSITY HAS BEEN PART OF MY PATH, I BELIEVE.

  • >> GIVE HIM A ROUND OF APPLAUSE

  • FOR BEING THE FIRST ONE TO SPEAK TONIGHT

  • [ APPLAUSE ]

  • WILL?

  • >> WELL, FIRST OF ALL RICK, THANKS FOR HAVING ME ON THE SHOW

  • AND THANKS TO DEAN SOLT FOR HOSTING US TODAY.

  • I'M VERY HAPPY TO BE HERE ON CAMPUS,

  • PARTICULARLY DURING HOMECOMING WEEK.

  • IN TERMS OF MY BACKGROUND, YOU KNOW, MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE I MOVED

  • AROUND EVERY COUPLE OF YEARS WHEN I WAS A KID,

  • BUT I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED EXPLORATION.

  • YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU'RE SORT OF FORCED BY CIRCUMSTANCES OF LIFE

  • TO MAKE ALL NEW FRIENDS AND LEARN NEW TYPES OF FOOD

  • AND EVERYTHING EVERY COUPLE OF YEARS,

  • SOMETIMES IT GETS A LITTLE BIT ADDICTIVE.

  • SO, PERSONALLY, MY LIFE'S GOAL HAS ALWAYS BEEN MAKING IT EASIER

  • FOR PEOPLE TO EXPLORE OUTER SPACE.

  • I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO GO TO SPACE PERSONALLY,

  • BUT I FOUND OUT WHEN I WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD THAT I COULD NEVER GO

  • BECAUSE I HAVE THIS TERRIBLE MEDICAL AFFLICTION CALLED

  • NEEDING TO WEAR GLASSES.

  • SO, YES, I WILL ACCEPT YOUR PITY

  • FOR THIS HORRIBLE AND RARE AFFLICTION.

  • RIGHT? TOTALLY DISABLED BY THIS, IT'S AMAZING.

  • BUT, THAT DETERRED ME FOR A LITTLE WHILE,

  • BUT ONCE I REALIZED OUTER SPACE--

  • SPACE EXPLORATION WAS ACTUALLY AN INDUSTRY

  • THAT HAD REAL JOBS I GOT HOOKED INTO IT

  • AND GOT MY ACADEMIC DEGREE IN EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCES.

  • I SPENT A COUPLE YEARS STUDYING THE GEOLOGY OF OTHER PLANETS.

  • PEOPLE USED TO PAY ME TO SIT AROUND AND LOOK

  • AT PRETTY PICTURES OF MARS AND THINK DEEP THOUGHTS,

  • WHICH WAS SPECTACULAR BUT ALSO A LITTLE BIT FRUSTRATING

  • BECAUSE AS A CURIOUS PERSON, I FOUND IT VERY UNSETTLING THAT IN

  • THAT FIELD WHEN YOU STUDY ANOTHER PLANET

  • AND YOU'RE A SCIENTIST AND ALL YOU WANT IS DATA,

  • IN THAT FIELD YOU'RE VERY FORTUNATE

  • IF YOU GET A NEW DATA SET ONCE PER DECADE.

  • AND YOU'RE ALWAYS SORT OF ONE BAD DAY AWAY

  • FROM SKIPPING A DECADE AND THAT WAS NOT THE PACE OF THINGS

  • THAT I WAS WELL ACCUSTOMED TO.

  • SO, I DECIDED TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL AND THEN

  • THROUGH VARIOUS TWISTS AND TURNS

  • IN MY CAREER REALLY DEDICATE MYSELF

  • TO LETTING THERE BE MORE DATA SETS, ALLOWING MORE PEOPLE

  • FROM MORE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BACKGROUNDS, MORE UNIVERSITIES,

  • MORE PRIVATE COMPANIES, MORE INDIVIDUALS TO ASK NEW QUESTIONS

  • ABOUT SPACE AND THEN GO

  • OUT THERE WHETHER IT'S GOING THEMSELVES OR SENDING SATELLITES

  • AND GO GET ANSWERS TO THOSE QUESTIONS.

  • >> GIVE HIM A ROUND OF APPLAUSE PLEASE.

  • WILL POMERANTZ.

  • [ APPLAUSE ]

  • AS WE BEGAN TO PUT THE SHOW CONCEPT TOGETHER,

  • DOING SOME BACKGROUND, IF YOU HAVEN'T GOOGLED THIS GENTLEMEN,

  • I WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO IT.

  • NOT NOW. NOT ON OUR SMARTPHONES.

  • PUT THOSE DOWN.

  • HOLD ON. BUT, LATER THIS EVENING OR SOMETIME

  • IN THE NOT-TOO-DISTANT FUTURE.

  • AND AS I HEARD HIM SPEAK AND READ ABOUT HIM,

  • THE IDEA OF CURIOSITY KIND OF CAME TO US AS TO FOLLOW

  • INTO THE PROFESSION-- HOW MANY OF US GO OUT AND LOOK

  • UP AT THE STARS AT NIGHT ON OCCASION?

  • ANYBODY IN THE AUDIENCE DO THAT?

  • IS THAT NOT AN AMAZING SIGHT?

  • IS THAT NOT AN AMAZING SIGHT?!

  • THANK YOU.

  • AMEN, BROTHER.

  • LET'S MAKE THIS WORK, ALRIGHT?

  • JUST WONDERING WHAT IS THERE AND--

  • WHICH GOT US THINKING ABOUT, WELL, WHAT IF IT'S NOT SOMETHING

  • AS VAST AND AS POTENTIALLY INTERESTING AS SPACE?

  • WHAT IF IT'S SOMETHING LIKE YOUR CAREER OR YOUR JOB?

  • HOW DO YOU BRING THAT SAME SENSE OF WONDER AND IS THAT IMPORTANT

  • TO BRING THAT SENSE OF WONDER INTO YOUR LIFE, INTO YOUR JOB?

  • ARE THERE ADVANTAGES TO THAT?

  • AND THAT'S PART OF WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DISCUSS TONIGHT.

  • NOT TO GET TOO HEAVY, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE FUN,

  • BUT WE'RE ALSO GOING TO HAVE A SERIOUS CONVERSATION.

  • SO, LET'S START BY ASKING WILL, IF YOU'LL GO FIRST,

  • WHAT'S YOUR DEFINITION OF CURIOSITY?

  • >> WELL, THESE DAYS I HAVE A DIFFERENT ONE.

  • MY WIFE WORKS FOR NASA AT THE JET PROPULSION LAB

  • AND SHE'S A MISSION LEAD FOR A ROBOTIC MISSION EXPLORING MARS

  • THAT IS CALLED CURIOSITY.

  • SO, CURIOSITY, IN ADDITION TO OTHER THINGS,

  • MEANS HALF OF THE INCOME IN OUR FAMILY, WHICH IS PRETTY NICE.

  • [ CHEERING ]

  • BUT, MORE GENERALLY, I WOULD SAY CURIOSITY MEANS JUST CONSTANTLY

  • ASKING QUESTIONS AND ACTUALLY CARING

  • ABOUT THE ANSWER TO THOSE QUESTIONS.

  • YOU KNOW, THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS

  • BECAUSE IT'S A WAY TO FILL THE TIME

  • AND MAKE CONVERSATIONS LESS AWKWARD AND I GUESS THAT'S FINE,

  • BUT THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE WHO ASK QUESTIONS AND THEN WILL GO

  • AND GO BACK TO THEIR COMPUTER

  • AND SPEND 20 HOURS RESEARCHING THE DAMN THING JUST

  • BECAUSE THEY GOT THE BUG IN THEIR BRAIN THAT HEY,

  • THERE'S SOMETHING INTERESTING OUT THERE

  • AND I WANT TO GO FIGURE IT OUT.

  • >> DEAN SOLT?

  • >> WELL, I THINK CURIOSITY IS WANTING KNOWLEDGE,

  • NEEDING EXPLANATION, SEEKING ANSWERS.

  • I THINK IT'S THE INBRED-- INBORN INTEGRAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE

  • THAT SORT OF BRINGS TOGETHER OUR PSYCHE

  • AND THE REAL WORLD AROUND US.

  • TO ME, IT'S THE LINK BETWEEN OUR MENTAL STATES

  • AND THE REAL WORLD.

  • SO, A LOT OF WAYS, SEEMS TO ME

  • THAT CURIOSITY IS AN ACTION WORD.

  • LITTLE QUOTE FROM WALT DISNEY.

  • HE SAID, "WE KEEP MOVING FORWARD, OPENING NEW DOORS

  • AND DOING NEW THINGS BECAUSE WE'RE CURIOUS

  • AND CURIOSITY KEEPS LEADING US DOWN THE ROAD."

  • SO, I THINK IT TRULY IS AN ACTION WORD.

  • >> THANK YOU.

  • ALRIGHT. I WOULD LIKE YOU

  • TO GIVE THEM BOTH A ROUND OF APPLAUSE AGAIN.

  • I'M SORRY, BUT WE'RE GOING TO JUST KEEP YOU MOVING.

  • I KNOW IT'S SIX O'CLOCK, SIX SOMETHING HERE IN THE EVENING.

  • HOPEFULLY YOU GOT A LITTLE BIT OF FOOD

  • IF YOU'RE IN THE LIVE AUDIENCE.

  • IF YOU'RE LISTENING TO US ON THE STREAM, YOU COULD BE WALKING

  • AROUND YOUR HOUSE DOING WHATEVER IS THE RIGHT THINK

  • FOR YOU TO DO RIGHT NOW.

  • MAYBE EVEN HAVING A DRINK.

  • BUT THAT'S FINE WITH US; WE DON'T MIND AS LONG

  • AS YOU'RE LISTENING AND PARTICIPATING.

  • WHAT DO YOU GENTLEMEN THINK--

  • OR HOW DO YOU THINK CURIOSITY IS IMPORTANT IN A CAREER?

  • HOW DO YOU THINK IT SHOWS UP IN SOMEONE'S CAREER?

  • DOESN'T HAVE TO BE ABOUT SPACE.

  • MAYBE SOME OF YOU ARE GOING TO PROCEED IN THAT VEIN

  • AND THAT INDUSTRY, BUT, OVERALL,

  • HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT QUESTION?

  • >> I-- IT COULD NOT POSSIBLY BE MORE IMPORTANT.

  • IT IS SOMETHING THAT WE ARE ABSOLUTELY LOOKING

  • FOR FROM THE MOMENT YOU FIRST APPLY FOR A JOB

  • AT OUR COMPANY AND, BY THE WAY, WE'RE HIRING, SO I HOPE MANY

  • OF YOU WILL APPLY FOR A JOB AT OUR COMPANY.

  • BUT, EVEN ONCE YOU MAKE IT IN THROUGH THE DOORS, IT IS A THING

  • THAT WE REQUIRE OF YOU EVERY DAY AND NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS ALSO.

  • YOU KNOW, THE CURIOUS EMPLOYEES ARE THE ONES

  • WHO DON'T ONLY DO WHAT THEIR MANAGER DIRECTS THEM TO DO.

  • AND THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS

  • THAT NO MATTER HOW AMAZINGLY VIRTUOSIC YOUR CEO IS

  • AND NO MATTER HOW GOOD YOUR MIDDLE LINE MANAGERS ARE,

  • YOUR MANAGER WILL NEVER TELL YOU EVERYTHING THAT YOU NEED TO DO.

  • IF HE OR SHE DOES, THEN THERE'S PROBABLY--

  • YOU HAVEN'T FOUND THE RIGHT COMPANY JUST YET.

  • I WORK AT A COMPANY WHERE WE'RE ENCOURAGED--

  • OF COURSE WE HAVE TO DO OUR WORK, BUT WE'RE ENCOURAGED

  • TO ASK OTHER QUESTIONS TO FIND NEW WAYS OF DOING THINGS

  • TO MAYBE EVEN SUGGEST ENTIRELY NEW THINGS

  • THAT PERHAPS WE SHOULD BE DOING.

  • IF WE DIDN'T HAVE THAT, WE WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN BORN

  • AS A COMPANY.

  • I MEAN FOR GOODNESS SAKES WE'RE A COMPANY THAT'S TRYING

  • TO BE THE WORLD'S FIRST COMMERCIAL SPACE LINE.

  • WE'RE TRYING TO MAKE IT SO THAT ANYONE ON THE PLANET CAN GO

  • TO SPACE SO THAT EVERYONE ON THE PLANET CAN BUILD A SATELLITE

  • OR SOME KIND OF RESEARCH EXPERIMENT, SEND THAT TO SPACE.

  • YOU DON'T EVEN START A BUSINESS THAT ON THE SURFACE

  • OF IT SOUNDS KIND OF CRAZY UNLESS YOU'RE CURIOUS

  • ABOUT WELL, WHAT THE HECK WOULD HAPPEN IF WE JUST--

  • IF WE JUST ANNOUNCE THIS THING,

  • WOULD ANYONE BE INTERESTED IN BUYING IT?

  • SO, YEAH. AND, AGAIN, THAT IS CERTAINLY NOT LIMITED

  • TO AEROSPACE.

  • ALL YOU SAY THIS IN THE CONTEXT OF HIRING BECAUSE I'M HERE

  • AT A UNIVERSITY AND I SUSPECT MAYBE SOME OF YOU ARE LOOKING

  • FOR INTERNSHIPS OR JOBS.

  • YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU-- WE COME IN,

  • WE'RE GOING TO ASK YOU QUESTIONS ABOUT--

  • NOT JUST ABOUT YOUR GRADES OR WHAT YOU'VE DONE

  • AT MAYBE PAST SUMMER INTERNSHIPS OR FOR A PROFESSOR

  • THAT YOU WORK FOR, I'M GOING

  • TO ASK WHAT YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME.

  • I'M GOING TO ASK WHAT YOUR HOBBIES ARE

  • AND WHAT I WANT THE ANSWER TO BE IS WELL I WAS LOOKING

  • FOR THIS CLUB AND CAL STATE LONG BEACH DIDN'T HAVE THE CLUB