Perfect Pitch: Brent Blackaby
Founder, Manager, Singer
Current City: Berkeley, CA.
Current Job and Entrepreneurial Focus: Co-Founder, Confidently.com. Helping consumers and employees remove their personal data from places it shouldn't be, to prevent cybersecurity attacks and take back control of their privacy.
Notable Prior Jobs: Co-Founder of Trilogy Interactive (digital marketing agency for politics & public affairs), Product Marketing Manager at E*TRADE, Business Analyst at McKinsey & Co.
When I Started Performing: Began taking piano lessons at age 5, singing in school choirs at age 12.
Performing Arts Background: Pianist and choral singer. Most recently have sung with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus for more than 10 years. Sang with the Harvard Glee Club in college (where I met my partner Larry!), and managed the Glee Club for two years while an undergraduate (managing operating budget, rehearsals & concert schedules, and annual tours -- including senior year performance of Brahms' Requiem at Lincoln Center with the Orchestra of St. Luke's).
How did your performing arts background supercharge your entrepreneurship? I've carried over a number of philosophies from music-making to entrepreneurship.
* Practice makes perfect: Takes a lot of work, and a lot of repetition, to hone your craft and prepare a new work for public performance. Similarly, we're constantly learning new things in our startup every day, and working to improve our performance all the time -- better understand our customers, speed up our development process, improve our operational efficiency, and more. If we're ever going to approach perfection, we've got to keep working hard, every day, to improve.
* Teamwork: You can't perform the Brahms Requiem on your own. It requires a chorus of skilled musicians singing together across every voice part, in concert with an orchestra, led by a conductor. We all have our part to play, and we have to work hand-in-hand with every other musician, perfectly aligned, to deliver an amazing performance. Similarly, our start-up requires skilled professionals across many different disciplines, working together and coordinated, to achieve great things for our customers.
* Creativity: Innovation is the life-blood of every start-up. How can we create something new and wonderful for our customers? How can we imagine a future where our customers can be in control of their online privacy? What tools do they need to do that? Curiosity and creativity help us answer those questions. It's the same kind of creative thinking, and openness to new ideas or exposure to new kinds of music, that I've learned as a musician.
Favorite Performer: Harvard Glee Club (I love men's choral music!).
Follow this Performer:
Twitter - @brentblackaby
Instagram - @brentblackaby
Facebook - brentb
LinkedIn - /in/brent-blackaby-004246