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Perfect Pitch: Brian Overland

Founder, CEO, Drummer



Current City: Washington, DC.

Current Job and Entrepreneurial Focus: Co-Founder and CEO, Prolegis.

Notable Prior Jobs: Employee #5 at Sunrun (NASDAQ: RUN). Product Marketing lead at Enphase (NASDAQ: ENPH).

When I Started Performing: Piano recital at age 9, but I'd count my performance at age 14 as drummer with my first punk band the Outlets as the most important milestone.

Performing Arts Background: In addition to forming numerous punk bands and performing in >100 DIY shows in my teenage years in Missoula MT, I'm a trained jazz and rock drummer, alto saxophonist, and pianist.

How did your performing arts background supercharge your entrepreneurship? Three key areas: willpower, leadership, and improvisation. It takes willpower to get on stage and give it all you've got, and without enduring willpower you simply cannot succeed as an entrepreneur. All musical ensembles require clear organizing principles, a spirit of collaboration, camaraderie, and a spark of energy to create forward momentum, and these are necessary components of entrepreneurial leadership. Responding to immediate shifts in market requirements, unforeseen product failures, and constantly evolving team dynamics require entrepreneurs to improvise, and the performing stage is the best place you can build improvisatory skills. Lastly, you need to be able to make your own fun to succeed as a performer and survive as an entrepreneur. It is extremely difficult to do either if you can't manifest the bright side in your day to day work. To paraphrase David Mamet, if you don't make your own fun, by definition it isn't fun: it's entertainment. In entrepreneurship as on the stage, you have to do it yourself.

Favorite Performer: Ian Svenonius because the way he commands his audiences is very special, and his performances and recordings speak for themselves.


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