"Follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be" -- Joseph Campbell

Update: We were quite honored to host John C. Bogle, the founder and former CEO of Vanguard, as the keynote for Entrepreneurship Week. Jack delivered an inspirational speech entitled: "Vanguard: A Saga of Heros." A video of the speech may be viewed here, and the text may be read here. Many more of Bogle's eloquent speeches may be read on his blog and on the Vanguard site.
John C. Bogle founded the Vanguard Group based on premises first set down in his Princeton senior thesis, and today Vanguard manages over one-trillion dollars in assets.

In 2004, TIME magazine named Mr. Bogle as one of the world's 100 most powerful and influential people, and Institutional Investor presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1999, Fortune designated him as one of the investment industry's four "Giants of the 20th Century."

"For better or worse, my youthful idealism--the belief that any truly sound business endeavor must be built on a strong moral foundation--still remains today, at least as strong a it was all those years ago." --John C. Bogle

We are quite honored to have John C. Bogle--the founder and former CEO of the Vanguard Group--as our keynote for Entrepreneurship Week. Join us at 7:30 PM on February 27th in Caruso Hall at the Pepperdine University School of Law.

Mr. Bogle is the author of several books including the famous Bogle on Mutual Funds: New Perspectives for the Intelligent Investor and The Battle for The Soul of Capitalism, which is required reading in Dr. E's AE&T class.

John Bogle not only represents the classic entrepreneurer who always holds the higher ideals over the bottom line, but he also represents the classic student entrepreneur, as the Vanguard 500 Index Fund was based on his 1951 Princeton senior thesis.

Bogle's Battle for The Soul of Capitalism opens with these words from St. Paul, I Corinthians, "If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?" On the first page Bogle references Joseph Campbell:

The most recent episode witnessed the culmination of an era in which our business corporations and our financial institutions, working in tacit harmony, corrupted the traditional nature of capitalism, shattering both confidence in the markets and the accumulated wealth of countless American families. Something went profoundly wrong, fundamentally and pervasively, in corporate America. . . . At the root of the problem, in the broadest sense, was a societal change aptly described by these words from the teacher Joseph Campbell: "In medieval times, as you approached the city, your eye was tyaken by the Cathedral. Today, it's the towers of commerce. It's business, business, business." We had become what Campbell called a bottom-line society. But our society came to measure the wrong bottom line: form over substance, prestige over virtue, money over achievement, charisma over character, the ephemeral over the enduring, even mammon over God." --The Battle for The Soul of Capitalism, by John C. Bogle

He has always sought to serve the common investor first and foremost--the preachers, teachers, firemen, small business owners, and artists--and Bogle's spirit reaches on back to the American Founding for fellowship. In a speech entitled Capitalism, Entrepreneurship, and Investing--The 18th Century vs. the 21st Century, Bogle writes,

I. Franklin's Entrepreneurship and Invention

Let's begin with Franklin's entrepreneurship. It was not only remarkable for his era; it was remarkable for any era. While in today's grandiose era of capitalism the word "entrepreneur" has come to be commonly associated with those who are motivated to create new enterprises largely by the desire for personal wealth or even greed, the fact is that entrepreneur simply means "one who undertakes an enterprise," a person who founds and directs an organization.

But at its best, entrepreneurship entails something far more important than mere money. Please do not take my word for it. Heed the words of the great Joseph Schumpeter, the first economist to recognize entrepreneurship as the vital force that drives economic growth. In his Theory of Economic Development, written nearly a century ago, Schumpeter dismissed material and monetary gain as the prime mover of the entrepreneur, finding motivations like these to be far more powerful: (1) "The joy of creating, of getting things done, of simply exercising one's energy and ingenuity," and (2) "The will to conquer: the impulse to fight, . . . to succeed for the sake, not of the fruits of success, but of success itself."

There is a difference, then, between an entrepreneur and a capitalist. Had Franklin possessed the soul of a true capitalist, "he would have devoted the time he saved from printing to making money somewhere else."1 But he did not. For Franklin, the getting of money was always a means to an end, not an end in itself. The other enterprises he created, as well as his inventions, were designed for the public weal, not for his personal profit. Even today, Dr. Franklin's idealistic 18th century version of entrepreneurship is inspirational. When he reminded us that "energy and persistence conquer all things," Franklin was likely describing his own motivations to create and to succeed, using Schumpeter's formulation, for the joy of creating, of exercising one's energy and ingenuity, the will to conquer, and the joy of a good battle.

Mr. Bogle recently mentioned Artistic Entrepreneurship & Technology 101 in one of his eloquent speeches, while talking about reviews that The Battle for The Soul of Capitalism has received, "And consider for a moment how you would feel if you got a note like this one just a week ago from a young college professor. (He happens to be a Princeton alumnus, class of 1991.) "In my Artistic Entrepreneurship and Technology Class at Pepperdine University your classic book The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism is required reading along with Homer's The Odyssey . . . Both are great books about long-term investing--about forgoing short-term temptations . . . When Odysseus gets on home, he has to reclaim it from all the imposters who have been living off his estate while he was off fighting for his country. So it's a story about property rights, about the risk takers getting their just reward, about valuing the higher ideals over the bottom line, about faith and family, and serving one's customers and employees.. ("Clients" and "crew" in my Vanguard lexicon. Who says we can't always find better words to convey our true meaning?)

"(My) students," the professor adds, "are just beginning a great journey, and eternity's principles will serve them well in all their intellectual and entrepreneurial endeavors . . . we must call on the muse to help us find the right words to inspire (and) I'm grateful that Homer and Bogle did such a great job, as they'll be great companions on this voyage on out, during this Fellowship of Humble Heroes . . .."

Well, thanks to Mr. Bogle for showing the students that the ideals in the Great Books and Classics are not to be relegated to dusty old shelves, but they are most useful entities that are meant to be performed time and again in the living language and living ventures--as Mr. Bogle has so eloquently done in Battle for the Soul of Capitalism and Vanguard.

Come join us for a brand new Bogle speech during Entrepreneurship Week!

Read all of Mr. Bogle's amazing and inspirational speeches.

Josh Berman co-founded and became COO of MySpace.com in September 2003. MySpace is the leading Social Networking Life Style portal on the Internet with over 45 million users and 12 billion page views per month - which according to Media Metrix ranked it as the #3 trafficked site on the Internet (Page Views, Media Metrix November 2005).

Berman formerly has co-founded and managed two successful Internet companies, ResponseBase Marketing, and Xdrive Technologies. At ResponseBase Marketing, Berman held positions as the COO and CFO. Response Base had a team of 35 employees that sourced and marketed proprietary products online through a team of product developers, engineers, and media buyers. At Xdrive Technologies, Berman held positions as the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, additionally he was a member of the Xdrive Japan Board of Directors. Berman successfully completed various equity financings raising over $110 million from blue chip investors and debt financings raising over $12 million.

Previously, Berman was a management consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he served Internet and entertainment clients on issues related to corporate strategy and business development. Berman was also an international marketing manager and a senior financial analyst at Twentieth Century Fox.

Berman received his MBA from the University of Southern California, his BA from UC- Santa Barbara, and is a CPA in the State of California.

Dr. E's "Hero's Journey Entrepreneurship" lecture is now available online.

Dr. E's dissertation on an artificial retina for the blind, entitled "Multiple Unit Artificial Retina Chipset to Benefit The Visually Impaired and Enhanced CMOS Phototransistors" won a Merrill Lynch Innovations Grant. A version of the work became a chapter in Intelligent Systems and Technologies in Rehabilitation Engineering (Crc Press International Series on Computational Intelligence), and the research continues to this day at several universities.

Dr. E has several patents currently pending pertaining to digital rights management for indie artists and enhanced video games with epic storytelling and deeper souls.

Dr. E was awarded the Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching as well as an honorary membership in the American Society of Physics Teachers. He launched the Great Books Portal jollyroger.com in 1995, and now runs over thirty websites devoted to topics ranging from physics, to Classical Music, to Shakespeare, to Artistic Entrepreneurship & Technology.

He is the author of several books including the novel Autumn Rangers, which is about an entrepreneur named Ranger McCoy who invents AI only to have APRIL stolen by a corrupt corporation while he's off fighting for his country. When Ranger finally gets on home, he must infiltrate Silicon Virtue Inc. to reactivate APRIL's moral operating system, and the real battle begins as SV has turned APRIL against him.

So it is that Hero's Journey Entrepreneurship is all about The Battle For The Soul of Capitalism--about returning the moral premise to Wall Street and Main Street, to Hollywood and the Heartland, to Academia and Video Games.