for Wednesday, September 24
The fun began at 5:30 PM with an onsite pop-up shop just outside of the Odeum! Various Johnny Cupcakes branded products were for sale and what an attraction!
Then Wow! what a presentation Johnny Earle (a.k.a., Johnny Cupcakes) made! It truly was a "happening" where nearly two hundred students were amazed by his venture’s rise to global success. In fact, students gave Johnny a very long standing ovation at the end - something I rarely see engineering and science students do, and something that literally stopped Johnny in his tracks on the stage.
If the old venture capitalist adage "fail early - fail often" is worth anything at all, Johnny was doing the right thing early on. He was failing in math. He was failing in science. He was failing in writing. He failed right out of public schools into a Charter school for special needs kids. You see, Johnny had a terrible learning disability, but that night, we learned that definition is relative to the definers and interpreters.
The amazing part of Johnny's story that evening was this: Johnny wasn't failing in opportunity recognition, how to earn dough, nor at how to work magic! (True, he was a paid magician by the ripe old age of eight years old, earning good bucks for executing magic tricks at birthday parties.)
Today Johnny still makes time for pranking. The evening of the event, he noticed a bee on my shoulder; however, I didn't fall for the old buzzer. Now the life size cockroach scuttling across the floor did catch my eye, but empathetic old me, my propensity to catch and release such critters elsewhere led me to try to trap it. Johnny casually put it back in his pocket.
I recommended Johnny Earle as a speaker because his story is relevant and fresh, he is as transparent as he is endearing, and he helps students understand that it is more than product that makes a business successful. It's the customer experience that defines success, and of course, it doesn't hurt that global collectors will sleep on sidewalks for days waiting for a limited edition t-shirt.
It's more than product - it's the culture bred from the transaction.
This was a great experience and we had ample opportunity for questions, shooting Selfies, and Tweeting our delight. We also felt we earned a lifelong friendship. I hope you get to experience one of his presentations someday. You will enjoy it if you do. He makes an indelible impression.
--Gina Betti, Worcester Polytechnic Institute.