Adam Benzion, MBA '02

Create a Whole Greater Than an Individual from Here

Create a Whole Greater Than an Individual from Here

University of San Francisco MBA alumnus Adam Benzion graduated in 2002, equipped with a firm foundation in business that helped him launch several tech companies.

Adam has since sold two of his companies—a hardware startup to OtterBox, and his most recent venture, Hackster.io, to the $20bn electronics giant, Avnet.

Since its launch in 2013, Hackster.io has become the #1 online platform for sharing, collaborating, and learning electronics and Internet of Things (IoT). The company serves users in over 100 countries, has 90+ partners from Microsoft to Amazon, Google and Intel, delivers weekly innovation contests, and has relationships with over 100 ambassadors worldwide who have taught IoT skills to over 30,000 people in 2016 alone.

For Adam, USF’s mission to ‘change the world from here’ starts by bringing change to one person at a time.

Most of us will not impact the world at the same magnitude of Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg. We can, however, create a whole much greater than our individual parts.

As Hackster moves to democratize hardware, engineers, makers, innovators and entrepreneurs who use the platform drive the real societal change. “It is exciting and rewarding knowing that what you do every day, helps people everywhere learn new skills and better their lives.”

How can Dons learn from Adam's journey? He shares the three principles that worked for him:

1) Fear Is Your Top Inhibitor. Learn how to manage it. Don’t be afraid to take a leap and pursue the things that you want to achieve. In Adam’s case, this leap was quitting his full-time job with Microsoft to pursue an entrepreneurial endeavor (which didn’t mean a leap into poverty, rather living on lesser wages, taking consulting gigs and conserving.)

2) Work Hard. Really Hard. Starting a business will probably be “the hardest job you ever have, 12-15 hour days, plus constant travel, but you'll love it and you'll have fun.”

3) Surround yourself with intelligent and happy people. “Happy people are creative, collaborative, supportive and generous. Aim for attitude over aptitude.” 

By Tilda Gross

USF Alumnus Adam Benzion at Hackster.io