You Only Have to Be Right Once
The Unprecedented Rise of the Instant Tech Billionaires
Randall Lane is the chief content officer of Forbes Magazine, where he has helped it reach its highest-ever U.S. readership (6.7 million) with new emphases on young innovators and disruptors. These are people reimagining the rules for business and rethinking the potential for entrepreneurs to solve the world’s most intractable problems, whether through their business missions or philanthropy.
Randall Lane understands the entrepreneurial mindset because he’s been an entrepreneur himself. Before returning to Forbes as the chief content officer, Lane after spent more than a decade co-founding, serving as editor-in-chief and, in the latter case, the CEO of two media startups that in aggregate launched almost a dozen magazines and related web sites, including P.O.V. (Adweek’s “Startup of the Year”), Trader Monthly, and Dealmaker.
Based on these initiatives, Lane created two of the most significant annual events of the past decade: The Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy, which gathers the world’s billionaires to tackle global problems, and the Under 30 Summit, which convenes 2,000 Millennial entrepreneurs and game-changers from the Forbes 30 Under 30 lists to help chart a course for business over the next 50 years. His latest book project covers the latter topic: You Only Have to Be Right Once: The Unprecedented Rise of the Instant Tech Billionaire (Penguin). In the midst of this, he published an interview with President Trump that went viral within hours of its release.
A fluid speaker and a regular on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and other television programs, Lane is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serves on the global board of directors for The Global Poverty Project/Global Citizen, chairs the advisory board for Last Mile Health, and serves three boards affiliated with his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. As a hobby, Lane, a certified sommelier, served as chief restaurant critic for Time Out New York, where he was a National Magazine Award finalist.
Should billionaires even exist? Is socialism really all that bad? Should we tax the rich—or take even more drastic action? Questions that would have seemed crazy even just a few years ago are common now. Americans’ trust in capitalism is at an all-time low, young people are turning to socialism, and everybody’s talking about the 70% tax on the country’s wealthiest. And when it comes to the nation’s highest earners, Randall Lane—entrepreneur, economic expert, and the youngest editor of Forbes—has got their number, literally. Lane has been up close and personal with the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, people who’ve undeniably benefited from capitalism and should, you’d think, be unequivocally singing its praises. But even among the rich there’s a rising worry that capitalism as we know it is just not working. Should 72 individuals be worth as much as $3.75 billion? Is the person who invented Candy Crush more valuable than the person who invented the dishwasher? With income inequality increasing, fewer low-wage earners able to access to the advantages of capitalism, and a growing resentment toward the ultra-rich among the 99%, disparity isn’t just depressing: it’s dangerous. In this hard-hitting, info-packed keynote, Lane unpacks the pessimism around American’s personal prospects, and the nation’s economic future—what got us here, and what can get us out.
How will business fare under Trump? How will this new government affect entrepreneurship, tech, and innovation across the nation, from Silicon Valley to Middle-America to Wall Street? Randall Lane—editor of Forbes, one of the world’s most respected magazines on business and innovation—explores what the change in power might mean for American ingenuity for the next four years.
As the creator of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” summit, there’s no one more plugged-in to the brightest leaders our nation has to offer—a millennial cohort of founders with big, bold ideas. That means Lane is perfectly suited to examine how start-up culture and youthful, intrepid entrepreneurs may respond to today’s most turbulent challenges. As the creator of Forbes’ “400 Summit on Philanthropy,” Lane is also the ideal speaker to talk on how new technologies might blossom or stall, and what might become of ambitious clean energy programs (not to mention social ventures and businesses that give back). After all, Lane knows how mission and purpose can take businesses to any level—and has a direct line to the most inspiring philanthropists today.
And, as a successful entrepreneur with savvy business acumen—he helped Forbes reach its highest readership, even in an era of mass disruption—Lane can speak to investors and executives on whether they should be bracing themselves for the new direction, or be looking forward to a stimulated economy. With rare insight into the new world of entrepreneurship and business, Lane takes us through a tour of these uncertain times—where to look for big changes, and where to expect business as usual.
Randall Lane isn’t just the youngest editor of Forbes; he’s also a successful entrepreneur who founded two start-ups. It’s this experience that makes his keynotes so insightful: Lane has seen, done, written about, and covered corporate America from every angle. He goes beyond buzzwords to explain how new technologies and a host of other disruptions are changing management, leadership, creativity, and innovation as we know them. And, with the clarity of the best journalists, he helps you understand what this means for your industry. He offers customized takeaways for anyone who wants to move slightly ahead of the times. Contemporary business is accelerating, and there’s no better guide to this new frontier than Randall Lane.
As the creator of both Forbes’ wildly popular 30 Under 30 lists and the Under 30 Summit, as well as the author of You Only Need to Be Right Once (Penguin), which chronicles the rise of the young tech billionaire, Randall Lane is at the center of a historically unprecedented event. For the first time in human history, it’s actually a professional advantage to be young. The stories behind how these first-generation digital natives have disrupted entire industries, which Lane chronicles with gusto, offer great lessons and a blueprint for business and professional reinvention. His keynote ends with a candid Q-and-A, fielding deeper questions on this topic, as well as general questions about business or the media.