Enabling creation for the creative
Behance founder Scott Belsky visited Penn on Wednesday
April 16, 2014, 9:49 pm · Updated April 17, 2014, 7:03 am·
Academic and professional interests are back in focus for students now that Spring Fling has come and gone.
On Wednesday night, Wharton Management Club hosted Scott Belsky , co-founder of Behance, vice president of products and community at Adobe and an investor in companies like Pinterest and Uber. More than 40 students gathered at Huntsman Hall to hear Belsky discuss how creativity and design have driven his career in business.
“What has motivated me for the past eight years or so is this frustration with the creative community,” said Belsky, who was included in Fast Company’s 2010 “100 Most Creative People in Business” list.
“[The creative community] is a fascinating industry, but also frustratingly disorganized,” he added. “And that has been what I’ve always been thinking about: How do you help organize creative people? How do you help creative people actually create something?”
After leaving a “boring finance job” at Goldman-Sachs and prior to attending Harvard Business School, Belsky founded Behance, which he described as a “platform for millions of creatives all around the world to connect with each other.”
Since then, Behance has attracted millions of users and Belsky now describes it as “the LinkedIn for the creative world.” Consequently, Adobe purchased Behance in 2012 for $150 million, allowing Behance to grow and attract more users.
For the Wharton Management Club, Belsky’s unconventional business interests attracted their attention. “We decided to choose Scott Belsky because we really wanted to have an event that set us apart from the very pre-professional events that other Wharton clubs tend to have,” said Wharton and College sophomore Chacha Wang , who is a member of the Wharton Management Club. “He is very much focused on creativity and I think that is something that is not as emphasized here.”
Belsky also has a successful career as an angel investor, a profession that attracted some students who might not have been as interested in creative fields to his talk.
“I’m into private equity, and he is an angel investor,” said Wharton freshman Victor Adeleke . “So he invests in companies that are solving problems, and I think that is really interesting.”
Throughout the presentation, Belsky flashed rules across the screen that he has found integral to his career in business. According to his rules, initiative is more important than experience, you should gain confidence from doubt and resourcefulness is more important than resources.
“It is so easy to think that your experience at Wharton and the title of being in Wharton is ultimately what is going to get you to your dream position,” said Wharton senior Christina Westley . “But it’s nice to be reminded that taking initiative in other ways or going after other things you are passionate about can lead you to your ultimate goal.”