Brian helps companies innovate faster to experience explosive growth. An accomplished entrepreneur, consultant and comedian, he has created products and businesses that have generated over one billion dollars in value.
About Brian Maggi
Consultant, Coach, and Comedian sounds like an odd combination until you meet Brian. The self-proclaimed ‘reluctant entrepreneur’ will tell you it’s the only thing that makes sense when you look at the career he’s had.
Brian has done the following…
Research Assistant for the National Center for SuperComputing at the University of Illinois where he presented research findings to a team of staff programmers including Marc Andreesen.
User Experience engineer on the Newton at Apple where he designed usability studies and prototypes including one that collected thousands of handwriting samples around the world.
Brian designed the first online Medical website for Loyola Medical Center. This was before Yahoo!, so weekly updates were just emailed to NCSA where they manually updated the Mosaic’s “What’s New” homepage.
Returned to Apple for a second stint the day before the company bought NeXT. While there he was head of marketing for the creative industry, and then the technology manager for the original iMac, G3 and G4. Brian and his team used to have to pitch Steve Jobs on ideas for keynotes for Seybold conferences (when those were still a thing).
While working at Apple, he and Scott Petry started Postini in the converted carport at Brian’s house in Cupertino. Postini was the first commercially successful SPAM filter, and email virus scanning solution. Google purchased Postini in 2007 for $670M.
In between the two jobs, Brian and several Silicon Valley friends launched a humor magazine called “In Formation.” The magazine took a satirical look at tech life and developed a small loyal following after a few issues.
While still at Apple, Brian worked closely with the inventors of SoundJam to get it noticed within the company. Seeing that digital music was going to be huge, Brian did the sensible thing. He left Apple and Postini to pursue his dream job of being the Creative Director for the startup eMusic. Three months later, Apple bought SoundJam and renamed it iTunes.
He moved to Chicago and launched Idea Momentum, one of the earliest Product Design and UX agencies in the country. Idea Momentum worked with clients big and small for 15 years.
While living in Chicago, Brian enrolled in classes at the legendary Second City. He auditioned and got accepted to write sketch comedy for several live reviews.
Homesick for his adopted state of California, Brian sold off Idea Momentum and returned to Silicon Valley as the Head of Marketing and UX for Sencha.
Bitten by the startup bug again, Brian co-founded Cola, the first open text messaging platform with former Newton and Apple colleagues David Temkin and Jeremy Wyld. Cola raised $1.3M in 8 hours on AngelList. It was only one of three companies AngelList founder Naval Ravikant invested in personally that year. Despite being a critical success and many acquisition meetings with Google, Uber, AirBnb, and Facebook, the founders decided not to pursue another round of funding and Cola was acquired by Layer.
When Cola ended Brian decided it was time to try the one thing he actually wanted to do for a living – comedy. He gave standup comedy a try at an open mic. That night he was approached by a promoter and booked to be in a show in San Francisco. It turned out he had what it takes to make it in comedy; friends with jobs who will come to shows and buy drinks.
After two months of driving all over the Bay Area to perform for 2-3 minutes Brian sought the advice of another comic with better things to do with his time. Going with the comic’s recommendation, Brian rented a small theater and booked a few of his ‘age adjacent’ friends and created a show called “Adulted.” The first show sold out the 43 seat theater.
Taking the small proceeds from the first show, Brian launched Showmentum, a company that specializes producing comedic events for corporate clients and the general public. Over 100 shows later, Showmentum has a couple monthly winery shows and several corporate clients. Instead doing open mics, Brian is booked regularly to do corporate gigs and private events.