Audience members at a Monmouth College lecture by iVision CEO Gabe Damiani last week were treated to an unexpected surprise. The co-founder of the infotech services company said they each earned an “iVision MBA” after learning how his company went from revenues of $220,000 to more than $37 million in less than 10 years.
Held in the college’s new Center for Science and Business, Damiani’s lecture was the first in a series of talks that will focus on science-business integration. Following the lecture, visiting professor of political economy and commerce Tom Prince thanked Damiani and the audience, and said he was pleased with the inaugural event.
“I don’t have enough fingers to count all the disciplines that were covered tonight,” said Prince, who is Damiani’s brother-in-law. “That’s the magic of the Center for Science and Business.”
Damiani covered such ideas as the law of diffusion, mass market adoption and disruptive technology during the MBA portion of his talk, which he told students could help “engineer your future.”
A privately-funded organization, iVision has been recognized for the past five years by Inc. Magazine as one of America’s 500 fastest-growing private companies.
Today, Damiani directs iVision’s strategy, marketing and operations on a day-to-day basis. He has developed a business model that empowers global and national organizations to realize 10 to 50 percent reductions in information technology capital and operating costs while simultaneously improving service. He told the audience that he is proud of the culture that has been created at the company, which grew from his remodeled bedroom to a 100-employee operation located in the business district of Atlanta.
“We think of ourselves as ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen,” he said, later touching on a list of 24 truths his company believes in, such as attitude being 80 percent of the ingredients required for success and having a clear and direct line of communication. He also referred to the acronym PIRRFA, which stands for passion, integrity, respect, rigor, focus and accountability.
“We believe we’ve developed a culture that’s truly unique, and we just happen to be good at technology,” he said.
When asked during the Q&A portion of the talk what his company looks for in hiring, Damiani replied, “We’re looking for people who match up with our values and who have talent. It doesn’t just have to be computer science majors – just talent.”
He also advised the students to become active on the LinkedIn professional network and to post their résumés on the site.
Asked what he would focus on in college if he were a student today, Damiani said, “I wouldn’t be afraid to try new things and to get outside of my comfort zone.”