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Success Story Podcast

Wes Kao – Marketing Executive, Entrepreneur, and Advisor | Persuasive Communication

By December 22, 2023No Comments

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About The Guest

Wes Kao is a marketing executive, entrepreneur, and advisor who writes a newsletter at She is co-founder of Maven, a platform that empowers the world’s experts to offer live courses directly to their audience. Maven raised $25M from First Round Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, and has served more than 20,000 students. In 2022, Maven was named by Fast Company as the #1 most innovative company in education.

Previously, Wes co-founded the altMBA with bestselling author Seth Godin. The altMBA was the first mainstream cohort-based course and created the category. She grew the altMBA from zero to thousands of students in 550 cities in 45 countries in three years.

Her work has been featured in Fast Company, Business Insider, Inc, Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and The Information. In 2021, she was selected by Entrepreneur magazine on the 100 Women of Impact list. She has spoken at SXSW and guest lectures at UC Berkeley and Harvard Business School.

Talking Points

  • 00:00 — Introduction
  • 01:05 — Wes Kao’s Origin Story
  • 05:28 — Founder Mindset Sans Title
  • 12:22 — Unlocking Employee Creativity
  • 21:43 — Maven’s Inception
  • 29:33 — Sponsor: The Product Boss
  • 30:23 — Cohort-Based Learning Explained
  • 38:05 — Accountability in Maven Courses
  • 39:53 — Launching Maven: Lessons Learned
  • 46:07 — The Thought Process Behind Scaling Maven
  • 51:44 — Closing Thoughts from Wes
  • 52:55 — Connect with Wes Online
  • 53:08 — Overcoming Career Challenges
  • 53:53 — The Most Impactful Person in Wes Kao’s Life
  • 54:46 — Book and Podcast Recommendations
  • 55:18 — Advice to 20-Year-Old Self
  • 55:27 — Defining Success

Show Links

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What is the Success Story Podcast?

On this podcast, you’ll find interviews, Q&A, keynote presentations & conversations on sales, marketing, business, startups, and entrepreneurship.

The podcast is hosted by entrepreneur, business executive, author, educator & speaker, Scott D. Clary.

Scott will discuss some of the lessons he’s learned over his own career, as well as have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures, and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas, and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their stories to help pass those lessons on to others through both experiences and tactical strategies for business professionals, entrepreneurs, and everyone in between.


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