The event: Seminar speech at an MIT-like university in Beijing that frequently hosts international business leaders.
The audience: More than 1000 students and faculty, many of whom are (or soon will be) entrepreneurs and business leaders.
The speaker: The low-profile CEO of a Silicon Valley-based networking equipment company that was known for its unconventional culture, technological innovation, and extraordinary rate of growth.
The title: How to Succeed in the New Economy.
The story: It was November 2001 and China was on the verge of entering the World Trade Organization. Developing and nurturing a competitive, entrepreneurial business culture was on everyone's mind. After the speaker finished his address on the keys to the success of his five-year-old company, many members of the audience rushed the stage -- to get his autograph. Seminar organizers later commented that the response was unprecedented.