Bismarck State College, North Dakota
By Madeline Patton
When Forbes magazine publisher Rich Karlgaard returned to Bismarck State College in North Dakota last fall, he praised his former track coach for letting him succeed or fail on his own. Coach Ed Hasche had allowed Karlgaard, who was captain of the team, to train at his own pace on his own schedule.
"That was a wonderful lesson in self-teaching," said Karlgaard.
It is a lesson Karlgaard has taken with him to the top of the financial media world as publisher of Forbes magazine for the past two years.
From this plateau, Karlgaard shares his conservative libertarian views championing the open marketplace and the rewards of hard work and ingenuity in his weekly "Digital Rules" column.
His wry style and keen observations make engaging reading. The column’s title hints at the ironic humor Karlgaard brings to his analysis of technology’s growing dominance of the economy and his opinion that e-commerce should be unfettered by rules.
A regular guest on CNN-FN’s "Digital Jam," and an acclaimed industry speaker, Karlgaard got his start in journalism with Upside magazine, which he founded with Tony Perkins in 1989. The monthly magazine covers the computer industry and high-tech investment for managers interested in securing funding. Its tell-it-like-it-is coverage of the technology industry has been a sensation in Silicon Valley.
In 1992, Karlgaard joined with writer and futurist George Glider and Forbes chief executive Steve Forbes to start Forbes ASAP magazine, a bimonthly that covers major trends and implications of the Digital Age. Since then, he has worked with Tom Wolf, Peter Drucker, Robert Kaplan, Gore Vidal, William F. Buckley, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Kurt Vonnegut and other writers. He made the jump from ASAP to the masthead at Forbes when he was 43.
In 1997, Karlgaard and his Upside co-founder Perkins won the Ernest & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for creating the Churchill Club. They started the non-profit public affairs organization in 1986 as a place for Silicon Valley executives to meet, exchange ideas and network. The forum has attracted world and nationally renowned political figures as speakers along with leaders of industry. Its membership has grown to 2,500.
Karlgaard also started garage.com in1997 with two other Silicon Valley leaders. The web-based firm connects venture capital investors with people trying to start new technology companies. The firm is now the world leader in this form of e-commerce.
If he were a student today he would study the history of technology, says Karlgaard, who received his associate degree from Bismarck State in 1974 and his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University two years later.