Scott Adams Profile

Every day 150 million people around the world in 56 countries enjoy the Dilbert comic strip while reading 1900 newspapers. Dilbert‘s creator, Scott Adams, brings his unique, humorous insights into the world of business and office life to the public stage

Adams began his working life in the business world (after a variety of teenage jobs ranging from cowherd to busboy, gardener to security guard); graduating from Hartwick College with a BA in economics, he joined Crocker National Bank in San Francisco. While there he took his MBA from the University of California, Berkeley, by going to night school and then joined Pacific Bell. After eight years he left to work on his Dilbert strip full-time.

Hitting the jackpot with his first ever comic strip, Adams is one of the most recognized and widely read cartoonists on the planet. The first book he wrote, The Dilbert Principle, became a #1 New York Times bestseller and is one of the bestselling business books in history. His collection of books, which includes four business titles and twelve comic strip reprints, have sold over 10 million copies among them. Adams also invented the revolutionary concept of an advertising supported daily comic strip on the web; The Dilbert Zone website was the first syndicated comic strip on the web and one of the very first of any type of website to make a profit. The Dilbert character has launched a multitude of spin-off merchandising including a successful TV show.

Adams retains his links with the world of business; the restaurant he opened with a business partner, Stacey’s Cafe, enjoyed much success in Pleasanton, California. Recently he has launched a new venture with food industry veteran Jack Parker. Looking for palatable high nutrition food to sustain him during his long working days, he realized that such a thing did not exist. Together he and Parker have created the “DILBERITO,” a tasty handheld microwaveable food which contains 100% RDA of 23 essential vitamins and minerals.

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    Note: Mr. Adams only considers speaking engagements in the Western United States

    Scott Adams is best known as the creator of the Dilbert comic strip, the immensely popular comic creation launched in 1989. The strip is enjoyed daily by 150 million people in 1,900 newspapers, in 56 countries.

    Adams has a unique track record of creating success in a variety of diverse businesses. The Dilbert comic strip was Adams’ first attempt at a comic strip. No other contemporary cartoonist has achieved as much popularity, or had as much impact on the consciousness of readers. Adams’ first attempt at writing a book, The Dilbert Principle, became a number one New York Times best seller and one of the top selling business books of all time. Over 10 million Dilbert books have been sold, including four business titles and twelve comic reprint collections. The Dilbert Zone web site, managed by United Media, was the first syndicated comic strip site on the web, and one of the first web sites to turn a profit. Adams’ vision of an advertiser-supported daily comic on the web became a model for other cartoonists who followed.

    Adams was co-executive producer of the Dilbert animated television show on the UPN network, a solid hit that ran for two years. Working with United Media, Adams has guided the design of hundreds of licensed Dilbert products, from coffee mugs to dolls to computer games. Dilbert is one of the biggest character licensing phenomena of recent times.

    Adams and a business partner opened a successful restaurant, Stacey’s Cafe, in 1998. It has become one of the most popular eateries in the Pleasanton, California area. Adams’ newest business venture, Scott Adams Foods, promises to be the biggest success yet. It all started with Adams’ search for tasty, high-nutrition food that fit the demands of his own 12 hour work days. When it became clear that no such food existed, Adams teamed up with food industry veteran Jack Parker to create a solution. The result is the “DILBERITO”, a delicious, hand-held, microwaveable food with 100% Daily Value for 23 essential vitamins and minerals. Adams and Parker plan to redefine what people expect from food, raising the bar for the rest of the food industry, and contributing to the health of the world. They plan to make money, too.

    Graduating from Hartwick College in 1979 with a B.A. in economics, Adams worked for more than eight years at Crocker National Bank in San Francisco. Going to school at night, Adams finished the M.B.A. program at the University of California, Berkeley and joined Pacific Bell in 1986, where he worked more than eight years until leaving to work on Dilbert full time.

    Starting with his teen years, Adams’ jobs have included cow herder, sap gatherer, gardener, snow shoveler, dish washer, bus boy, hotel desk clerk, security guard, bank teller, computer programmer, budget manager, financial analyst, loan officer, product manager, project manager, lab technical support, cartoonist, author, public speaker, restaurateur and now CEO of Scott Adams Foods.

Scott Adams Speaking Videos

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Scott Adams's Speech Descriptions

Scott Adams, the extraordinarily successful genius behind the Dilbert comic strip, is not only an expert cartoonist but also an expert in failure. Trying every job imaginable and pretty much failing at all but one, he shares the secrets of his ultimate massive success. With great good humor as well as uniquely valuable teaching points, he shows that every failure has a gift to you that you can use as a stepping-stone towards success. He urges his audience to embrace his philosophy, which is that it is possible to manage your opportunities in a way that makes it much easier for luck to find you.

Taking his audience through his journey from office worker to the cartoonist that office workers are most likely to have on the walls of their cubicle, Adams takes his audience on the journey he took to success. Using his scathing humor he shares some of the risqué ideas that didn’t make it to publication and also his own unique secret tips for success. At the end of his speech, Adams, who is very attuned to current business issues, will be pleased to take questions from the audience.

*Please note that Scott Adams only accepts invitations to speak at events in the Western United States.

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

Scott Adams says he’s failed at more things than probably anyone you know. In fact, he claims to have failed at more than 30 business ideas. Fortunately, one of his best ideas—the Dilbert comic strip—has become one of his most successful. So how did Adams turn his numerous failures into successes? How did he take what he learned, and instead of letting it defeat him, moved ahead? Just as Dilbert reflects much of Adams’ experience in the corporate world, Adams uses stories of his failures to give his audience a completely new template for success, turning three of the bedrocks of business—goals, passion and luck—on their heads.

Comedy, Cubicles and Corporate Life

The Dilbert comic strip has been called, "the best window into the reality of corporate life that I've ever seen," by Mike Hammer, co-author of Reengineering the Corporation. Chances are you have one or two of the side-splitting strips pinned up on your wall at work right now. With the scathing humor for which he's best known, Scott Adams takes audiences along on his long, strange journey from cubicle dweller to creator of Dilbert, the character with which hundreds of thousands of desk jockeys everywhere have groaningly identified. Adams jokes about the cartoons that didn't make it past the editors (rated PG) and his secret tips for success that you "won't hear anywhere else." Well-versed in the business issues of the day, he also takes questions from the audience.

Help Wanted: No Passion Needed
Scott Adams started his career like many workers – in a sea of cubicles, micromanaged and marginalized. After 16 years in the corporate world, he exchanged his mousepad for a sketchbook and became a full-time cartoonist. Although he took a risk to pursue his passion, Adams has a lot to say about passion and how it is not a pre-requisite for success. Adams loves to turn foundational business concepts upside down and demonstrate from his own life experiences how goals, passion and luck have little to do with success.

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Books by Scott Adams:

How to Fail at Everything

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

Scott Adams has likely failed at more things than anyone you’ve ever met or anyone you’ve even heard of. So how did he go from hapless office worker and serial failure to the creator of Dilbert, one of the world’s most famous syndicated comic strips, in just a few years? In this talk, Adams shares the strategy he has used since he was a teen to invite failure in, embrace it, then pick its pocket. He pulls back the covers on his own unusual life and shares how he turned one failure after another into something good and lasting. His keynote offers a lot of laughs alongside unique and helpful ideas for your path to personal victory. As Adams says, “This is a story of one person’s unlikely success within the context of scores of embarrassing failures. Was my eventual success primarily a result of talent, luck, hard work, or an accidental just-right balance of each? All I know for sure is that I pursued a conscious strategy of managing my opportunities in a way that would make it easier for luck to find me”.

No career guide can offer advice that works for everyone. As Adams explains, your best bet is to study the ways of others who made it big and try to glean some tricks and strategies that make sense for you. Adams pulls back the covers on his own unusual life and shares how he turned one failure after another into something good and lasting.

Adams reveals that he’s failed at just about everything he’s tried, including his corporate career, his inventions, his investments, and his two restaurants. But there’s a lot to learn from his personal story, and a lot of humor along the way. Adams discovered some unlikely truths that helped to propel him forward. For instance:

    • Goals are for losers. Systems are for winners.
    • “Passion” is bull. What you need is personal energy.
    • A combination of mediocre skills can make you surprisingly valuable.
    • You can manage your odds in a way that makes you look lucky to others.

Adams hopes you can laugh at his failures while discovering some unique and helpful ideas on your own path to personal victory.

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