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Logo of ASI 2018: Business Unusual

Business Titans of the Bible:  Lessons for the 21st Century Entrepreneur

Gary Rayner
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Gary has a long track record of innovation; pioneering, and driving many consumer products to market. Three of the companies he founded became world-class highly successful technology ventures (DriveCam-Lytx, LifeProof, and Interpreta) achieving a combined market capitalization exceeding $2 Billion. The sum of his ventures have resulted in a generating more than 5,000 man years of employment, and exceeded $3 Billion in cumulative revenues.


Gary earned his MBA, and Master’s of Engineering Science from Queensland University of Technology, a leading Australian University. Gary is currently earning his third master’s degree focused on Artificial Intelligence at Georgia Tech.


Gary has also been recognized with the following awards: Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, San Diego Business Journal Most Admired CEO, UCSD Connect Most Innovative Product Award for DriveCam, and finalist for UCSD Connect Most Innovative Product Award for LifeProof 2012, and 2013. Gary has been awarded more than 25 patents.




  • August 3, 2018
    2:30 PM
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So it struck me about how many beautiful intelligent just incredibly motivated huge dreams in this room I mean if we came back 5 years from now there's probably going to be several millionaires sitting in the ordinary audience so I mean this is just raw blatant potential the room it's amazing it's awesome great to be part of it so my presentation is on the business titans of the Bible and I wanted to explore exactly what is you know what is business whether we can broaden the definition here because business is about you know it's it's work you do when you're producing things you're buying is selling goods and services but ultimately it's what you do for your. Occupation How do you spend your time and. It's really necessary and Noble I know in Christianity this is kind of ideas that you know if you're in business you kind of worldly minded if you're making money maybe that's not a good thing because you know it's harder for a rich man to get into heaven than to get through the eye of a needle you're all these sorts of things to put around there like as if it's say a dirty or it's it's an ignoble thing to do to be pursuing business but my. My contention My thesis is that business is 1 of the most noble things you can be doing because we need these products when you're in business and you doing well people were happy to pay for your product because you're doing it with excellence you're providing things that they need you doing things where you're innovating you're pushing the envelope you're making the world a better place and this is really what our calling is as Christians in business. And then I looked at the 46 different parables of Jesus and what I was kind of struck by is that over half of them actually have reference to what you would call business so this is either building or construction farming wealth or finding poles of great prize saw coins that are worth a lot of employment relationships between the property owner this servants and employees so it's you know obviously to Jesus business is a very important part of life as well and was featured in his parables and then when you look at what does it take to be successful in business this really for play a major area says the planning organizing leading and controlling but I think as a Christian there is we can have tremendous impact is really in the culture that you establish a culture is the way we do things around here is the norms it's the things that you stand for it's the things that you stand against and then ultimately the values are what drives what's known as causal ambiguity in your business so your competitors they go It's amazing how these guys knocking it out of the park every time it must be their marketing guy maybe it's the search engine optimization but when it comes down to it the cost of the ambiguous part the part that they can't decode from the outside or even copy it's your values your value system what you stand for and this is contagious for your employees because they see you living a consistent life where you doing what you say you will do and you're saying what you're going to do in your brief you reinforce that every single every single day and you know this is saying to people believe everything that. The believe some of the things that you say but the book Don't believe everything that you do. So looking at some of the business titans my definition of a Titan is somebody that changes the world and no I mean you got to give it to him this guy was 1 of the richest people in the world at least for a little bit of time. You know I mean he had a great business you know he had Let's just say a liquidation strategy. So so you know and as he was building this was a lot of innovation he had to do nobody'd ever built like a Queen Mary sized ocean liner before so he had to figure the saw out from the from scratch he had to be a great leader because his family was either going to think that he's completely nuts or they're going to join him in the effort and you know doesn't say this specifically in the Bible but I think that if a bunch of people had died repented and no it was very convicting with his call for repentance he's basically saying Repent you know the world is evil is corrupt join me in the ark for this safe place I'm sure I could have built a whole fleet of them because to be more hands on deck to build more and more but he did what was right even when nobody else was with him and he saw the big picture he saw where this was headed even when others were ridiculing him and I remember when I started life proof people were saying that's the stupidest idea ever Who's Who wants a waterproof phone I mean nobody's going to take the phone in the shower with them the number of the number of investors that I had that just said you know this is just a dumb idea but I stuck with my conviction so I knew that this was something that was that was a real need in the marketplace and it paid off Abraham. Moving out of the comfort zone and embracing uncertainty so God said to him he said go from your country go from your people and from your father's land and go into this place that I'll show you I'm going to make you a great nation so God has huge plans for every single 1 of you I promise you God has to reflect plans and there's almost unlimited potential how far you can take you but it takes faith and most of all to be an entrepreneur you have to move out of the space of certainty you have to move into the space of being OK with risk and with ambiguity Joseph talk about adverse circumstances I mean his brothers hated him so much that they sold him into slavery now he more thought it was a joke for the 1st 12 hours you know but then after that you kind of realize with the whole ropes thing behind the back and being on these camels headed towards a foreign country there's no joke at all but he had impeccable integrity so he stood for what he knew to be right in circumstances maybe he thought hey if this whole situation were part of his wife I could maybe use this to my advantage if I kind of you know if I compromise a little bit he was 0 compromise even when it cost him and this reputation the long run followed him ultimately you can't out talking reputation your reputation is going to catch up with you and his reputation for being extraordinary and flawless was so great that he became the 2nd in charge of Egypt the most powerful country in the entire world I mean that is phenomenal so again it shows the unlimited potential of how far you can go if you have integrity tame are really interesting story. So I've been in legal situations where you just can't get justice so you think you can get justice. She married earth and Earl was not a great guy in fact he was so evil that God struck him dead while the custom the Levitical war was that if the older brother died the younger brother had to take the wife the widow into marriage so that they could have offspring and have an inheritance well Onan he kind of half did his job with you know what I mean so he he kind of like bombed out on on his duties and he would he would sleep with her but not in a way that was going to lead to her becoming pregnant and so God said that's evil as well and he struck on and dead now Judas going hey you know the 1st 1 the 2nd 1 I don't like the batting average here I don't know than to give my youngest son Sheila by the way interesting a guy called Sheila anyway neighbors just me. But Sheila was young at the time. Judah said Go live you dad and then woman what we're my son is of of age I will let him marry you well basically he would need to own the whole deal and so Schiller was never offered to him offer to tame or I'm sorry so tame I dressed as a prostitute when she knew that Judah was going out to the fields to look after the sheep. And the deal was she had a mask on so he didn't know it was her she said the price is 1 go. And he didn't have it he said well tell you what I'll leave my stuff and I'll leave my my ring and my and my court with you so. She took that he sent his friend to go get a goat to give to the payment but she took off 3 months later she's pregnant. And Judah finds out and he is so outraged that he says you are to be put to death by fire and she said OK I just want you to know that the person that may be pregnant this stuff and the seal belongs to him and she handed it to Judah Judah recognize these were his own things and he said You are far more righteous than me and he you know he was painted from the situation and she had a son that then became part of the lineage of Christ so the point is that sometimes when you've exhausted every legal channel and you have great judge injustice to set against you you have to identify your leverage and this been terrific circumstances that I've had in my businesses where we've been in very unjust situations and you have to figure out where can you play the leverage to get a better result. Daniel again he maintained a resolve to do what was right no matter what the consequences so for him there were political adversaries that knew that King Darrius was so impressed with him that he was next in line to be said to rule over the entire country and that's noted in Daniel $63.00 so what they did they wanted to ensure that he would be killed they set this law with Darius that said you must worship Darius and you cannot worship your god so he didn't go out to create trouble but he also didn't go away to shrink from this so he would pray as usual by his window he said the series saw him praying to God went to Darius and said he's breaking the law now The point is stand for your convictions you know today you would probably be called a Darius of phobe if you were standing for your convictions because anything that we don't like we tend to call FOAD but. The point is that he stood for his convictions even though he paid the price and ultimately he gained the king's conversion and confidence and the king became a worshipper of God and commanded that all of those in the land worship God David hugely scrappy I mean this guy has got no armor he's got no military training he's a sick 1516 year old probably a you know skinny guy about as buff as me and he goes out there with a sling and Iraq you never going to win against the Goliath's playing the same game on the same level against them now about a month after we went into business with life proof we had our patents which had filed but auto box the biggest case manufacturer in the world came and filed a bunch of patent lawsuits against us alleging that were violating their patents there was a really long bow in opinion that we were violating the pads we really didn't think we were at all but when you've got $50000.00 in the bank and you've got $5000000.00 a legal fees ahead of you and potentially you're about to get what your 1 quarter order away from being completely put out of business you're looking over the falls as terrifying and so it truly was a David and Goliath moment for us where the whole company had to realize our very existence was hanging in the peril of survival and this nothing like that existential angst of understanding that tomorrow you could be out of business to really quicken your resolve and to put everything you can behind it Well long story short. 2 and a half years later we were completely hammering them in the marketplace they still had the patent lawsuits against us we had a bunch of new pensive we'd filed that was going to be causing problems for them and they ended up buying us for a very very large amount of money because we were causing them so much pain we were going to put them out of business. So it's amazing what can happen if you just if you just figure out you just give it all you possibly can you can stick Elias. Nehemiah he was a true statesman so this guy he is the cup bearer for King Arthur succeeds and the cup era tastes the food make sure that the food is safe but he's really in charge of security as well he's in charge of making sure that the king a safe at all times now he heard about Jerusalem and about how the walls have been devastated and and that the gates had been burned and it just affected him so much emotionally he was he was weeping he was sobbing when when when he heard about it and so he didn't want to show this because obviously when the king's court you must never show. Show your emotion you're always there to serve the King Well 1 day his his face he just couldn't help it the sadness was so overwhelming for him and the king said to him what you know what's wrong you don't look like a sick what's up and he was terrified totally stricken with fear at this point this is realized I've let it shine I mean now you know I'm in huge trouble here but he didn't shrink away from it he recognized an opportunity me said to the King my my ancestors this city has been destroyed I feel you know I want to rebuild the city and the king said well what can I do for you he said I need this much time off I need lumber I need safe passage and the king said I will give you access to the king's to the King's Forest I will give you a safe escort army escort with you or give you letters or give you everything you need go and rebuild so he went there and as a as a true leader he ignited the passion in all of the Jewish leaders as well to get together and rebuild the city and so he was sent to Judah. With the king's blessing and resources and he effectively led and managed this whole effort again change the course of history. So I'm looking in this effort this to 3 different examples of business leaders who were very instrumental in rebuilding the city WALLACE Well and God a seen fit to actually record their names and you can see from from there from there. From the work that they did so ergo he was a worker with gold so this guy was rich I mean he's a major cash cow and obviously an artist in this very skilled as well and hand and I are his living was making perf you know perfect in those times was a very much a luxury good it was only for the wealthy very very expensive to make and then also was a gold worker that made very very big contributions towards the rebuilding of the wall too so God really uses people that are successful in business to be able to impact the work to be done there's a lot of other great examples I could talk about too in the Bible and we just don't have time to go through them all but Adam he was given dominion of the entire Wortham in the entire earth he was basically Prime Minister you have Moses who many times stuck up for his people Solomon who was the wisest and the wealthiest man in the world at the time you know I so I was 1 the volunteered and rose to the occasion when nobody else would Jesus was the ultimate servant leader. Peeta you look at the failures that he made in terms of denying Christ 3 times and how they could have ended so badly but he rose above that to become the rock essentially that the church was built on Deborah was a courageous and fearless judge and she was on bowed by the intimidation of so many that were threatening her and trying to put an end to her and then obviously Jacob again you know. Part of the image of a great nation forgiveness and reconciliation with his brother. And Paula 10 maker you know I know that Pastor Finley talked a little bit about that this morning but knowing that many of the traders also had to travel in tents and the tents with a full time accommodations so these were the are of these like the top into our of these of the day this is not like some Coleman camping tent you know this was a skill that was it took a lot of a lot of training and skill and capability to be able to do this and to develop that capability so it was a high trade and Paul used that to support his ministry into those of working with him so biblical principles I like to do business by. In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds so have purity in what you do in your in your doctrine and be dignified in how you work. You know this really applies there in the 2nd 1 don't let anybody look down on you youthfulness. In your speech in your conduct show you serves to be an example of those who believe and you would not believe how much influence you have people notice these things is it's phenomenal the impact the silent example of your life the values in the morals you live by going to affect people in ways you never you never know never understand Proverbs 15 A wise man will hear an increase in learning and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel so you know educate yourself learn from others so important and then ultimately what have you had finds to do do with all your might for there is no work no device no knowledge no wisdom in the great kind of sucks I'm a real going to die right but what can we accomplish before the lights go out you know this is what matters how can we make the world a better place and again to counter this kind of view that somehow it's unholy to do well to succeed to have financial success in life. It's an absolutely incorrect. Attitude that's out there clues Yes these 3 thought in each of them should eat and drink people should be satisfied with work that's God's gift to you and sometimes God gives a person wealth and possessions God makes it possible for that person to enjoy them God helps women to enjoy the life that he has given them and God helps them to be happy in their work these gifts are from God. And a very big part of success is having a great partner in life and being able to have a wife of noble character or a man of noble character if you're a female entrepreneur is going to make all the difference to your family to the success you have in life and just your general happiness and I'm proud to have my wife with me in the audience here today and she's been a very big part of my success so with that thank you very much for listening today this video was produced by audio over 40 years on average is layman's services and industries. If you would like to learn more about. Please. Yes I minister. Or if you would like to just. Leave the W W W R U. verse.


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