Michael Hyatt

Michael Hyatt

Leadership | Change and Innovation Visionary

Michael Hyatt became a self-made millionaire by building two highly successful tech firms that he sold for $500 million dollars. Today, Michael ranks as one of Canada’s top entrepreneurs, and was a celebrated “Dragon” on CBC’s online sensation Next Gen Den. He is also a weekly commentator for CBC’s The Business Panel and spoke previously on The Exchange and On the Money. Speaking on leadership, innovation, entrepreneurship, the future of tech, and managing change, Hyatt believes that no matter what the topic, we need to embrace change, because, as he says, “change is good” and “our future is great”.

Hyatt is currently on the Board of BlueCat, one of the largest private software companies in the country, focused on the internet of things. Prior to his current role, he led the company since its inception as CEO and Executive Chairman, where his leadership philosophy was to focus on strategy and empower his employees to execute.

A Founding Partner at the Rotman School of Management’s prestigious Creative Destruction Lab, Hyatt acts as a coach for venture founders to set business and technical milestones to increase the ventures’ chances of success. He is also on the CEO Board of Advisors at Georgian Partners, one of Canada’s leading venture capital firms; an invester on the hit podcast “The Pitch”; was a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award; and was a recipient of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award.

Leading With Grit, Passion, And People

Leaving school at 22 years old with no money, only to become a millionaire businessman by 25, would seem like the story of someone who got lucky with a great business idea. But Michael Hyatt shows you there’s a lot more to his success than the idea itself. Success is the small steps you take, and a consistent march is the key.

In this presentation, Michael shares his candid business and leadership philosophies including: how to avoid common mistakes leaders make (but why sometimes failing is good); why asking powerful questions will lead you to the right answer (not just your answer); how to find the best way for a product’s success; why you should hire people smarter than you and let them excel; how to win in the new demographic shift; and why supporting all members of your team is so important.

Filled with these and many more lessons Michael has learned throughout his journey, this upfront talk will inspire audiences to think differently in their approach to business success.

The Internet of Things: Are You Ready?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is big, it’s real, and, along with the coming Millennial generation, it’s creating a hyper-connected “sharing economy” that has turned traditional businesses upside-down.

In this presentation, Michael draws from his experience running BlueCat, an IoT company with the idea that there needs to be a highly dynamic, flexible way of getting business done. Michael stresses the need to stay connected technologically, without losing the personal connections.

Evolve or Die

It’s never been cheaper to start a business, but it’s still just as hard. Being uncomfortable in business is a good thing, and getting real perspective on where we are in today’s economy is critical. It’s easy to take high-fives in the good times, but what you do in the darkest hours defines you as a leader.

Michael believes in the great potential for opportunity while there’s “blood on the streets” and times are tough. Tough times can define leadership. It’s important not to be an optimist nor a pessimist, but a realist when looking at the situation. Realists come out best in hard times. With an ability to capture and explain difficult concepts easily for audiences, Michael explains his success in challenging times: “Evolve or die.”

Be Comfortable with Uncomfortable

Michael Hyatt is a mentor and investor in many start-ups, including the Rotman School of Management Creative Destruction Lab and The Founders Institute.

He has built two highly successful tech firms, valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. So, what’s his secret to start-up success?

The first thing Michael tells a budding entrepreneur or start-up is to focus. Do one thing and one thing well. Just because you can make money at something doesn’t mean you should do it.

At the same time, you need to embrace discomfort, pain, and sacrifice. If you become comfortable as an entrepreneur, you might as well be dead.

In this presentation, Michael shows that to achieve success you need to prepare for a marathon, not a sprint.