Thom Singer sits down with one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Austin, Texas. His friend, Brett Hurt, is the author of The Entrepreneur’s Essentials and the founder of six successful companies.

In this conversation they chat about Brett’s entrepreneurship, the new book, what makes a B Corporation, and how Brett can do a 22 minute plank. This interview is full of useful information for anyone at any level of their business career.

About Brett Hurt

Brett Hurt is the CEO and co-founder of, an Austin-based Certified B Corporation and public benefit corporation. makes it easy for everyone—not just the “data people”—to get clear, accurate, fast answers to any business question.’s cloud-native data catalog maps its customers siloed, distributed data to familiar and consistent business concepts, creating a unified body of knowledge anyone can find, understand, and use. is also home to the world’s largest collaborative open data community, including public COVID-19 datasets. In 2017, 2018, and 2019, was honored on the “Best for the World” list by B Lab that recognizes the top 10% of all B Corps globally. And in 2020, was named by the Austin Business Journal as one of the top-three companies to work for. Brett is also the co-owner of Hurt Family Investments (HFI), alongside his wife, Debra. HFI are involved in 115 startups, 31 VC funds, and multiple philanthropic endeavors.

Brett co-founded and led Bazaarvoice as CEO, through its IPO, follow-on offering, and two acquisitions. Bazaarvoice became the largest public SaaS (Software as a Service) business in social commerce and was named by the WSJ as one of the top IPOs of 2012. Brett also founded and led Coremetrics, which was rated the #1 Web analytics solution by Forrester Research and, like Bazaarvoice, expanded into a global company and leader. Coremetrics was acquired by IBM in 2010 for around $300m.

In 2017, Brett Hurt was given the Best CEO Legacy Award by the Austin Business Journal. He is a Henry Crown Fellow and Braddock Scholar at the Aspen Institute. Brett began programming at age seven and doing so on the Internet at age eighteen. He finished his book, “The Entrepreneur’s Essentials”, in August 2019 (available at for free).

Two beautiful children and married to Debra, my much better half, since 1996.

About “The Entrepreneur’s Essentials” Book

The Entrepreneur’s Essentials developed through Brett’s series of blog posts called Lucky7—named in honor of his mother—to help all entrepreneurs take proactive steps to avoid mistakes that, though common, can have a hugely negative impact on their business.

Brett presents this book as a guide with 23 informative lessons, pulling from impactful experiences from his own life as both a startup CEO and investor, sharing dual perspectives to give deeper insight. He explores the stages of a startup’s progression from deciding on a company name to hiring well and understanding what it takes to be an inclusive leader worthy of your own company. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or a first-time business owner, The Entrepreneur’s Essentials will help you explore ways to make your startup better.

You can get the book at

About is the enterprise data catalog for the modern data stack. Their cloud-native SaaS platform combines a consumer-grade user experience with a powerful knowledge graph to deliver enhanced data discovery, agile data governance, and actionable insights. The company is home to the world’s largest collaborative data community, which is free and open to the public. It’s where people discover data, share analysis, and team up on everything from social bot detection to award-winning data journalism. They use what we learn from this community to improve the enterprise product and vice versa.


About Thom Singer

Thom Singer is an advocate for “Community and Collaboration” with people, companies, and non-profit organizations. He is also a keynote speaker  (but he only works with specific types of events who are as committed to the human interaction as they are to the content).

After a successful career in sales and marketing, Thom Singer became a growth leadership speaker in 2009. A decade later he has brought his high energy presentations and action-oriented content to over 1000 audiences. Thom knows that as the speaker or master of ceremonies he has a responsibility to set the tone for a strong conference attendee experience. Known as “The Conference Catalyst” he creates an atmosphere of fun and interaction that lasts beyond his presentation.

Thom earned his Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) in 2014 and is committed to the business of meetings. He is the author of 12 books and is the host of the popular “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do” podcast. On his show he has interviewed over 1000 entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, business leaders and others with a focus on discovering how the most successful people get farther across the gap between potential and results.

At 50 years old Thom decided to reinvent his life and make age 50 to 75 the best years of his life. This meant saying yes to things that scared him, and trying new things. Since that time Thom has jumped off buildings, took up running (and lost 30 lbs) and began performing stand up comedy.