Myths and creeds are heroic struggles to comprehend the truth in the world. --Ansel Adams
THE ART OF BUSINESS & BUSINESS OF ART: Carpe Diem & Cross The Threshold on Your Entrepreneurial Odyssey


"McGucken created the Hero's Odyssey Entrepreneurship Festival to raise appreciation for the role that classical literature and the arts play among future generations of entrepreneurs."
The Art of Business & Business of Art:

conceived of and taught by Dr. E

New business class connects student passion with capital
Students from a variety of majors are coming together in a classroom setting to make their dreams come true.

The class, Artistic Entrepreneurship and Technology, is listed through the Business Division, but all students may participate.

The course was added to Pepperdine's curriculum this year, and is taught by a visiting professor, Dr. Elliot McGucken. McGucken previously taught a similar course at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has implemented the course in his new post at Pepperdine.

The course is being offered in two forms: as a freshman seminar course and as an upper-division class, comprised mainly of juniors and seniors.

McGucken said the goal of the class was to help students pursue their passion in their careers, and to keep in mind their artistic vision and ethics over the bottom line in business ventures.

"Ideals are real," McGucken said.

Dr. E has taught The Hero's Odyssey in Arts Entrepreneuership & Technology as an MBA class, a freshman seminar, an upper-level business class, and a class open to all. Law, MBA, Business, English, Film, Entrepreneurship, Computer Science, Physics, Communications, Journalism, Music, and Art students have taken the class. He has taught the class at UNC Chapel Hill and Pepperdine Univeristy, and he has lectured at places including SXSW, UCSD, UCLA, Chapman University, IHS, Duke University, Wake Forest Univeristy, Syracuse University, Harvard, and Princeton. Below please find some of the students' and lecture attendees' feedback.


Student Feedback for The Hero's Odyssey in Artistic Entrepreneurship & Technology
A Renaissance in the Classical Liberal Arts & Economics
"The emphasis of ethics and morality throughout several of the books we 
read impacted how I view entrepreneurship. . . John Bogle's The Battle 
for The Soul of Capitalism was my favorite. . ."
"This class is a dream come true!" 
"I loved the class and really enjoyed the reading." 
"I truly enjoyed this class." 
"I thought that Dr. E was an excellent person to teach this class, 
because he has so many life experiences and stories that coincide with 
the material. You can tell that he is very enthusiastic and loves this 
class, which makes it much easier for students to be excited, as well." 
"I learned that I can turn what I love into a living. (this is what I 
liked most about the class)".
"As long as you have determination and vision, it is possible to 
your ideas forward." 
"I have learned about the importance of studying the greats (w/a capital 
G) for successful thinking and strategy. I have also learned about 
computer tech. I have my own blog, and to me that's big. Computer tech 
doesn't intimidate me anymore." 
"The professor has an excellent background and knows what he is talking 
"A book that covers the wide range of topics and material in this class 
would be ideal." 
"This class is an awesome class. The fact that we are pursuing our 
dreamsmakes this class very hands on. Dr. E--you have an awesome 
teaching method/model, and I have learned more than you will ever 
believe in this class." 
"The Hero With a Thousand Faces stood out to me the most because it is 
such a common theme I had never noticed before." 
"I loved the class and felt that I gained the knowledge to launch my 
venture. Thanks for a great class!" 
"Such a great class..." 
"I really enjoyed it." 
"Good class. Keep up the good work." 
"Make your passion your profession." 
"I've learned much more about the business of side of arts and music; 
I've always been passionate about music, and the class has helped me 
refine my passion/vision." 
"It has inspired me to finally stop beating around the bush and sit down 
and get my business started with all of my ideas." 
"This class has sparked my passion more than any other class. I keep 
seeing this dream and I know I have to do it because it is the only 
thing that will keep me happy. This class is my inspiration to keep 
doing what I am doing." 
"The class has given me a more structured framework to analyze the ideas 
I have. this make it easier to assess their feasibility and actually get 
started on my venture. Great source for inspiration." 
Applying the steps of the Hero's Odyssey to a business idea helps to see 
things from a completely different perspective. Great for reflection." 
"Great class, I really wish it was 14 weeks. Invaluable info from an 
academic who has first-hand experience." 
While writing my "Hero's Odyssey," I have had time to understand how 
much I care about my business ideas, and to finally decide I will do it! 
"The pragmatic approach and the tremendous modernity and durability of 
the content. This is a "real-life" course." 
"Dr. E --your energy, encouragement, and laid-back personality have made 
this class even more awesome. Thank you! Ideals are real!" 
"Keep this type of class going because everyone has a dream and everyone 
needs some help achieving it." 
"Our band has had about ten gigs since starting this semester. We also 
have a website, business cards, potential booking agency, and radio 
"I had almost abandoned my venture. I was losing interest in it, but the 
class helped respark my dedication to it."
"Yes! This has been the most enlightening class that I have ever 
imagined. I want to develop a multitude of artistic ventures." 
"I've begun to think that I can really start the company that I want to. 
I've started small, selling stuff on ebay--eventually I want to be 
selling my own stuff in an online store." 
"We have been hugely inspired to get gigs, build a website, and put 
together a killer press package." 
"I've learned too much to name everything, but I think the most 
important thing I'll take away from class is the do-it-yourself 
mentality, and the encouragement to follow my dreams today."
"I'm graduating this semester, but if I weren't, I'd definitely be 
interested in taking further AE&T classes."
"All the information regarding internet stuff and open source software 
was especially interesting to me. Also discussing legal issues such as 
copyrights, trademarks, and patents was beneficial."
"Awesome course--lots of fun! Loved the quotes and the discussion forums 
were so helpful! Thanks for a great (last) semester!" 
"This course has helped me in a variety of ways. I've learned more about 
how to write a business plan, trademarks, patents, and different types 
of businesses. I have been exposed to an abundance of new information w/ 
great insight along w/ links, websites, and helpful texts." (E.G.: Angel 
"It's great--like a pep talk at the start of each weekend." 
"This class has made me realize you don't need to be an econ major or 
business major to start your own business." 
"This class has opened my eyes by showing me the relationship between 
classics such as The Odyssey and the art of entrepreneurship."
"I enjoyed this class. It was focused and brought back the sense of the 
traditional founding ideas of an American Univeristy" 
"I will remember that the "Hero's Odyssey" applies not only to 
entrepreneurship, but to life in general. LIFE IS A ODYSSEY, and we can 
use lessons from the classics to help us along in that odyssey." 
"I love Dr. E." ?Student
"Thoroughly enjoyed the class." --Student
"Dr. E = The Man." --Student 
"I enjoyed this class because it was real-life applicable and will 
actually benefit me in the future!" 
"Dr. E emphasizes taking control of your destiny-->such an inspiration, 
"The emphasis of ethics and morality throughout several of the books we 
read impacted how I view entrepreneurship. . . John Bogle's The Battle 
for The Soul of Capitalism was my favorite. . ."
"The books we read have given me the courage and wisdom to begin my 
"You need to teach other professors how to run their class because it's 
about the student and not the professors who are full of themselves and 
their credentials." 
"Thanks so much for teaching this course Dr. E!" 
"The class showed me how success in entrepreneurship is really brought 
about via actively pursuing one's passion. Books such as The Odyssey, 
The Battle for The soul of Capitalism, etc. have specifically taught me 
that entrepreneurship is not founded in specific business 
practices/concepts, but in the classical ideals." 
"Honestly this course has inspired me to make the ideals discussed and 
books we read in this class a part of my life and future career. I plan 
on continuing to study these books for the rest of my life." 
"This was my favorite class!" 
"Before this class, I never thought about the connection between the 
great books and the business world. I learned a lot about the hero's 
"Great class--I learned so much useful information." 
"Dr. E is awesome!" 
"You're a great teacher and an extremely interesting person. I 
definitely want a 45SURF shirt when you get some in!" 
"At first I wasn't even sure how The Odyssey would apply to business, 
but this class has given me a new perspective on business, life, and the 
real world." 
"The knowledge and information I accumulated in this class would be 
extremely helpful in launching a business." 
"Best Class Ever. Extremely useful and eye-opening to lots of new 
"I have never had a class like this, and I couldn't have asked for a 
better one. I will remember all the ideas and insights. . ." 
"The class has shown me how the Hero's Odyssey is closely related to 
entrepreneurship and business--I had no previous knowledge nor exposure 
to these ideas." 
"I am truly enjoying this course & find it very helpful for people who 
are ready to take their part in the real world rather than just follow 
the limitations enforced by our society." 
"I have grown more aware of the patterns of the Hero's Odyssey andhow it 
follows a certain sequence of events. The main thing I have realized 
about entrepreneurship is that without offering something unique or 
different it is very hard to succeed." 
"This was the most interesting class I have ever taken. Even though we 
have no quizzes nor tests I feel I have learned so much more than I ever 
could by memorizing facts. It gave me knowledge and tools that I can use 
and apply in everyday life. It constantly kept my attention and made me 
want to learn more." 
"I will remember that to get great rewards, I cannot be afraid to take 
great risks. I really enjoyed the Sara Blakely/Spanx story--it gave me a 
lot of inspiration." 
"Dr. E's Great! I love it!" 
"what an amazing class! Thank you :)!" 
"The class has opened my eyes. . .I've been deeply encouraged to embrace 
my own Hero's Odyssey." 
"If there's one thing I remember from this class it will be the 
inspiration to overcome obstacles and to continue to "walk the path." 
Many business classes don't acknowledge the personal strength and moral 
foundation required to be successful. The way you used the classics, 
Bogle, and the Writer's Odyssey in the business context was very 
inspiring and I will never forget the lessons I've learned in this 
"Amazing class!! By far my favorite and the most insightful class I've 
ever been in!" 
"I am used to a very structured class setting but this class got me out 
of my comfort zone and I learned so much more . . . Thank you for taking 
the time to teach us."
"You're inspiring Dr. E!! I'll definitely remember you!!" 
"I had never before considered entreprneurship to an adventure. . . 
Thank you very much!" 
"Keep up the good work!" 
"If I was to teach an entrepreneurship class, I would definietly use 
your book because it provides the foundational principles students could 
use in launching their venture." 
"A great class! I learned so much!"
"Though I am not a business major, I feel like I would be able to launch 
a venture." 
"I will try to keep in contact with Dr. E after college for help w/ my 
"I love this class--it's more like a mentorship than a high-stress 
"A Hero's Odyssey Entrepreneurship book would be great! It'd be like 
this class in a referenceable nutshell!" 
"It's helped me with the technical aspects as well as the personal 
values one needs to succeed."
"It's helped me so much to understand what it takes to start my own 

PART I The Professor: 
1. shows interest and enthusiasm for the course. 5/5
5. is an excellent teacher 5/5

Part III The Overall Class Experience:
13. has enhanced my ability to think clearly, logically, independently, 
and critically 5/5
14. has contributed to the development of my sense of personal values 
and moral integrity 5/5

And here's the full summary:

PART I The Professor: 
1. shows interest and enthusiasm for the coruse.                         5/5
2. is available for consultation outside of the class if needed       4.91/5
3. is prepared for class and makes good use of class time             4.91/5
4. presents course material in a clear and engaging matter            4.82/5
5. is an excellent teacher                                               5/5
Part II The Course:
6. is well organized.                                                       4.91/5
7. textbook and other reading assignments are appropriate in content           5/5
8. tests and other evaluations are appropriate in content and difficulty    4.73/5
9. assignments are reasonable and appropriate in content and difficulty     4.82/5
10. is demanding in comparison to other courses.                            4.55/5
11. has increased my knoweldge or understanding of the subject              4.91/5
12. is excellent                                                            4.91/5

Part III The Overall Class Experience:
13. has enhanced my ability to think clearly, logically, independently, 
and critically     5/5
14. has contributed to the development of my sense of personal values and moral integrity 5/5

April 20, 2005 CEI (Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiaitive) Awards Grant to Explore Development of Artistic Entrepreneurship Initiative

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. UNC faculty will explore development of a concentration in artistic entrepreneurship thanks to a $38,000 program development grant from the CEI Innovations Fund.

Dr. Elliot McGucken, professor of physics and programming, received the grant to lead development of a proposed new Artistic Entrepreneurship Initiative. . .

"The digital media revolution is fostering a natural convergence in the arts, entrepreneurship and technology," says Dr. McGucken. "This convergence provides extraordinary opportunities for UNC students and faculty, from arts management, independent record labels and video game companies to media distribution, small presses and digital rights management."

The initiative envisions a new curriculum to help artistically inclined students from the humanities and sciences explore those opportunities and create sustainable social and commercial ventures from them. A pilot course, New Media Arts, Technology and Entrepreneurship 101, will be offered Spring 2006. Students will pursue independent, semester-long projects to build ventures that incorporate technology and the arts, such as media archives, production companies, record labels, distribution centers and galleries.

The artistic entrepreneurship program would complement business and social entrepreneurship tracks launched by the CEI in the 2004-2005 academic year. The planning grant for the new program is the second awarded by the CEI Innovations Fund, which is designed to seed faculty proposals for new programs that will keep the initiative fresh and stimulating. The Campus Y received an Innovations Fund grant in the fall to develop a new Social Justice Entrepreneurs Program.