By the time Daniel L. Rosensweig ’83 was 31, he was the publisher of PC Magazine. At 40, he was the chief operating officer of Yahoo. After serving as president and chief executive officer of the Guitar Hero empire, Rosensweig is now chair and chief executive officer of another website on the rise, Chegg, an online textbook rental service.
Rosensweig recently spoke of his rise to Internet success in Stanford University’s Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Lecture Series. During the hour-long interview, Rosensweig shared advice and insight on succeeding in the digital age. “It’s better to describe success than to prescribe how to get that success – we all do things very differently,” advised Rosensweig. “Someone can say, ‘Here’s the mountain you need to climb, here are the exact steps you need to take,’ but if they are unnatural for you, you are not going to be successful. You have to give people the freedom to achieve success the best way they are suited to do it.”
Rosensweig also spoke briefly on his current company, Chegg. Named for the endless cycle of the chicken and egg debate, the CEO hopes to alter the cycle that keeps thousands of young Americans from attending college each year: one needs an education to make money, but needs money to get an education.
“It seems like this country has no ability to compete in the world market if we cannot educate people,” stated Rosensweig. “There are 18 million people in higher education in the United States; 14 million out of that number are on some form of financial aid. Chegg presents the opportunity to save hardworking students and hardworking families a lot of money.”
Throughout his career, Rosensweig has created internship opportunities for HWS students to work directly with him and offered them job opportunities following graduation. He dedicated the Rosensweig Learning Commons at HWS in 2008.
During his time as a Hobart student, Rosensweig was a political science major as well as a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. He studied abroad in London.