10 Questions: Kevin Hartz, CEO, Eventbrite

September 26, 2013: 10:45 AM ET

Eventbrite CEO Kevin Hartz talks about who he admires and whether business school is necessary.

130925172602-kevin-hartz-614xaFORTUNE -- Fortune's annual Brainstorm Tech conference brings together the best and brightest minds in tech innovation. Fortune periodically turns the spotlight on a different conference attendee to offer their personal insight into business, tech, and entrepreneurship.

As CEO and founder of Eventbrite, Kevin Hartz makes event creation, promotion, and ticket sales a snap for its users. He runs the company with his wife Julia, and Fortune ran a feature earlier this year about the couple. We asked him to answer 10 questions about what he does for fun, his opinion on business school, and the characteristic he believes every leader should possess. Find out how he incorporates his failures and achievements into his business -- as well as the tech tycoon he most admires -- below.

1. What is your greatest achievement?

Building the team that has taken Eventbrite to where we are today. Great companies are built by great teams, and our focus on team performance and culture has been critical to our growth.

2. What business or technology person do you admire most? Why?

Bill Gates -- I read a very impressive biography when I was starting in technology. He was the original startup geek who, in my mind, was a trailblazer in building a company around strong talent. Today, he is applying those same smarts and skills to fix some of the biggest problems in the world.

MORE: Eventbrite: Just the ticket for smaller events

3. What technology sector excites you most?

I'm intrigued by marketplace dynamics. Etsy, Airbnb, Uber, Thumbtack are all emerging businesses using network effects to build sustainable businesses. This is very relevant to Eventbrite as we are building a marketplace for events.

As a consumer, I'm wowed by the emerging electric car market and am inspired that a world without fossil fuel burning automobiles is in sight.

4. What is one characteristic that every leader should possess?

Humility.

5. What other companies do you admire? Why?

I admire and study many tech companies and graft learnings onto Eventbrite. I've been able to watch closely some great companies emerge as an investor such as Airbnb, Pinterest, Trulia, and Yammer.

6. What do you do for fun?

Spend time with my family, travel, and surf.

MORE: 10 questions for LinkedIn's Deep Nishar

7. Is business school necessary for entrepreneurs?

For an entrepreneur, there are high opportunity costs to spend two years in academia vs. actually building a business. However, academia is an environment where great innovation and minds come together, and as we have seen, it's the "breeding ground" for many of the most important technology businesses in the world.

8. What was the last book you read?

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information [by Edward Tufte].

9. What has been your biggest failure?

Failures are learning lessons that I tuck away and move on from quickly. Generally, failures often stem from not taking risks or not learning quickly enough.

10. What was the most important thing you learned in school?

History does indeed repeat itself -- this applies to business and technology as it is a key method to predict the future.

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