A CEO’s Experience at the 2017 Inc. 5000 Conference

Ajays Inc Post
Ajay Pattani
October 19, 2017

This year, Perfect Search was honored on the Inc. 5000. This was one of the highlights of 2017 so far–it’s definitely above when I got 2nd place in the Perfect Search Paper Airplane Competition…which is still under protest.  

I was fortunate to attend the Inc. 5000 conference in Palm Desert, California. It was a privilege to hear from inspiring speakers and meet accomplished, creative entrepreneurs.

Here are some of the highlights from the conference.




Dr. Brene Brown

Dr. Brene Brown gave the talk “Daring Leadership: The Four Pillars of Courage.” (Not to be confused with my own Four Pillars of Happiness. Great minds do think alike.) Dr. Brown is a wonderful speaker and professor. If you haven’t checked out her Ted Talk “The Power of Vulnerability,” I highly recommend it.

At the conference, she spoke about the importance of being proactive and taking risks. I loved her anecdote about her daughter. Her daughter was placed in her least favorite stroke in an upcoming swim meet and wanted to drop out. Despite her reservations, she swam anyway. Yes, she came in last–but she felt like a winner. Sometimes, just trying something new or scary is a form of winning.

This talk resonated with me because it reminded me of one of Perfect Search’s core values: Take Initiative. When you challenge each other, take risks, and adapt, you grow.



Brene Brown Inc. 5000

 Dr. Brene Brown at the Inc. 5000 Conference

Brian Smith

In his talk “How to Build a Billion Dollar Brand,” Brian Smith, the Founder of UGG, discussed how random moments of luck matter in business.

I appreciated his humility and how he shared the mistakes he faced throughout his journey. Smith’s passion for the product also shone. This excitement for the UGG brand made him the best at sales–and he was a great speaker as well.



 With Brian Smith at the Inc. 5000 Gala

Michael Dubin

Michael Dubin is the founder of Dollar Shave Club. Dollar Shave Club’s success was swift; DSC went from a company with $3.5 million in revenue in 2012 to being bought for $1 billion by Unilever in 2016.

Dubin’s talk “How to Build and Sell a Billion Dollar Business” focused on the importance of brand voice. I enjoyed his points on how a strong team created a strong brand strategy, which then created a strong company.

He also offered his perspective on getting acquired. Dubin spoke on how they considered how the partner, Unilever, would help the goals of Dollar Shave Club, instead of how Dollar Shave Club would help Unilever.


Daymond John

Daymond John, of Shark Tank fame, gave the talk “The Power of Broke: Lessons in Business and Life from Daymond John.”

While I enjoyed his thoughts on how he became a self-made millionaire and entrepreneur, I really appreciated his honesty about his recent cancer scare. He reminded me that you can have all the business success in the world, but there’s no point unless you have your health.


Other highlights

  • Entrepreneur’s Organization had a booth at the Inc. 5000 conference and there were about 50 EO members in attendance. It was wonderful to see the success of the EO community.

  • I was planning on renting a car to get from LAX to Palm Desert, but then my friend told me about Tesloop. You just book a ticket, a driver in a Tesla picks you up from the airport, and you get to relax for a few hours with Wi-Fi and snacks.  It was an awesome experience and I highly recommend it.

  • The gala took place during the Cubs-Nationals Game 5. Naturally, I had to frantically refresh my phone all night long. It was worth it.





Ajay Pattani
CEO & Founder

Ajay Pattani is a lifelong resident of Chicagoland and is fiercely passionate about his white wine. If he could be a spokesperson for any product, it would have to be white wine. Ajay says if he could be good at one thing, it would be reading minds. If you could read his now, he’d most likely be thinking about white wine.

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