Founder of The Geek Squad; Founder of ChainList; Former CTO of Best Buy
Robert left a scholarship at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1990 to pursue a degree in computer science at the University of Minnesota. While attending the University, he landed a job fixing computers for the Human Factors Research Laboratory.
Over a three year period, he rose to become head engineer of the lab while earning scholarships from the U.S. Navy and the FAA, building flight and driving simulators.
It was also during this time that he started a computer consulting business.
In April 1994, after three years at the University of Minnesota, he formed The Geek Squad with $200. In 2002, The Geek Squad landed Best Buy and opened Geek Squad precincts in all Best Buy properties worldwide.
With over 25,000 Agents, The Geek Squad is now the world's largest technology support company offering online, in-store, and in-home support.
Robert served as Chief Technology Officer for Best Buy for a decade, achieving year-over-year growth and solidifying himself as one of the premier thought leaders working today.
In 2022, he founded ChainList, an online service for “Social Knowledge Management.”
An acclaimed public speaker, Robert has given keynote presentations at dozens of corporations and universities, and regularly appears as an expert in media outlets across the world.
Remote Work Culture: Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger
Did you know that rockstars were the first telecommuters?
Robert learned this first-hand when GeekSquad became The Rolling Stones’ official computer support provider.
Robert then scaled GeekSquad to 25,000 people at BestBuy, and had to find ways to keep the culture alive.
Nearly 30 years later, it’s still going strong.
In this entertaining and customizable presentation, Robert outlines the art of creativity when it comes to business and service, and how to keep teams engaged and communicating.
Robert highlights innovative techniques, from hosting massive Xbox servers where GeekSquad Agents would play on the nights and weekends, but also chat and get to know each other, to practical, hands-on customer management strategies.
This talk provides a foundation for how to incorporate fun, interactive experiences, and counterintuitive ideas to create world-class customer service, resulting in a win-win situation for both employees and customers.
The best thing ever to happen to Geek Squad founder Robert Stephens is that he had no money when he started his business.
When you have no money for marketing, everything you do is marketing.
Why can't a huge company also stay interesting, creative, and offer high levels of service?
Putting this into practical application, Robert recently attended the Cannes Lions (one of the world's largest global brand events), promoting his new, tiny company amid all of the Google and Facebook yachts.
He rented the smallest boat in Cannes (6 ft), filled it with ice and champagne, tied it to a dock with a jazz trio alongside, and billed it as the "smallest yacht party in Cannes."
The result?" Every major brand CEO stopped by.
Join Robert Stephens as he explains why standing out is the only thing that matters for organizations of all sizes, and how this can cost less than a traditional PR budget.
Marketing is the Tax you Pay for Being Unremarkable
Social Knowledge Management: ChainList
Our lives are governed by processes, the things we own, and the organizations we are a part of.
ChainList, Robert's newest endeavor, offers a new way to store, subscribe, and delegate those processes. Users can make or subscribe to checklists for all sorts of processes from home maintenance to software upgrades, from grocery lists to workflow management.
By utilizing reusable and remixable checklists, knowledge can live in between teams, organizations, and even be attached to physical objects like equipment and buildings.
In the personal knowledge management space, information lives on our phones, or a note app, usually linked to our personal accounts. A ChainList can be a checklist written by an expert, allowing users to subscribe to it, and it tells people when things need to be done.
This can be used for any repeat process like onboarding, equipment maintenance, regular audit processes, and even Airbnb management.
Join Robert as he teaches audiences the thought process, methodology, and practical application behind his latest endeavor as he cites 30+ years of experience as an entrepreneur and tech visionary.
"Fun, insightful talk full of powerful content that pinpointed major trends in a completely accessible way." - American Society of Association Executives
“Lively and enlightening insights from a 21st Century pioneer. I wouldn’t pass up a chance to hear Robert Stephens, ever.”
- Learning Resources Network (LERN)
"Empowering, energetic and certainly entertaining. I thought that your casual style of presenting was connecting well with the audience and that it gave us a good picture of the process of launching and growing the Geek Squad." - Chair, Vistage LA