Two courses coming up:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Retailing Class – Two dates: Tuesday, Aug. 30, Saturday Sept 17

Art of Enterprise Course – Fall 2016

Click here to sign up!

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Retailing Class

When & Where:

This 3 ½ hour class is being offered twice, on a weekday and a Saturday.  From 1 PM to 4:30 PM on Tuesday, August 30, and again Saturday, September 17, the class will take place at the beautiful new coworking space OrangeCoworking in the HEB shopping center at the Northwest corner of Slaughter and Manchaca in South/Southwest Austin.

Who the class is for:

This class offers tremendous insights and value for anyone who is interested in retailing, ECommerce, or service businesses including restaurants.  If you work in retailing, want to work in retailing, want to start a store or service business, sell to retailers, invest in retailers, or work in commercial real estate, you will get a great deal out of this class.

Class contents:

In this intensive class, we will cover the key innovations in retailing over the years, the principles that make for successful retailing, the key trends at work in retailing today, and a quick analysis of some of the largest retailers in American retailing.


Every attendee will receive a free copy of Gary’s new 200+ page PDF book on retailing, a $30 value.


Very early bird discount through Monday, August 22 $59.  Starting August 23, $99.

About the teacher:

Gary Hoover began a lifelong passion for retailing at the age of 12.  After studying Economics at the University of Chicago under 4 future Nobel Prize winners, he worked as a securities analyst on Wall Street covering the department store, grocery store, and specialty store industries.  He then served as a buyer for the nation’s largest department store operator, Federated Department Stores, followed by 5 years with the May Department Stores Company in financial planning, mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning, and shopping center development and marketing.  In 1982, Gary picked Austin as the best place to found BOOKSTOP, the first chain of book superstores, which within 7 years stretched from Miami to San Diego and was bought by Barnes & Noble for $41.5 million.  He served 5 years on the Board of Directors of Whole Foods Market, and has advised retail companies and entrepreneurs around the globe.  He continues to write about retailing and ECommerce on hooversworld.

What people say about Gary’s retail expertise:

When it comes to retail trends, evolution, and innovation, Gary Hoover is one of the most knowledgeable people I know.  He served as a valuable Board of Directors member at Whole Foods Market during our early growth and Initial Public Offering.  He always has innovative ideas.  There are few if any people who share Gary’s lifelong passion for and deep understanding of retailing, its past, and its future.

— John Mackey, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Whole Foods Market

Gary’s huge.  He’s awesome.  I don’t think I could have done this without him.

— Kristen Heaney, founder, Yardbar, Austin, Texas, quoted 2013 in Austin Business Journal.

I have known Gary Hoover for over 30 years.  He is a lifelong student of retail strategy and innovation. His Bookstop idea pioneered the large selection bookstore chain and changed that industry.

— Herbert Simon, Chairman Emeritus, Simon Property Group

Gary Hoover’s knowledge of the origins and development of the retail industry is encyclopedic and his attention to both the “big picture” and the smallest details is accurate and entertaining.

— Richard Marcus, former CEO, Neiman Marcus

I’ve been honored to work with many of the best retail leaders in the world.  But I’ve never met anyone who knows retail evolution better than Gary Hoover.  He has obsessively studied it since his childhood and has then applied that learning as an entrepreneur, teacher, author, and former Board member of Whole Foods Market.  He is my go-to expert for business ideas and trends in the retail space.

— Brett Hurt, Founder, Coremetrics and Bazaarvoice, Co-Founder & CEO,

Gary Hoover is a true pioneer in creating retail experiences and furthering innovative brands. He’s been rethinking the retail experience for decades, literally since he founded Bookstop!”

— Jason Dorsey, Co-Founder, The Center for Generational Kinetics

When we launched our retail vertical, multiple members of our team recommend we have Gary talk to Square Root to kick-start our knowledge.  Gary’s energy and depth was hugely beneficial to our team. I loved his open, conversational format in his History of Retailing and Top Trends in Retail Today presentations. He tailored his talks to be relevant to Square Root, and inspired us on many levels.  I couldn’t recommend Gary enough.

— Chris Taylor, CEO, Square Root, Software for Retail Management

Click here to sign up!

Art of Enterprise Course Fall 2016


The entire course is $699 for 8 weeks, but discounted to $399 for early enrollment by August 22!  Or $499 if purchased by August 30.
Some of the individual classes can also be purchased for $149, $79 if you enroll by August 22, $99 if you enroll by August 30.


At the beautiful new OrangeCoworking space in South/Southwest Austin in the HEB shopping center at the northwest corner of Slaughter and Manchaca.


The class will be every Tuesday night from 6 to 9 PM, from September 20 through November 8. 

Click here to sign up!

Who the Course is For:

Hundreds have taken and raved about serial entrepreneur and global teacher Gary Hoover’s Art of Enterprise course, which has been called “the liberal arts approach to business.”  In this special 8-week edition, Gary will cover the most important aspects of thinking like an entrepreneur and understanding business and the economy.  Be prepared to gain significant insights from Gary’s 53 years of studying big business and 34 years of starting new ventures.

His many satisfied customers include successful entrepreneurs and MBAs seeking a broader understanding of the world around them, dreamers thinking about starting a new venture, non-profit and religious leaders, investors, inventors, and technologists and engineers desiring a short, intense introduction to business and entrepreneurship.  The principles taught in the course apply to any size enterprise in any industry, including not-for-profit and social entrepreneurship. (See the testimonials at the end of this note.)


Everyone who takes this class will receive a PDF of Gary’s 300-page book, The Art of Enterprise, a $10 value, as well as other handouts and documents.  All the classes are audio recorded, so if you have to miss class, you can download them off Dropbox. Free lifetime 24/7 email support.
All students are urged to read Peter Drucker’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Course Schedule and Class Details

Tuesday, Sept 20, 6 to 9 PM

Introduction to Entrepreneurial Thinking.
What is entrepreneurship?
The role of entrepreneurship in the business, nonprofit, government, and other worlds.
What do entrepreneurs and those who think like them value most?
What is wisdom?
How do entrepreneurial thinkers learn?
What are the key characteristics of entrepreneurial thinkers?
Skepticism, risk, nonlinear thinking, the dualities, humanization, and other big ideas.

Tuesday Sept 27, 6 to 9 PM

The eight keys to building and leading successful enterprises. Curiosity, history, geography, clarity, consistency, service, uniqueness, passion.

How to come up with ideas. How to deal with too many or too few. How to choose the best ones. Seeing what others do not.
(Chapters 1 through 8 and Chapter 29 of Gary’s book The Art of Enterprise; you will be given a free PDF upon enrollment).

Tuesday, Oct 4, 6 to 9 PM

My life as an entrepreneur. Details on BOOKSTOP, Hoover’s, TravelFest, RoadStoryUSA, Bigwig Games, and The Spark. A frank look at teams, investors, growth, financing methods for the $30 million Gary has raised, getting fired, VCs, failure, coping or not, dilution, business structure, and all that….

Tuesday, Oct 11, 6 to 9 PM

The Big Picture.  Gary created the company that became Hoover’s, Inc. because he discovered  most business people know very little about business, about their economic context,  about how big companies think and work, and about how to evaluate companies as partners, suppliers, or customers.  This session will move you way ahead of your peers and competitors in all these regards. As students have said, “It is like someone pulled open the curtain.” (PDF provided at the time you enroll.)

Tuesday, Oct 18, 6 to 9 PM

The Numbers Made Simple.  Many business people do not really understand the most important principles of financial statements.  Come out of this class with a core understanding – from a leader’s viewpoint – of the profit and loss statement and the balance sheet, how they interact, and what they mean to running the business and making decisions. (PDF provided at enrollment.)

Tuesday, Oct 25, 6 to 9 PM

Learning Through Observation.  One of the most important ways entrepreneurs come up with breakthrough innovations is through intense, quantitative, feedback-loop observation.  This critical skill is rarely taught in the classroom – in fact, you can’t observe too much in the classroom.  This is the only session which will be done in the field, not at OrangeCoworking. Many students tell us that they never see the world the same after this very popular session.

Tuesday, Nov 1, 6 to 9 PM

How to Become an Expert in any Company or Industry.  Most business people do not know where to begin on “business intelligence.” Gary began subscribing to Fortune Magazine 53 years ago, at the age of 12, and has devoted his life to understanding a wide array of industries.  In this session, which has also been given at the University of Texas School of Information, learn how to become an industry expert yourself!

Tuesday, Nov 8, 6 to 9 PM

Your Ideas.  You are invited to bring one or more business ideas to class, give a short presentation on your ideas, and gather feedback from Gary and your fellow classmates. (Free consulting!)

Testimonials: What People Say about Gary Hoover and this Course

Gary’s huge.  He’s awesome.  I don’t think I could have done this without him.

— Kristen Heaney, founder, Yardbar, Austin, Texas, quoted 2013 in Austin Business Journal.

Gary Hoover is a man of many, many talents, and I respect him dearly.  He is really a genius level business thinker.  You guys are super-lucky to have him as a teacher.  I had a lot of great professors at Wharton and when I attended Wharton it was rated the #1 MBA program 6 years in a row.  And none of them approached Gary’s level of knowledge about business history or entrepreneurship. – Brett A. Hurt, founder, Bazaarvoice, Inc. (founded in 2005, IPO in 2012), Hurt Family Investments.

One night Erine (Gray) was lucky to be invited to a dinner with legendary Austin entrepreneur Gary Hoover at Fonda San Miguel, an equally legendary Austin restaurant serving fine Mexican cuisine. The topic of dinner conversation was Erine’s desire to start a non-profit organization to fill gaps in social services he’d seen while working with the state of Texas. Gary suggested that starting a for-profit business would be a smarter path, and keep him from competing for scarce resources with the nonprofit organizations who would be his likely customers. A little while later, Erine incorporated his vision as Aunt Bertha, a Delaware C Corporation and certified “B-Corp” – a new type of company that balances the drive for shareholder return with other stakeholders in the business.

— From

After running WhiteLeaf Marketing for about three years, Weisblatt learned about an entrepreneurship course that world-renowned entrepreneur Gary Hoover was teaching.

“I was part of the initial group of students and really got into the whole concept of entrepreneurship and methodology,” Weisblatt said. “It really got me thinking. It got wheels turning about other opportunities, and it’s what led me to start UpgradeUSA.”

— From Interview with founder Jon Weisblatt on

It was my honor to having you as my teacher and mentor. You won’t believe how much your class changed my thinking process as a business owner.  It was almost 15 years since I have taken any classes after my masters.  I have always hesitated to take any class because of my busy life. I had no idea that your class would inspire me so much.

– Ashif Mahmud, President/CEO ict Consultants Software Solutions
I have known Gary Hoover for over 20 years. With that background, I can tell you that Gary Hoover is one of the most amazing entrepreneurs and teachers I have ever encountered. He is literally a walking encyclopedia of business history and his story telling is incredible. He is the most prolific reader I have ever met and his ability to not only speed read but retain information is incredible. I consider Gary Hoover one of Austin’s most valuable assets and recommend him without reservation. Whether you are a lifetime learner, an aspiring entrepreneur, or an academic, you will find Gary Hoover as one of your truly great resources and your time spent with him among your most memorable.

– Jim Nolen, Distinguished Senior Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Finance, McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin

Gary is a truly inspiring speaker and teacher and I highly recommend any of his courses or talks (or even just chatting with him at lunch!) His unique experiences and his genuine, open nature create an ideal atmosphere for the flow of ideas and introspection. Taking his course on Entrepreneurship last fall was the penultimate push towards me finally starting my own business.

– Elayne Crain, Entrepreneur
I have recently been going over your class and all the material you have provided and I have to say it is exceptional. Aside from your videos, your book “The Art of Enterprise” is by far one of the most thought provoking books I have read. It has taken me way longer to read than I had anticipated due to me stopping and thinking about every single page. It is great, easy to read, and contains useful information that you cannot find in other books. Thanks for including it along with your awesome class.

– Mario Robles

I would highly recommend this entrepreneurship course for anyone toying with the idea of starting a business.  Our class met once a week, and I would find myself so inspired and full of ideas during class that my energy would spill over well into the night.

– Taylor Journey, University of Texas undergraduate

I would like to thank you for inspiring me to look at life through the eyes of an entrepreneur. Your class was the most valuable and most enjoyable class I have ever taken. It truly changed my life.

– Tyler Kling, University of Texas at Austin undergraduate student

I walked away from Gary’s classes each week feeling that I had been shown the other side of the curtain. Gary’s passion for both his subject, and for communicating it in a clear and engaging manor has led me to suggest that each student be given an AHA degree.

– Allan Clark, entrepreneur

As a businessman and a thinker, Gary Hoover is a true visionary.

– Laurence J. Kirshbaum, former CEO, Time Warner Trade Publishing

I’ve been teaching at the McCombs School of Business since 1989.  I have won every teaching award given by the students.  Gary is one of the most gifted teachers I have ever known.  He knows his subject cold and has a God given gift of being about to reach students in a way that is just awe inspiring.  When you add his passion for teaching and helping people, he is priceless.

– John Doggett, Harvard MBA, Yale JD, Senior Lecturer in Management, McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin

Gary Hoover is one of the smartest and most creative people I know. – Leonard L. Berry, Distinguished Professor of Marketing, Texas A&M University

This is one of the finest teachers and courses I have taken – and I have taken a lot (BA, MPH, PhD, MBA) and I have taught at several universities. Gary Hoover is a fantastic person, instructor, and mentor.

– Blair Carter, Educator and Entrepreneur

Gary brings to the table both an understanding of the applied aspects on entrepreneurship as well as the ability to teach and engage in intellectual activity around entrepreneurship.  Because he has started companies, he has an understanding of the entrepreneurial process, from idea to market.  Because of his love for scholarship and teaching, he understands how to integrate the practical and the intellectual.

– John Sibley Butler, Professor of Sociology and Business, Director Emeritus of the IC2 Institute and the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Texas at Austin


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