Evan Rabin Podcast Transcript

Headshot of Founder and CEO Evan Rabin

Evan Rabin Podcast Transcript

Evan Rabin joins host Brian Thomas on The Digital Executive Podcast.

[00:00:01] Brian Thomas: Welcome to Coruzant Technologies, home of The Digital Executive Podcast.

Welcome to The Digital Executive. Today’s guest is Evan Rabin. Evan Rabin is the CEO of Premier Chess and was born and raised in New York. After working in corporate America, doing enterprise sales at Oracle and Rapid7, he formed Premier Chess in September of 2017. Premier Chess currently runs programs in 80 plus schools and companies, including the law firm Kramer Levin.

Evan is a US Chess National Master.

Well, good afternoon, Evan. Welcome to the show.

[00:00:41] Evan Rabin: Thank you so much for having me.

[00:00:42] Brian Thomas: Absolutely. This is exciting today. Get to talk to somebody out of New York, but somebody’s got an interesting background. Obviously, you’ve spent a little bit of time in That tech space, but we want to talk to you about chess today and that’s going to be so awesome.

So, Evan, we’re just going to jump right into the questions here. You’ve got quite the career in sales, recruiting, a senior executive, and now the CEO of Premier Chess. Could you share with our audience? The secret to your career growth and what inspires you?

[00:01:11] Evan Rabin: Yeah, thank you. Yeah, I’ve been a chess player most of my life. I started playing in second grade and right away almost started playing in tournaments.

And chess was always a big passion. And did spend a couple of years in corporate America, Oracle and Rapid7, a different company that did tails for startups, but then I really just wanted to go to my passion of chess. And in 2017, I founded Premier Chess by myself. And yeah, just the biggest reason we’ve been able to, get into so many schools and also companies like Google and Citigroup, other major corporations is really just getting started and you know, sending a lot of emails, a lot of networking, podcast appearances like this, getting the name out there and kind of continuing to go at it.

[00:02:00] Brian Thomas: I love that story and did read up on you about how you were, in grade school essentially and early on, and you just had such a passion for it that you really excelled in the tournament. So, I love your inspirational story and glad that you’re sharing that out with the world. So, Evan, can you tell us a bit more of how and why you’re trying to expand the game of chess in every school around the country?

[00:02:23] Evan Rabin: Yeah, right now we’re in about 81 schools all over the country, in Florida, New York, Jersey, all over. And I am a Big believer that any good school in the country should offer at least some type of chess program, whether it’s curriculum classes during the day electives, after school, professional development et cetera whatever it is ideally all of the above, but yeah, there, there really is so much that schools could to get out of it both on the individual level, but also more importantly for the school usually within a few months, kids are starting to make a name for their school representing the school at tournaments and really building a chess culture.

[00:03:06] Brian Thomas: I love that. You start out the youth when they’re young, to start really tapping into that brainpower and using that logical and critical thinking that we were given when we were born. Evan, we are a technology platform and publication and podcast. We love emerging tech, but we wanted to ask you if you’re leveraging any of that new and emerging technologies in your business, and if not, have you found maybe a cool tool or app you might share with us today?

[00:03:31] Evan Rabin: Yeah, well, there’s definitely a lot on my own podcast, actually the Premier Chess Podcast. I interviewed a couple of weeks ago John Edwards, who’s actually the world correspondence champion. And for correspondence chess, it’s pretty much all, I don’t want to say all AI.

That’s not fair to say. I mean, that’s why someone like him is a world champion and others are not but it’s heavily AI and research driven. And then also I’ve seen many interviews recently from players of previous generations. And Hikaru Nakamura, for instance, top player in the world recently actually said back in like 2000, yeah, he could just almost prepare a game for a couple minutes.

And that was it. Now, you got to check literally every single line with an engine and preparation is key or Currently well, actually just yesterday the U. S. Junior and senior U. S. Girl Championships finished, but in one interview, Grandmaster Brandon Jacobson who I actually lost to at a tournament a couple of years ago actually said yeah, pretty much the whole game was, like, computer preparation I thought that was pretty interesting, but, yeah, and then there, there’s many, Resources online.

Of course, there’s Lead chess, Chess.com, Chesskid, many-chess which has like a special move. Repetition feature and yeah, there’s just so much when it comes to tech and chess, it’s a pretty much a different game now than it was, before.

[00:04:56] Brian Thomas: Absolutely. We’ve seen just such a proliferation of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and just about everything as you saw here just in the last couple of years.

And now people are taking advantage of that and that’s totally changing the game, so to speak, no pun intended, but absolutely. So, thank you for sharing that.

Evan, last question of the day. Could you share something from your career experience? That might be helpful for those listening today that they’re looking to grow their career in either sales or entrepreneurship.

[00:05:27] Evan Rabin: Yeah, what’s most important for me, and I did allude to this before, but is really just get started with whatever you’re doing. You’re never going to be ready. And this is, personal and business actually I was talking to a friend the other day who.

Said he wants to get engaged to his girlfriend. And they’ve been thinking about it, he has all these. Things that he’s working on, and I said, just because you’re working on all these things doesn’t mean you can’t do it with her, which would make it a lot easier, actually yeah, I think, look, you’re never going to be ready.

And I know. I have one friend who is a chiropractor, and she was trying to launch a new practice years ago, and she kept telling me, oh, I can’t really go to networking events yet. I don’t have a logo. I don’t have a website. I don’t have a good Facebook page, all these different things.

And I kept trying to explain to her, you’re a doctor, no one’s hiring you because of your logo. Just go to events, network, invited her to a lot of stuff. And, once you actually like got started, then yeah, she was fairly successful. In the first 2 months of our business, we were in 14 schools.

But that was only by hammering her way and not spending too much time before we got actually got started.

[00:06:36] Brian Thomas: That’s awesome. Thank you for sharing that. And you’re absolutely right. I’ve had a few people say that you’re never going to be absolutely 100% ready. So, you just need to get out there and get after it.

So, Evan, I think the sentiment is. Very much shared across the entrepreneurial community, I would say, and Evan, it was a pleasure having you on today and I look forward to speaking with you real soon.

[00:06:57] Evan Rabin: Thank you so much. It’s great to connect and look forward to hearing from all of your fans.

[00:07:02] Brian Thomas: Bye for now.

Evan Rabin Podcast Transcript. Listen to the audio on the guest’s podcast page.


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