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Mark Coopersmith - Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, CA, US

Mark Coopersmith Mark Coopersmith

Lecturer | Senior Fellow | Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley



Areas of Expertise (7)

Growth Strategies

Governance and Boards

Corporate Entrepreneurship






Mark Coopersmith is an educator, author, entrepreneur, and global executive. In his teaching at UC Berkeley and programs around the world, he provides students, business leaders, and teams with insights, inspiration, and know-how to drive innovation and growth in organizations of all sizes, and to launch new ventures and initiatives ranging from Silicon Valley startups to new divisions of global enterprises.

As a Fortune 500 global executive and Silicon Valley entrepreneur, he has spent three decades launching, building, and fixing high-growth organizations ranging from raw startups (his e-commerce venture WebOrder is now owned by Google) to launching new divisions of multinational corporations such as Sony, to reinvigorating existing businesses, all while leading teams from 2 to 2,000 spread across many continents. Coopersmith has also served on boards of directors, advised startups at UC Berkeley's SkyDeck accelerator, and invested in startups as an angel investor and a partner in several venture funds.

He started teaching at UC Berkeley in 2003. His courses have included the core entrepreneurship class, the experiential Workshop for Startups course where new ventures are launched in real time, and Social Entrepreneurship. He combines his passion and expertise for entrepreneurship and innovation with his real-world experiences in startups, the Fortune 500 executive suite and boardroom, and also original research, insights, tools and frameworks — such as the 7 Stage Failure Value Cycle from his book "The Other 'F' Word" co-authored with John Danner — to inspire and focus leaders and teams and to help them attain the positive outcomes they seek.






Winners and Losers in the Age of Automation


Education (2)

Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley: MBA

UC Berkeley: BA, Political Economies of Industrial Societies

Selected External Service & Affiliations (1)

  • Managing Director, ETwater

Positions Held (1)

At Haas since 2003

2010 – 2018, ETwater: Managing Director; Board Member 2001 – present, Managing Director, Berkeley Innovation Consortium (previously The Argonauts Group) 2006 – 2007, Group VP and General Manager, Newell Rubbermaid, Global Technology Brands 2005 – 2010, Addis: President of Strategy, Board Member 1998 – 2001, CEO, WebOrder, SVP Netopia (now Google) 1992 – 1998, Executive Vice President, Sony 1986 – 1992, Management Consultant, Ernst & Young

Media Appearances (11)

Legendary ex-Cisco CEO John Chambers warns startup founders to be wary of hiring superstars because they can 'destroy a company from within'

Business Insider  online


Tech legend John Chambers, who led Cisco for 20 years, says companies shouldn't be mesmerized by superstars who don't fit into their culture. Lecturer and Senior Fellow Mark Coopersmith said young entrepreneurs should heed Chambers' advice. "He's always been known as a good and strong communicator and culture creator," he said. "Those are huge when you're looking at startups."

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Oracle's TikTok victory highlights Larry Ellison's reputation as a 'sharp-elbows entrepreneur' who experts say has benefited from his embrace of Trump: 'Larry's politics are good business'

Business Insider  online


Larry Ellison's relationship to President Trump paid off during negotiations with TikTok. "I think there was very much an element of political expediency and Larry Ellison's access and friendliness with the White House helped," said Lecturer Mark Coopersmith.

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Facebook sees opportunity in a pandemic

Engadget  online


Financially, Facebook is well positioned to emerge stronger as the economy reopens. "A lot of smaller tech companies aren't going to make it through, which means that the incumbents like Facebook and Google and Amazon and big players definitely have an advantage in difficult times like this," said Senior Fellow Mark Coopersmith.

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The Entrepreneurial Mindset (and my Top 10 list)

Medium  online


Lecturer Mark Coopersmith says that for potential entrepreneurs, studying at Berkeley Haas will definitely improve the chance of success. Having the right toolset and mindset is also crucial, but one of the most important things is to be persistant.

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Failure is grief but not ‘game over’ – authors John Danner and Mark Coopersmith on how to put failure to work

YourStory  online


Frameworks on how to embrace failure as a means to learn, grow, and innovate are explained in the insightful book, The Other “F” Word: How Smart Leaders, Teams and Entrepreneurs Put Failure to Work by John Danner and Mark Coopersmith...

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The entrepreneurial mindset

The Strive Project  online


For the past 30 years, I’ve pursued the answer to this question: “What distinguishes the best entrepreneurs and innovators from the rest of us?”

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Shop Talk: Topdrawer; Catscapes; SpotAngels

Berkeleyside  online


“I remember the day when Hamza and one of his co-founders were quite late to meet with me to discuss a parking application they were working on,” recalls Mark Coopersmith, the founding member and lead instructor of the Learn2Launch program...

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7 steps to help you bounce back from a failure stronger than ever

Business Insider  online


Here are the seven steps that can help you overcome failure, which authors John Danner and Mark Coopersmith call the failure value cycle...

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The other F word: How to make the most of failure

Fast Company  online


Failure–“the other F word”–is a fact and force of life in every organization. But in many firms, it’s also a taboo topic, one that is embarrassing and painful to talk about. Discussing embarrassing screwups and miscalculations is rarely easy. After all, wouldn’t we rather celebrate our successes and wins?...

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The seven stages of failure

HuffPost  online


A couple of professors at the University of California Berkeley (and yes, one of them moonlights at Princeton), John Danner and Mark Coopersmith, interviewed an impressive group of highly successful people about failure and incorporated their insights into a new book, “The Other ‘F’ Word: How Smart Leaders, Teams and Entrepreneurs Put Failure to Work.“ They spoke with executives we have all heard of, entrepreneurs who invented products we covet and other cool folks...

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5 things you must do to successfully launch a business

Entrepreneur  online


Perhaps the most critical step in the evolution of your startup is assembling a team that works well together and can deliver the goods. "Many good entrepreneurs are by nature connectors of people, so they have strong networks, which puts them at an immediate advantage," notes Mark Coopersmith, a longtime tech entrepreneur and senior fellow at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business...

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Selected Papers & Publications (3)

The Entrepreneurial Mindset


Mark Coopersmith


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The Other "F" Word: How Smart Leaders, Teams, and Entrepreneurs Put Failure to Work

John Wiley & Sons

Mark Coopersmith, John Danner


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How Not to Flunk at Failure

The Wall Street Journal

John Danner and Mark Coopersmith


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Teaching (3)


MBA 295A

Workshop for Startups

MBA 295I

“The Other F Word,” Learning from Failure

MBA 295T