Rich knew at 13 years old what he was going to do the rest of his career when he typed a two-line program into a teletype and the computer returned, “HI RICH." He was hooked. A year later, after having typed the entire Baseball Register into the computer, he won an international gaming contest for what would now be termed Fantasy Baseball. In 1973, Rich landed his first job as a programmer. He was stunned people would pay him to do something he loved to do as a hobby. He went on to obtain a Master’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan.
After graduating, Rich worked his way up through a number of Ann Arbor technology companies. At the midpoint of his career rise, he wanted out. He was no longer experiencing the joy that had first drawn him to programming and this inspired him to pursue lasting change at his workplace. His investigation led him to different books, videos, and methodologies that opened his eyes to a new approach for building and running teams. The experiments began.
Once the internet bubble burst, Rich found himself out of a job, but he knew that he had been on to something. On June 12, 2001 Menlo Innovations LLC was born.
Since then, Rich’s passion for creating and sharing a joyful work environment led to his bestselling and widely celebrated book, Joy, Inc.: How We Built a Workplace People Love. His second book, Chief Joy Officer: How Great Leaders Elevate Human Energy and Eliminate Fear, continues on that theme with a focus on leadership style.