The Schmidt file Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2008

Born: I was born in L.A., (but) grew up in Lakewood.

What was your first job?

I sold newspapers at Long Beach Douglas when I was 13 years old.

What is the best business advice you’ve ever received?

The one that is somewhat unique, but I have really taken to heart, was I worked for a really brilliant guy once and he said, ‘Don’t ever take on a new job with more than 50 percent new content in it.’ And that was fitting because I was 26 or 27 years old and thought I could conquer the world, and I probably couldn’t have.

Whom do you admire most in business and why?

I think a lot of Warren Buffett actually, and the reason is they buy and build things and they help people do a better job of running an enterprise, and I’m particularly appreciative of that. That’s partly because I view myself as somebody who operates companies; that’s what I like to do and what I’m pretty good at.

If you could be one superhero, who would you be and why?

One of ‘The Incredibles’ because I got such a big kick out of Bob [Mr. Incredible]. Bob is kind of a regular guy, but he did stuff he had to do. And the other one is Superman. It would actually be cool to leap tall buildings in a single bound and all that.