First in Future: NCSU Engineering Entrepreneurs Program Director and Founder Marshall Brain (Pt. 2)

Summary: With a name like Marshall Brain, there’s quite an expectation to live up to—but for this guy, director of the Engineering Entrepreneurs Program at NC State, he makes being a brain-iac look easy. For one, he’s relentlessly curious about everything. As the founder of, Marshall set out to explain to people how stuff works – literally. And he’s extended that curiosity and that easy, straightforward sense of information-sharing beyond his one-time hobby. He’s the former host of Nat Geo’s “Factory Floor with Marshall Brain,” the author of more than 20 books, and a frequent guest on CNN, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” MSNBC, “Good Morning America” and more. As you might imagine, it’s hard to have a boring – or short! – conversation with Marshall, so we’re breaking it into two parts. In part two, we pick up in a place that may seem a little remote from North Carolina – Mars. As you listen, we think you’ll see how thinking a little bit about Mars can help us think differently about our state’s rural-urban divide, about early childhood education, and about the challenges and opportunities of automation. Listen to part one at!

Excerpt: “On Mars, we’re going to totally solve the literacy problem for kids under 8. What would it look like in that environment? Now we try to do a pilot program in America…Obviously, it’s a solvable problem. So let’s just solve it. Because we’re going to solve it on Mars—The fact that we’re not thinking this way is almost embarrassing to us as a species.”

Book recommendations: Right now, he’s reading Grant Cardone. He’s an “over the top optimist,” a motivational speaker and then some.

“Must-Have Skills” on Mars : “You want someone who is competent, and who can solve problems, and who can get stuff done, and is optimistic—that’s the kind of package you want.”

Listen to part one of the podcast here.

Listen to part two of the podcast:

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