A death-defying ride for entrepreneur, Peter Pham

By Kym McNicholas , written on November 14, 2012

From The News Desk

Science co-founder and Partner Peter Pham called me out on Twitter after he saw that I chose Branchout CEO Rick Marini to take the ride of a lifetime on the back of a Superbike with a pro rider, popping wheelies at 150mph down the straight-aways of Sonoma Raceway.

Actually Peter Pham was one of my top two picks. But I wrote him off, because he had moved from Nor-Cal to So-Cal. That is, until he offered to hop on the next flight to San Francisco if I could get him on the track.

Not only did I get him on the track, but I hooked him up with a rare opportunity to climb in the back of a two-seater IndyCar with racing legend Mario Andretti. So, probably for the first time in years, Pham had to relinquish control and trust the skills of someone else for his survival. Ever since I've known Pham, he's always been at the helm, in a sense. After Interactive Media's acquisition of Photobucket, where had held the title of Vice President of Business Development, he became the CEO of mobile network and credit card comparing site, He then went on to co-found photo sharing start-up, Color (which has failed), before taking on a leading role at Science, an LA-based start-ups lab.

"The toughest part of the ride was not being able to steer," says Pham. "But just as you do with even heading up a startup, you have to be willing to give the reigns to someone who has more experience and when you do, you can learn so much more."

After the terrifying ride, Pham had the opportunity to chat with Mario Andretti about the similarities between starting an engine and starting a company: Neither drivers nor entrepreneurs fear signing their life away.

Watch the interview and the ride: