Name: Alex Cequea
MUM Degree: BA, Business, 2009; MBA, 2010
Coolest Accomplishment: World Record Holder, Longest Speech Marathon, 36+ hours.
: Co-Owner and Editor in Chief, iPhone Life
Expertise: Publishing, mobile technology, business, personal branding
Alex Cequea, Editor in Chief of iPhone Life
magazine, has a bucket list of the things he wants to do most in life. If the one he’s already checked off is any indication of his imagination and determination, then he will probably achieve every item on his list. On June 2013, Alex gave a speech that broke the Guinness Book of World Records mark as the longest marathon speech in history at more than 36 hours (photo, below).
When he’s not setting world records, this Venezuelan-raised writer and motivational speaker manages content of Fairfield, Iowa-based iPhone Life, a technology magazine sold in 60 countries at venues that include Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Best Buy, airport stores, and thousands of newsstands all over the world.
Alex, 31, got his start in publishing as an MUM student in 2008, when he saw that the university had no student-run newspaper. So, he decided to start one. A year later, after organizing students and lobbying the university for permissions, Alex brought his vision into being as the monthly paper, Conscious Times, which published student articles, reviews, cartoons, and editorials.
“Basically I got an unintended crash course in everything you need to know about publishing,” says Alex — which led to his landing a job at iPhone Life. Alex recalls how he caught the eye of the magazine's owner, Hal Goldstein. “Pretty much the only thing he saw on my resume was that I had run the student paper,” says Alex. “He said, ‘Oh my God, you’re the one who did this. This is great.’" Alex started in the marketing department but within a couple of months was made Associate Editor.
In July 2011, Hal retired and sold iPhone Life to Alex and two other senior staff, David Averbach (now CEO) and Raphael Burnes (Chief Technical Officer). Hal retained a minority stake in the company and stepped back completely from all day-to-day activities. At the time, the company’s staff numbered six — although the payroll could not accommodate them all. So Alex and his partners went without pay, hoping to grow the publication quickly.
Within six months, circulation of the print edition increased as did ad revenue from the magazine’s print and digital channels. Since then, the publication has grown significantly. Today, iPhone Life
has 15 employees plus 20-30 freelance writers and bloggers. Readership of the print edition stands at 650,000 — plus hundreds of thousands of visitors to the website monthly.
'MUM was heaven'
Alex first heard about Maharishi University in 2005 when he was living in Boston. He’d become intrigued by the school's Consciousness-Based Education approach. The previous year he had left the University of Houston. “At the time I was mostly interested in exploring my spirituality, and I was willing to put college on hold for awhile," he says. "Until I'd heard about MUM, it had never occurred to me that there could be a university that combined spirituality and academics.”
He started at MUM in fall 2006, majoring in business.
“It was incredibly powerful to be at a place alongside peers who were on the same wavelength as me,” he says. “That was the biggest thing I was yearning for in Houston and Boston. MUM was heaven. Everyone I met was a potential friend. And many of those friendships are still going on.”
As for his love of motivational speaking, the gregarious, indefatigable Alex continues to develop his formidable skills. In 2011, he placed in the top 200 speakers worldwide (out of 25,000) in the Toastmasters International Inspirational Speech Contest.
In 2013 he decided to go after the world record longest speech marathon. “My goal for the marathon was to achieve something unique and hard that would inspire people to do extraordinary things.” Read about Alex’s Guinness World Record speech
This rising star also has the distinction of being one of the first 8,000 tech industry insiders to use and review Google Glass (photo, right), Google’s futuristic eyeglass frames that have a computer screen built into the lenses, a so-called “wearable computer.” Watch Alex's presentation
about Google Glass.
Furthering his career as a speaker, in 2013, Alex was the main host of the CTIA iZone Innovation Stage, where he presented, moderated panels, and conducted on-stage interviews.
What are Alex’s future plans? Will he be staying in Fairfield? “Yes, absolutely. It’s been amazing to build a business here. We employ a lot of MUM alumni. As for going to MUM, it was incredible. There was so much I got out of it. The top thing I took away were the lasting connections I made with people.”