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In this episode Rick is joined by Clint Oram, SugarCRM founder and host of the Fuel Growth podcast. Clint shares how his fascinating journey from bar backing, bouncing, radio DJ’ing and public speaking led him to start a tech company. The conversation unfolds to explore the origins of the Fuel Growth podcast, inspired by Clint’s lifelong fascination with company growth and his father’s entrepreneurial journey. They delve into SugarCRM’s founding story, navigating mergers and acquisitions, and becoming a partner-driven company. The discussion highlights the evolving role of partners, the impact of AI on customer needs, and the future integration of Generative AI.

Exploring the journey of Clint Oram: from high school DJ to tech leader

In the latest episode of “On The Road,” host Rick Currier engages in a captivating conversation with Clint Oram, the co-founder of SugarCRM. Oram’s journey is a compelling blend of early passions, diverse experiences, and profound insights that offer invaluable lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned professionals alike.

From high school DJ to public speaker

Clint Oram’s affinity for the microphone started early. Reflecting on his high school days, he shares, “I was a high school DJ… KYDS 91.5 FM was the second largest high school radio station in California”​​. This early exposure not only honed his communication skills but also ignited his passion for sharing ideas. Despite initial struggles with public speaking—“I got so nervous I passed out cold”​​—Oram’s determination led him to join Toastmasters, where he meticulously worked on his public speaking prowess.

Embracing challenges and building resilience

Oram’s journey is marked by a willingness to dive into new challenges headfirst. His early career included a stint in the restaurant industry, where he experienced firsthand the demanding nature of service jobs. “I did one year working in a restaurant… Now you’re not a good waiter. I couldn’t remember things”​​. These experiences, although outside the tech sphere, contributed to his resilience and problem-solving abilities.

Founding SugarCRM and the birth of a podcast

Oram’s entrepreneurial spirit truly came to life with the founding of SugarCRM. His approach to leadership and team building is rooted in simplicity and clarity. As he puts it, “A CEO needs to have the vision, hire the right people, and secure the resources to go deliver on it”​​. This straightforward yet profound philosophy has been a cornerstone of his success.

The decision to launch a podcast was another strategic move to engage with a broader audience and share insights from his journey. Oram admits, “I’m a bit of a ham that there’s not a microphone in the world that I haven’t fallen in love with immediately”​​. The podcast serves as a platform for Oram to connect with people, exchange ideas, and continue his lifelong passion for communication.

Key advice for aspiring entrepreneurs

One of the most inspiring aspects of Oram’s story is his advice for those venturing into the entrepreneurial world.

“No fear, no fail. Just go, just do it, you’ll figure it out”​​. – Clint Oram

This mantra encapsulates the essence of entrepreneurial spirit—taking bold steps, learning from failures, and continuously moving forward.

Oram also emphasizes the importance of curiosity and enjoyment in one’s work. “Follow your curiosity… If you don’t like what you’re doing, do something different because this is your one shot”​​. This advice resonates deeply, reminding us that passion and curiosity are vital components of sustained success and personal fulfillment.


Clint Oram’s journey from a high school DJ to a tech leader is a testament to the power of perseverance, curiosity, and the willingness to embrace challenges. His story, filled with insightful anecdotes and practical advice, offers a blueprint for success that is both inspiring and actionable. Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or a seasoned professional, Oram’s insights provide valuable lessons on navigating the complexities of career and life.

Clint Oram is the Co-founder of SugarCRM

About SugarCRM:  

SugarCRM is a CRM software that helps marketing, sales, and service teams reach peak efficiency through better automation, data, and intelligence so they can achieve a real-time, reliable view of each customer. Sugar’s platform provides leading technology in the sales automation, marketing automation, and customer service fields with one goal in mind: to make the hard things easier. 

Thousands of companies in over 120 countries rely on Sugar by letting the platform do the work. Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sugar is backed by Accel-KKR. 

For more information about SugarCRM, visit: