Tech-Entrepreneur-on-a-Mission Podcast

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By thinking differently about three ways in which we approach data, we enable the future of the world

Season 4, Ep. 184

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to move us to where we are at the centre of our own digital life, and back in control over our own data. My guest is Julian Ranger, Executive Chairman and Founder of Digi.me.


Julian is an aeronautical engineer specialising in interoperability and the military internet. He founded STASYS Ltd in 1987, and grew it to a staff of 230, with subsidiaries in the USA, Germany, Malaysia and Australia prior to sale to Lockheed Martin in 2005. He's an angel investor in more than 20 start-up businesses, including firms such as Hailo, DataSift, and Astrobotic.


His passion for the power of personal data led him to build new businesses. Today he's the Exec Chairman and founder of digi.me, a company that's on a mission to enable the Internet of Me, enabling us to do amazing things with our personal data without compromising our privacy or security.


And that inspired me, and hence I invited you Julian to my podcast. We explore how the internet has become a place where no one is in control anymore over their own data, but no one is in control over all data. And exactly the latter is the problem that stops us from having the level of personalization we really want, and the big breakthroughs we all need, like precision medicine. 


Fixing privacy, security and consent is not the way forward. That's about stopping the bad stuff from happening. What we need is a way to share more and better data - to make the good stuff happening (without the bad stuff)


Here are some of his quotes:

Rich data, now ask yourself, is there a company in the world that can do that? And people say, 'well, Google, and Facebook and Axiom', but if you take a circle of my data, they have a wedge. But they don't have my health, my purchases, or my media, my wearables, and stuff. 
In fact, because of all the stovepipes or silos, whichever analogy you like, it is impossible for any company to bring all that data together to get a rich data library view. So we are effectively stopped from our future at this point. And the laws are shrinking those wedges that people have, but nobody said, Well, how do I open up the whole circle to do it? Now when you look at it, no company can. But there is one entity in the whole system that knows all about you and me. Yourself.
You know where your data is. You have a right for that data. And you're the only entity with unlimited usage rights. When you understand those three things, you can only aggregate rich data at the individual. And that's the key insight for what my business does. That's our big idea. And it's no less than enables the future of the world. 


During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. Why too often we approach the problem from the wrong end - by not looking far enough ahead: the simple desired outcome for the user
  2. What it requires to succeed when your big idea hits the road and you discover that the road is not quite as smooth as you'd like
  3. That everybody is lucky - but that many are just not seeing the luck around them.
  4. Why as entrepreneurs we often spend too much time on the idea and the instantiation of it, and not enough time on the internal and external messaging 


For more information about the guest from this week:

More Episodes

11/24/2021

How to create an organization where the bulk of your employees are so committed that they are willing to put in their own money

Season 4, Ep. 191
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to shape the conditions where everyone can come to work in an environment that’s right for them. My guest is Nico Blier Silvestri, Co-Founder and CEO of Platypus.Nico has an extremely diverse and robust 15-year career in recruitment, working at industry-leading companies, including Yahoo!, Trust Pilot, and Unity. He's been pioneering his own brand of culture-centric recruitment. Through his time as Chief People Officer, Strategic Business Advisor, and Director of Talent, Nico has now channeled his business and recruitment insights into PlatypusHis experience has taught him that company culture is at the core of every step of an employee journey, from attraction to management, to retention.He believes that culture is democratic. That all employees have an impact on the culture of an organization, bringing their personal values as cultural drivers - and that company culture is not defined by top-down values but by everyday actions.This became the founding principle of Platypus, which Nico leads as their CEO.It's on a mission to help organizations understand their culture better and make sure every employee, whether current or future, has the opportunity to prosper.This inspired me, and hence I invited Nico to my podcast. We explore what's broken in the market where it comes to building thriving cultures. We discuss that's very much a management issue - and what difference can be made if technology and people blend in the right way. Nico shares his stories about the journey he's been through in taking the Platypus from an initial vision to where it is today. He shares the mistakes he made and explains how we overcame some big hurdles to get to Product-Market Fit and create a solution that makes a significant difference in the eyes of his customers.Here are some of his quotes:My big picture genuinely is to kill bullshit branding. I'm exhausted from looking at videos or organizations advertising themselves. It's all the time the same. Put another logo, there's nothing genuine and honest about the reality of this. It's not helping the organization. and it's certainly not helping the candidates or the people outside.Secondly, we really want to achieve is for people to find the right organization for them to work in. That's the whole idea with Platypus. Platypus is this amazing animal that probably shouldn't exist because it's so specific.But in the right environments, in the right setup, it's happy, it's thriving, and it exists and it's evolving. That's why for us we call it Platypus because it's all about finding the right environment for the person.During this interview, you will learn four things:That a critical lever for success is positive conflict. You don't need people that agree with you. You don't need to hear what you've just said in a different voice.Remove the ego from leadership. You're not in a leadership position, because you're right all the time. You're in a leadership position because you're the best at getting the best out of people.That as a CEO you want to go so fast, and you're so self sold into your own idea that it's critical to have people that are not you making decisions on the product.How to go about making the decision to kill your product, and start all over again.For more information about the guest from this week:Nico Blier SilvestriWebsite Platypus
11/17/2021

The value we can create when software makes its users remarkable

Season 4, Ep. 190
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to give all of us new options to communicate more humanly and be trusted faster. My guest is David Jay, Founder, and CEO of Warm WelcomeDavid was recently named a Top 100 Tech Innovator and Influencer. David is a startup junkie, he has started service-based companies and several software companies. He believes that business can be a tool to help us build better relationships and connect us to a purpose far beyond ourselves.Today he's the CEO of Warm Welcome. A startup that's on a mission to create a world that is more personal, more human, more joyful than ever before. They believe that most people would prefer to engage with another human instead of a robot - and that relationships are what make our lives rich and give us meaning.This inspired me, and hence I invited David to my podcast. We explore what's broken in the way communicate digitally and what that leads to. We then discuss the approach David has chosen to solve this problem in a remarkable way. He shares his big lessons learned in building the solution in an as lean as possible way. He addresses the challenges he faced in creating momentum in a completely new category - and ends with his fresh take on the concept of 'launching'.Here are some of his quotes:It really helps people stand out. Everybody is been doing things the old way. Everybody has a funnel built. They have email campaigns. You sign up for a product, and you get 20 emails. And they all look the same. They're beautifully designed, they're full of text and graphics.But when you put your face behind something, you build trust way faster than you do with pretty graphics. And for most products and services, people want to trust the person that's making it before they're going to buy it.During this interview, you will learn four things:That we're too often building remarkable software, but forget the power of human touch. Combining the two creates something that stands out.That, in order to more often succeed, we should replace the word 'launch' with 'planting seeds'.Why we should always test the water in the market with something lightweight - something we can still adjust without wasting money.Why it's key to turn early customers into evangelists - and how to go about that.For more information about the guest from this week:David JayWebsite Warm Welcome
11/10/2021

Value creation isn't often so much about the accuracy of your technology, but how useful it is in the eyes of the user

Season 4, Ep. 189
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help young people speak their truths and tap into their superpowers. My guest is Ivy Mahsciao, Founder and CEO of evrmore.Ivy is a champion for human potential who has a 20+ year background in consumer psychology and product science, with a category-defining product management portfolio that includes Genentech, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, and Nike.Today she's the CEO of evrmore - a startup that's on a mission to help people see their innate potentials and impacts in the world by bringing our social and emotional selves back online. It's an inclusive betterment platform for young people to develop transferable core skills and social mobility. This is especially helpful for those who might be going through the most challenging time in their lives, such as the current pandemic, immigration trauma, grief, separation, and other difficult transitions aka life.This inspired me - and hence I invited Ivy to my podcast. We explore what's broken in today's world where it comes to helping young people to grow their self-knowledge and having a strong self-narrative.We discuss how the non-stop push of information and chasing social proof has created a big problem in society. We then explore the journey Ivy has taken to fix the problem once and forever - and the challenges she's faced along the way. We discuss her strategies to scale and accelerate by leveraging the ecosystem in her tech stack. Lastly, we discuss her take on building a remarkable software business.Here are some of her quotes:The MVP in the traditional sense is just not going to cut it now for something like evrmore. So then what is that thing? This is again, another thing that I want to demystify for the founder’s entrepreneurial experience. When you're building something from nothing - from just the screaming dots you're trying to connect - you also realize that you're always going to feel like you're not going fast enough.There's just not going to be any shortage of Crunchbase news, or acquisition news or funding news, you're always going to be like I needed to launch this thing, six months ago, eight months ago, two years ago, or something like that.Not downplaying that anxiety, I think it's an important one to clearing the air and just being vulnerable. And just say "that is very much my reality."You're always trying to balance those external pressures. So what is that gold standard of knowing what to measure, knowing what to validate before you hit that first Launch button and say, This is now my maximum minimal viable products?During this interview, you will learn four things:How to find highly valuable innovation opportunities by growing your skills to capture any idea and actively connect the right dotsThat the essence about the minimum viable product is often misinterpreted - and how thinking about maximum-minimum viable product can helpHow asking the most piercing questions and describing it from a qualitative standpoint will help define the essence of your businessThat it's your responsibility as a tech-entrepreneur to cherish your hunches and intuitions - and create the pathways for them to become useful.For more information about the guest from this week:Ivy MahsciaoWebsite evrmore