Tag Archives: Collaboration

A Serial Entrepreneur Identifies The Sweet Spot Between Customer Experience And Security

In this interview, Peter High interviews Mickey Boodaei, CEO of Transmit Security. They discuss the origins and goals of Transmit Security, his approach to collaborating with customers on product vision, and the broader cyber security landscape among other topics.

7-Eleven CDO And CIO Creates Experiences Of The Future For Customers

In this interview, Peter high interviews Gurmeet Singh, Senior Vice President, Chief Digital Officer, and Chief Information Officer of 7-Eleven. Among the topics they discuss include:

  • 7-Eleven’s multi-year journey to become a digitally-enabled organization, including Gurmeet’s “full stack transformation” approach which encompasses consumer-facing technology, back-end technology, infrastructure, and the organizational stack
  • How digital is a strategic pillar at 7-Eleven, mandated directly by the CEO
  • The critical importance of technical talent to 7-Eleven’s future, and Gurmeet’s strategy for attracting top talent – such as highlighting his credibility as a leader and telling a compelling story
  • The ways in which Gurmeet is redefining convenience with software, such as the recognition that the closest store to a customer is the phone in their pocket, and 7-Eleven’s use of APIs and new interfaces to create delightful experiences
  • The expansion of 7-Eleven’s loyalty program from its initial focus on beverages to as a full-fledged loyalty offering that is available on mobile, web, digital loyalty card, and even chatbot
  • 7-Eleven’s approach to experimenting with emerging technologies, including their distinction between technologies that are ready to scale and technologies that are still in the proof of concept phase, a new R&D center, and a CTO function that reports to Gurmeet

Alphabet’s Moonshot Factory And Stephen Gillett Create Chronicle To Revolutionize CyberSecurity

Peter High interviews Stephen Gillett, Co-Founder and CEO of Chronicle. Among the topics they discuss include:

  • Stephen’s transition from Symantec to Google/Alphabet, including how his original role as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at GV led to his work with their moonshot factory, X
  • X’s process for identifying which moonshots to pursue, which include (1) addressing a huge problem, (2) employing a radical solution, and (3) using relatively feasible technology
  • Stephen’s ambition to work on an ambitious enterprise security project, and how that led to a cybersecurity project within X that resulted in Chronicle
  • A high level overview of Chronicle, which will offer an intelligence and analytics platform to help enterprises manage their own security-related data, and a malware intelligence service
  • The benefits of being an Alphabet company, including the ability to leverage Google’s infrastructure and machine learning expertise, their ability to attract talent, and the credibility they have with potential customers
  • Stephen’s diverse career and how that prepared him to be a CEO, such as honing the ability to see things from a holistic perspective, which is one of the advantages IT has over many other functions within an organization
  • Stephen’s perspective on digital, having been one of the first executive to carry the digital title, such as how digital can be applied to internal operations as well as to the customer experience

An Interview With Toomas Hendrik Ilve, The Architect Of The Most Digitally Savvy Country On Earth

Peter High interviews Toomas Hendrick Ilves, the former President of Estonia. Among the topics they discuss include:

  • How President Ilves’ international upbringing shaped his worldview, including the influences of growing up bilingual, being a child of refugee parents, and learning to program at a young age
  • The role that President Ilves played in pushing the digitization narrative, both before he was President as part of the underground Communist resistance, as well as during his presidency
  • The impact that becoming a newly independent nation around the time that the internet was exploding had on Estonia’s ability to recognize the power of a digital society, and Estonia’s early digitization efforts such as e-identity and the X-Roads distributed architecture which was implemented in 2001
  • The collaboration required between the government, the private sector, and the public that was required to digitize the nation, why the private sector and general public have been more enthusiastic than the government due to the business efficiencies and personal conveniences, and how thee digital system is decoupled from politics in the mind of the Estonian people
  • Estonia’s cyber-war with Russia, which was the first of its kind, and how it resulted in the creation of the NATO Center for excellence in Cyber Security, which is located in Estonia
  • The features of Estonia’s e-residency program, such as being able to become an e-citizen and set up an online business registered in the European Union, and how that helps Estonia’s economy compensate despite its small geography and population
  • President Ilves’ focus since leaving office, including his academic focus on threats to democracy in the digital era, and work with other nations that are interesting in emulating Estonia’s digital society

David Bray, Executive Director of People-Centered Internet

Peter High interviews David Bray, Executive Director of People-Centered Internet. Among the topics they discuss include:

  • David’s work as Executive Director of the People-Centered Internet, which seeks to create demonstration projects of the internet’s ability to measurably improve people’s lives and serve as a catalyst for change
  • The reason engineers are not well equipped to recognize the unintended consequences of technology, and the growing challenge as the pace of technological progress accelerates
  • How David prioritizes PCIs efforts, and their current focus on rebuilding power and communications infrastructure in Puerto Rico, helping restore the identity documents of those affected by the California wildfires, and providing internet services to Native American communities
  • David’s approach to developing partnerships bringing together diverse groups of positive change agents
  • The advantage of David having grown his career in the government, such as learning how to thrive in a resource-constrained environment, and how to navigate multiple constituencies
  • David’s experience as a Marshall Fellow in 2018, where he looks at the rise in preferences for direct democracy and mistrust of government
  • How and why David engages the academic community on topics concerning the future

Brad Strock, Chief Information Officer of PayPal

Peter High interviews Brad Strock, CIO of PayPal. Among the topics they discuss include:

  • An overview of PayPal’s business, as well as Brad’s purview as CIO
  • PayPal’s transformation into a more customer-centric company, such as giving customers more choices of funding vehicles
  • How PayPal has successfully navigated the shift to mobile, resulting in a 50 percent increase in mobile payment volume in 2017
  • The top priorities that Brad is focused on, including security, stability, strategically enabling the company’s business strategy, and improving the company’s ability to effectively collaborate
  • Brad’s experience going from Bank of America, a traditional finance organization, to PayPal, one of the first digitally native companies in the finance space
  • Brad’s career path, including his path from engineer to finance industry to technology executive
  • Eye on the Trends: financial inclusion of the over 2 billion people globally without financial services, AI/ML/process robotics

Yoshua Bengio, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Montreal, Co-Founder of Element AI

In this interview, Yoshua Bengio, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, and World Class Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Supervised verses unsupervised deep learning
  • The heart of deep learning: disentangled representations
  • The genesis and mission of Element AI
  • Exploratory AI research verses applied AI research
  • The development of the Montreal Institute of Learning Algorithms (MILA)
  • The significance Yoshua places on supportive and collaborative cultures
  • The evolution of AI in Montreal
  • Yoshua’s concerns bout lethal autonomous weapons (LAWs)

Bill Graff, CIO of Cerner

In this interview, Bill Graff, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People; World Class Principle Four, IT & Business Partnerships; and World Class Principle Five, IT & External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Bill’s 13-year career path at Cerner
  • The critical skills needed for IT leaders
  • How previously being a part of a revenue-enhancing division of Cerner shaped how Bill runs IT
  • Bill’s purview as CIO: security, data centers, corporate IT, infrastructure, IT finance and governance
  • Advice for scaling quickly: robust processes, internal relationships and external relationships
  • Eye on the trends: public cloud, partnering analytics with artificial intelligence, gamification

Taso Du Val, Co-Founder & CEO of Toptal

In this interview, Taso Du Val, discusses World Class IT Principle Four, IT & Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Toptal’s mission
  • Finding, screening, and monitoring talent
  • Toptal’s two engagement models: Talent Model and Toptal Projects
  • Taso’s entrepreneurial journey
  • Advantages Toptal has gained by developing their own CRM, ERP, VPM systems
  • Future talent verticals

What Are Microservices? – Part 2: An Interview With Confluent CEO Jay Kreps

What are microservices? In the first part in this series, I interviewed Matt Miller of Sequoia Capital. In this, the second part of the series, I interview Jay Kreps, the founder and CEO of Confluent, an open-source streaming platform based on Apache Kafka. Kreps developed Kafka while he was the Principal Staff Engineer at LinkedIn. Three years ago, he left that social media giant to develop his own company to develop real-time data streams leveraging microservices.
In this interview, he describes his entrepreneurial journey, highlights the opportunity that microservices offer to large and small companies alike, and offers advice on how best to harness the power of this trend.