Director of Emerging Technologies at SAS
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” This Einstein quotes reminds me that complexity is hard, but simplicity is even harder. I have always loved the challenge of keeping it simple in whatever I do. It has fuelled my passion and inspired my creativity throughout my career.
My high tech journey began in the ’80s with DEC and Oracle RDBMS v4, which set me up well for the road ahead: rewarding opportunities with multiple software vendors, a few consultancies, and a non-profit start-up. While I still love to roll up my sleeves and get my geek on every once in awhile, I find greater satisfaction these days bridging the gap between the geeks and everyone else.
My current focus is on big data technologies, the Internet of Things (IoT), and open source (specifically, as it interplays with commercial software). But if you really want to get me fired up, let’s chat about the data privacy and security issues that are top of mind now due to the aforementioned topics.
It’s an exciting time to be in high tech. Like a fine wine, it just keeps getting better with time.
How did you get to become an expert in IoT?
I’ve been in the high tech industry for over thirty years, mostly focused on B2B (business-to-business) solutions. The Internet of Things has blown that model up—at least for me. Not only is my focus on IoT at work, but it’s also invaded my personal space—including my home, car, what I wear, and even my dog. What better way to learn something than immersing yourself in it day in and day out? Thanks to IoT, I can do that.
What areas of IoT are you most passionate about?
- Smart homes
- Connected vehicles
- Healthcare and wearables
Which IoT influencers influence you?
- Maciej Kranz, Cisco
- Mike Quindazzi, PWC
- Matt Asay, Adobe
- Sandy Carter, AWS
- Kevin Ashton, the father of IoT
Outside of IoT who else influences you?
- Bill & Melinda Gates – dream fulfillment
- Rachel Maddow – just-in-time education
- Barack & Michelle Obama – ballsy leadership
- The Motley Fool – financial advice and industry education
- Stephen Colbert – comic relief
How would you describe your offline influence?
What I am known for is my KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) approach. One of my favorite Einstein quotes that motivates me is: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Writing and speaking “simply” is not easy, but I enjoy the challenge. I must admit – anytime I consider changing my approach, I get an email or LinkedIn message or have a personal chat with someone thanking me and encouraging me to keep KISSing. The tribe has spoken.
What are going to be the key developments in the industry in the next 12 months?
- Voice technology – let’s give our thumbs a break
- IoT security – because if it doesn’t get addressed, it’s game over for IoT
- 5G connectivity – this will become a must-have if we want to take IoT beyond our buildings and homes
If a brand wanted to work with you, what activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?
I’m always game for cool speaking and writing opportunities. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve primarily focused on B2B solutions in my career. However, the Internet of Things has a strong consumer angle that I’m chomping at the bit to talk about.
What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?