Technology•Dec 06, 2022
Introducing Technology Tangents, Credera's Newest Podcast for Technology Execs
Credera is excited to announce the release of our latest podcast: "Technology Tangents: Conversations for Leaders in Tech."
In Technology Tangents: Conversations for Leaders in Tech, Credera's Chief Technology Officer, Jason Goth, and Chief Data Scientist, Vincent Yates, bring leaders together to discuss the modern technologies of today and how organizations should navigate the implications for tomorrow.
The discussions are fun, lighthearted, and frankly opinionated, and aim to give technology leaders a sense of what matters, what to pay attention to, and what to ignore.
On This Episode of Technology Tangents
Vincent and Jason give a quick introduction of themselves and of their third co-host, Kevin Erickson, share what listeners can expect to hear in future episodes, and outline their vision for the show's impact.
The following transcript has been edited for clarity.
Welcome to Technology Tangents. We get leaders together to discuss the important tech of today in the implications for tomorrow. Our discussions are fun, lighthearted, and frankly, opinionated, but hopefully gives you a sense of what matters, what to pay attention to and what to ignore.
This is not a full podcast today. It's a little bit of a teaser, an intro to our brand new series that we are kicking off. We previously hosted on Technically Minded. This is an offshoot of that. I am Vincent Yates, the Chief Data Scientist and a partner here at Credera. Joining me as always is Jason Goth, our Chief Technology Officer. Welcome, Jason.
And our new, somewhat regular host will be Kevin Erickson, a partner here based in Dallas who leads strategy. Welcome, Kevin.
Well thank you for having me. Partially and occasionally and a few weeks, month or...
Well, we'll do the best we can. Apparently you have scheduling problems. I don't know what to tell you. You should hire some consultants to help you.
Prioritization problems. I don't know about scheduling problems.
I just heard that we were very low on Kevin's priority list.
Goal of Technology Tangents
I think that's probably the most honest thing that we have ever said on this podcast, but hopefully for you listeners, the goal of this is really just to be, like I said, lighthearted conversations about what's going on in the technology world.
Our goal here is really to give you a sense of all of the news that's going on. What should you actually care about? What does that actually mean for your business? And ideally, how do you approach it from a data, from technology, from a corporate strategy standpoint, from a product strategy standpoint to really get the best of what matters out there. So we're going to do periodicals now. That is to say, we'll get stuff that's actually current events and try and publish those back to you guys in more real time, not just perennial evergreen topics, but actually real hot topics that are happening at this moment in time. We'll continue to do some evergreen topics as well, and we'll do our best to give you a sense of what's going to happen in that episode from both the title and the description.
Jason, what else am I missing?
I think that's a pretty good description. I think we talk a lot about technology, a lot of data, and what they can bring to business and how they can help improve business. That's really what Kevin can focus on, is the top down part of that. Really, I'm the ditch digger, so to speak, to make those things become a reality. And I do think it's going to be helpful because I've been consulting since the early nineties and taught these topics.
Did they have computers back then?
Okay. Punch cards, got it.
Yeah, I've never worked on punch cards, but I have worked with ... did you know that they had 13 inch floppy disc at one point? I worked with those.
13 inch floppy disc.
They were, well, they were rectangular, they were 13 inches long. They weren't floppy either. They were like hard, but, one thing that I see a lot is these technology trends. Now we have the Gartner Hype Cycle and people talk about things, but going through the different stages of the hype cycle, but that's always been the case and the list of technologies that comes and goes off of that thing is repeats about every 10 years.
And so one of the things I hope we can do is bring some perspective right around, yep, this has happened before. It's happened a lot. Here's what worked really well and here's what didn't. And so maybe a little historical view to those things as well.
So your new title is Chief Historian.
That's not new. That's been his title for a while.
Well played. So what are you doing here then, Kevin?
Well, besides bringing coffee and trying to do that.
That's all I really it takes to get win my heart is coffee.
Yeah. Yeah. So low expectations, but what makes me interested about this is really one, have a little bit of fun and to enjoy, interact with our listeners. Thinking about the things that we could do, one of the things that's great about consulting is that you don't know what adventure you're going to have that day and how do we help our clients and folks really work through the uncertainty, what's going on? How do we do that through a technology event, how we do that through a data event. How we do that ultimately through the strategy and the people. And I think what's interesting about human capital and really what we get to do is really how we work through that intersection. How do we do it a little bit lightheartedly? How do we help joke a bit about experience? And one thing is, doing this for a long time, almost as long as Jason is that you have to be a little bit, poke fun yourself. It'll be irrelevant in understand what we're trying to do, while trying to really discuss media things and really help our listeners and help our friends be able to be better at what they do.
Almost as long as Jason, by the way, how long have you been at this, Kevin?
Learning from Experience at American Airlines, Uber, Microsoft, Accenture and more
Well, Drucker was a friend of mine and he was my first mentor. No, I started not in the early nineties, started mid-nineties. So I've been in consulting for now 25 years. I did 10 years plus at Accenture and then before B School. And then now I've been at Credera for 11 plus years and to really have enjoyed, even though my roots are in management and strategy, I really have always been working with engineering based firms and really loved the idea of how we solve problems through technology, but really focusing more on the business solution, the people side, the organization and those different elements.
And then my passion is really how do we help develop people and how do we help our clients and companies grow? I get to do that with my clients. I get to do that with the firm that I work for and I get to do that in my personal life. And so it is, I'm not certain I really know anything, but I have a lot of experience in lots of things. And I love being able to learn and be able to take those experiences and help craft fun solutions.
That's great. Jason how long have you been at this?
Well, I started consulting in 94. I had a couple years before that I did research at Georgia Tech Research Institute. And then that turned into a two year homework problem and I decided I wanted to do something more fun and started consulting by, all through the nineties was all spent in technology consulting. And that was really a fun time because it was somewhat the transition off of more legacy solutions onto new things that were making use of the internet. That's right at the time the internet became commercially viable, I would say, as a medium for solutions, the beginning of the web and e-commerce. So I got to cut my teeth on a lot of that.
I ended up working at American Airlines where I was the chief architect for the customer technology team. So web and airport, mobile and well wireless at the time. There were no smartphones at the time, but we did have some text based stuff. And then I went back in consulting in 2006 until I came here in 2014. And so most of my time has been in technology consulting, a little bit in industry.
That's awesome. I mean I'm obviously the most green bean of this group for sure. I came up just after the .com bubble burst, if you will. Started working in a little company called Yammer. It obviously was wildly successful. And we've ultimately got acquired by Microsoft where I led the office analytics team there. And really, the funny thing is there is, if you think about the world of data, it was a bit like you and that it was really the nascent birthplace of a lot of this. When I joined, when we got acquired and joined Microsoft, we had no logging. We didn't know how many people used our products each day. This was a fat client installed on machines behind firewalls that we didn't have connectivity to.
And so I really got to enjoy sort of seeing that transition from the data perspective specifically, not technology broadly, but data specifically where I did that at Microsoft sometime, then I went on to Uber and Zillow and realized, saw how that could transform a company's overall strategy to what your sort of area of expertise Kevin, is really like how do you use data to transform the business, both at Uber and at Zillow where we were basically violating assumptions built into the business model by leveraging data science and leveraging data.
If you think of Uber, a really easy example to think about, that whole business model is on demand. The entire premise is that drivers don't work for you. They don't have to accept a ride. You don't know when they're going to show up to work or if they're going to show up to work and you want to do something like scheduled rides. 'Cause we know that customers want to be able to schedule a ride for an airport running, for example, consultants, we know this, it's hard to find an Uber sometimes early in the morning when trying to get to the airport. So how do you do that when the business is built around a different assumption and the interiors like data actually can help you do that. And we did that of course, and Zillow with instant buying and I buying and all of that.
And then I went on GE and did this in a different context entirely. A big heavy industrial where I was the Chief Data Scientist and how do you make sure planes are working, and jet engines are working. Again, some of the things you talked about, which is these things have low connectivity, but really a massive amount of data now. Until you have this opposite, this inversion problem that we had early days, we had no data now we have too much data. How do we get it and make sense of it?
And so it's a cool mix of people here. And hopefully for our listeners, you'll enjoy hearing a little bit from the technology, from the data, from the strategy and how those come together. '
I think when you look at the world today, you look at the businesses that are most successful, they have fused these three things together to get true, competitive, sustainable, competitive advantage in the marketplace. And so that's the goal.
And it should be fun, right? To have fun, make jokes, drink some coffee. I don't know. So that's great.
I want to need more coffee.
Always more coffee. Well listeners, hopefully that gives you a sense of what we're going to talk about here. Hopefully, that sounds fun and interesting to you. And you want to join us for this adventure.
If you have thoughts, comments, things you want to hear about, topics, reach out to us. You can reach out at the Insights page at Credera.com or email@example.com.
I hope you'll join us again, and thanks for listening.
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