Thanks for visiting my website.
In May 2017 I decided to build this site as a place where I could pull together my writing, videos and other stuff to share with you and get your input. I use writing and other creative activity to help me formulate my thoughts. I think a lot – perhaps sometimes too much – but I need the interaction of others to help sharpen those thoughts.
Technically I guess I am a serial entrepreneur, though I’m not crazy about that term and I don’t think of it like that. With each of the five companies that I have started I have set out to solve a problem that I cared about. The impetus to start each company was a confluence of time, place and the state/stage of market evolution. My first company (founded in 1986!) was in AI and solved problems for the financial services industry using a combination of heuristics and pattern matching to deliver financial advice. There were few AI tools available back then so we had to build our own AI engine to apply human expertise at scale. I sold that company in 1997. Of course since then AI was not cool for a long time, but I’ve always had AI principles baked into the products that my companies have built to help maximize human performance.
Today I worry about the tsunami of information that we all have to deal with. I am concerned that the evolution of technology, the alway-on, constantly-connected, interrupt-driven lives that we lead is evolving to a state where there is little time for critical thinking. When Google, Siri or Alexa, or the latest AI-powered algorithm, can answer every question that we ask, how can today’s young people develop the skills to create, imagine or innovate. That worries me and is the reason why I wrote my most recent book: Tomorrow | Today: How AI Impacts How We Work, Live, and Think.
Over the years as a young (and now, not so young) entrepreneur I have always held the belief that putting the customer at the center of what you do is not only the right thing to do, but the only answer to grow a valuable sustainable business. That’s a core tenet of successful companies.
Today I am Executive Chairman of Altify. I started the company in 2005 to use technology to help make the lives of sales people better – particularly those who sell to B2B enterprises. The vision then was to build a cloud based, AI powered, software application with proven sales methodology built-in to guide sellers to win those key deals, grow their relationships and revenue with existing customers and manage the whole sales forecasting and pipeline problem. (I write a lot about this in my 2013 book Account Planning in Salesforce).
12 years later it turns out that the original vision was pretty much on the mark and I very happy to have been part of improving the performance and lives of millions of sales people. In February 2017 I hired a new CEO to take the business to the next level and deliver benefit to even more customers. Now I get to spend a lot more time with customers and working on the long-term vision of the business. I believe that all business leaders – in fact all people – have a responsibility to all of the stakeholders in a company. This starts with the employees, then the customers, then the broader society and the shareholders. At least that’s the order that has worked for me.
The tagline for this website is Think for a Living. Thinking does not cost a lot. Not thinking is very expensive.
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