Interview with Authority Magazine on Digital Transformations

Hello, Friends and Family! 

I enjoyed my interview with Authority Magazine on the topic of Digital Transformations — here is a link.  I have no idea why they used such a large photo of me.  It makes my forehead look like its two stories tall but that’s a different problem.  It’s amazing to think that at every place I’ve worked, regardless of the size of the company there is always some element of Digital Transformation — it comes in all different shapes and sizes —

  • Start ups trying to transform an industry
  • Start ups trying to transform into their next stage of growth
  • Existing companies trying to transform their existing customers
  • Existing companies trying to transform themselves into something new
  • Any size company trying to transform themselves out of technical debt

Digital transformations are a constant for technologists.  On that note, technical debt is a constant for all companies.  Things are moving so fast there just isn’t any choice.  “Transform or die”.

Folks think its just a technology challenge but I’ve found it more about the people than anyone ever imagines.  Digital transformations require have the organization doing things its never done before.  It can hurt a lot.  Many think they want it but don’t realize the cost.  Failure is required in the leaning process and most don’t like that. 
Here are two of my favored questions & responses from the interview —

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I could write a book on this topic. I owe so much of my success to my parents. I’m a first-generation immigrant; both my parents were born and raised in the Philippines and were also both doctors. My mom is a Plastic Surgeon, and my dad is an Endocrinologist. They both had successful practices in the greater New York and Connecticut area. They taught me the value of hard work. They would leave the house at 6 am and come back home at 10 pm. Watching them taught me perseverance. We worked through issues because there was no other choice but to get through them. I also learned a sense of perspective. I take nothing for granted and value everything their hard work had afforded me in my career.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

I have so many favorite books, but my utmost favorite is Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. It’s the story of Hari Sheldon, a mathematician developing a theory of psycho-history, a new and effective mathematical sociology that allows him to predict the future. When I first read it in high school, it felt so different than anything else that I had read before. When I re-read it as an adult, it felt prescient on topics like artificial intelligence, software, and robotics. Isaac Asimov wrote the first book in 1951. How in the world did he predict some of the things he did? My favorite thing is “zooming out” in search of a broader perspective. The Foundation series forced me to zoom out and think about the holistic impact of building things. Also, it broadened my definition of innovation throughout my career. There exists a level of innovation that does break how we are doing something.

If you missed it, here is a link to the interview. Enjoy the read!