People are hitting me up on LinkedIn asking “ from google and deep tech startups to….. a phone company?!”

It’s the 2nd of November, and at the end of August I wrote about making the cloud promise real. It was prompted by the stark realization I was solving a data pipelines, data sharing and AI problem mostly faced by cloud native companies. Realizing how many older businesses were stuck — like chained elephants — actively not adopting cloud in 2020 — made me pivot back from the future to business transformation.

With my background and network I could help these…

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

While picking up horse poop the other day, it struck me rather unceremoniously — a thought that is, not horse poop — I’m trying to solve a problem that the bulge of businesses will only feel in 2030…

I realised just how many businesses are only now going to cloud. Not yet building cloud native applications. Not yet fully utilizing free tools that allow them to ship code to production 100 times a day. Not yet having the computers work so they can think.

I realised there is a need to understand what businesses have, to know who to trust…

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

I’m convinced we can create incredible customer experiences and seamless transitions between online & offline retail, taxi → airport → airplane, and countless other spaces if we figure out how to share data correctly. It is the reason why deep learning based recommenders and classifiers are not yet everywhere. It’s the reason healthcare is still an expensive mess. And the reason why simple but fun cross domain analysis is hard to do without putting all the data in one bucket.

In my work as a service experience and innovation consultant I’m building tools to enable such niche experiences in travel…

Customers are the life-blood of your business. As a leader, if you don’t regularly talk about your customers and their business needs, then you’re missing a trick.

Here is a quick list of what I believe to be your steps to being truly Customer Obsessed.

  1. Be clear who your customer is and what problem you’re solving for them. *Choose*. It’s hard. Luckily you are allowed to be wrong. Hell, you should probably be wrong a few times when building something new. If you sell tasty vegan gluten-free wedding cakes, then someone demanding a Butter&Bacon pancake birthday-cake is not your customer.

I notice a real and unrelenting bias for action in the people who make a difference in this world. It’s almost sacrilege to defer a decision, defer an action or even talk about future action for too long. If the next job to the done, the next action, is achievable and moves you in the right direction, you do it now. And suddenly your todo-list is short since there’s nothing to write down.

Now, you should realise those individuals and actions happen inside an unspoken frame of “No thank you, that’s not my focus”. It’s as if these normal people…

Back in the late 90’s I once sat staring at a black screen. I had just installed Linux and anything that could compile would run in this black universe. I could do anything! The scheduler took care of the hard stuff and I could play. It was raw, but the power was immense. There was nothing between me and the hardware. Well, not as much as the 90’s tech giants said there should be.. The computer was set free!

So color me surprised when last year I sat in front of a terminal, staring at a Kubernetes cluster I had…

My dad got us a computer in 1984, when I was 4. It was a big deal for South-Africa at the time, the privilege to play on an Apple II C, and it was wonderful. I learned to type to play space-invaders well before I could read or write. Since then computing and hardware tinkering has bonded to my DNA to a point where, what for many would be pretty hard to learn, is the basics upon which to build. It was an advantage I never forget to thank my dad for.

Now imagine my surprise when, as a Noogler…

Gustav Maskowitz

Deep learning/AI enthusiast, computer nerd and helper of people

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