The Collaboration Technology Evolution with Graeme Geddes of Zoom

Author: Scott Kinka

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The Bridge Podcast - Graeme Geddes Zoom_LOGO Collaboration technologyOn this episode of The Bridge, I’m joined by Graeme Geddes, Chief Sales Officer at Zoom. We’re talking about the collaboration technology evolution, the role of Zoom as a communications platform and so much more.

Zoom is an all-in-one collaboration platform that makes connecting easier, more immersive, and more dynamic for people and businesses. Their team chat, phone, meetings, omnichannel contact center, whiteboard, workspace, and AI solutions help hybrid teams collaborate and get more done.

During our conversation, we explored the integration of productivity apps with Zoom, the company’s focus on innovation and AI, and how the collaboration technology evolution is playing out today in our post-pandemic world.

Topics covered in this episode:

  • Graeme’s background and career path.
  • The collaboration technology evolution.
  • The adoption of video as a baseline for collaboration and the acceleration during the pandemic.
  • The role of video in collaboration.
  • Zoom’s focus on connecting disparate communication methods and enabling businesses to get work done more efficiently.
  • The integration of productivity apps with Zoom.
  • Why Zoom is investing in AI to augment and enhance user experiences.
  • Why the role of the CIO has become crucial in driving digital transformation.
  • Shameless predictions for the next 12 to 18 months.

Links for this episode:

Earn Your Employee’s Commute with Zoom’s Gary Sorrentino 

Books that Graeme mentions.

Simon Sinek

The Bridge Podcast - Graeme Geddes Zoom_HEADSHOT Collaboration technologyAbout Graeme Geddes

Graeme Geddes is Chief Sales Officer at Zoom, responsible for leading Zoom’s enterprise sales, solution engineering, sales operations, enablement, and channel teams across the globe. A 20-year collaboration industry veteran, Graeme joined Zoom in 2019 to lead Zoom’s Phone business, taking it from a nascent product to more than 5.5 million seats sold in less than four years. He has also spearheaded the successful go-to-market strategies of many of Zoom’s recent platform innovations including Zoom Contact Center, Zoom Rooms, and Zoom IQ for Sales. Before joining Zoom, Graeme spent nearly 16 years at Cisco in a variety of leadership roles, finishing his tenure there as Americas Director for Collaboration Sales of Webex Meetings, Video Devices, and Team Messaging. He also spent nearly four years as a firefighter with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. He holds a BS in Business Administration and Applied Social Psychology from California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo and a certificate from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Contact Graeme

Web.

LinkedIn.

Full Transcript

Scott Kinka:

Hi, and welcome to another episode of the Bridge. I’m your host, Scott Kinka, and I am thrilled to be joined on this episode by Graeme Geddes. He is the Chief Sales and Growth Officer of Zoom. How are you, Graeme?

Graeme Geddes:

I’m doing well. Thanks for having me.

Scott Kinka:

Fantastic. You’ve been at Zoom for, I think how many years now?

Graeme Geddes:

It’s dog years, so it’s four and a half, but I don’t know what that counts in technology terms.

Scott Kinka:

Gotcha. In a couple of roles, and I’m going to ask you about that and your history, but we’d like to just start by getting to know who we’re talking to a little bit. So just tell us about you. What do you do? What are you into? Give us a little bit about you personally. Where do you live? Just give us some background.

Graeme Geddes:

Yeah, so Graeme Geddes, Chief Sales and Growth Officer at Zoom is responsible for all of the pre-sales and go-to-market activities. So that’s sales systems, engineering, sales, operations enablement, and enterprise marketing. I am very humbled to be leading a fairly large team here at a very well-known company, Zoom, that has a tremendous opportunity with our customers from a personal perspective. I am a married father of three based in Southern California. So I live in Orange County, Elisa Viejo, but as with the role, I travel quite a bit and get the opportunity to visit some very unique and interesting parts of the globe.

Scott Kinka:

In your explanation of Zoom, you share what you’re like with a very large, well-known company. You spent a lot of your career at another well-known large company before that, and I believe we ran into each other a couple of times there. Most of our listeners know a little bit of my history, but you were at Cisco for quite a long time. Tell us about what you did there, and we’ll kind of bring that over to the recent Zoom experience, but start at Cisco.

Graeme Geddes:

So, I spent the better part of 15 to 16 years at Cisco, and it was just an amazing experience. So I kind of think the post.com crash and the story I like to tell is speaking with my parents joining a new company. They asked the question of, first they thought it was Cisco, the food truck company, so the S-Y-S-E-O and after I explained, no, it’s the internet company, the one that I’ll forever hold against my mother, she said, well, isn’t the internet a fad? And so when I said that I was going to be able to go and learn about this new networking technology, everything that we had done through the nineties, it was just a very transformative time. And if we go back to what technologically was happening at the time, it was really around the early days of VoIP, voice-over IP. And so it was. Communications were happening over legacy technologies, and we were sitting there prognosticating that in the future, someday, communications will have more traffic happening over the internet than others. And I remember sitting down with customers talking and having these conversations, and they’re like, I don’t know, it’s never going to happen, and it’s amazing to see how far we’ve come as an industry and where we are now. So, the whole time, it really focused on collaboration and evolution. So back in those days, it was kind of unified communications, and then all of those lessons learned have really kind of pulled through throughout my career and informed a lot of what we’ve done at Zoom.

Scott Kinka:

Got it. When you originally came over into Zoom, if I recall, you came in having income from Cisco focusing around the Zoom phone addition to the platform, right?

Graeme Geddes:

Yeah, so I came originally. If you can think of it, this is pre-pandemic, so it seems like many moons ago now. A lot has happened since. But even then, really, this understanding that the needs of our customers were more than just the video use case that Zoom at that time was known for, and it is even better known now and expanding on our customers. They had moved their video workloads to the cloud. I mean, video’s tough; it’s CPU-intensive and bandwidth-intensive. They had moved off of their on-prem video gear and into the cloud, but they were asking why I still had my premise PBX. Why do I still have to have all these other technologies? And so it was a huge opportunity to go and help push the industry forward and so joined as kind of the first thing it VPGM to build that business from zero and over the past five years, very happy with the success we’ve had in the market really helping kind of push customers into that cloud journey.

Scott Kinka:

Yeah, I do want to revisit that your commentary about video in a couple of minutes, but let’s stick with you for a minute. I just find it so funny because I think the only thing that actually came true from back to the future is that we would be having most of our conversations in the 2020s and beyond over video, but we’ll come back to that one in a minute.

Graeme Geddes:

So I laugh at looking at the Jetsons where they’re talking on TV.

Scott Kinka:

Yeah, we’re not doing all of our runnings on a treadmill on a building in the sky with our robot made, but we are definitely talking to everybody over video, oftentimes from our not yet, right? Not yet, at least. Well, the treadmill conversation is good. I don’t even think those existed then. So they got a couple of things right on the jet. I’m just wrapping up with you real quick. Two more questions. One, I like to ask this at the end of the conversation. I’m going to ask it at the beginning, given the conversation we just had. Do you have a favourite business book or technology book, or maybe something you’re reading right now you’d like to share with our listeners that they should check out?

Graeme Geddes:

Yeah, I would say I actually had a great opportunity. It is one of my best or favourite business books, so I like Simon Sinek and everything from Start with Y Leaders Eat Last. We had the opportunity to invite Simon to come and speak with the team this past summer. Awesome. So, it was just an amazing opportunity to have a conversation similar to this and really tease out some of the thinking behind the books. And so those have been really transformative for me as a leader. And so I definitely hold that in high regard. I’m reading The Crux right now. I’m forgetting who it’s by. It’s a strategy book. It’s been pretty eye-opening, so it’s been really great to see. So that’s the one that I’m currently reading.

Scott Kinka:

Perfect. Well, we’ll look up the crux and put it in the notes. I’m a huge Snake fan as well. I’m a follower. And for those who don’t know, Simon, if you’re watching this on LinkedIn, just literally look ’em up and follow him now because the Daily nuggets from his talks are really, I feel like they’re transformative for business executives, particularly in technology. So, it’s a great listen, and it gives me a little bit of perspective on your market approach. I think he’s very direct and super interesting, but there are some great goodies there. Yeah,

Graeme Geddes:

I think there’s a lot you can tease out. There’s a lot around human psychology, believe it or not. I wasn’t a computer science major in college, I was actually a psychology major. So I think there’s a lot that we get along there and I think it’s first principle starting the whole concept is starting with why is what’s true north and how, what’s that intrinsic motivator? So I think there’s a lot there that people would enjoy.

Scott Kinka:

Yeah, we’ve gotten into this conversation with a lot of our guests, and I always talk about everything written around emotional intelligence, which is something I follow. I’m a big fan of the emotional intelligence QuickBooks. And I think that’s one of the reasons why I love sending: it’s generally just putting yourself aside for a moment and starting with the other person’s motivation. If you can’t get to the big idea or you start with selling, just stop because you’re not going to be successful. And it’s a lot of the story I think that we’re going to get into over the next couple of minutes. So we’ll save some of that. But I want to ask you a question. If I were to say to you, this is an interview, well, this is an interview obviously, but I mean, it’s a little bit more conversational as a business executive. What’s your superpower?

Graeme Geddes:

I would actually say it’s probably the EQ part. I think it’s something that can be learned. I think it’s really a skill or a muscle that you can develop, but I also do think there are some people who just have an innate ability or just care more about it. And so I’ve always really been fascinated with human psychology. As I mentioned, I studied it in college up until the point when you graduate, and you say, oh crap, what am I actually going to do? So, I didn’t actually want to be a shrink. So, that was a topic for another day. But I would say that from a superpower as a leader running an organization, I think there are so many parts where you can pull in and really align yourself with other people’s perspectives. The comment that I always tell my team is the other person’s reality is their reality, meaning it doesn’t matter what you think. It’s all based on their perception of reality. And so I think coming at it from that lens, especially as a leader, is tremendously helpful and kind of helps me in a lot of what I do.

 

Navigating the Future of Collaboration

Scott Kinka:

And it’s an interesting segue. I mean, I’m sure we have many folks who are going to be listening to this or listening to it now, who know Zoom the platform, and we’ll have an opportunity to talk about that. But I think for those of the listeners out there who kind of know Zoom as the word that became a verb in the pandemic largely around video, could you just give us, it’s not a commercial so much, but I mean, can you give us the way you described the company today from in terms of what it is now post-pandemic, the way you think about it, the way you describe it?

Graeme Geddes:

I think you used the perfect word there. You used the term platform, and what I would say is one of the biggest challenges that I’ve had being in this industry for over 25 years is we’ve transformed so many different ways that we communicate, whether it be text messaging, chat messaging, video, voice, you name it, but really this promise around unified communications, I think it was back as a marketing term came out in 2006, 2007, I don’t want to date myself too much here, but this promise of unified communications, we’ve had it for forever, but we truly haven’t unlocked that. And I think that’s the part that I’m so proud of the work that we do at Zoom. It truly is a full communications platform that ties together all of these different modalities for the way that we communicate and get work done, not just in our professional lives but even our personal lives, pulling all of that together in a single platform. And so it’s just amazing to see the value that we can unlock for our customers and even our customer’s customers. I’m sure we’ll get into things like customer care and contact center as well when you have this clean sheet of paper approach to pull all of these different methods of collaborating together.

Scott Kinka:

Yeah, this is a weird question, but did the pandemic give us a clean sheet of paper to restart these conversations? It felt like it was going to be a ten-year business transformation. And I can tell you from my seat, for those who aren’t familiar with it, although I think many of our listeners are, I was a founder and CTO of a unified communications company called Evolve IP at one point. It’s a business I haven’t been involved in for a few years now, but I have worked with Cisco as a Cisco customer. I think that’s probably where you and I likely first ran into each other, but I mean, we were claiming every year from probably 2010 until the pandemic was going to be the year of video, and then all of a sudden, just I guess, out of necessity we jumped the shark, and then that became the baseline measure, and we started moving into the rest. What do you think about the current state of collaboration? I guess that is sort of where we’re at. Are there? Did the pandemic at least get video as the baseline, and are we now adding the rest? Where are we as a work community in terms of getting the future of collaboration, at least adopting the things we have, I should say?

Graeme Geddes:

Yeah, so I’ll start by saying I was probably one of those that was back in the 2010s saying this is the year of video, and then next year is like, no, next year’s the year of video. And what I’ll say is it’s a couple of things. It’s really the intersectionality between the technology and also the people element around the readiness to adopt. Just because you make a great technology doesn’t necessarily mean that the end users will adopt it. And I think really what the pandemic was was that it was an inflection point where we had the right technology, and the human need for that technology was at a heightened level that we had never seen before. And I think that the thing that’s important is I don’t think there’s anything going back. And one of the things that’s important there is really democratizing access to this technology. So, if you go back to those days when we were saying that this was the year of video, it was still really expensive. There were expensive room systems on a per user per month basis, it’s $50 a seat, and you didn’t have kind of those value economics to really unleash the potential and thinking that the addressable market was so much bigger than what everybody else had thought through. And I think this is what’s unique about Zoom. Really, our vision for the market, even from the very early days, was that this is a technology that everybody on the planet could use and really use to improve their lives. So I think it’s having the right technology. We built the architecture to support that future state. And then when you look at that change agent that happened, I think going from people joining audio bridges that are never turned on there to now, I don’t know that I would go to a company if I can’t meet with my colleagues that are at other locations without having kind of a video platform.

Scott Kinka:

So, when a pandemic happens, we sort of jump the adoption curve. You said two things: having the tech and then adopting the tech. We hopped the adoption curve, and I think my experience, my opinion would be that that’s the base unit of measure even before a dial tone is; I mean, most people will send the link before they send a phone number, at least in most of my interaction. And I know that there are businesses that are still sort of tied to more traditional telephony, but if we’re assuming that at least the go-forward is video first, what are the stories then? I mean your logos next to online video meetings in Webster’s Dictionary. So, what are the stories that you are telling or the stories that you are hearing in the field today? Assuming that’s the baseline that people are known for, you meet with customers every day. What are the things we’re solving now, assuming that the video conversation is at least partially in the rearview mirror?

Graeme Geddes:

Yeah, I think it’s about how we connect all of these disparate ways that we’re communicating. So our customers are looking. You mentioned that some, depending on your vertical and your use case, might be a heavy frontline worker base, retail, healthcare, or manufacturing. So how do we blend these worlds between those that are predominantly telephony and those that have the ability to be video? How do we actually enable the business to get things done? So whether you’re a marketer where you’re trying to get your brand out, whether you’re a salesperson, where you’re trying to get ahold of your customers, whether you’re a customer support agent, trying to interact with your customers and make sure that you’re servicing those. So the conversations now are how can we deliver a unified platform that ties all of these, what were historically disparate technologies where you had to go and pick a best of breed or an approach and stitch it together as an IT leader, you can now choose a singular platform that can help you pull all of these things together. And so that’s where that value is really unlocked. That’s where that value realization happens. And so that’s where a lot of our conversations are today.

Scott Kinka:

Yeah, so I’m going to ask you a little bit about that. Unlock for a minute, and this won’t come as a surprise. I mentioned I might go here in our pre-show prep, so I’ll just throw it out there. However, some of the platforms that people would put in the competitive bucket with Zoom are something else in that Pantheon, such as a platform first. I would say productivity app first, search first, but they have video options where you guys video first, obviously an expanding app integration platform. Obviously, the voice in the PBX pieces, you guys are in CX now. The chat components are increasing. Let me ask you one question. What do you guys think about productivity apps? Because I think some people for integration would go, I will accept a substandard video experience because I’ve got this other thing in there. Tell me a little bit about if you’re unifying everything. How do you guys address the Google apps and the Microsoft Office 365 and those buckets and sort of bring them into the platform universe that is Zoom if somebody were to adopt everything?

Graeme Geddes:

So I would say there are a couple of things. One is the productivity app rate. Everyone has their own app, Azure, and I would say we believe in an open ecosystem for customer choice. So whether it be Azure foundational metric, it’s kind of the bottom of the pyramid, but then plugging in the opportunity to have really amazing collaboration technologies that build around that. That’s one approach. The other is to plug those into our platform and make a vice-versa model. So the answer is it really depends on the customer’s use case. It’s not an all-or-nothing when it comes to productivity apps. We know that those are key parts of our customers’ workflow. How do we pull those in but then add value on top of that? And so that’s where we see our customers doing it today. I think there’s a unique point of differentiation, and when we’re speaking with customers, when you think about really being a company, what is the value unlock? What is it that you do? And it’s the way that your employees interact that makes the magic happen, where you have competitive differentiation versus your competitor. And so we believe strongly that productivity apps are really, really important. Frankly, I think there’s a lot of innovation opportunity there. We haven’t really seen it. I mean, Excel is Excel, right? Sheets this Sheet, and it’s been the same for the last 20 years. Word is like Lotus 1, 2, 3, right back in the nineties. So it hasn’t changed much. So I do think that if we pontificate about the future, there’s a lot of opportunity for these areas to innovate. But when we look at the tools that our customers are using today, it’s about pulling them into the system of engagement of how you run your company. And so, most Zoom customers are really running their company on Zoom. That’s how their employees are interacting. That’s how they’re getting their work done. So, we need to make sure that those tools are really seamless to use within the ecosystem. So it’s not an either-or. It can be an and.

Scott Kinka:

Yeah, I don’t want to blow past something that you just said because, I mean, obviously, at Bridgepoint and in my history, we tell people about all kinds of things, and system of record is a term that comes up all the time. I don’t want to blow past what you just said about the system of engagement. I think the reality of it is that where are we doing the majority of our work? How does this business operate? Then, you might leverage downstream capabilities within that platform. Or you might say, all right, well, this is an area where I think this. I’m going to go over here for CRM and focus on Salesforce, but I’m going to bring it in, and perhaps my system of engagement is Salesforce. In that model, then I might decide that maybe my customer experience solution is driven there and integrated into something else from a telephony perspective. Or maybe it’s conversely, you’re going, all right, it’s Zoom, and we’re living primarily there, so I’ve got to drive my CX experience out of that and then integrate downstream with the data that’s in Salesforce. So it’s really a matter of the business owner and the business leaders or the CIO in particular. And we talked a little bit about that changing role, which we’ll get into in a minute. However, the CIO thinks about the pantheon of activities in the business, how the business operates, how they’re prioritized, and then what the best tool to focus on is. So I guess in some cases, you guys are the video component to somebody else’s strategy, and in many cases, you’re the heads-up display for all the work and other downstream applications are attached to it. Is that a reasonable way of thinking about either one of those?

Graeme Geddes:

I would just even put the point of it is I think there are a lot of people who have made their decision or are thinking about it. I’ve standardized on ad and group policy, but yet the tail’s wagging the dog when it comes to where their users are spending the majority of their time to get their work done. So if there’s a better tool around that system of engagement that we can then plug in seamlessly with those other reasons, those other things that you have, we just need to make sure that we’re really thinking from a business lens perspective, how do we get great employee satisfaction? How do we unlock employee productivity? How do we give them the best tools to get their jobs done? And I think when we really go and we talk to our customers and we do the studies, they’re spending a lot more time interacting with each other. It’s about how we speed up those engagements. How do we get that project-based work done faster? It’s not about how many hours in a day I’m spending in a spreadsheet that’s not going to unlock that next wave of productivity for you or your company.

 

Democratizing AI: Zoom’s Approach to Augmented Efficiency

Scott Kinka:

Well, there is sort of at a high level, I mean when those things get plugged into Zoom as platform, it presents you the opportunity to see the value of data cross, right? So tell me a little bit, where are you guys innovating today around the platform? What’s the big effort inside of Zoom today?

Graeme Geddes:

Yeah, so I would say there’s a big, focused and concerted effort around AI. And I know that AI is a buzzword in the zeitgeist. It’s very frothy right now. But I think what I would say is it’s really making sure that we’re not just doing technology for technology’s sake. How do we leverage, even if we put AI as a term aside, how do we leverage disruptive, powerful technologies to help augment or allow people to have greater efficiency, drive greater productivity, or even just deliver delightful experiences? And so there’s a lot that we’re doing leveraging AI across our platform that I think is very different from what others are doing in the industry. I think we talked about pre-pandemic and democratizing access to video. And we’ve taken the same approach to things like AI. So there are many players in the industry that are thinking of it as that next cash cow that they’re going to go and charge for and drive up a business, but we really view it as a technology to enable people to be more productive. And you shouldn’t have to choose who gets it and who doesn’t. Can we democratize that technology across the platform? So we’ve taken a very differentiated approach. So it’s included for all of our customers in their paid entitlements. We launched our AI companion in the September or October timeframe. And it’s really just that it’s the companion that works alongside you that helps you be more productive. So it’s been really transformational for me and how I do my job. The anecdote that I would like to share is that I was on a work trip, and I was actually in Australia with a team. One of the challenges is when you’re travelling for work, the job that you have, the workday back home is still happening even though you’re on the road. And every meeting that I was missing that I would be a part of AI companion was building a summary and sending those to me. So, I got to see all the notes from my team meetings that I didn’t participate in while I slept. So, in the morning, I reviewed those. I was up to speed, and this was back in October, but it was the first time where I had gone on a trip, and I didn’t feel like I had missed out. And so we’re seeing the impacts of a lot of these AI parts of the platform really cause us to think and change how we think about things that we’ve historically done that we need to rethink.

Scott Kinka:

Yeah. Has that, in your experience, has that thinking now become the job of the CIO post-pandemic? I mean, I say that one thing that our listeners have heard me say a million times is that any job owned by everybody is owned by no one. Do you know what I’m saying? So this level of thinking is one of those things where you look across the business, you’re like, who’s supposed to be thinking of the AI applications? Meanwhile, the board of directors is like, go do some AI. I don’t really know what that means, but it was like cloud six, eight years ago, right? I’m going to go get some cloud. I don’t know if it makes sense, but we’re going to go do some. These use cases for AI are not really very often technology use cases, but I don’t think the business understands the technology enough to figure out where the business-oriented use cases are. Where do you see that falling in an organization these days? Grant?

Graeme Geddes:

So, I mean, I think your comment couldn’t be more spot on. I think there are a lot of conversations right now that are like, go get AI, and it’s AI for AI’s sake, and I’ll tell you it’s a fool’s errand because there’s really going to be, there isn’t value unlock when you think about it that way. And so that’s why I said we have to be really anchored in what the problems are, what the use cases are that we’re solving, and how we leverage powerful technology. And by the way, if it’s not AI, great, let’s use the right tool for the right job, but what are those new use cases that we can solve as a result of some of these powerful technologies? I do think a lot of the onus and the burden to bear is being put on the CIO. And so if you think about, I mean, it’s just amazing to think about the change in expectations of that role, but it’s not anchored there. There’s a lot of questions when you talk about this around privacy and safety and security, and so it’s the CIO playing a central role, but it really spans across the organization for really, again, we talk about the technology, but then there’s also the adoption. How do I make sure that I’m in a position to turn these technologies on and unlock them for my organization?

Scott Kinka:

Yeah, I mean, it’s super interesting. That’s a podcast in and of itself, and I’m sure we’ll get an opportunity for you and me to have that one at some point. We’re getting up towards a half hour, so if you don’t mind, I’m going to shift it. I just have a couple of fun questions to round this off. This has been a great chat, Graeme; I really appreciate your time. So the first one is probably a good segue from the conversation we were just in, and it might be the same answer, and that’s okay. But I’d love for you to give. We ask everybody to give us a shameless prediction for the next 12 to 18 months. And it doesn’t have to be about tech. It could be about your sports team winning a championship or something political, although we try to stay away from that. But give us something that’s going to happen in the next 12 to 18 months; be as creative, fun and interesting as you can possibly be.

Graeme Geddes:

Well, first and foremost, you hit a sore spot. You said your team is winning. And so I happen to be a diehard 49 ER fan, and so we’ve gotten so close but have not yet sealed the deals there. So I’ll go out on a limb and say I’m rooting for my team, and hopefully, we have a Super Bowl win this next year. But as a tech person and a technologist, I am truly passionate about the opportunities that we have. And so maybe just parking zoom aside, I think AI said, I think it’s frothy right now. And I think over the next year, we will see the calling the herd, so to speak, of really the people who have technology that’s anchored in customer value. And we’re going to come out the other end, and I think we’re really on the cusp of some transformational use cases for our customers. So I truly do believe; I mean, I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. We’ve talked about a lot of things, and I truly think that we’re at an inflection point where the timing is right and where we’re going to be able to unlock so much productivity and opportunity. So I do think that that happens. I think we get through this kind of inflection point kind of through the valley of despair, and into real-life use cases. It’s not AI for AI’s sake, I think, but probably by the tail end of this year, we’ll be coming out at that other end. And then, I don’t know other bold predictions. I am a big fan. I think I wanted to be an astronaut when I was seven years old, and I loved seeing the Starship launch. And so hey, I think maybe we will have a successful launch on that by the end of the year as well. It’s been fun to watch.

Scott Kinka:

Okay, well, that’s an interesting one. Let me harken back to something that you said about AI because I agree with you. I think we’re definitely in this geist. I like the way you described it and real-world applications are happening. You mentioned your mother earlier and said, Hey, this internet thing, is this a fad? So what do you say to folks like her who are saying similar things about AI or maybe are concerned about some of the end-of-the-world predictions about AI? Do you worry about what’s on your mind related to that AI?

Graeme Geddes:

I think we have to. For me, I like to anchor around history. So, I mean, there was a lot said about the printing press and the Industrial Revolution. So, we’ve always been one step away from technology, turning everything on its head. But I do think that in every single example that we’ve seen thus far, so prior history doesn’t predict future results. I think that’s what my investment banker tells me. But we need to be students of history, and when we look at every single inflection point, and if we talk even more in more modern terms, you talk about the internet, but it wasn’t just the internet. You mentioned cloud mobility. There’s been a lot of these waves, and with each one, they’ve been disruptive in some sense, but then they’ve also unlocked just so much more opportunity. So, I think when we look at AI, it’s no different. I think to sit here and kind of say what it would be, I’d love to be able to be the one to know precisely where it’s going to go, but I do think it is here to stay. I think there’s no putting the genie back in the bottle. I think it is. Some people think it’s a feature. It’s more transformational than that. And so it’s going to be fun to see how it plays out over the coming years.

Scott Kinka:

Super exciting. Let’s play a doom casting, though, for a minute here. Let’s assume that something doesn’t; the robots take over, and one app still works on your phone. Now, I’m asking you to be creative only once. You just get to choose which one is for the end of the world. What is that app?

Graeme Geddes:

Oh, so what I will tell you is I will just be sitting there lamenting that all the preppers were more right than I was. So, just for a fun fact there. Even so, earlier in my career, I did work for the fire department. And so I do think I have a bag in the garage. I have my go bag, so I think there’s old expired res and some fire boots. And so, I think we would fare okay, but as far as an app on the phone, I wish there was an Airbnb for Doomsday Bunkers. So maybe I need to go after this podcast and download it. But if the world’s truly in, I would say that I probably don’t know if the internet or connectivity would even work. So I would say it’s probably just my photo app and reflect on all the things that we have to be grateful for before the world calamity quiets.

Scott Kinka:

Yeah, I like that. We’ve had all kinds of interesting answers to that. So I think you’re the first person to say a photo, though. You’re like, I’m just going to hunker down with my doomsday bag and look at my previous life.

Graeme Geddes:

That’s it.

Scott Kinka:

I love. That was super interesting and super fun. One of these days, Gene and I are a producer. Folks know who he is. We’re going to figure out what to do with all these funny answers, but maybe we’ll just compile a book where tech executives talk about the end of the world. I don’t know how we’re going to do that, but it’ll be fun. This was a spirited 35 minutes, and I hope that our listeners feel the same way. I’m really thrilled that you joined us here on the Bridge podcast. Thanks for your time.

Graeme Geddes:

No, thanks for having me. It’s been fun.

Scott Kinka:

Awesome, fantastic. For more of this insight, please give us a follow or a like on Spotify Apple or your favourite podcast platform. Super excited that you’ve spent the last 35 minutes of your life with us, and hopefully, it was as entertaining for all of you out there and listeners to land as it was for us. We’ll see you soon on another episode of The Bridge.

 

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