This podcast interview focuses on the mindset and approach to shaping a software business that successfully plays the infinite game. My guest is Chairman and CEO of Sensory
Todd has broad business and general management experience. He’s got a Stanford MBA with technical roots and is a founder, co-founder, or early management team of 3 successful venture-backed high-tech silicon valley startups. Each startup has been involved in audio, music, and speech & AI technologies for consumer electronics markets, including toys, musical instruments, Bluetooth headsets, mobile phones, voice assistants, smart devices, or IoT.
He founded Sensory with the mission to enable people to communicate with consumer electronics as we communicate with each other.
And this inspired me, and hence I invited Todd to my podcast. We explore their journey as a pioneer in neural networks and how they transformed from inventing everything in house to leveraging the open-source eco-system in a way that strengthened their advantage. We also discuss their drive towards embracing deep fusion – blending different technologies to create exponentially more value. Last but not least, Todd shares his wisdom around building a software business that thrives long-term.
Here are some of his quotes:
When you have really smart PhDs from the top schools that have strong egos, sometimes, the not invented here syndrome exists with a lot of our customers and within sensory itself. And to get people that are really smart and really capable, and tell them: ‘let’s not do it ourselves, let’s use what somebody else has done,’ that can be challenging.
When we move to the cloud, we started using open-source acoustic models, but with our own in-house language models
There are some advantages to being small. We can move faster, and it’s easier for us to integrate different technologies because we don’t have these giant groups that are in separate silos. So, for example, we talked about deep fusion of face and voice. Well, it’s not like Google and Facebook, and Apple aren’t doing voice and face, but they have them in different silos. So, kind of combining them isn’t as easy as for a company like sensory.
During this interview, you will learn four things:
- Why focus on solving the hard thing first can give you instant profitability
- How blending technology enables you to grow a position of advantage while creating impact previously believed unattainable for your customers
- Their secrets in obtaining highly valuable feedback from their customers
- How to shape a software business that your best people don’t ever want to leave
For more information about the guest from this week:
- Subscribe to my weekly musing on how to become a remarkable software business.
- Or subscribe to the Value Inspiration Podcast on your favorite channel