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Intentionally Evolving with Technological Transformation

January 26, 2024

TRANSFORMING
WORK

WITH
SOPHIE WADE

Intentionally Evolving with Technological Transformation

Intentionally Evolving with Technological Transformation

Jeff Frick is the host of ‘Work 20XX’ and ‘Turn the Lens’ podcasts, a media entrepreneur—founder and principal of Menlo Creek Media, and a seasoned operator from the tech sector. Jeff shares his journey experiencing Silicon Valley’s technology evolution, starting with early hardware and emerging software ventures exploring internet commerce. Pivoting with the pandemic, Jeff uses technology to enable collaboration and create and elevate community. He shares his predictions for tech-driven changes as we learn, appreciate, and integrate new applications that facilitate and (re)shape our working lives.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[02:29] Studying economics, Jeff is inspired by the new perspectives of his psychology professor/pilot.

[03:46] Jeff’s lab rat encounter and observations as he learns the addictive nature of random payouts.

[05:43] Delving into cockpit design to explore the hierarchy of needs for human/machine interactions.

[07:37] Jeff double majors in economics and psychology to better understand humans’ emotional drivers.

[08:15] Working in sales elevates the importance of emotion and empathy and what makes people tick.

[10:00] Consumer electronics gets disrupted, so Jeff goes to business school, then starts a tech career.

[10:54] The clunky beginnings of Intel’s early chip, with its accompanying ecosystem and jargon.

[12:32] Jeff has the most retail experience as Intel/SAP try to launch one of the first B2C online malls.

[13:33] Offline supply chain basic logistics hamper early B2B internet commerce.

[14:40] Jeff rides the internet bubble as auction and software ventures get funded and bought or crater.

[16:24] Early learnings from online commerce backend issues and front end behaviors.

[18:12] His mother’s questions prompt Jeff to invest in himself and take an entrepreneurial route.

[19:00] The business of bug fixing and transitioning!

[20:11] Atlassian had a different (Australian!) attitude—share, be open, and build schools in Africa.

[22:40] The bugs drive Jeff into an out-of-body experience, out of Jira, and right into theCUBE.

[23:44] theCUBE’s format enabled people to tell their story in a professional setting.

[25:32] Jeff hosts over 2000 live interviews with many memorable tech sector CEOs.

[27:42] Technology’s rapid and often surprising evolution is a key reason Jeff loves the field.

[29:29] AI’s outputs are pretty generic now to Jeff, but he anticipates much change in a short period.

[31:50] The pandemic generates new media consumption habits—asynchronous and collaborative.

[33:40] Jeff experiences collaborations across overlapping communities and building new audiences.

[36:15] The Super 73 makers have nurtured an engaged and powerful community driving the brand.

[38:47] Developing a community to become a movement.

[40:10] Experiments with a new medium and audience are a driver for Jeff to launch his podcast.

[42:47] Jeff podcast is evolving with the world of work as new threads and issues emerge.

[44:16] The future of work in 2024 with a real estate reckoning and tight labor supply.

[46:37] Distributed teams have been around forever and work isn’t at the office it’s on your phone!

[48:47] There is no steady state to expect, Jeff emphasizes how fast things are moving today.

[51:25] Jeff shares his excitement about drones heralding how much more 2024 can bring.

QUOTES

“Most people never get the opportunity to tell their story in a professional setting. And most people have an interesting story to tell if you’re willing to dig a little.”

“Authenticity is the key and often that works well as a leader.”

“What’s interesting about technology is that it seems like we’re always in the first inning. We never get to the third inning! Suddenly there’s something new that’s big, and it just keeps accelerating. It just keeps going faster.”

“With AI, the other piece of the puzzle that’s not talked about enough is that it’s a new way for you or me to interface with a supercomputer on demand without writing code and that is really pretty amazing.”

“We misjudge time. Say it takes something 10 years, it isn’t that long from now.”

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