At its core, my role as a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is to be a reliable thought leader for our clients and prospects. They look to our company to help them navigate the bleeding edge of technology: the areas ripe for opportunity, that are reliable enough that companies can grab ahold of and run with. I have to be aware of the latest trends and determine when something is just a fad or has the long-term potential to solve problems or streamline processes.
At Definitive Logic, we focus on connecting our customers to the bleeding edge of technology. With more than two decades of experience working with a wide range of clients in the digital transformation space, Definitive Logic is dedicated to performance-based and tailored solutions that use technology to solve pressing business challenges for our clients. We have become a preferred technology integration partner because we provide solutions that help our clients save time, money, and human resources. While technology is notorious for moving quickly, there is nothing quite as demanding and fast-paced as the data we bring to our customers on commercial sector best practices. While most devices, techniques, and processes will last a few years, this type of data has a half-life of six to nine months. If we have not changed course with our evaluation of the market in 12 months, we are behind the curve, and as a result, we put our clients behind the curve, too.
Just because something is a great solution for one business does not mean it will be ideal for another.
Exploring New Places
As Definitive Logic’s CTO, I spend a lot of time processing, assessing, digesting, and explaining what I have found in my research. Coming from my previous role at the U.S. Department of Defense, I was accustomed to reviewing the bleeding edge in artificial intelligence, analytics, and data. While there, I first came across CB Insights.
I discovered that the depth, breadth, and quality of the research I received from CB Insights were far better than any other market analysts out there.
When I came to Definitive Logic, I built the platform into my budget. I didn’t want to skew my previous field of expertise, and I had to get up to speed—quickly—on other aspects of technology, like cyber security, and IoT.
Initially, I took a two-phase approach, by first absorbing all of the inbound information, from newsletters to other thought leadership content I could find. Then, I looked at the problems that our customers needed to solve and dived deeper into the technologies that could solve them.
I spend a significant portion of my time digesting what I have learned and developing it into content that others can use. I then turn my research into content that can be absorbed, repeated, and shared on Twitter and LinkedIn. I frequently share graphics, excerpts, and concepts to help move the conversation forward. Through this approach, I develop thought leadership both internally and externally.
CB Insights has been instrumental to my thought leadership process. A great deal of the content I have shared has been either inspired by CB Insights—including from their newsletter—or directly quoted from their content because it is so insightful. I use their newsletters and research to stay on top of trends, and as I learn about our customers’ pain points, I use CB Insights’ Expert Intelligence and Collections to dive deeper into these topics.
I use CB Insights to stay current in several key areas because the platform offers a more technologically comprehensive view of the industry than anything else.
How Thought Leadership Ties it All Together
It is easy to make claims and say that new technology will solve problems, but you will lose credibility without proof. Knowing this, I focus on the resources that provide figures, charts, and data to back up the content. Only then do I know it is not simply a claim, but a concept that is quantifiable.
Executives and experts always want to know dollar values, and that means having a firm understanding of the numbers behind a new technology or technique. One of the most recent examples is the change from 4G to 5G. It is one thing to say it is faster (which will likely be dismissed or ignored because there is no evidence that it is faster, much less how much faster). It is far more effective to provide current speeds for comparison so companies can qualify costs, savings, and other improvements.
Not only does CB Insights provide a lot of content and information about a wide range of trends on the bleeding edge of technology, but they also back up those claims with hard data.
Another big detail is knowing who has experienced the improvements. If a widely-known company has seen substantial benefits, that will go a long way toward demonstrating how much other companies could benefit from a product or service. If the reference is to an unknown company, it means a lot less. CB Insights provides the figures to back up claims, and the names of companies that have experienced benefits. This information has become an essential part of my situational monitoring. CB Insights is a leader, not a laggard in their work.
When your job is to dive deeply into the bleeding edge, you must disregard a great deal of noise. Our company—and our customers—need me to cut through the noise to find technologies that are worthy of attention. CB Insights provides valuable wisdom into every vector of digital transformation. I spend hours every day on a range of research, and CB Insights has grown to feature predominantly in that pursuit of knowledge.
Chief Technology Officer
Mr. Conlin leads DL’s technology and innovation strategy and execution, allowing DL to more bleeding edge solutions at the intersection of business processes and emerging technology. Michael served as the first Chief Data Officer of the U.S. Department of Defense, and then as its first Chief Business Analytics Officer. Prior to that, Michael has 20+ years of experience in Information Technology, having worked in 20+ countries across 5 continents. He is internationally known for his thought-leadership on digital transformation, data analytics, and ethical AI. He oversees the DL Digital Strategy, Innovation Project Portfolio, and Intellectual Property Portfolio.