Deep Green Waste & Recycling, Inc., President and CEO
Cornell University BS, Biology, Immunology
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How did you get to where you are today? What is your story? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Jul 22 2020
my path, and my story is have a long one. Um, I originally many years ago, uh, honestly did not know what I wanted to do, but I did feel that I wanted to the least make some kind of difference, whatever that men. So when I was in university, I took his many courses as I could that I didn't know very much about. So, for example, I wanted to originally do something in journalism or biology. But I took a business management for us, and I didn't really know why, but I knew I wanted to learn something new about it. Um, I took a computer science class back in 1975 um, in FORTRAN. I didn't know anything about FORTRAN or computer science that matter. But I took the course because I want to learn something new. So I would say that because you don't entirely know what your destination is going to be, it's really important or every student to maintain a sense of curiosity of G. I don't know much about that. It would be interesting for me. Toe. Go take a course in that and learn something. And that went across the board I you know, I took a class in in German. I didn't know a little bit about German, but I didn't know anything beyond just a tiny bit. But I took it because I thought it would be interesting. And it turns out it opened up a whole new world of thinking to be. And years later, when I went to Europe, even though my German was very rudimentary, it's still help. I could I could read Kaltschmitt like read. I can read signs. So e way Look at it is that every time you take you learn something new or you go to an experience in, you know, in the summer months or something, you learn some new skills that you really don't know how to get how you're going to use them in the future. And they become invaluable later on in life. Even when I was a Cornell, I was with my, uh, my junior year. I took a course in business law and I had no idea why I was taking a course. But it seemed interesting in the time. And it turns out when I was later it Sun Microsystems and I was working with some constant contract writing some contracts for the development group. I knew enough about contract law from that business law class to be of value to the lawyers, and his years went on later, that became ah ah, really important skill. No, and I knew that eventually want to do something of some responsibility. And as the years went on, I thought I would want from a president or CEO of a company not knowing fully what that really entailed. And as it turns out, my ability to work on on contracts was core to that hole. Uh, that job be able to interpret agreements and field already agreements, and now I do work with with SEC related documents and the the understanding of how to read. It's a very formal language, shall we say, and being able to appreciate how to read and write those kind of documents is really critical, so you can actually get the job done without, depending on many other people. So the other things is, Ah, as I was in my career, I started off in computer science while originally started up biology and immunology. But I left that feel that I went into your science. So had I not taken that computer science class a long time ago, I wouldn't have. I wouldn't have ventured into a computer science curriculum, and I also had some summer jobs doing some work in the animal science department at Cornell in getting data for, uh, experiments with the graduate students. Graduate students knew the math, but they didn't know that computer science. So I was part of. I was part of the effort to get the data, and they transform the data, and that's where my FORTRAN came to. Came to be a value. I couldn't have predicted that that how can you predict that? So every time I guess my key messages, every time you learn a new subject matter and a new skill, it opens up opportunities that you wouldn't have expected. And on an engine career moves on, you have greater choices to make. And so when I went into computer science, I, um, I started off as an engineer on the project manager, and then I got more familiar with customer requirements, so I decided to pursue an area excited. Pursue marketing is a career. As I learned marketing, I learned to understand sales cycle much better and also appreciate the complexity what the engineers were doing, so I could put together E could be the person to interpret what the engineers were doing and give that to the sales people and also go from the salespeople and expressed to the engineers. This is what they need and still you rebel, pull all that together. And as the time is time on on and you start putting together business cases, well, then you're your ability to put together. A business case is partly painted on like Maskell, of course, but also the understanding of what the customers need, how that translates into sales. How also say, Well, we're gonna need something out of the engineering group. They've actually build that product. So all that turns into a business management skill. And when you start getting into management of organizations, then you have to start also leaning on your ability to convince others. So it turns out going back and rewinding again. Back to my days of Cornell took horses in in writing, and one of the courses I took was the introduction of rhetoric. I had no idea where rhetoric class, but I I read that I read the course description on learning how to write and learning on a You know how to write in a convincing manner. That skill really didn't come to the forefront until probably 15 or 20 years later. But my ability to write clearly and it z just the way I put it with rhetoric sandwich you mean and meaning what you say. That skill set is so critical to your ability to lead an organization of any size, and it starts, is managing a small team of people. But when you get to managing an organization, your your written skills and your ability to to scale your your arguments so you can write things down in a way that's that's understandable. Too many, um, that becomes a critical skill to being able to manage organization. So I greatly appreciate that many people stress stem. You know that the engineering, math and science, but in fact really wanted to be a very good manager of an organization. You really have to have the writing skills and, of course, along that would that come the reading skills? So it's it's math, it's reading. It's riding its communications all together complete march that that complete your skill set as becoming a CEO on the president. Hope that helps a little bit of explaining how how you just have to have a very open mind from Dae Wan on your education and keep accumulating skills.

What responsibilities and decisions does one handle in a job like yours? Tell us about weekly work hours, including the time spent on work travel and working from home.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Jul 22 2020
so the responsibilities and, uh, and in decisions that a President CEO has is to first of all, take decisions that the president of any organization your number one job is to make decisions, um, or or as I sometimes call it, your decision machine. So if you don't take decisions, you're just not doing a job. OK, But what that really means also is that you gather the information before you can take the decision to have neither do the information gathering yourself war work with team members for them to be able to gather the information to summarize it, condense it down. So that then the president thes vision. I go back to my years working at Sun Microsystems, where I was asked, pull together some information for Scott McNealy, who is a president of of Sun. And I would do that. I would gather the information as I was requested, put it together and, you know, reasonably condensed and clear after the clear, concise, um, summary. What it waas in, what the decision and what the question waas and what the recommended decision Waas. And it was the same over at Newbridge with Terry Matthews that I would I would put together a summary of Here's a decision We're trying to make this part of the market to go into and you have the marshal. Your arguments put together a clear, concise set of, uh, uh, summary what the situation is of Eichel, situation analysis and then present the here with my recommendations. And that was a stain also, even with Microsoft when I was working with Steam Bomber and we Bill Gates, At times you have put together a memo or present in a meeting, and you had to have again your arguments put together of Here's the situation analysis. Here is my conclusions, and based on my understanding of it, these are decisions that we as a company, should take. And I try to, um, put into every organization that philosophy so that it's not I as the president who is all knowing. But it's my job as a president to make a decision. No decision is the worst decision. A bad decision is actually not the worst one. It's not the best, but it's not the worst. The worst is no decision and letting things just set and, of course hoped make the best decision with the best information which gets back to working with your team to help them learn how to summarise the problem. Do situation analysis, put together recommendations and then you all you know, you all kind of work at it and say, OK, that's what we're gonna do it, working him, do that and then you go back and reassess and then you and then you go ahead and you maybe maybe alter course. But it's all based on situation analysis. Condense it down, taking a decision. It's always that. And so you ask your question about the work hours. The work hours are kind of unpredictable with the President CEO job there some weeks where it's gonna be, I'll say somewhat like baby, you know, you know, between you know, 30 Teoh, you know, 40 hours, I suppose, but more often it's probably in the 40 to 50 or 60 hours kind of thing. No, I havent in past years work many more hours in that, but I don't recommend it. And the reason I say that is that you all set the manage of stress. If you let stress take control of your of your work life your ability and make good decisions goes down. So what I also try to sell people is to try to get out and do some kind of exercise and just get out spend, you know, on our they just getting out because it actually improves your decision, baby. Believe it or not, So just your ability to get out, take a walk, Let the stress, you know, we're off a little bit and go back and go back and work on a problem and take decisions that I have to say. That's important part. So, uh, work life balance is very difficult in this kind of a role. But you have to, um, at least have a good balance between your focused work and then taking a break so you can go back and re focus on the problem again. So that's how it really you re characterize how the job of a President CEO ship work

What tools (software programs, frameworks, models, algorithms, languages) are typically used in a role like yours?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Jul 22 2020
that has changed a lot over the years. And so when I was originally starting up computer science back in the seventies, he was all about FORTRAN co Bowl and a few other languages that were kind of, uh, like you, some of the right. So and I In fact, I I programmed mostly in FORTRAN and some of the language in those early years. And then as the years went on and won a pascal went Teoh Peel one, uh, you went Teoh, uh, you want the alcohol? There are all kinds of languages out there. And what? And it was always the argument between the interpreted languages, compiled languages and really, thanks to the processors and the operating systems exist today, the languages have that difference to treen the interpretive the language probably changes, is really is really gone away. Um, it certainly come on extremely high performance. Ah, uh, development tools You working and see and working in some of the more Haul it. I won't call it basic. That's the cult of the more the languages that air that our greatest greatest flexibility They're great, but they don't give you a lot of protection from the operating system that low. So therefore now the, uh uh, you know, some of the interpreted languages and he know the Java script. Another tools like that, Um, those are those other The tools And also the the, uh, the development environments. The i d e. Is it exists it far better than they are. They when I was a science student. So I would say the algorithms haven't changed all that much with the exception of artificial intelligence. But that is only because now the databases are far faster. So now you can you now he can use programming languages that are more flexible to access data That is far faster than I could have dreamed of back in the 19 seventies and eighties. Um um, but the basic algorithms of ah Odjick haven't changed all that back. Um, So in terms of the frameworks, all the current brain marks that are out there right now for the I. D. S, their always evolving. So you always have to stay on top of most recent tools are out there. Um, the other is, um, in terms of models their way kind of going more into the project management models which I think actually is more relevant. Teoh to what I think students to be looking at. You know, for a long time the industry used what is called the waterfall awful, which was for that basically breaking down your project into small pieces and that worked fine for small projects. But I found early on when I was working, even if you look Packard, that the waterfall model was okay. But it didn't give you the freedom to do prototyping experimentation in that model. So I took an approach early on, which was to do kind of what people now call Scrum working on problems you don't really understand. So whether it was, you know, the use of a hash table going something else or or the use of some new algorithm that you're still looking at, like we're looking at hardware, uh, sema forms and how you can implement those using postures of the time you have to do small experiments. And then once you get the answers to the experiment, then you feed it into your overall waterfall model. So I'm still a fan of an overall project plan, but not necessarily drilling down into all the depths like we used to in past. So you have a larger blocks of. We need to finish this task this cash from this task while in order or parallel. But at the same time, you do have a scrap where you have people that go ahead and just without any constraints. Experiment when you've done the experiment, feed it back into the framework and then you have a predictable model. Where is the pier scrum model is is good for, I think, small projects, but not very good for large projects. And the waterfall is not very good for projects where a lot of, uh, things you don't understand and need Teoh research.

What are the challenges in a job like yours? What approaches are effective in dealing with these challenges? Discussing examples will help students learn better.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Jul 22 2020
So the challenge is that one bumps into in in my job are similar to the challenges that you face at every job, which is you have a goal of some kind. So, like in the case where right now with deep green waste recycling, what we're doing right now is to relaunch a company that was that was inactive. And to do that, we had to go, um, we had to go look at all the tasks with SEC compliance, inner compliance with getting even the basic along the the basic infrastructure of the company, including studying up, you know, banking, setting up vendor vendor relations. So you have put together an overall project. Um, the project plan does not have to be so thoroughly detailed that you never get it started And the phrase that I've used probably since I guess part of the 19 nineties Waas that you cannot win a battle without a plan. But the battle never goes according to plan. So you have to at least have some kind of set up that syriza project milestones and you follow that half. But when you bump into an unexpected obstacle, you go ahead and you have to adjust the plan on. And then eventually what happens is you go ahead and you you check off each of the big boxes and then you eventually get to your goal. So in our case, getting to SEC compliance had a whole series of steps, and there were some surprises along the way of Ah, I know that I hadn't thought of that. I'm quite frankly coded was a big one of our surprises. Eyes. It turns out that the one of the accountants were working with had gone to visit his family in Wuhan, China. So he was unable to work with us while he was in Wuhan, China, and therefore, that was an unexpected hurdle that I did not expect anybody expect. But that's exactly how you have to do this. Even engineering is you have a series of steps. It turns out you go along. You say looks. I didn't realize we have to research that algorithm on. Oh, I thought we would have, um, that database understood, But it turns out, uh, that databases it needs to be a never gave a supposed relational or needs to be, You know, how do you pay database. Well, now we need to research that. So you have to go ahead and you have that major milestones and answering as you hit a hurdle. You figure out Kenyans they'll paralyze that. Can you still make progress and other things? And that goes and that, uh, goes. And whether you're talking about sales or marketing engineering management, SEC compliance, it doesn't really matter. Having that basic philosophy and mind is critical and and back to my original what I said originally, which is taking decisions that every person should be empowered to take the decision that they need to make happen. So it's an engineering. They may have some difficult decisions on I. I didn't realize we get the recently after researcher do some development work in this area or some prototyping. It's, but it changed the budget. So you have to go back and feed that back to the people who were doing your finance worker, the business manager person, and they have to feed that information back up to the management teams. They can adjust their milestones and sales. People can adjust their model stones, so it's all about communication. It's all about putting everybody having their plans put together and doing their best future. And that's the one thing I would say. Also going back to the threat about about university is one of the things that I never quite appreciate. It was how probability and statistics is thoroughly a part of every decision should than a corporation your ability to forecast your ability to imagine what the future might look like by putting together a plan. Um, it's all based on your ability to use your best judgment to predict what will happen, which is all about probability and statistics. What is the most probable outcome in my, uh, in my plan with the milestones and you use your best judgment based on a call probability and statistics, you have 80% confident of 90% confidence. I am confident that the following things will happen in the following order, and when they don't, you have to adjust the plan and reassess all your projections of what's gonna happen future. And that goes, stuck. The higher organization. So getting comfortable with not being able to predict exactly what's gonna happen and to be able to call roll with punches, of being able to say OK, I didn't expect that. But now I'm gonna go ahead and read Project. I'm gonna communicate back to the rest of the organization. So now the entire organization can correct and make that and then correct all of their the plans in a large corporation. Some of that is not as critical because there are so many other activities going on within a company with respect to sales, uh, and finance. But in a very small organization, it is critical if the marketing group is waiting for all the information coming from the requirements so they can publish all there, Um well, their marketing collateral, they'll be waiting for a long time if they're not, is not adequate communication, and they have to have in their plan what happens of engineering late. Whatever. Ideo. How do I communicate with the outside world? What's going on? If it's the management team and they're talking with the investors and the investors are expecting sales coming in Q one, but it's not going to come until Q three. You have to have some kind of plan, a backup plan, which means you've had a plan in the first place, just in case things didn't work. Now it's all about planning and probability statistics. Once again, you know

What are the job titles of people who someone in your role routinely works with, within and outside of the organization? What approaches are effective in working with them?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Jul 22 2020
so the titles of people you work with or many, um and there is no, um there is no boundary in terms off levels on that. This is sometimes a mistake that's made by some CEOs, which is the only work at quote unquote executive level. One of the things I learned Hewlett Packard and David Packard was actually the best. This was the management by walking around, and I couldn't take that one step further. Which is your job is to assess the overall situation of, you know, how are things going that goes all the way from the engineers all the way to the marketing people. And it involves people and operations, a person who is maybe working on, uh, even the websites and tools you want. You want to know you want to get a general sense of how are things going? It doesn't mean you have to have every little bit of detail, but it means you have to have a general sense of how are these Overall, that being said, you do have to have team members to be able to that pile information. So, for example, right now, I work with the chief operating officer and and I also work with, um, our our finance person, our chief financial officer. A same time I worked with people who are managers who are because right now we're also convinced of an acquisition process. I work with people, all kinds of consultant backgrounds. I worked with financial consultants. I worked with auditors. Um, I worked with lawyers. Uh, you are more sec council or just, um, regular council I worked with, Ah, human work with HR, uh, and with people working compliance for apparel compliance. So he it's a myriad of roles you worked with. It goes all the way from engineering to marketing operations, sales cross the board and what is critical to making all that happen to be able to communicate with everybody so that you are able to appreciate what they're going through, your appreciate problems they're going through, you're also able to understand when they summarize. This is what we need dio, um that you understand the consequences, how it links with the other people as well. So that's what I would say is, um the approach that I take with everybody is Teoh is to listen. Listen first and speak second so to listen, Teoh to interpret what they're saying to kind of summarize it critic picture in my mind of what the situation is, what the steps are choir. And also ask them, What can I do to help you? There is a general philosophy that I've had ah, for a very long time. Um and, uh, this was an approach, actually that Peter Drucker had when he wrote a book called Management and It Was That your job as the exactly that used to serve the people in the organization, not the other way around. So my job is to make it possible for everybody else to get their job done. Eso be able to communicate with people, whether it's your existing staff members, your first line staff or all the way through the entire organization on a one on one basis, just so you can understand them, but also be able to communicate in writing or video like this. Eso you can broadcast messages also is consistency throughout the organization. Those air those are the tools that you really need to succeed with this kind of job

How would you describe your management style? How has it evolved over the years? Can you tell about experiences or books that influenced your management style?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Jul 22 2020
mention one book, which is Peter Drucker and his book called Management. And one of those books, which is a pretty thick book. Um, and it turns out I was I didn't know much about, well, carries my manager, but I didn't know anything about management. And, uh, so you learn about, in fact, drunker and others were very good about separating our leadership in management. There was another book who was also that 10 habits of highly successful people. That was also a very inch, but from the leadership perspective and also to a certain degree about, you know, making sure the as he, as he put it, the book there's doing the right things, which is leaderships and doing things right, which is management drunker, kind of mirrored that as well. So there are actually two similar books, but Drucker was heavy on the management side, and and in the 10 the other book was more along the lines of leadership. So you need to have both in this kind of role. And when I initially started off in engineering, I think I was certainly more cognizant of the doing things the right way. We're doing things right. And that was because, you know, start out some. That's an engineer. But as the years go on, you begin to understand that your ability to convince others and doing the right things you like, do the navigator in many respects were the CEO. You are You like the captain on the ship where you have to be the navigator. First and foremost, you have to know, or at least have an idea where you're going, and you may not even know exactly where you're going. But you know that we're gonna choose that milestone out there. You're gonna point out 20 miles on the rise and say that's where we're going. When we get out there, we're gonna reassess. All right? Or maybe you would chop. Maybe you arrived. No, you're so lucky. Uh, but that was probably the thing that I learned next. And I think I first began to understand that when I was with the Touch Communications, where the CEO of the company was a phenomenally gifted communicator, Um, and who he was was very good. That saying, uh, here's where we're going. Um and he did not necessarily know that that was going to be the case, but he was very good at motivating people. So that is something you have to learn to do as time goes on. And part of that is gonna be communicating confidence and also competence so you can convince people that I know what I'm doing. At least this part is getting us out there. But I really depend on you to help me make the right decisions. So you need that give and take between the organization of saying I believe this. We're gonna go and and I need your support to get there and then also helping them to provide the right information so that you could make course corrections and also so that they learn a process. Because this time goes on, you want them to grow into leaders in the organization as well, but all the while making sure that people are always doing doing things right, doing things, the right ways. That's another part of the the double edged sword of management, which is making course corrections to get there and the leadership which is studying course in the first place and having the having the ability to say when you're wrong and you make that course correction and let people know that you're you are you understood that we went down a path didn't necessarily work And here's what we're gonna do next. And here's why. Those are the most critical parts of, uh in, uh within an organisation down to both managing organization and be able to to bring the organization to the right to the right destination of first place.

How do you manage conflicts within and across teams? How do you promote trust, openness and a healthy work culture? Sharing stories will greatly help.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Jul 22 2020
managing conflicts within a team. It first starts with an open communication so that if there are tensions between individuals in between groups or within the group, you mean that you first allow people to say what they mean. Coming back to the days of one of with introduction of rhetoric, saying what you mean and mean You say, um and so you have to have an openness to not, um, being overly critical yet at the same time not giving a framework so people can, uh, and say objectively, this is what the situation is. And this is what I think things happen. You do get organizations so that, for example, you get a marketing the sales berg that disagree. I've had marketing groups who were not producing the Web material that the sales organization need needed. And so you get the to, you know, criticizing each other. So what you do is you put the responsible parties in the same room or saying video conference, I guess, and you let the groups voice what their needs are. This kind of gets back Stephen a sort of a negotiation one on one, which is both sides have to get what they need. How did they want but what they need and hopefully it's what they want for the most part. But but sometimes you don't even get that. Sometimes you get both parties still not happy with the outcome, but it is what they need to get the job done. Uh, happens it engineering a lot with marketing or sales. Engineering can produce a certain product that given amount of time, Sale says. But I need these features now. But the engine group said, I can't produce that now, but here is a road map that will get us from here to there, and a sales group can actually work with that. And I've had multiple times where Theo Engineering Group, especially in startups situations when you have a limited resources and you have some difficult decisions to make because you either can change. If you have a syriza of features that you want on a given period of time, you you can either change the amount of resources you put on it. While that creates budgetary constraints, yet live they were, then you can stretch out the time line, but the customers might decide they want to go somewhere else. Eso the recon change. Uh, you can also change the you know, the number of persons again that's back to budget. So you always you always have the three constraints of of how you can change project. And rarely do you have everybody happy coming out of the situation. But you at least have people coming out satisfied of. I can work with this. Let's work with that plan. Then you have to go back on. A project manager will then go ahead and work with each of the parties to make sure everybody stays on task, which gets back checklists, which is very important. And then, as as things go as time goes on, you read, you re evaluate, and then you go ahead and you constantly adjust. If all goes reasonably well and you're staying in constant communication between the engineering group, marketing rips, sale and the customers, by the way, then you end up having, um, the ability to be able to realize your financial objectives. So those air pretty there's a lot of constraints to work with, but keeping everybody happy or at least working together. Communication is so critical, and I'm being on keeping everybody open to listening. Teoh the the what everybody else is faced with and that I generally find that empathy goes a long way, Uh, or convincing people that looked the other people that do the very best I can. If you can work with what they can do, then do that. If not, then maybe we can adjust what they could deliver. Maybe we can work on unchanging how he can add some additional resources to the engineering side, or we can change the customer's expectations. Or maybe we can find 1/3 party solution that will work for the most part right now. And then when you finally deliver your functionality, then we don't need that third party functionality anymore. All this really depends on openness, unopened, this style. And I would say that has been critical to, um, how I, um, manage teams and manage organizations. Since Day one

How can one get better recognition of work from one's boss and higher management? What mistakes should one avoid? Stories or examples will be quite helpful.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Jul 22 2020
about better recognition of work. There is a There is a technique that, um I think I learned best from Microsoft. But it was something I probably learned from Newbridge as well, which is to not on Lee communicate with your manager. But with your manager's manager on, that is what you want to do is have a dialogue, Um, you know, group setting sometimes where the manager, your immediate manager, is trying to take decisions. But your manager's manager is also trying to understand the bigger context as well. So if you want to have recognition of your work, it comes down to, um, taking a leadership approach, which is to set the milestones for what you're going to achieve that will status by your managers, Um, uh, milestones him or herself as well as your manager's manager. So, for example, if you're an engineer and you have a first line manager working with a project manager and then his also say the director of uh, warranty e you you want to first make sure that the work you're doing satisfies the constraints or or adjust the constraints of what your immediate manager is working with. But you're the director is working more with financial aspects of well, we have to add more resources that at least one understand the context of Of where are we in our current project? And does it look like we're gonna be a little longer or we're gonna be right on time? Because that really helped that person to, um, think about okay, maybe I need to rethink my expectations or we have to go back and rethink the expectations and engineering. Maybe it's OK if we scale back requirements, but I gotta go talk with sales birth. So it comes down to making sure that you communicate true, the to the manager were you working with in one layer of that? And I think that really helps to do Teoh to put the the engineer or the quality assurance person, whoever the person is, it helps them to want to communicate. Uh, what your requirements are. It also helps that person. I understand the bigger picture as well, and I have seen that happen certainly days in Newbridge when we have a product we were developing at the time, and the engineers would be very good about communicating to the first line engineer who, uh, the injuring manager. And, you know, given meeting he that the engineer would be communicating, Um, the constraints of, say, a hardware change because a certain chip set was not available. So there was a work around. But to do that, it would change the schedule or another person say we that the sales person would say with sales, Burke would say, We need a certain feature set for, uh for voice Codex Waas. But to do that required a change of software. To do that would change the schedule. To do that would change delivery date. To do that would changed finances. So when that one engineer said, Oh, by the way, in order to meet the needs of sales, could change the timeline. The conversation in a meeting was not just with the engineering manager. It was also with me and one of the sales people. And so it's set. The context of here is the scope of the decision, uh, that I have to take, but I need to understand how it's going to impact finance sales, and we had a two way, three way conversation going on where everybody was in complete understanding of what the trade offs were. And that is what's so critical. Um, before in an engineer, um, or quality assurance person or an operations person is to be able to, uh, communicate and learn from the decisions that others have to make. That makes an engineer a much better engineering manager, a project manager, Q A manager and eventually even a second level manager if they want to go down that.

What indicators are used to track performance in a job like yours? Think of the indicators such as key performance indicators (KPIs), objectives & key results (OKRs), or so on.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Jul 22 2020
so in in the in the CEO position and because I worked with a public company. My, um, my performance is measured in part through the profitability organization. Right now, we're looking at doing acquisitions, so right now we have a series of projects we each of which complies an acquisition, for example. So there are certain keep owns indicators as they relate to, um, the company's ability to achieve these acquisitions. So there's a financial numbers that I need to make sure that the company hits cash management is so critical, in fact, really, in the world of accounting, what I I often stress, too, every person who, whether they're a person just learning accounting for the first time, all the way to even reminding all ourselves, even aware through the CFO control, it's all about cash management managing your cash. Being a look, forget what cash is going to be coming in from sales or investment, which gets the second part of my job, which is to attract investment to attract investment. I need to be able to show the investor that the stock itself is going to be, um value so that it's possible for them to make the investment and then realise the benefit of putting the cash into the company and then being able to them to go south Stock Company future. That is the probably the hardest part, because there so many variables involved in that it's I wouldn't stay impossible predict. But it makes it a serious challenge to predict when a stock is gonna go. We're not gonna go down or go down because you have no controller. Some of those factors, but there are many things you can do to optimize the company's stock price and therefore evaluation, one of which is just communicating clearly. What the plan is to the investment community and the investment community are large investors as well, a small investors which generates liquidity. So getting back to this is, um, key. The KP eyes for me are certainly related to the stock in the value of the activity, but it's also critically the cash management. What is the cash flow on a given month basis and then looking at when you believe you need to bring in some investment so you can go either do some acquisitions. Argo funds me internal research and development activities as Well, that's that's a very difficult discipline. Requires a long view. You have to be looking with respect to investment. Pretty much I would say you have, ah, one year it sometimes two years arising up when I think I need to bring in no true $5 million on various milestones, yet at the same time paying very close attention to cash flow. So you're looking at your your cash position, and sometimes you need to work with things like Equity Line of credits to go bringing some cash given poor. So it's either quarterly basis or on an annual basis or a couple milestone basis. You look at the value of the equity as it relates to the cash position company that those air those air. Some of the most difficult parts of this President CEO job in a public company isn't being able of balanced the cash, needs the company versus the equity needs of your investors and be able to again get both sides to see what the situation is so that you mean the investor could make a wise decision. Um, and the finance people be able to make good decisions on be able to watch the cash flow on a given month

What qualities do you look for while hiring? What kind of questions do you typically ask from candidates?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Jul 22 2020
one of things I've learned on the hiring front. That kind of learned this. Even I was a Hewlett Packard. Uh, in early days, which was you. You, uh you look for people who have, um, you have the best aptitude and ability to work with them, right? So the ability to work without this is it was a really critical thing. Um, and, uh, so, uh, interesting. In the world of consulting, for example, there with a friend of mine told me they were the three days of selecting consultants, which was availability, not ass ability. That is ability to go along with other people and aptitude in that order, you say, Because, of course, it consults not available. While there's no point, you know, talk about the rest. You can work with person. Well, they may be smart as a whip, but same time, you really can't work. So it's similar in the world hiring employees, which is, uh, are there isn't somebody who, um, is able to work with others. Because if you can, then the communication works without communication, you can have the smartest person in the world, but you can't. You can't communicate, so I kind of do the, uh uh. It's not a black and white situation by any means, but you often start with that. Can you work with the person? Are they able to work with others in the organization? And second is the attitude. The last thing which never even comes into my mind is Do they actually have all the critical skills right this very moment to do the job? But I'm marrying, or that's a great designer, but it doesn't work, and sometimes you skip ahead too far, but saying, Well, that person has the exact skills that I need right now, but it turns out they may not be able worked well in the organization, and also they may not be able to have the flexibility of growing their knowledge base. So I typically start with owned a person's ability to get along well in the organization, and the other is toe learn quickly because you need to learn quickly in order to hop on the next bubble that the organization's gonna be able base and as an organization rose B types of problems that it faces and the complexity of the problems they grow exponentially. I find eso. I would say that when you're hiring people in any organization within a company is making sure that when you have an interview that you put that person into an interview situation that really shows, um and demonstrates how it would be working with that person day today, uh, and then solving some problems together when U. S. So they could be a little bit on the artificial side, not disclose everything. But if you compose some thorny, difficult issues and then solve them together, um, you know your one on one with a person, or sometimes I've seen, you know, to interviewees with one solving some problems, that is the best indicator that you are, that you have a good fit or not, Um, and that I have seen that interview process works especially well. Putting tests in front of people is not a great indicator. I find it means a good test takers. It does not prove that they can actually work with somebody to go solve. Really ugly problem. Um, so if you can somehow combine in the interview process where you have a new interviewer and interviewee solving some ugly marketing problem, sales problem or project management problem. Um, if you could do something like that, you're you will definitely be able to find the right. Hers is much faster.

Can you discuss career accomplishment(s) that you feel good about? Please discuss the problem context, your solution, and the impact you made.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Jul 22 2020
I certainly think that in the in the early days of, ah Horror aware when I was not CEO there, we were able to break into a very nascent marketplace of Rolex, where it was a very, very new area, and the market was not very well understood. There was. The military market was just coming along. There was so many different product areas. And so the area we chose, which was to work on a university platform together, a robotics platform with a lot of software flexibility that was actually one of our greatest accomplishments. We had any that we have the engineering group with sales groups all working well together in the market, and the results were phenomenal. We got some we got early. You've got really great success in the early stages. I think when I was a new bridge, similar kind of thing Way had a group that was producing telecom equipment, but they wanted to take the telecom technologies into a into a uh, if you will workstation card. And it was a very difficult problem. Could we had to take a lot of, um, we take a lot of, um, circuitry. It goes into a box about that big and put it into a three by five card literally. And the engineering problem had never been done well. And so, um, there was there were so many constraints that the engineering groups had to work with. And we even had to go find chip sets that would do exactly what we needed, and that took a lot of time to do that. But what was great about that was we were in the lineup, our first customer, which was a T and T wireless of time. We learned from their requirements what we had to build a hardware and it software. And we got all that done that about, I'd say, about 15 months. That's what product went out and we were earning revenues right off, right out of shooting by doing that. So I was very proud of the work those guys did. He was just engineering project management, marketing and sales, A working extremely well together. And the finance model that was put together with that was that was a courtesy of New Bridge and the people there, I think that was a really first class first rate after Really, Um, so what I'm doing right now. A deep green waste recycling is that we are now in the midst of relaunching company. We're following a similar kind of mall, or we're going is we're following a project based approach which is first getting the SEC compliance, which took about six months, and we had to have, ah, we'll see them instead of milestones. And if they mentioned, gets, um we had some unexpected things like hope 19 that really put about 23 months with ah Blais in our schedule. So So we got all that done. We finally got the DSCC compliance, and now we're in the midst of a series of acquisitions. So now we have, ah, pipeline of acquisitions were working on the Each acquisition has a series of milestones and call checklists. So we're very disciplined. How are doing that? Number three? I'm really pleased with how that's going right now. Uh, in the same time, on the parallel path on the investor relations. Now I'm starting to communicate out what it is the company's doing. What we think are milestones will approximately look like ex closing things. Um, and giving investors and ideas to help company bull of all. And what's great about that is that we have, you know, the operation side, the finance side investor relations side, all working very well together in order to achieve its successive boat accomplishing the acquisitions, accomplishing the investment required to the acquisitions in getting the cash flow just right, so make sure company operates well.

What responsibilities and decisions did you handle at work? What were the challenges? What strategies were effective in dealing with these challenges?

Based on experience at: Corporate Secretary and Vice President, TraqIQ, Inc.
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Jul 22 2020
is doing there. Waas. I was working with the team that was kind of doing something similar relaunching a company. And so what I was doing was I was working on something kind of similar. Maybe it slipped smaller scope of it, which was working on the SEC compliance and getting the various stages of the of the reverse merger done. To do that, we first had to go understand what kind of, um, of public company, uh, vehicle we were looking for. And then to go bring the operational companies under that similar come approach, which was Teoh. Make sure that all the SEC compliance work was done to make sure that all the corporate governance documents were done that feed into that. And then Teoh execute that. So those air that goes back to my, my, uh, my business law class that took a Cornell of all the detailed, um, approach to documentation called legal Doc to make sure you go through all the various steps carefully and make sure you check back with people and with world of sec compliance to make sure you did everything correctly

How did the school prepare you for your career? Think about faculty, resources, alumni, exposure & networking. What were the best parts in each of your college programs?

Based on experience at: BS, Biology, Immunology, Cornell University
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Jul 22 2020
Cornell was, Ah, a great environment or ah, a number of reasons. What is they really had Phenomenally gifted professors would introduce you to things you are not comfortable with it all. Ah, and you and you, with your growing you would learn rapidly out of that. And the ability to rapidly acquire new ideas and information is so critical to my job today that I I just have to say that was a truly important part of it, especially under under time constraints under a very tough time. Constraints, uh, which implied you were working sometimes too late in the evening studying ah, and also having the discipline. And I think I've only got that right my last two years of corn out where I would have a very disciplined structure to my day where it was all the way from, you know, waking at a certain time, going my classes by library on time, finishing with my studying at night, starting all over the next day. So there was a process like quality in and a little bit of exercise in between, by the way. So, uh uh, all that worked really well for now, like to say another part is next. It's a logistical side of, you know, being student. One help, the other is that, of course, is the bread and the depth of courses was truly astounding. And, um, I could not have gotten my job that we're now inspect eso the ability for me to go choose from courses there were outside of my my knowledge base. Like I said, I was taking courses and everything from genetics to not sell him on, uh, two cell biology Teoh biochemistry technology. That was the area I was I was going in. I also your classes in business law. I took a course in reports in German even to, of course, the same courses in Spanish. It took a course in in in introduction of rhetoric, which it was all about reading, writing, learning how to communicate, saying which would mean immediately say, I never would have had that that exposure without Cornell. Um, and you needn't some of the the the extracurricular things you know now I would do things in the Sajak require a lot of very just very prevents the ability for you experienced on many things in life. But Cornell offer and and even I'll say the work study work that I've given it calling out. You know, when I when I was, uh, corn out like it. Everything from working with the the the SPF ponies specific pathogen free. How means Andi working within that lab? I learned a whole bunch of things there, and I learned to work with some equipment in cold Coulter counter that turned into a job later on when I was over at in my immunology lab. Um, eso without those. Without those experiences, I wouldn't have had my first jobs at Cornell. And I just have to say and that Cornell was really instrumental in my ability to respond who changes as they rapidly happened to take on new information of rapidly to summarize it. Um, all that was really critical to my success in the future.

What three life lessons have you learned over your career? Please discuss the stories behind these lessons, if possible. Stories could be yours or observed.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Jul 22 2020
so I think, um, life lessons. I certainly think that one of the key like lessons is to have a curiosity about things which you really don't know anything about. And yeah. So, um, for example, even with robotics, the reason I even thought about robotics in 2000 two was because I was doing some research into embedded systems and I noticed this new little area over it. Uh, in Pittsburgh, there was a whole Carnegie Mellon University. They were doing some research into the use of embedded system platforms for robotics. And I didn't know anything about robotics. And quite honestly, nobody else did either. So as I was doing more of my research, and I discovered that robotics was going to be eventually a series of platforms and ticket Truls that would be used in all the way from farming equipment to eventual cars on. In fact, I remember I went to in RIA in France and 2 2003 guess Waas and saw the very first experiments with cars with nor wholly autonomous well, they were on their way to being fully autonomous anyway. But you could see the future. What was gonna happen in 2003. Without that level of curiosity, I wouldn't have branched into. Let me take a look at that. Yet at the same time, you have to balance that with Can you actually make a living with robotics in the year 2000 to the answer's? No. So you had to project Ord into How long? How far away could you make you know how far away it could you build a business using robotics technologies? And that's a very hard thing. Todo So the other part that I mentioned earlier, which is being a lot projecting the future, getting comfortable with not being able to know everything and being able to put on a time line up. I think these things gonna happen here and here are the interdependencies to get there. Um, there are a number of things that we did well to get core aware with respect to the university area, the area that we could have done a better job on its selecting some vertical industries and saying, Let's go pick that area over there and go build a product on that and then bringing the investment that was one of the the other is that I mentioned that the communication style is learning to be to be open to many different ideas and yet at the same time taking decisions and being tough on taking those decisions, recognizing you're not gonna make people happy, that isn't acquired. Wired skill. Nobody likes making other people unhappy, right? And that's That's Ah, that's the true for everybody. Eso you have to be yet the bounce get the bounds of I want to listen Everybody I want to take in what all the possibilities are. But a decision has to be made because without decisions, the organization will wander a more closely and it doesn't it doesn't get things done. So those air was lead to, uh, call the two biggest lessons that I can certainly point at anyway. We started those

What starting job (after internship) would you recommend to students who hope to grow professionally like you? What other parting advice, dos, and don'ts would you give?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Jul 22 2020
First of all, what I recommend the students is that they work doing internships. Your other tire. Uh uh, last week, start entire career. Maybe you give yourself a break during freshman year so you could go cause I'm getting things started. You know, getting things will focus, but definitely starting since sophomore year. Junior senior, Every year after that, you find a job during its seamaster. You matter how unrelated it may seen? So for example, you know, I I worked over it Cornell in the vertebrates lab, taking care of lizards and, uh, and fish and all that. It really wasn't all that directly related to my future career. But it did teach me that this is to make sure that things were done right. Otherwise, you know, bad things happen when I when I worked in ah, in a lab up in ah, Cornell in the vet school is my I think sophomore year it waas um and I was working on making diets for recess monkey's and, uh so it would be literally mixing all these. You know, you know, you making making the diets or the monkeys prepares, you know, experiments they were doing on them time. And so you learn how to be very precise and doing all your dietary measurements and all the things you need to go into that. And, uh, and as it turned out of you, there are other lab techniques that you learned along the way that eventually I took those key learnings into when I eventually went into immunology. When I when I got my first job, Cornell, I knew how to do so many different things. So I was able to be very capable on doing things like, uh, protein extractions off bacteria. I could do that right out when I was over, one out. So and that is it. Turns out, when I became a graduate student, I was able to be very functional very quickly. Also, another job I did also a Cornell was doing database entry for, um, taking forms. They were coming from the field veterinarians of putting those into a database, and this was in 1976 it waas, which very few people even knew what a database months, for that matter, is a very early age. So on the whole, I would say that take any kind of job is it may not be directly related, but you will learn so much out of that. Um, also, I would say that when you're doing things in the world of retail you're working with, um you're working customers and learning customer service. So I don't care whether you're working at a gas station. Who are they working at? Costco are working in a grocery store. All of those teach you customer service capabilities. And those teach you how to interact with other people, which is social for a job. So just feet busy, always working. Always keep moving. Always keep learning those air Those of the critical aspects to it. You anything? Is it true that years later some of those skills come to play in ways you did not expect at all? Even during my transition from bio biology? Teoh Teoh What? I wanted to computer science. I took a there was ah year for I worked for a place called the Finger Lakes Engineering up in Almiron work and I was working on doing Pascal programming, so I didn't know any Pascal. But I didn't know programming you running out and that that got involved with doing things like data acquisition off of these single board computers, which I knew nothing about at the time. But I did have some good coaching from a, uh, another person who helped me to take my programs, to be able to do data acquisition. I didn't know anything about data acquisition. Really accept some of the work of the Cornell just a little bit, Um, and, uh, and I knew enough about program to be able to do to do what needs to be done on that project. And I also learned there was another project they wanted to work on, which was preventive maintenance. What's the thing is, now that I'm working in the world of waste management and recycling many of the tools which are used to gather information off things like trash compactors, these Air data acquisition systems, it's all very familiar from the past. And had I not done any of those things with Finger Lakes engineering, my understanding of how things operate would be very different, and even the work that I did a core aware with embedded systems and robotics and Internet of things that I would not be able to appreciate the complexity of what we're trying to do right now, which is to gather information off of the trash compactors of the recycling systems. It will use that information to be able to make better decisions on behalf of customers and save money, and they're or realized better profits. So the all I would say is, no job is too basic or low. You will always learn something in every job. You dio never reject the project because it or our job opportunities while gee, I'm not sure. But that's gonna leave me. That's true. You do not know because you cannot predict the future. But every small skill that you pick up becomes some opening in the future so you can actually take on some very complex roles that required understanding of finance, customs serves, engineering operations, all these things. And that's what's critical of the President CEO role is we will appreciate the complexity of all these things and how they all time