By Tom Schady | May 30, 2018
Working in a Paradigm Shift
In my 20+ year career, I’ve been lucky enough to be on the cusp of two technology paradigm shifts. In 1997, I got into web development, and in 2010 I began working with mobile.
I love the rush of creating something new, when everything you build is breaking ground. In those moments, you feel the great possibility ahead and the rewarding struggle of no easy answers. In 2017, I began to search the market for my next big leap.
Once I discovered GreenKey, it was an easy decision.
Voice technology and ASR are new frontiers in computing. I joined GreenKey as CTO last year because I believe this is the pioneering company that will make voice technology a mainstay in industries like Finance and Emergency Services. There are two reasons why: the people, and the startup culture of the company.
Similar to those previous teams that broke ground on the web and mobile, GreenKey’s engineers and scientists operate with speed and hyperfocus. We have a great team that really enjoys the work. Besides constant accuracy improvements on our ASR engine, “Scribe,” the team is always keeping up with current research to discover the next leap forward. For example, we’ve built a telephony platform using WebRTC to deliver real-time voice streams to Scribe. We’re using RFCs still in draft mode. We’re also building out our SDK to allow anyone to create applications using our instant, push-to-talk intercoms with integrated transcription.
Even in an industry as exciting as ours, you cannot only focus on the work. One of my jobs is to maintain our culture of innovation and speed as we grow. I think about organizations like software; we must always refactor the way we communicate and make decisions as we scale. Without diligent attention to architecture, whether people or software, you pay the permanent tax of a Byzantine mess.
I’ll close with this: You aren’t going to leverage a paradigm shift overnight. It requires serious thinking. Our voice tech allows push button communication with your community - which is easy for 1,000 users but much more difficult for 100,000. Scaling our instant communication while still keeping durability is difficult - and we are solving this problem with a lot of thought. Too often in the software world that’s skipped. My advice is to stop sprinting and start thinking.
It pays off. There just aren’t many jobs like this. When we show demos to customers their eyes get big. We get to live that every day.
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