Connect with us

Interviews

Interview with Eric Herzog, CMO at Infinidat

Published

on

Interview with Eric Herzog, CMO at Infinidat

” The capabilities of our AIOps technology work not only with the on-premise storage, but also with data center/cloud AIOps packages.”

Hi Eric, Please tell us a bit about your journey in the industry and how you arrived at Infinidat?

I’ve been in the storage industry since 1986. I have worked at a number of different companies, including four of the largest storage companies in the world, as well as eight startups. I love storage. It’s so cool. Right before I ended up at Infinidat, I was the CMO and VP of Global Channels for IBM Storage. And before that, I was the Senior VP of Product Management and Product Marketing at EMC. I have actually known the CEO of Infinidat, Phil Bullinger, since the mid-1990s. We had worked on a couple projects together. When I was an SVP at EMC, he was an EVP and GM. I didn’t work for him, but I worked with him. Last year Phil pinged me and said, ‘Are you interested?’ And I said, ‘For sure.” And that’s how I ended up as the CMO of Infinidat.

Cybersecurity continues to be a hot topic because of the exponential increase in cyberattacks. Cyber criminals are attacking various parts of an enterprise’s IT infrastructure. As an expert in enterprise-class storage, what can you share with our readers about safeguarding against cyberattacks? How can CIOs and CISOs secure and protect their data infrastructure, starting with storage?

Often, CIOs and CSOs forget that storage is a critical component of an enterprise corporate overall strategy. Sure, they protect the edge. They protect the apps. They protect the networks. But they don’t realize that, with up to 287 days of when an attack could be fully discovered and remediated, the attack is either successfully thwarted or they end up paying the ransom or they lose their data through malware. They usually do not realize that storage is a huge point of vulnerability. One of the key things I point out to CIOs, CSOs, as well as the VPs of Infrastructure and VPs of Storage, is that, if you don’t include storage in your comprehensive cybersecurity strategy, you are leaving a huge hole. The question is not “if” you will be attacked; it’s “when” you’ll be attacked and how often. Leaving storage out is a critical gap and a comprehensive cyber storage security strategy includes not only edge, not only apps, not only the network, but also includes the data, and all data in an enterprise sits on storage. You need to make sure that data and the associated storage estate is fully protected by your cybersecurity strategy.

What are the types of core capabilities that enterprises need to combat ransomware, malware and internal threats?

The capabilities that enterprises need to combat malware, ransomware and internal threats are on multiple fronts. You need to protect the edge, and you need to protect the application servers and the software that resides on them. You need to protect your networks. But, it is essential that you protect your enterprise storage as well. The other thing you need to do is you need to treat malware, ransomware, and internal threats as if they were a disaster, just like they do a hurricane, a flood, or a fire in the building. Ransomware and malware are just as dangerous to an enterprise’s capabilities and with all the recent cyberattacks, and those are only the ones we hear about, a potential cyberattack is much more likely than a natural disaster. You need to develop a cyberattack plan; how do you respond? Even if you’re protecting the edge, the network and everything else, they will get through. It happens to everybody. Lastly, you need to make sure that you practice just as you practice your disaster recovery and business continuity readiness. What do they do? You need to practice your cybersecurity action plan with cyber storage as a cornerstone. Those are the essential things enterprises need to do to combat malware, ransomware, and internal threats.

In a broad sense, how has enterprise storage evolved in the last couple of years? What applications and initiatives are driving this evolution? How does Infinidat fit into this evolution?

Enterprise storage has changed dramatically in the last couple years.

First is the real CIO emphasis on capital and operational expense savings, operational manpower, and making storage easier and easier to use. This was exacerbated, not only by COVID and the recent economic travails, but also by the recession of 2008.

After the recession of 2008 ended and IT started hiring again.

IT did not replace all the storage admins that it had let go during the recession. In fact, if you look at the total number of storage admins, it’s probably down compared to 2008, yet storage is growing exponentially every year.  In short, the typical enterprise storage administrator is managing much more storage than they ever have had to manage in the past. Because of these changes, enterprise storage needs to be easier to use, easier to manage, and take less of the IT resource budget. In fact, having things like autonomous automation and smart storage, as well as integration with AIOps technology, both inside of a storage solution, but also outside of the storage solution by integration with third party data center and Cloud AIOps offerings, such as VMware, Service Now and other AIOps products that span a data center, is critical.

The second thing is that 100% availability guaranteed must be factored into their enterprise storage infrastructure. Companies need to be up and going at all times, even pre-COVID. Now with COVID and other issues where more and more people work from home, you’ve just opened up that, if you have a failure, it will be even worse for productivity. Therefore, you must have 100% availability. Concurrent with that has been the large rise of cyberattacks, which continue to grow exponentially. Several governments, such as the U.S. government, have enacted new laws regarding cyberattacks.

What Infinidat has done to fit in with these massive shifts in IT is to optimize our enterprise storage platforms and solutions to deliver the best in capital and operational expenditure savings, thus reducing ROI and TCO. At the same time, we make sure that our solutions are greener.

When you reduce your power and cooling, which gives you a greener data center, it reduces your OPEX and operational manpower. We make sure from our storage consolidation capabilities that we reduce the number of physical storage arrays in their data center and private cloud configurations to dramatically cut costs and substantially reduce the amount of operational resources.  Additionally, with our autonomous automation and intense focus on ease-of-use our storage solutions basically run themselves, as several of our public references have noted in their Gartner Peer Insights review. We also have imbued Infinidat solutions with extensive cybersecurity capabilities – our InfiniSafe cyber storage resilience technology. InfiniSafe is available, at no extra charge, on our primary storage solutions – the InfiniBox and the InfiniBox SSA – and is also included on our secondary storage offering – the InfiniGuard. We also make sure we wrap around all of our solutions with guaranteed SLAs.

Infinidat has won numerous awards and recognition in the IT market recently. What do you attribute this success to?

It’s true that Infinidat really has won numerous awards and recognition in the IT market. We have been a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years in a row for primary storage. We have also received the best reviews on the Gartner Peer Insights review site. These are reviews not by Gartner employees or by the vendors, but by the actual end-users of the solutions. Our enterprise storage platforms have received some highest rates of any vendor.  On the InfiniBox we are rated a 4.9 out 5 possible stars, on the InfiniBox SSA all-flash array, 5 out of 5 possible stars, and, for our InfiniGuard modern data protection and cyber storage resilience platform, 4.8 out of 5.

Whether it be the analyst community or the storage press community, we win award after award after award. In fact, as of the end of October, we have won 21 awards this year, and we’re up for several other awards that will be coming out by the end of the year. This success is all based on unmatched solutions that drive real business value. We don’t just solve storage technical problems; while we do that as well, but we ensure those storage technical problems we solve, such as availability or a cyber storage attack, translate into true business benefits. And that’s being acknowledged by the industry. Our white glove support and service have also enabled us to distinguish ourselves. In a nutshell, we win awards because we focus on providing the best customer experience in the storage industry, and we don’t settle for less.

Infinidat often talks about the need for consolidation. Why is storage consolidation important?

Storage consolidation is a critical capability that Infinidat delivers to the market. Whether it is consolidating additional midrange platforms or consolidating additional high-end enterprise platforms onto fewer InfiniBox platforms or InfiniBox SSA platforms, consolidation delivers:

  • Reduction of their CAPEX
  • Reduction of their OPEX
  • Substantially improve their TCO
  • Dramatically improve their return on investment

For example, one Fortune 500 customer told us they got a 6-month return on investment with their Infinidat storage solutions, while another Fortune 500 customer told us a 9-month return on investment. In fact, almost every one of our customers worldwide have told us that their return on investment almost always less than a year. No other storage company can get anywhere close to that type of return on investment. Indeed, it’s very, very important, and that’s where consolidation plays in. It also plays into the capability of freeing up things in your data center: less power, less cooling, less rack space, less floor space, which all results in reduced OPEX and reduced operational time spent on their storage infrastructure. Imagine how much fewer watts, fewer slots, less power, less floor space, and less operational manpower you could have you if you took 24 different storage arrays, like one of our customers − a $20 billion US grocery store chain − did and consolidated those onto four InfiniBox platforms. Talk about freeing up floor space.

How have the economics of storage changed?

The economics of storage has changed dramatically. Storage is growing exponentially. If you don’t confront this surge in storage needs with solutions, such as storage consolidation, if you don’t reduce operational manpower and figure out ways to cut CAPEX and OPEX, storage will be an incredible burden on your IT budget. Infinidat has been laser focused on driving customer reductions in CAPEX and OPEX. This is pointed out in several of the analyst write-ups around Infinidat. Most importantly, the Gartner Peer Insights, which are reviews written by end-users of Infinidat solutions, talk about how we have helped them reduce CAPEX, OPEX, and operational manpower. In short, these substantial economic impacts are huge.

The second economic issue revolves around cyber storage resilience. If you don’t have that, you leave yourself open to malware and ransomware attacks. Trust me, the economic effect of a cyberattack on your enterprise storage will be dramatic. In fact, that attack could basically cripple your business or force you to pay huge ransoms, which can range anywhere from $500,000 to tens of millions of dollars. There was one case in 2021 of a major global Fortune 100 that paid $74 million in ransom. Regardless of whether you company is small, medium, or large, you don’t want to be the person paying that. Look at the capabilities of cutting OPEX and CAPEX, improving TCO and ROI, which we do through our storage consolidation, our autonomous automation, and our incredible ease of use. And if you don’t have cyber resilience, you could be attacked to your organization’s great detriment.

What strategy does Infinidat recommend when it comes to private cloud and public cloud implementations of storage?

In the early days of the cloud, everyone was rushing to the cloud. When you work out the real economics of a fully public cloud strategy, for almost all enterprises it does not make strong economic sense. For example, most enterprise want their applications and workloads to have at least 6 nines of availability. But the default of public cloud providers is 4 nines of availability.  Can you get additional nines, yes you can, but the cloud providers will charge additional fees.  Same for performance.  And the impact of this is not only on storage but across all parameters – servers, network availability etc etc.  But, in the case of Infinidat, we offer 100% availability guaranteed. Additionally, for highly transactional applications and workloads where you are constantly moving data back and forth, you can easily end up with tremendous networking fees.

The best strategy is to define your applications, workloads and use cases. Figure out which ones can be in the cloud. If they’re very low performance, such backup and archive, it’s an ideal solution. Disaster recovery when those applications and workloads can have deal with a slow SLA for their recovery times: that works great. But if you need rapid recovery in case of an earthquake, fire, flood or cyberattack, then those applications and workloads are much better served with an on-premises strategy. And those applications and workloads can be a private cloud amongst your own data centers. This strategy will give you a hybrid configuration leverage both private and public cloud working together.  You determine what applications and workloads can go on a public cloud based on security concerns, performance concerns and availability concerns and which ones belong on a private cloud. Then you parse those out based on that.

Infinidat touts 100% availability and triple redundancy. Why are those things noteworthy? Isn’t 99.99999 availability and dual redundancy enough for storage? 

In today’s world, all companies need to be up and running 365 by 24/7. Having something that’s seven nines of availability or eight nines of availability isn’t good enough. Infinidat’s customers are the largest global enterprises. They want 100% availability, and we back that up with a 100% availability guarantee SLA.

We also have triple redundancy. Many other solutions have dual redundancy. With dual redundancy, you get six nines or seven nines. However, when your system architecture is designed with triple redundancy, you can deliver a platform that provides your customers 100% availability. Truly, everybody is asking for 100% availability these days. Infinidat is uniquely well-positioned to meet this market demand with our patented storage platforms and our guaranteed 100% availability SLA.

What is one thing about Infinidat that is often overlooked, undervalued or ignored, but is of greater value than most people know?

One of the things that IT people don’t realize about Infinidat is our intense focus on the end-user. This drives us to create solutions that focus on cybersecurity, dramatically reducing CAPEX and OPEX, and powerful ease-of-use with our autonomous automation across our software defined storage architecture. The capabilities of our AIOps technology work not only with the on-premise storage, but also with data center/cloud AIOps packages. All of these solutions are a direct result of our customer first mentality.

What is the future of enterprise storage?

The future of enterprise storage is bright. The cloud is here to stay, and the future of enterprise storage is all about creating private clouds and will seamlessly work with public clouds as needed. Private enterprise clouds are amalgamations of storage resources across multiple data centers which behave just like a public cloud but with the private control of the enterprise . That doesn’t mean you don’t work with cloud providers. For example, Infinidat works with over 40 cloud service providers. We provide the underlying infrastructure for their storage-as-a-service, their backup-as-a-service, their infrastructure-as-a-service and their platform-as-a-service. And why do they use us? Because of our incredible performance, our incredible availability, and our ability of giving cloud service provider partners the level of cyber resilience they need for their end user. All these things lead to a future of enterprise storage that will encompass both a public cloud deployment and a private cloud configuration existing together in the future and working together based on application, workload and use case.

Any advice to business leaders who are looking to invest in the cloud security / AIOps for risk detection solutions:

You need to make sure that, as you’re investing in cybersecurity and cloud security strategies as well as AIOps, that you don’t leave storage out. We are approaching exabytes and exabytes and zetabytes and zetabytes of data that are being consumed and created continually by companies. Not the storage on your cell phone, not the storage on your laptop, not the storage on your iPad, but I am talking about corporate entities and government entities. Those exabytes and zetabytes need to have cyber storage security. They need to have AIOps technology integrated into them. Storage is often left out of that equation. If you don’t have the right storage cyber security and integrate that into your overall cybersecurity strategy and if you don’t incorporate AIOps technology into your enterprise storage, you are leaving yourself vulnerable, and you’re not catching everything. You need to reduce this risk.

Thank you, Eric! That was fun and we hope to see you back soon.

Eric Herzog is the Chief Marketing Officer at Infinidat. Prior to joining Infinidat, Herzog was CMO and VP of Global Storage Channels at IBM Storage Solutions. His executive leadership experience also includes: CMO and Senior VP of Alliances for all-flash storage provider Violin Memory, and Senior Vice President of Product Management and Product Marketing for EMC’s Enterprise & Mid-range Systems Division.

Infinidat helps enterprises and service providers empower their data-driven competitive advantage at scale. Infinidat’s software defined storage architecture delivers microsecond latency, 100% availability, and scalability with a significantly lower total cost of ownership than competing storage technologies. The company offers an award-winning portfolio of enterprise storage solutions for primary and secondary storage deployments. The corporate headquarters are based in Herzliya, Israel, and U.S. headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Interviews

Interview with Dmytro Serhiiev, Co-Founder of PDFLiner

Published

on

Interview with Dmytro Serhiiev, Co-Founder of PDFLiner

Dmytro Serhiiev is the co-founder and CEO of PDFLiner, the most easy-to-use document management tool to fill out, sign, and share documents online. Under his leadership, PDFLiner facilitated over $500K ARR in transactions to date and empowered over 100K customers, taxpayers, real estate agents, and sole individuals across the US, Canada, and United Kingdom. Dmytro earned communication networks and information security engineering degree from the Telecommunications Academy. Dmytro also worked as a SaaS marketing consultant (setting goals and creating project marketing teams). During that period, he has also been teaching Marketing and SEO in IT schools. In addition to that, Dmytro created an affiliate site network for Amazon and was an Amazon seller before launching PDFLiner.

Yet, PDFLiner is trusted by over 100,000 users, and it also earned a 5/5 rating on G2Crowd, which puts PDFLiner in the top-5 highest-rated PDF software according to reviews on g2.com

Where did the idea for PDFLiner come from?

While working with contractors, partners, and other departments, my colleagues from Tonti Laguna Group and I looked at the world of document management services and found a problem – an existing PDF ‘bloatware’ was far from user-friendly. Almost every industry technology solution was outdated and overpriced software (some didn’t even have free plans or trials). And I got hooked on creating an online platform to work and manage PDF documents, providing accessible, online editing ability to customers (no software, no installation, no downloads needed). PDFLiner’s goal is to provide customers with electronic document management (creating and editing files, adding electronic signatures, filling out forms, PDF conversions) and a security-sharing documents system (document sharing, locking and unlocking PDFs, cloud storage).

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Every day is different from others. Basically, I start my work day at 9 AM by reading the news to be updated with what’s going on in the market. Also, I regularly catch up on emails, calls, and meetings. I like to pop into meetings happening around to get a sense of what’s being worked on and connect with the PDFLiner employees.
For a lunch break at 2 PM, I’m often out meeting with different CEOs and founders of other SaaS solutions to discuss business strategies or just share the pros and cons that happened lately. After lunch, I’ll meet with various members of my executive team to discuss new horizons.
I try to head home around 6 PM at the latest to spend time with my family and spend time on hobbies, after which time I’ll log back on to finish up my work from the day.
This schedule gives me time to enjoy some of my hobbies and just relax after a long day. I have found that I am more productive and creative when I structure my time and tasks.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Collaboration and cooperation. When I have an idea, I pitch it to my team to brainstorm and discuss the opportunity. We grow quickly at PDFLiner – if someone has a good idea, I give the green light to that idea to start testing the hypothesis for successful results and see how we can make it into action quickly. I’m passionate about creating an environment where the best idea always wins. Healthy debate is welcome, but once we make a decision, we are committed to a common goal.

What’s one trend that excites you?

It’s exciting to watch industries revolutionize with new technology. Especially how people are going from the “Age of Digital Transformation” to the “Age of AI”. It’s really great how companies understand true AI and start using it to improve the performance and processes within SMEs and large global corporates. We in PDFLiner are using AI technology as well!

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Self-education is the one habit you need to cultivate because it drives productivity, pushes you to new heights, and lights a fire underneath your feet as you carve your own path. That commitment to continuous learning leads you to everything else. Here are five why this habit leads to success as an entrepreneur:
1) It saves time and money
2) It gives confidence
3) It opens opportunities
4) It brings joy
5) It level-ups your gray matter to be better at business

What advice would you give your younger self?

Relationships are everything. People you talk to and engage with matter a lot. Surrounding yourself with good people is one of the main factors to your success in life. Connect with those who share your values, have similar mindsets, and want to succeed. You can learn something new from everyone, and you should treat everyone with the utmost respect.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I’m going to be the most successful man in the World, all other achievements would pale before mine. Someone disagrees with me, but it’s true.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Start sharing your journey with the public. It might seem strange, but it will lead you up and open new doors for your business, from finding clients to getting new partnerships or investors. I spend my days making new connections to learn from conversations with unique points of view.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Testing hypotheses and scaling up those ideas that showed success during testing. We always do a lot of research and tests to find new ways of growth or recruit new customers and raise awareness. And we spend a ton of time trying different marketing tactics until we figure out what works best, and then we run with it. Once we drive customers to our site, we focus on it. And this happens to all ideas. We test and drop away if the results are bad, and we try and implement if it shows promising results.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Hiring the wrong people. The people who lack experience in the hope that I can grow them, or people who don’t meet the PDFLiner’s culture. Today, I spend more time interviewing and drilling down into the qualities and knowledge we’re looking for with anyone new we hire. I want to make sure people believe in our product and want to grow with PDFLiner and are in it for the long term. Employees are everything.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Bookkeeping service is a direction that is always in demand and is now gaining momentum. If you are an accountant or bookkeeper (or know how to hire them) who wants the freedom and autonomy of running your own business, take advantage of modern technology to start your own online bookkeeping service. And PDFLiner can help with going paperless by keeping your invoices, contracts, tax forms in one place.
This also extends to online legal services – a great niche to start a business.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

As you know, Ukraine is struggling with rashists (russian troops) for its freedom and democracy, so since the war began, I have donated to Ukraine’s defenders regularly. And the best $100 I recently spent also was to support Ukraine.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Google Search Console and Google Analytics are always open on my laptop. I like them. They show the actual state of affairs with site traffic and transactions, which allows you to gain valuable insights, and find growth points, or vice versa – fix something if there was a drawdown.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

In my top books, I put ‘The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement‘ by Eliyahu Goldratt and ‘Who: Solve Your #1 Problem’ by Geoff Smart and Randy Street. These two books are the perfect match, as you’ll figure out what to do and hire someone to do the job right.

What is your favorite quote?

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. – Nelson Mandela

Key Learnings:

  • Ideas, both good and bad, are the basis for Growth. Test all hypotheses over and over again, and implement everything that works best.
  • Surround yourself with good people that share your values. The relationship is the key.
  • Success is a goal, and the process of getting there is a learning experience. Never stop self-educating.
Originally published on IdeaMensch.
Continue Reading

Interviews

Interview with Kent Krabill, Lawyer

Published

on

Interview with Kent Krabill, Lawyer

Kent Krabill is a highly regarded trial lawyer representing clients in a variety of complex commercial, environmental, real estate, and others.

Kent graduated summa cum laude from the University of Texas at Arlington while working full-time. After graduation, Kent became a teacher and taught children with disabilities and 6th graders for two years while starting a family of his own. To pursue a childhood dream, he moved to California with his family and became a lawyer. This led to a successful academic career with graduation honors of magna cum laude from Pepperdine University School of Law. While at Pepperdine, Kent served as a law review editor and writing instructor and excelled in moot courts and mock trials. He subsequently clerked for Chief Judge Edith Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Kent’s exceptional work has earned him the admiration and esteem of his peers, having been selected as a Texas Rising Star by Thomson Reuters from 2010-2015 and as a Texas Super Lawyer for 2020-2022. He is also a driving force behind the firm of Lynn Pinker Hurst & Schwegmann, LLP. That firm has been ranked amongst the elite Commercial Litigation Firms in Texas by Chambers and Partners.

Where did the idea for your career come from?

I always dreamed when I was a kid about being a lawyer, but always a criminal defense attorney. I was really attracted to defending. I don’t know why I was always drawn to that. But I have no background of education in my family at all. I’m the first one to go to college, so there was nobody I knew that was a lawyer or anything like that, especially in a criminal defense situation.

I kind of had that in my mind growing up as a kid watching TV shows — I guess Perry Mason, and I loved Atticus Finch [from the Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird] because who doesn’t love Atticus Finch? I always thought that was cool, but as I got going in school, I was really good at math and science, so I kind of got filtered toward the sciences and engineering. And I was a good football player, so I was going to play football in college.

My senior year in college, I got hurt playing football and so I had no more scholarship opportunities. I started in engineering, but I didn’t go back to school until I was 26 because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. So I worked construction until I was 26. When I was 26, I went back to college.

While I was going to school, I flirted with either medical school or law school. But my wife and I had been married for quite some time. I was a little bit older and I thought, “Ah, I don’t want to go to school. I’m too old to go to law school or medical school.”

Then we had our first baby and my wife wanted to stay home. And so that’s how it happened. There’s nothing magical about it. She wanted to stay home. I need to figure out a way to make money. I thought: Maybe I’ll go to law school.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

At any given time, I have 20 to 30 cases going on. So I don’t think I have a typical day. You have your cases at all different phases. My typical day is, I look at my phone and computer and go.

I have associates who do the work for me. Let’s say the beginning of a case, pre-suit. A client calls me up and says, “I have this problem.” Sometimes the problem is they got sued and we dive right into it, but let me give you the pre-suit. The client has to tell us the story and give us all the documents and I’ll call an associate in and we analyze it. We get through the documents, we interview people, we put it together.

Now we’re going to file suit, we’re going to send a demand letter. Usually it’s a demand letter you send to the bad guys, you’re like, “Hey, you’re doing this. This is wrong. You need to pay us back or stop doing it or we’re going to sue you.”

Once that happens, I review and revise the demand letter. I might have a follow-up, a call with the client and say, “Is this really what you want? Is this what you like?”

Then we sue. I send off that letter, the opposing attorney calls me and negotiates, “This is all B.S. It’s not true. Blah blah blah.” Or, “You’re right. We’re going to stop.” That’s part of my day too, those calls with opposing counsel.
Then we file suit, but you have to draft petitions, you’ve got to have motions, you have discovery, depositions happen. My day is filled with setting up, preparing for depositions, preparing for hearings, and reviewing and revising motions. People are in and out of my office all day — associates, paralegals — because we have teams that do it all.

You have mediation that happens with every case. We prepare for mediation, where we go try to solve the problem with a mediator without having the court’s involvement. That usually fails. Sometimes it settles, but it usually fails. Then you have your motion practice and eventually you have a trial. Our trials are usually three days to three weeks, sometimes they’re longer. I’ve been in five-week trials — that’s my longest one.

Then you’re in trial and trying to juggle all the other cases and survive while you’re in trial. Because obviously you’re paying attention to one case during that time. A lot of time in the evenings, I’ll spend an hour or two while I’m in trial on my other matters, call back clients, email them back. I always let them know we’re in trial so they know.

Every day is different and I love that because I’m driven to distraction anyway. I’m an ADHD child and I love having all those balls in the air all at once. For somebody like me, that’s awesome. It keeps my brain occupied and I have systems to not get lost. Since I’m 55, I know how to stay on task even though my brain likes to bounce around to a lot of different things.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Discovery is insane. It’s gotten so voluminous because of the way every single communication is saved by companies, by individuals. The exciting part of that is there’s artificial intelligence involved with reviewing documents now, and we’re starting to see that. That helps, and I hope AI eventually saves clients money. A huge amount of money and litigation is being spent on discovery needlessly.

The one exciting thing is over the years, the federal rules — and now we’ve seen the Texas rules — start to adapt where there’s more transparency in the process, and you just have to give the other side everything that’s relevant.
However, there are big battles over that: what’s relevant, what’s related to the case, what’s not. There’s millions of dollars spent on these large cases that, I think, for nothing because the reality is we know the key docs at the beginning or the bad guys have the key docs within a few weeks or months. Everybody knows there are a few documents that are really, really important to the case. Everything else is just kind of noise.

Then we spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, on cases fighting over all the noise, all the other stuff that might be there. Maybe there’s a smoking gun.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I am an incredibly disciplined person. In law school, I left my house early every day and ended late. I’d come home and eat with the kids, go for a walk with the kids, put the kids — they were babies — put them down and then work.

I did that basically until I became a partner at the law firm. I use a lot of spreadsheets. I have a spreadsheet for every case that has the full life of the case. It has all the rules and it has everything that has to be done. It’s got boxes to check and assign who it needs to be assigned to.

I think organization’s a big key because nothing in a case ever goes as you think it’s going to go. You have to have the road map of where you think it’s going so that you can adjust.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Just relax. Just relax and take it as it comes rather than always being so worried about everything. It’s hard, because part of the worrying is what makes me good at what I do, but it doesn’t make me a good human and it doesn’t make me healthy. I’ve had to balance that and I’m not the best at that. But COVID has been really helpful to me, because it forced me to break my routine and stay at home. And I’m an office person; I never liked working from home, ever.

Maybe the advice is, “Kent, if you’re going to get into this career that’s in constant conflict, go do yoga first. Go learn yoga, learn mindfulness first.” Maybe that’s my advice. I wish I would’ve been like my son. I wish there would’ve been COVID when I was in college and I could have figured this out before I jumped in.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I don’t believe humans have free will. Most people do [believe it]; I don’t. I’m a scientist and I believe in determinism and I don’t believe we have free will at all. That’d probably be one. Well, I wouldn’t say most, but I would say a lot of people don’t agree with me.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

A long time ago I read in Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which I’m not recommending, but he did say in there that there’s the gift that’s space between the stimulus and the response.
At the time I thought it was profound. The good part about meditation or yoga is, when you practice it, you actually see that. You actually have the tools with the breath and mindfulness to allow that space between the stimulus and response to be productive. Whereas I spent my entire life training my mind where my reactive mind just reacted, react, react, react. And that’s just a really bad place to live.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Our firm has tried to recruit out of the big firms after someone’s had a year or two experience because they’re really good at identifying talented people and paying them a lot of money out of law school. Those people, if they’re our type of lawyers, won’t last at the big firm. They’re just too hungry. They’re first chair. They’re the ones who are going to fly the plane. They’re going to drive the bus.

People like us don’t take orders from other people very well. We’re the hired gun, we’re the horse in the gate ready to be let go, but we need somebody to flick it, let us go, and then we’re going to run. But if you want to be a part of a huge meandering inefficient team, big firms are great at that. If you want to be strategic, like special forces, and go in and win the case and lean with a lean team, that’s us.

That resonated with me. I’m a first-chair trial lawyer. I’m a type A personality. I’m never going to be a good follower. I’m a leader and I will solve other people’s problems. That was my mentality and it was a perfect fit for me.
It’s not a fit for a lot of people at our firm. We don’t have all the safety rails and wires to keep you safe. We fly without wires. We’re flying without the net. It’s lean, it’s efficient, and it’s fun. So negative recruiting really works well.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

It’s hard because I don’t have a lot of failures. I may have losses, but I’m thinking of a big failure to overcome. I would just say the biggest failure in my life was quitting college my freshman year. That delay of eight years of returning to college, it always puts you on another track. You’re always the old guy in college. We waited to have kids, [then] you’re the older person with kids. You’re the older person in your law school. You’re the older person starting at your law firm and your group.

I think I turned all that into advantages because I used those years to work hard and learn and then realize when I was sitting in class like this is actually beneficial and it’s for me. But when I was 18, I didn’t know that. So I think that’s the biggest failure, not being able to take a breath and refocus and figure out how I can do it.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

It’s called The Grand Biocentric Design: How Life Creates Reality, by Robert Lanza, Matej Pavsic, and Bob Berman.

What is your favorite quote?

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” It’s been attributed to writer George Eliot.

Originally published on IdeaMensch.
Continue Reading

Interviews

Interview with Miroslaw Mioduszewski, Digital Marketer

Published

on

Interview with Miroslaw Mioduszewski, Digital Marketer

Miroslaw Mioduszewski is an entrepreneur based out of Passaic, New Jersey. After graduating high school at sixteen, he attended the University of Buffalo, where he studied Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and Management Information Systems. Following graduation he accepted a position at a local marketing firm where he further enhanced his professional skill set.

Wanting to gain some independence, Miroslaw decided to invest in his own business venture. As the founder of an online marketing agency, he is committed to helping his clients grow through digital marketing techniques including; SEO, PPC, social media advertising, and website design and development. As an industry leader, Miroslaw and his team of professionals are primarily focused on start-up tech companies and are helping businesses thrive by creating meaningful online content.

Where did the idea for your career come from?

I’ve always had a passion for the technology space, so I knew I wanted to enter the landscape somehow. However, at the same time, I enjoy the creative side of business. I attended the University of Buffalo unsure of my career path until I ended up taking a marketing course that ultimately shifted my perspective. I know then that I would be able to combine my interest in technology and business by helping companies promote their products and services.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

As the CEO of a digital marketing firm my role is very collaborative and client-facing. I spend the majority of my day interacting with clients while trying to understand their vision and goals. From there, I form a team that I believe would be best suited to bringing their ideas to life. Our job is to create comprehensive strategies that will garner loyal customers. We help our clients develop effective campaigns that are reflective of their branding and company image.

How do you bring ideas to life?

As I stated previously my role is very collaborative and I heavily rely on my colleagues on a daily basis. We work together to ensure the client is happy and the campaign produces positive results. Typically if I have a new idea for a project or strategy I will run it by the team before pitching it to the client. It’s important to confirm that we have the tools and resources needed to properly execute the idea before presenting it to the client. When it comes to marketing, there are a lot of moving pieces so I need to make sure that everyone is 100 percent on board.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I think that one of the most effective marketing trends is live streaming. I think that is a way to really connect with an online audience in a way we haven’t seen before. Individuals can sign on to the platform and ask questions directly. To me, it helps legitimize your business and creates a sense of community but also transparency.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I firmly believe that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind. I am a very active person and I think that regular physical activity is an important part of looking after oneself. I also think that taking the time to go to the gym or walk outside is essential to improving your productivity.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell my younger self to not spend so much time worrying about the future. The truth is, there will always be roadblocks. All you can do is learn how to navigate them and try to learn something from negative experiences.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

That it is okay to change your career at any age. So many of the companies that we serve have been founded by individuals who have made a major career shift. They decided to go with their idea and take the ultimate risk. It’s never too late to pursue your dreams.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Make self reflection a daily habit. It’s important to recognize your weaknesses and do your best to overcome challenges.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

I’d have to say that our most effective strategy has been through Instagram. We often do Instagram lives and do our best to connect with potential customers on a daily basis.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Early on in my career I learnt the importance of working with the right people. It’s essential to have a comprehensive onboarding process to make sure that they will work well as a team. Education is important but attitude for me is the number one determining factor.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

This isn’t so much an idea but working in the technology space, I see a lot of companies struggling with consumer questions. I think that producing video product tutorials would be a great way to interact with consumers while also demonstrating how the product works.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I recently subscribed to a tech magazine. I think reading is essential to understand the latest industry trends.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

We just recently started using Monday to organize our daily tasks.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Billion Dollar Lessons: What You Can Learn from the Most Inexcusable Business Failures of the Last 25 Years by Paul B. Caroll, it provides a really interesting take on what exactly is required to run a successful company.

What is your favorite quote?

“Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that.” — Anthony Volodkin

Key Learnings:

  • Make self reflection a daily habit
  • It’s okay to change your career direction
  • Don’t spend too much time worrying about the future
Originally published on IdeaMensch.
Continue Reading

Trending