giri devanur columbia

How to Who: The Secret of Success EPISODE 3 – Giri Devanur

 Holland Walker (0:00 to 0:28)

Hello everyone. Welcome to episode 3 of How to Who, the secret of success. Today, Giri and I are joined by Dr. Art Langer, who is currently the director for the Center of Technology Management at Columbia University And we are so grateful to be here today to speak with him. So, tell us a little bit about your background, Dr. Langer. 

Dr. Art Langer (0:29 to 1:18)

Well, I am a professor of practice at Columbia University, and a founder of the Center for Technology Management and run a series of programs that really focus on developing the future leadership in the technology world, including digital technology, digital transformation.

And I’m also it very involved in the whole issue of workforce development for diversity, equity and inclusion. And this whole movement in the area of ESG, which of course stands for the environment, society and governance. All these things in my mind are surrounded by movements in technology.

Giri Devanur (1:19 to 1:49)

That’s great. Dr Langer welcome. It’s an honor to interview you. Having been your student, I’ve learnt a million things in the last 10+ and you have been a great mentor. It’s an honor for me to interview you for our podcast. 

You have been a successful entrepreneur and a great teacher, having taught thousands of students in your career. What are some of the challenges that you have seen in the technology leaders as they evolve?

Dr. Art Langer (0:29 to 1:18)

I think Giri what you really hitting on, is that last word: Will they evolve? One of the things that is always a challenge for students is they come in with a to get a bias of where they stand, what they are experiencing, so many of technology CIOs and others are really in that support function. 

And we are now in a cusp of really needing technology strategists. And in many ways, that this believer is data, they don’t necessarily always feel that they’re going to get that opportunity. And, and probably more important, they have been sort of raised to step into that role. That haven’t really gotten an education and they need, they need help to do that.

So, this is a transformation that’s going on and transformations are always difficult when you’re at a point where you really have to re-establish who and what you are in an evolutionary way.

 Holland Walker (3:00 to 3:14)

Yeah. So this is definitely hitting on things that how to who wants to address. So how do you see technology changing the recruiting process and the recruiting industry?

Dr. Art Langer (3:14 to 5:09)

Well, I  think that, one of the reasons why I think everyone would agree that when we’re all gone from this earth, this will be known as a revolution, with the last one really being in the industrial revolution. This will be a bigger one, and whether or not they call it the internet revolution, or the technology revolution or the digital revolution, simply put, the word revolution means that it affects everyone.

So, all roads don’t lead to Rome anymore, is they say, they now lead to technology. As you can just see as the industrial revolution affected everything, so too digital technologies and we’re really seeing here, the results of non-evolutionary development in other fields, particularly that of employment and talent development from universities and other sources. They have not evolved their model. And as a result, we’re sitting here today with an incredible shortfall of available talent to step into the requirements that organizations have for digital leaders in other areas, simply because we’ve educated people that are not prepared to move into those positions.

So, technology is the ruler now of all of this, right? It’s the dominant force on how we recruit, how we find, how we educate and retain these talent areas. And as we see before us, the whole definition of employment is dramatically changing where we’re looking at issues of gig economy and co-employment, temporary workers working from home, all of those things underneath it could never be possible without technology. 

Giri Devanur (5:09 to 5:37)

All right, that’s a great answer. That actually leads to a similar kind of question. In companies, you and I have seen enough companies wherein leaders don’t have the technical background or the technical skills with everything. Like as Mark Andressen, software will eat everything; that processes on. What is your take on people don’t have the technical background when they are emerging as leaders?

Dr. Art Langer (5:37 to 7:59)

Well, I mean, I think well, as, as you did Giri, there’s a number of people that are smart enough, aggressive enough to come back and 30% of our students in the tech management program, already have an MBA, what does that tell you? 

And that’s not a criticism of the MBA but there needs to be curricular overhaul starting K through 12 it really does. How do we produce digital ready professionals?  It’s sort of an analogy that you could give. I started in the accounting profession and the only people that did accounting were the accounting department. Well, now everybody does accounting, everybody has those skills. And remember what Goldman Sachs stated a number of years ago? We’re no longer a financial institution, we are a technology company. So the question becomes, IT is only one form of that technology.

So, now there’s a broadening of that throughout organizations where people have to have, for a lack of of a better word, a technology literacies whether that’s data analytics, whether that’s the way we perform our work. And one of the things that I’m working on right now with a number of colleagues is and I’m sort of leading the charge on this everybody thinks that the way to evolve is through structure.

 I reorganize. Well, what we’re really finding now that the digital company, it doesn’t really have that much to do with the organization, it has to do with people who have data and digital centric mindsets. It’s the way they work. It’s what they use to make decisions and it’s not necessarily how you formulate who reports to who and that’s been an obsolete concept right now, that many organizations think that if they just create a separate organization or a separate department, where they come up with some kind of think tank but that isn’t really answer. It’s what’s here that matters.

Giri Devanur (7:59 to 8:17)

 So are you seeing that it doesn’t matter whether you’re technology (IT) person or you’re a CFO or CMO or whatever you better be at the forefront of technology otherwise some technology guy will take over.

Dr. Art Langer (8:17 to 9:29)

Yes and this is kind of the interesting thing. As you know what I’m advocating is that the technology people become better business people because what we what a lot of people don’t realize is that the end user interface seems to be so friendly, so powerful, so user, but anybody in the technology world that has any kind of technical background understands how complicated this is. So, when these things are actually implemented, they’re quite complicated. And we see the evidence of this with a lack of technical understanding of what  I’m calling almost the Frankenstein effect of the internet, right?

I mean, what it create here and all of a sudden we’ve realized that there’s a thing called cyber-attacks and a new warfare that nobody, I’m not gonna say nobody, but many of us did, but the reality it we sort of haphazardly built something that we really didn’t think about it because the people who were making those decisions were not necessarily technology capable in understanding what this really meant. 

 Holland Walker (9:33 to 9:49)

 Okay. So we’re talking about needing people that are technologically literate. So, when you guys are hiring people, what is the standout quality? What is, what has been the greatest recruit that you guys have found and what qualities did they possess?

Dr. Art Langer (9:50 to 13:10)

Well, I think what we’re finding is we have this thing going on right now right? So people most people that run companies today are probably somewhere in the baby boomer kind of concept of what their career was like how you got promoted, how you did things. And most people in very senior management positions are Gen X.

But Gen Y’s or the millennials or the, the digital born people, they’re approaching 40 and they are going to be moving into these roles much faster. Now, if you put those three together, you don’t have soup, you have mud because you have three different kind of epistemology’s not to use a big word on how you see the world.

Now, for example, in three years from now, less than three years two and a half years, the Gen Z will graduate from college. Those two generations are more computer literate than by far, the ones that are making significant decisions right now. So this becomes a game of how do you assimilate that talent?

Which is really emphasizing this whole great resignation, because people are very frustrated and how do we give these individuals? Because there is a natural evolution that’s gonna come of people who are going to be senior, who understand that this is the way you need to do things. But there is somewhat of a crisis going on right now. Because honestly, I don’t think human resources is the solution. They’re really a regulatory body which is fine. And now we see organizations that are really struggling to try to understand how to do this. And of course, the first thing they do is they come up with a new structure, which is not the answer.

So we’ll call it talent acquisition. This has to do with going back to the basics of how do you educate and retain this talent, do people need time off? What is the growth and return on investments of companies? When you look at the digital companies, the Amazon and others famously what we see is what we call the hockey stick growth.

We invest for a lot longer for a much larger return on market share at the end. So I think what you are going to see is unfortunately things I believe, for many companies are going to get worse before they get better. I think you’re going to see more organizations fail.

I believe, for example, in higher education, we have almost five thousand institutions of higher education in the United States. And between friends, do we really need 5,000 institutions of higher education in the United States and a digital era? So mergers and acquisitions, reformatting of things. This is going to be a volatile era of winners in losers before this thing shakes out in some semblance of understanding how this stuff is going to work.

Giri Devanur  (3:10 to 13:31)

All right. Changing gears a little bit and I’ll come back to the human resources and tech in that part of the stuff. But let’s talk about some fun stuff. I have known for a long time, being a student, that  like one of your favourite movies is Godfather, what do you like about that movie?

Dr. Art Langer (13:31 to 15:45)

Well, there are certain analogies in the movie and coming from an Italian section of the Bronx and growing up in that era, some of the analogies and metaphors that were used in that movie not withstanding that it’s a, it’s about a terrible thing of killing people in other things,

it has some interesting remarks that you’ve heard me talk about like, when Michael Corleone is talking to his father and he remembers in his mind and he makes the statement that always taught me that think like people around me think, I mean, think about that, all right how many people are reflective?

 if we want to talk you know educated people we wouldn’t say it that way. But basically do you think like people around you think and if you do that you’re going to be much more reflective to the realities of,  is what is going on?

And there’s a whole aspect of if you can understand how people around you think, then that is a great way of leading people because and Michael Corleone also, says, by father, is kind of no different than any other business leader in trying to understand how he keeps people aligned.

And then, of course, his girlfriend says to him, oh, Michael people in corporations, don’t have people killed. And who was he looks at her and says, who’s being naive now? We see that our business leaders can be as every bit corrupt as anybody else.

And,  just some of those sort of a statements of honor and class in some ways are important analogies that I think we get from a movie like the Godfather because they’re very real in the way people do things. Now, of course, there’s the terrible end of that but  when people do things that are not right, they should be called out for it, let’s put it that way. 

 Holland Walker (15:45 to 15:55)

Yeah, it’s really interesting to hear this perspective. I think I’ll have to go back and watch again, and look for these little analogies because it’s hard to not focus.

Dr. Art Langer (15:56 to 17:24)

I mean, yeah, I mean, one of my, one of my famous ones and you should watch it multiple times is when the Godfather, his son has been killed, and there’s been this war that’s going on. He goes to this meeting of the five families and they come up with a deal and they’re in the car leaving and his concierge, which is his adopted son, Tom says to them ”Hey, when I go to the Tatalia family, do I force these issues and the godfather gives him strange answer. 

He says, no when you go to the Barzini family, don’t make any waves and Tom is scratching his head. He says “Barzani, you mean Tatalia” and in the Godfather makes one of these things that’s an incredibly important statement about business and he says he says, Tatalia is nothing but a two bit pimp, he could have never outsmarted and even though I didn’t know it till today but it was Barzini all along, and he’s angry at himself. So I always say to my students, who’s the Barzini in your organization?

Watch out for the people who you don’t think are wielding authority and power. Be careful and focus more on what you don’t know versus what you think, you know. So these analogies help people understand it. Unfortunately, we have to use these metaphors and other things with something like gangsters. 

Giri Devanur (17:24 to 17:56)

On that aspect, I remember  in one of the classes that you taught you talked about the word negotiation and you had taken the context from the movie. And, the statement I remember is “I’m going to make an offer that he can’t refuse.” For tech leaders, negotiation is not the smartest thing that they are good at, right. They are like very binary, zero one kind of, what’s your advice to them? 

Dr. Art Langer (17:57 to 19:48)

Well, I think that you need to get the experience of it and the mentoring of it. I also think one of the mistakes that so many people make is they allow their attorneys to make these decisions and they misunderstand what attorneys are there for.

They’re there to protect you and to give you the details of the best case scenario, you have to measure the risks that you want to take. And what I find often is that technology people tend to leave that decision to the attorneys and when you leave that to them, they’re going to make the most conservative decisions for you because that’s what their job is to some extent.

They’re not deal makers necessarily. Now, this is not all attorneys but you have to go and be creative with them. All right? So you’re telling me that if I take this risk and I’m okay with that we can make this work and I think a lot of it has to do with the incredible success that the Godfather had is a movie, is that he listened a lot and he got angry when he didn’t and you got to listen to what people are saying. And you have to dig to a point on whether or not you’re touching upon really what the answer is, as opposed to what you think, the answer should be and also establishing whether or not a person is being honest and, honourable, with you and this is the thing, the whole code of things like that. And even where I was brought up in is that you don’t break the code of being honourable and, and doing those things. And when you do, then those are the people that you have to be careful of because these are dangerous those are what we call bad politics, right? Destructive politics.

Giri Devanur (19:48 to 20:20)

I mean like the modern day technology companies are probably becoming like the families in the Godfather. The dominance of some of these really big tech is just frightening, right?

 Like with the evolution of AI and,  being able to know like all these big companies listening to you pretty much all the time and you know it’s got sometimes scary, right? How should individuals and tech companies behave when these really big tech is just controlling everything?

Dr. Art Langer (20:20 to 24:08)

I guess the word is is it controlling or are they just jealous and bitter. All right. Because they’re being being outperformed and I got to tell you something else which is a very interesting thing, it is a book, I’m trying to remember the name, the Jeff Bezos book that he wrote there is a thing in that book called the Bezos rant.

And what happened was they had reached the point in the company in Amazon where people were doing their own thing and they were all free and at some point, he came out with this very dictatorial kind of email and saying if you don’t use these systems, the way we’ve pointed out, then get out of here, I’m going to get rid of you because we cannot survive with everybody having too much freedom.

The point I’m trying to make is being digital doesn’t mean that you don’t have rules and a culture that you abide by. And I think what’s happening in many of these other companies is they don’t even know what their culture is anymore. And I think what the digital companies have really done better, is they understand the consumer better, all right?

And they’re using AI to understand what consumers want and they’re making them happy. Now are they abusing it in some cases? Absolutely. And that’s what GDPR is about, right? And other things. So, there’s always bad boys and girls. As I said, no matter where you go, they’re gonna do that.

But when you look at what Amazon has accomplished and the role that they have played in covid, when I want something delivered to me, the one company that I have the most confidence in in, delivering a package to me is Amazon. So, look at it from that perspective, I think you get a different perspective, there’s always bad boys and girls.

And then again, if you, if you go back to the Godfather thing to some extent, there were certain codes. That today we see broke. I mean, in my childhood, if you touch the priest, if you, if you hit a religious, I mean, you were in trouble in the neighbourhood. You were in trouble. You can’t break that code. There was certain things you can’t do, you don’t shoot a police officer, you don’t. I mean, they were just, they were just certain things that everybody understood. And if somebody did boy, they were in trouble. Today, it just seems that anything goes, I’m not saying priests are perfect people, but the point is, it was certain things that created a sense of community in which there were things that were boundaries in terms of what you can do and those same boundaries have to exist in an organization.

So, you know I run Workforce Opportunity Services which is a non-profit, and I say to people will working with underserved populations and I say to them, there’s only two things that you can do that are totally unacceptable. All right? If you make a mistake, that’s okay. But there’s two things you cannot do because we will get rid of you.

You cannot lie to me and you cannot steal. Do, you understand? Is long as you don’t do those two things and you’ve made a mistake or you’ve got something in your past or you’ve did a boo-boo, that’s okay. But if you lie to me or you steal, it’s over.

And I think you have to have those rules. And today, it’s affecting everything. I mean we don’t know any more with those rules are and I think that that’s a real problem. 

 Holland Walker (24:09 to 24:29)

So I’m not sure exactly what your position looks like when it comes to bringing in new people to Columbia University specifically but is there anything that they look for in a person, through that onboarding process or recruiting process that kind of makes them feel like they’ll be a good fit for Columbia. 

Dr. Art Langer (24:30 to 27:02)

Yeah, I think the personal statement is always a very important thing that I look at.

Look, there is some criteria from an analytic perspective called great point average and past performance and make no mistake about it. It is a very good indicator on being able to just handle the work. And today there’s no shortages of that and concerning things about how we evaluate that which will go on to be argued forever, because what we’re seeing is so many students are getting much better scores using other means of how they figure out what the answer is to the questions are and I’m not talking about cheating although that’s plenty up in the world. Plagiarism and all these other things that we see happening.

So one of them is certainly where they going to school. What is their job? If you require that, but what I really want to see in that personal statement is the following, why does Columbia need you? And why do you need Columbia? Think about that, right? Because at Columbia University, unlike other universities, we’ve got more applications than what we know what to do within some areas, right?

So how do we take the person and I want to know why you want to come to Columbia and I want to know why you feel Colombia is going to do something to you, and that’s going to require the perfect personal letter for that person to have done some work to understand what Columbia is about the fact that we’re a great books university that that we believe in liberal education that there are certain things that we specialize on more than others. And then the other part is what is it about you that fits that? What is it that you? That that says you’re going to be happy at Colombia, you’re going to be consistent with our values to do that, as opposed to saying well I think Columbia is a great school and I’d love to be there and they want to come there because it’s an Ivy League, I’m not interested in that student. I’m interested in that student that says, I’ve researched your curriculum, I know about these professors, I understand what you’ve done in the past, here’s where I’m going, we need each other, we need each other. 

Giri Devanur (27:03 to 27:46)

So another question, you talked about Gen Z coming in into the workforce, what are the new big challenges in teams and leaders as they start hiring this gen zs and stuff like that.

Obviously these are digital natives and, they’re well versed with tech but you know like it has also made them somewhat socially awkward, and last 20 months there’s Covid and all that stuff, people are more and more doing interviews on video. I mean, that is a challenging at least for me, it’s very hard to access a person on the screen versus in person, right? How do we tackle those kind of hiring challenges?

Dr. Art Langer (27:46 to 30:34)

Well, I mean everything is about scaling and when you have a company that has to hire a thousand people that’s one set of problems. The question that I would have is well why? Now, one of them could be opportunities, which we understand. But here’s what I’ve been doing lately and I have found it to be extremely effective. Maybe it takes a little bit longer but we give the people that we hire these days. We give them a problem to solve. We say to them here’s a set of circumstances take a day, we’ll even pay you for it.  

We’ll pay you a couple of bucks. If you want a couple hundred dollars. We’ll pay a couple hundred. Take two days and come back with a solution. When I hire somebody in marketing, I asked them to do a marketing piece for us. In other words, I’ll give, I mean something small and it’s amazing.

I’ve even had some people that said, I can’t do this. Thank God we didn’t hire them. I mean, so, get a sense of what they’re about the other thing, and I’ve learned this from my son who’s in private equity and he’s a Wharton graduate. So, he went through the whole thing and he’s very successful today.

But I remember before he would go on an interview, he would spend an enormous amount of time on the company’s website. This is not like years ago, and I have an expectation that if you’re interviewing with me and you’re interested in joining my organization there is no excuse for you to have not spend an enormous amount of time on my website, you should know everything about us. 

People should have intelligent questions about what the company stands for. And you can tell very quickly, whether someone is really prepared for an interview or not. And so, those are the two things that I have found, is give them an assignment, give them a dilemma. How would you handle this? Write me a one page response. Take two days to do that, and let’s see where we are. And then you say to people, you have any questions for me and you can tell in minutes whether they have spent any real time focusing on your website. I mean, there’s no excuse today, you should be spending a fair amount of time in that, and what I’m finding is everybody’s trying to mechanize and scale the hiring process.

Some magical AI tool. There is some evidence in that. It’s useful, but it’s not the only thing that we can use. Because it’s not necessarily where you are today, it’s  to really understand somebody’s desire to succeed and believe that, I believe that self-esteem and, and all of those things play out to being breakers in where you are now to becoming extremely successful. Yeah.

 Holland Walker (30:34 to 31:02)

So, we’re hearing a lot about kind of what the interviewee can do on their side to really be the standout person. What they can ask or do to show that they’ve done the research show that they want it. Looking at the other side, the interviewer, what kind of mistakes or like issues, do you think that these leaders may have when it comes to hiring someone new?

Dr. Art Langer (31:03 to 33:54

Well here’s something that’s very interesting. Very, very good friend of mine was Albert. Einstein and we used to talk all the time now you believe that, right? That I used to walk around with Albert Einstein because one day, I said to him,  Albert everything is relative and look what he did with that and I didn’t even get a reference on it right. Now I’m kidding you but think about this. What was Albert Einstein he gets out of college, right? And he can’t get a job. He’s a different guy, right? I mean, he’s, I’m gonna use a word and you tell me how you react to it. He was a deviant. Now, when I say to you, I’m a deviant man.

What do you, what do you think about you? Oh man, I want to stay away from, but he was a deviant, wasn’t it? He deviated from the analytics, right. There’s no way that Albert Einstein likely would have been picked by anybody if they did an AI because he, he was awkward, he did things differently, wasn’t a good didn’t but he’s sitting there in a different environment and a patent office and he sees this clock and man Oh man, he changed the world. Look at all of the people who’ve changed the world and the role deviants where anyone want to start Bezos, you want to go for.

You want to go to what’s his name over with the car company? right, I mean guys,  they’re all kind of out there. The problem is and I’ve seen this in call centers, right? Call centers, is the is probably one of the lowest level white collar jobs that anybody can hold, right?

It’s not a great job and you don’t do they don’t interview you. They tell you to they give you a link and you answer 25 questions and they run it through. And if you’re a deviant, what happens to you, you don’t get hired and therefore, what they keep doing is bringing in the same.

And when you bring in the same, you don’t evolve. So what I would suggest to people is take some of these deviance. Take some people I’ll give an example. I hired this guy up in Vermont because we had a company, we had a client up in Vermont and this guy we’re looking for a client service manager, right?

So what would you want man? Anyway, you’d want all these experience in technology and project management. Well, this guy sends in a resume to me and he’s a musician. He plays in a band and I’ll give credit to my people, they just liked this guy, he was full of energy and they hired him and you know up there in Vermont they have trouble finding people, you know it’s doesn’t have a large population, right?

Well this guy is going into night clubs. He’s going into diners, he’s posting ads, the client loves them, but he’s a deviant. Not have old deviants, but you gotta have some!

Giri Devanur (33:54 to 34:00)

If we found the kind of title for this episode: hire a  deviant, that may be the title of this

Dr. Art Langer (34:00 to 35:28)

 There was a great scholar at Columbia, who study deviances as people who went to prison and any kind of found out that, they would deviant because they couldn’t make sense of the world around them right and there, but if I say to you, in the same way, if I say to you this politics in this company, everybody goes, ooo. Politics is like having, what’s that heart thing? 

That they measure all the time.  the cholesterol? Yeah, we know about cholesterol, you get two scores, there’s a good cholesterol, there’s a bad. There’s good politics and bad politics. Right? So I once had and you may remember this Giri we had the CEO of SAP that came in, you remember that?

And if you remember I had them up on the panel and I said to him Ay Bill, we got all of these millennials coming in. What are you doing? And he says you know what, I got seven of them in my office and they’re driving me crazy. But boy, sometimes they come up with great ideas.

So I think that what I’ve seen in the failures of HR is they’re trying to come up with the person that matches who they are, but if you do that, you’re not going to change. You’re not going to evolve in a way. So, hiring is, is a risk factor as well. It’s not all science. 

Giri Devanur (35:30 to 36:10)

As we discussed earlier, the title of this episode will be, how to who. As leaders. We all get into, especially,  like engineer background and etc, the leaders when they’re thrown a challenge or an opportunity, the first question that comes to us, is how do I handle it? The secret of success is when you transition from that, how to who. And what you just now told hire a deviant makes a lot of sense. So that we can do extraordinary things by just going out of the box in hiring process.

Dr. Art Langer (36:11 to 37:32)

Right. And I and I just think, these words that have been used, agility fail fast, all of those things, but I think that what Amazon has showed us in some of the others, whether they ultimately succeed or fail, is that there’s a longer way of capturing a market with a little bit more patience as opposed to the linear price of the stock at that moment in time, that that isn’t necessarily always a good measurement. And we see Tesla with, you know what, one third of the people of GM, and they have a higher market cap. So what does that tell you about the way we evaluate success? and it takes these deviants, now you want to call them entrepreneurs, okay.

You want to call them all these other things, but they are deviating from the norm, all right? And they see things in a in a different way, and what do we normally do to these people? We make them suffer. We give them a hard time, we don’t embrace it and as a result, these people end up persevering in a way. Albert. Einstein changed the world, right?

Giri Devanur (37:33 to 37:52)

To spot  those kind of deviants and hiring them, etc. You need to have it different kind of empathy to it, right. Otherwise, like if you apply this technology I mean you know the importance of empathy in technology. What’s your take on it? You know like with all these AI being thrown at everything. 

Dr. Art Langer (37:53 to 42:11)

Well I think that if you go back to a technical thing that you’re aware of, right? I grew up in the era of the relational database argument, right? So everybody said you have to have a relational data base and then object databases came and you had two splits in the camp and all they did was argue and at the end of the day, Oracle finally figured it out and they said I’m gonna have an object relational database. Things tend to settle in Mississippi. As I always tell Mississippi River,  Saint Louis where extremes tend to come together. 

I wrote that article in the Wall Street Journal many years ago, you’re familiar with the term kiss, keep it simple stupid. The article I wrote was, it’s not only about the data stupid. The data does lie, the data is useful, it’s necessary. It’s gonna become more and more reliable but I have no question that the human factors are still there of empathy. We see, you watch TV this weekend. There’s playoff games in the national football league and all they do is throw statistics out at you and I don’t know what they mean.

One week to another one team, had a 75% chance to make it to the playoffs and then something happens in all of a sudden they have a 20% chance and then they end up making it anyway. So sometimes statistics can be elusive and if we get too dependent on it we can get ourselves.

It’s sort of like driving a driverless car, right? And giving full control to the car. We see what happens. Sometimes there. So it’s a balance is what I’m telling you, and I think that we have to stop punishing people for coming up with new ideas. We have to stop building companies where we’re just squeezing every penny out of it.

My story of the day, for you Gari, you know I’ve been on this 5G bandwagon. I wrote a book about this 5G. So if you watch TV yesterday, right? You have the CEO from Verizon on and they are having this big argument that the FCC is blaming Verizon that the 5G doesn’t work with the planes and he’s sitting there laughing saying there were 40 other airports in Europe that are using 5G.The reason it’s not working, is because you didn’t do your homework and you didn’t build the infrastructure. All right? So here’s a perfect example of what happens when all your focused on is making money. And you don’t create great companies like that. Carnegie was one of the wealthiest people in the world and he created the New York public library and he created even the Rockefellers.

That’s not the same. They weren’t greedy people and didn’t like to make a lot of money, but there was another Maslowian aspect to what these people were supposed to do for society beyond just making a lot of money and I think when you run companies like that, and you have all the students that I have had over the years and you listen to them what it does to them in their belief of things, it’s not a good thing. I think we’ve got to get back to that factor. That you take risks, you have failures, you need to spend more money on R&D, which is what made this company, those deviants, whether it’s Ford, all those people were deviants.

 All right? You might not want to date them, all right? but if you give them a chance as opposed,  Even at Columbia, I get this right. I came up with the idea of a Centre for technology management in 2010. I didn’t get it until 2016.

What was that about until someone said Wow, I see it. I get it. Everybody else is saying no, no, you can’t do that. Yeah. And that’s not even what a university should be about, right? But yet they are so and then the human factor is there. They’re all the human things that exist in the world that you have to take into consideration. Whether it’s hatred, jealousy, negative politics, whatever these things are they exist.

Giri Devanur (42:11 to 42:21)

That leads to another question. Do you think robots will start controlling everything that we do and take over the world? 

Dr. Art Langer (42:21 to 44:14)

No, I don’t I think what we’re clearly seeing here and this is a great oxymoron going on, everybody’s saying that computers are going to take over and yet we can’t find enough people to hire.

Let’s have a shift. All right, of the, like the universe, the world of business is expanding, all right. And there was so much more to do. It’s not about whether I can find a job. It’s how my job requirements are changing how my business is changing.

And I’m going through that right now with my business and doing it in a way that we can evolve with,  that we live in a Darwinian  world right now, right? Darwin was right. If you don’t change, you, you go away, and that’s all it is. It’s all about an S curve. There are all bad, boys and girls. So another godfather thing, what he say, he said, keep your friends close and keep your enemies closer.  And, you and I know that every organization, especially the big ones have bad boys and girls, they do things they shouldn’t do and they are destructive in nature. Well you better keep those people very close to you. 

They’re right I mean and it goes all the way back to Shakespeare, right? Where Caesar who was murdered is getting stabbed by everybody and the last person to stare them is his friend Brutus. And he says Et tu Brute? Even you Brutus? Well, he should have seen the Godfather. He would have known that even though Brutus was his friend, maybe he wasn’t. Keep everybody close to you.

Holland Walker (44:15 to 44:22)

Okay, so kind of a fun question here. If you had the chance to download all your memories to a neural link, would you do it and why?

Dr. Art Langer (44:22 to 46:01)

 I would. And I think that one of the things that we all do is we remember these great moments in our lives that have changed us, right? And those things live on today, maybe more in pictures, maybe not films. And here, I’ll do it again. I don’t know if you even remember this, but in the second Godfather movie, at the end of the movie, Michael has beaten everybody, right?

He’s won. And he sitting there in his chair at the end of the second movie. And he’s like, this and what is they show you? He remembers his brother, he remembers the dinners. He remembers all of these moments in his life because he has said to his mother, okay, does it possible for you to lose your family? And he realizes that this is the missing thing in his life. So has he really won? So we we reflect on who and what we are culturally, the things that our parents distilling us, the things we inherit from them. And I think if we can bring them back, it’s a very special thing that we go back to and our children remember that, do you not remember was moments a growing up that a special to you? Somehow they’re embedded in your memory if you could distill them, these moments and what they mean to us, it’s a great educational thing to pass on. 

Giri Devanur (46:02 to 46:31)

All right, so as we had approaching the schedule time, I have a last question for you.

You mentioned deviant, guys, who can change the course of nature and the course of the history itself. What are some advice that you could give to the next generation technology leaders, slash deviant leaders who can change the world when the next Elon Musk or the next Ford? 

Dr. Art Langer (46:31 to 48:13)

Well, I think the one thing is no, that’s my word, right? No only means no, now, no can become yes. And be persistent, you could joke and saying being a haemorrhoid, right? It just keep going with your passions. Believe in yourself and just and expect no, expect somebody to say, no, but if you keep coming back, no can become yes. So when we see people who succeed, they have an incredible amount of drive, they have an incredible amount of persistence and belief and confidence and another thing which we see in our underserved populations.

Why did this guy who had nothing succeed? It’s called self-esteem. You’ve got to have some degree of self-esteem in doing this. So that’s what I always say to people. You’ve got to love yourself, but be careful not to get so overconfident that you become arrogant.

And what did the Godfather say, when there’s a scene in the Godfather where he wants to go after Hyman Roth and Tom says to him, Michael, you’ve won. You beat everybody. He’s dying anyway, and he says he’s been dying of the same heart attack for 50 years. He says you have to get everybody. He says, no just my enemies.

Giri Devanur (48:14 to 48:23)

All right, what a wonderful way to wrap it up. Thank you very much, we really appreciate. I personally enjoyed it, I’m sure Holland did as well.

Dr. Art Langer (48:24 to 48:42)

 I’m not a criminal. Believe me, I’m not a criminal. But, if there’s anything we’ve learned in life, you can kill anybody right now. I don’t want to kill anybody, but if there’s anything we’ve learned in life, no matter how successful you are, if you become too arrogant, you fall. Okay.

Giri Devanur (48:42 to 48:52)

 Thank you so much, we appreciate your time and all the invaluable advice and snippets from the Godfather. I really enjoyed. 

Dr. Art Langer ( 48:52 to 49:20)

Yes, and please, I hope I don’t get arrested when once this goes live as being a mafioso gun. But anyway, I’ll talk to you soon.

Thank you very much. Thank you so much Dr Langer for being here with us, all of your insight was super valuable. I’ve learned a lot of great things from you and a lot of great things I’m gonna take away from this.

Mr. Giri Devanur is a Serial Tech entrepreneur, from India, who is currently based in the US. Born in a small town called Chikmagalur, Karnataka, India Giri went later went on to ring the Nasdaq Stock Market Closing Bell in New York City. Giri holds a Master of Science (MS), in Technology Management • from Columbia University in the City of New York, and Executive Education from Harvard Law School, and an Executive Education in Innovation at MIT in Computer Science. He was a mentor of – the Executive Master Program-Columbia University. He is an E&Y Entrepreneur of the year award winner and has successfully completed the Nasdaq IPO of AMRH (Ameri100.com). He has helped raise multiple rounds of capital, executed M&A. Giri Devanur is currently the CEO & founder of ReAlpha Tech Corp.

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