“The watchword for the last couple of years has been big data,” says John Slitz, CEO of SpaceCurve. And the problem with big data, he adds, “is it’s big.” That’s why Slitz and his team are working on technology that makes understanding and applying that data possible. After a long career working with marketing, data, and understanding user behavior, Slitz is hoping his team at SpaceCurve can make the most of the new technology available today to make life better for individuals, companies, and even the government.
John Slitz thinks that his team is onto a big idea that will transform our ability to process the huge amounts of data created today. And not only will the technology work, but he thinks they can turn a profit doing it too. “That’s the key to things; if you can make things easier, faster, and cheaper, you get something that really takes off in the economy.” (8:00)
What excites Slitz most about SpaceCurve’s work is not their current projects, but the possibility of projects he cannot even imagine yet. He is waiting for the day that someone walks through their office door and wows him with ingenuity. He explains, “The thing that excites me the most is the ability to take this fast flow of social data and look at that in terms of other types of data.” (9:00)
“I always thought that people who have a clear goal of what they want to be are really blessed,” says Slitz. His path wasn’t always so sure. He graduated college in a recession and took 70 job interviews before getting a job selling typewriters at IBM. “It was the only job I could get,” Slitz says, though he adds: “It was probably the luckiest thing that ever happened to me” since it led him down the path that brought him where he is today. (10:20)
“The hardest thing about being a manager...is once you’ve hired [the best people] to let them be the best,” Slitz says. He adds that he is working with some of the smartest people he’s met in his career, and he has had to learn to trust them when they make decisions he doesn’t have expertise in. “You have to trust the people that you have to do the right thing.” (14:00)
Slitz wants to remind leaders: “movement is better than stagnation.” Making a decision is always better than pushing something off for later. “Think about things in the terms of momentum,” he advises. And that’s exactly what he and the team at SpaceCurve are doing: moving into the future of technology. He explains: “Everybody’s got a cell phone, and everybody’s taking pictures. And when you can look at all of that, immediately coordinate it, and derive...actionable intelligence from that, whether it’s a marketing campaign, a promotion, or an intelligence or military or police operation, the world is a completely changed place.” (24:45)