Our interview with Jack Phan, VP of Strategy at Digital Trends on the Mobile First Podcast (Ep. 30)
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Data gathering tools is very important in our mobile society and we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of what that data can do for us (Ep. 30)
Jack is Vice President and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Digital Trends with focus on Brand & Social Media marketing strategies. A visionary entrepreneur and thought leader with a passion for startups, leadership & technology, Jack has had multiple exits as co-founder & CTO of several companies.
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Here are the highlights of our conversation with our guest:
Jack is passionate about tech, leadership and innovation. It lies in tech in general but he is very much into anything else new and innovative.
Jack’s adventures started when he is just months old when his family left Vietnam as refugees in a boat. En route, they were robbed by pirates and he got kidnapped. His story led him to Portland, Oregon where his father became an entrepreneur and allowed him to see how businesses are run even as a child. He interacted with customers at the early age of 6 and created opportunities for the business which led him to deviate from the path that his parents had set out for him. He founded a start-up company, grew a business and had the chance to invest in other companies.
He started his journey with Digital Trends when he met the founders of the company. With his passion for tech, he found his way in as a mentor and he soon became involved as in Brand & Social Media.
So many apps out there today, smart news is one of them. There are so many media companies covering the same thing. He discusses how do you find the right channel that helps you to receive your information. Jack’s focus includes having their writers’ amazing content get to the right eyes, and as many eyes as he can.
Jack shares that engaging with your audience is a big deal so they work on responding to them as much as they can and finding out what they are really interested in. They use social media, like Twitter polls, Instagram and Facebook, to create conversations and allow people to express themselves.
Facebook is the best platform for engagement as users can engage within comments, they can choose a range of reactions for posts, and it allows them to have the discussions that the company needs.
Jack would love to see the advancement of robotics and artificial intelligence but he also finds it scary what could happen. He thinks that we are not quite there yet but companies are learning from the different AI tools and assistants.
Data gathering tools, such as geolocation, is very important in our mobile society and we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of what that data can do for us.
Rapid Fire Questions
- What is your definition of innovation?
Innovation is being able to do something that is different from what everyone else is doing. It is the ability to look at what’s here right now with whatever tools are available and coming up with coming totally different. “When everyone thinks alike, then somebody is not thinking.” – George S. Patton
- Would you put more emphasis on the idea or the execution? How would you weigh each of them and why?
Ideas are a dime a dozen. As an investor, I look at companies who can execute – taking that idea and turning it into something. 80% execution and 20% idea.
- What is your biggest learning lesson on your journey so far?
Money isn’t everything. It can also be damaging as when you have it, you are forced to figure out how to spend it. It ruins some of the discipline that helped you create a good business in the first place.
- What is your favorite business book?
Scaling Up by Verne Harnish and the team at Gazelles
- What is your favorite digital resource?
- What is your favorite app and why?