Mar 22, 2023
Leveraging Data to Optimize the Business with Corsair CIO Tom Cullen
On the 19th episode of Enterprise Software Innovators, hosts Evan Reiser (Abnormal Security) and Saam Motamedi (Greylock Partners) talk with Tom Cullen, CIO of Corsair. Before Corsair, Tom has been CIO at several large and defining companies, including JUUL Labs, Peet's Coffee & Tea, and Driscoll's. Today, Tom shares fascinating ways Driscoll's has harnessed technology, including leveraging blockchain to trace berry provenance, Corsair's utilization of data to enhance custom configurations for customers' gaming setups, and best practices for partnering with startups.
*Quick hits from Tom:
*On keeping things simple as a CIO: "Technologists love to overcomplicate things, build a big Rube Goldberg design just because you can…I think your job as a technologist, as an architect, as a CIO in my case, is to bridge that gap between process standardization, business enablement for scale and leverage and growth in the future, while also keeping your technology stack as standard as you can."
On what Driscoll's real business is: "What's interesting about Driscoll's is that they develop proprietary berry genetics and patent them. That's why the berries are so good. It's not your university variety that's just replicated, they're special and they're actually patented…one of my favorite things to say while I was there, just for impact, which is mostly true, is Driscoll's is a multibillion-dollar berry company that doesn't grow any berries."
On blockchain helping with berry provenance: "[At Driscoll's], we partnered with other companies to do a blockchain experiment. We started looking at different traceability mechanisms around food and certification of food. Is it actually organic? Is it shade grown? How are the workers treated? Is their child labor deployed? There's a lot of factors that play into that in any type of global manufacturing. We started a blockchain pilot with IBM to look at food traceability. So you could trace your product all the way back to the farm harvest date and what are the certificates and certifications of that farm…it was super fun to be involved in a pilot like that because you're using what some would consider a cryptocurrency technology, to solve a food traceability product issue."
On Corsair harnessing data for better customer experiences: "We have software products, one in particular called iCue that sits on the computer and controls all of your devices. If you had iCue right now, it could control your microphone, your lighting, your computer; and if you're a gamer, everything interacts at once, which is super cool. iCue throws off a lot of important data about how you're using products and what you're actually doing. We're trying to ingest and correlate data that shows not only product usage, but consumer behavior online. We're hoping to get into the social aspect as well and ingest that data to better understand how customers use our products, what type of activities they do, and how they engage in the further community."
*Recent Book Recommendation: *Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
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Enterprise Software Innovators is a show where top tech executives share how they innovate at scale. Each episode covers unique insights and stories that will help you succeed as a technology leader. Find more great lessons from tech leaders and enterprise software experts at https://www.enterprisesoftware.blog/
Enterprise Software Innovators is produced by Luke Reiser and Josh Meer.