David Kavanagh - the CTO of Chip Financial - is a technical leader, experienced in building and driving effective teams. We asked him to step into The Zone for our quick-fire questions on future tech and career advice. The floor is yours, David!
Q: What excites you most about the future of your industry?
A: Technology is core to humanity’s next stage of growth and even survival. Nothing the human race has seen to date has such potential to empower the individual to make as much of a difference, to make as much of a connection, to make as much of oneself as the technologies we have in front of us and the technologies yet to come. I think it’s imperative that we embrace technologies like IOT and AI for our future well-being, and perhaps even the very future of humanity itself.
Q: Which technological innovation will drastically change businesses in the next five-to-10 years?
A: We’re already cyborgs (part machine/part humans) as we keep our mobile phones (which are technically supercomputing devices) less than an arm’s length away at all times. They might as well be implanted.
Robotics development means we will integrate and embed them into our lives. We will use the Internet of Things to attach ourselves more and more to the digital devices in our lives, making our homes, cars, offices, cities and environment increasingly smarter. Breakthroughs in quantum computing and Graphene nanotechnology will accelerate this.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? And what’s the worst?
A: Best: ‘Remember you will die’. It’s existential advice that helps me feel grounded and puts micro and macro failures/setbacks into perspective and helps me work under pressure. Death is macro, all else is micro.
Worst: ‘Live each day like it's your last”. It would mean copious amounts of vintage whiskey, red meat, cheese and chocolate, with no exercise. It would be a short life, and the hoovering would never get done.
Q: If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would you say?
A: Can I have two?
First - fear nothing. If it doesn’t threaten your life, it shouldn’t be feared. Act outside of your comfort zone and scare yourself to death, it will enrich your life 25 times over.
Second - let other people in, because life is about making meaningful connections. Strangers can become your best friends, soulmates, business partners, mentors and more. Keep the door open; be humble and vulnerable.
Q: Name a life-changing book/podcast you’d recommend to others.
A: Bob Geldof’s ‘Is that It’. One sleepless night when I was 12, I came across this book on my aunt's bookcase. I still didn’t get any sleep that night because I was engrossed reading the story of one of the most genuine people I have ever come across.
He offers optimistic and self-deprecating observations about his struggles with poverty - and later success - that led to the development of a social conscience and a turning point in the Western world's social consciousness in the mid-1980s. Live-Aid was the best startup ever.
Q: What's the one thing you want to be remembered for?
A: At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did (who built Stonehenge!?), but they will remember how you made them feel (so said Maya Angelou). I hope people will know that I genuinely cared about them and made them feel happy, comfortable, safe, positive and unique, and that I brought a smile to their face.