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Paul Golding: Technologist & Product Solver.

Based in the Bay Area,  I am an award-winning technologist and product designer.  I have an exemplary track record in solving complex problems via AI, machine learning, advanced systems design etc. 

Checkout some of my projects.

I am a rare IEE prize winner with >30 patents in AI, Blockchain, Computer Vision, Computational Aesthetics & more. I achieved various notable industry firsts and filed my first Neural Networks patent in 1994 , pioneering their use in digital cellular alongside inventions in co-processor design for mobile signal processing, winning Motorola’s prestigious Patent of The Year.

I have executed tech projects globally:  Sitecore, Microsoft, Google, Motorola, O2, McLaren Racing, Vodafone, 3 UK, Acision, Art.com, Navteq, B&Q, Credit Suisse, Naspers, IBM, Telefonica, Ericsson, Prosper  LLC.

WHY?

Even orgs that consider themselves “technical” struggle to place the right bets on rapidly emerging fields like AI, Data Fabric and Web3. I can formulate, guide and even build those bets.

I can work from a blank sheet of paper with messy parameters, making solid proposals and/or building PoCs, independently or via a “labs”.

HOW?

I am not a “professional slide-maker” & espouser of theories (despite deep theoretical competence). I am hands-on. I have built many novel products and technology enablers.

I have >30 patents in  AI, Computer Vision, Blockchain, Mobile and NLP.

I am well schooled in product design, from interpretive to data-driven methods.

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Creative

I  have a track record of creating novel solutions across a wide set of industry problems from digital art to fintech to racing cars. I use design-driven innovation to reinvent businesses via the application of advanced computation (e.g. AI).

Business Minded

I learned from the legendary Tom Peters about the language and art of business. There is nothing new to add to his insights, despite modern fads like “Lean” this, that and the other. Put plainly: I am not a technologist for technology’s sake. I mean business.  

Hands On

I am not an “innovation theorist” with “big idea” Powerpoints or feelgood sticky-note frenzies. I produce tangible, well researched outputs: I can propose, design, architect and build. My track record in technical execution is backed by many satisfied clients and numerous project and patent achievements.

Data- and Design-Driven

I come from a signal processing background,  so data-processing is my “first language.” I am also a mathematician. But I am also well schooled in design. My approach is to fuse data-driven analysis (bottom-up) with design-driven innovation (top-down).

Solving Complexity:

Most “digital transformation” is speeding up existing processes rather than reinventing them. This is not sustainable in the world of cognitive computation (AI) and decentralized technologies (Web3). They have unique natures that transcend traditional transformation mindsets and methods.

The chaotic reality of today’s markets stems from the fact that businesses are Complex Systems. Mere “simplification”, the essence of many management approaches, no longer works. Complexity needs harnessing, not reducing.

If your org cannot continually adapt at the rate of change of complex external stimuli, then you will fail in the face of smarter competitors, drown in irrevocable technical debt and suffer organizational decay.

Organizational intelligence is rapidly becoming synonymous with “organizational cognitive intelligence”.  If cognitive computing (AI) isn’t at the core of your transformation, you are most likely falling behind. 

Many orgs claims to be data-driven, yet confuse data abundance with data literacy. Even then, bottom-up data-driven is not enough. It has to be met with top-down systems thinking and interpretive design that enable breakthrough performance via empowered talent.

This is an actual clustering visualization from a project I worked on in e-commerce. There’s meaning in this data. Modern orgs/markets are similar — they contain clusters of behaviour and opportunity that are discoverable via cognitive computation and strategy.

My approach:

I interpret business into its essentials, mostly via data-driven critical reasoning and interview-based research, not some faddish jargon-laden “consulting framework” that produces hundreds of dense slides.

I help interpret where untapped value might lie irrespective of existing corporate narratives, which are often laden with mythologies. When necessary, I enlist design-interpreting partners, such as Rick Lewis (former Ideo, former Frog, Braun Prize winner).

Using design-driven innovation, which is a form of conceptual blending, I re-interpret core competencies through the lens of advanced technology trends.  In other words, I combine top-down with bottom-up. I then propose a landscape of future possibilities suitable for converting into meaningful strategy.

Often, I am hired to form an  “Innovation Lab” that develops PoCs and strategic technology. Where necessary, I draw upon an extensive global network of talent. I prefer to also work hands-on developing core tech as part of the team or via solo experiments.

1. Establish the true mandate.

What do you *really* want? This is always the starting point. Everyone says “we want to innovate” but seldom do they articulate the real constraints. Via a series of conversations with executive sponsor(s), I tease out the true mandate, which is often tricky. If I don’t see a meaningful mandate, I walk away. I have no desire to get paid $$$ for delivering slides that will never translate into value. Life’s too short for vanity projects.

2. Capabilities discovery

Clients know their business the best, but often via a biased, dogmatic or historical lens. I tease out current capabilities so that I can begin to fit them into a different framing – i.e. one of advanced computation. This step includes a kind of “digital what-if”, like if X is the digital future of Y (e.g. some pivotal capability or market characteristic) then how might that impact our view of capabilities.

3. Map a digital landscape

Irrespective of what a client tells me about their business, I develop an independent view of the landscape with the goal of unearthing foundational limits. For example, if the core of a client’s financial business is essentially aggregating data, then I will explore the limits of aggregation were we to apply any amount of resources. Are these limits informational, process, speed, or something else? I then explore these limits through the lens of computation and interpret the possibilities. Doing this over a range of core processes, I construct a digital landscape of possible business futures.

4. Develop a design framework

Via a process akin to design-driven innovation, I frame your industry category in terms of its product futures. This is an attempt to unveil the actual meaning of a current product and/or intended innovation in the mind of the market. For example, perhaps a financial loan product is really an “insurance policy” in the mind of its users. In which case, the “insurance qualities” of that product might become its design-driven purpose. This might entail looking more broadly at the theme of “insurance” and seeing how it might be re-imagined via the use of computational technologies, if applicable. This approach reveals a set of possible product strategies to frame the innovation.

5. Synthesis

Finally, I synthesize the digital landscape and design framework in order to describe a set of digitally-native strategic futures and tangible actions to get there. To be clear, I seldom make strong recommendations at this point as it causes a bias in the process. Rather, I aim to expose a set of proposals via what I call “pillars of change”. These are themes around which an actual strategy might be constructed. It is not my place to state a strategy, but rather to suggest what it could be via “digitally emergent” ways of operating.

Chief-Scientist "in Residence"

Besides hands-on consulting, I sometimes provide “virtual” Chief Scientist services more suited to clients who need to “out-brain” complex thinking. It can literally make you millions!

Find out more about “virtual in-residence” retainer options.

As one client put it: “Paul is our tech guardian angel”.

About Me: Intrapreneur

 The short version is that I’m a multi award-winning technologist with a list of prestigious clients. I have helped to interpret and build their technological futures through the lens of advanced computation (inc. AI, IoT, Data Fabrics, or similar). [See my projects.]

I am not a “sticky notes” consultant who holds fluffy workshops. My list of technical accomplishments is long, embarrassingly so, but always couched within a realistic business context.

Originally from the UK, I have a background in Electronic Engineering and Signal Processing that I honed whilst designing silicon-chips for Motorola. I was Motorola’s youngest recipient of the Patent of the Year award with co-processor designs pivotal to the commercial success of scalable digital cellular.

I founded Europe’s first mobile apps company and built numerous mobile services for corporate clients (IBM, Credit Suise, Dell, Lucent Technologies etc) and many carriers. I wrote one of the worlds’s first mobile apps textbooks (Wiley) and helped to define the mobile app category. I built the world’s first fully over-the-air mobile email system for Microsoft Exchange, before Blackberry (who later sued my client to cause interference).

Working alongside Google, Motorola and Sun, I was one of only a few individual expert members of the Java Community Process that created the original mobile app framework (MIDP) in 2005 — the precursor to Android.

To pursue a career of intellectual freedom in technology, I almost always consult, choosing my clients carefully, often acting as an interim Chief Architect or Scientist, which I first did for Motorola’s entire EMEA mobile services division upon returning to them in 2006.

During my years in silicon R&D, I conducted sponsored post-grad research (3D compression for Augmented Reality) at the prestigious University of Southampton mobile labs. 

I have crafted my career to work for some of the most interesting companies in their respective sectors (e.g. O2, McLaren Racing, Prosper) often helping them to put more “tech” into the “tech company” equation (definitions of “tech company” notwithstanding).

I so often find myself innovating and evangelizing from inside an existing company, that I have come to think of myself as an “intrapreneur”.

 

Testimonials

Passionate, bright and filled with big ideas and most importantly a whole systems thinker

Ivy Ross, VP Hardware (Google)

A pretty unique bundle. A deeply experienced hands on technologist, a strategic thinker that understands the challenges facing both large and small businesses

James Parton, Europe GM (Twilio)

Paul has a brilliant grasp of the technical opportunities open to the mobile industry and a real passion for driving breakthrough change

Derek McManus, COO (O2 UK)

His knowledge and experience is as vast as his drive and thirst for uncovering what is possible with the latest technologies

Jason Cale, Product Design (Facebook)

Unique, different, diverse, challenging, direct, open and a total disregard for the “norms” in any situation

Tracy Isacke, MD (Silicon Valley Bank)

Start your cognitive transformation…

Talk to Paul.