comment 0

Ask A Techie 20 Questions – Robert de Gannes – Digital Martial Artist

How would you define a techie?

I would define a techie as someone who embraces the impact technology has and can have in everyday life. From the addictive games like flappy bird that gain viral traction to the technology that helps save energy by heating/cooling your home ‘automatically’.

How has tech improved your life?

Technology has improved my life in countless ways, when we look at the device most of us hold in our pockets it has more processing power than the rocket that took men to the moon! The ease of access to information is the most obvious one, but the impact of technology has been profound in so many innocuous ways that I can’t even begin to quantify.

How can technology be used to improve Trinidad?

I think the more important question is, where would technology do the most good in Trinidad. I believe when you look at places like Licensing Office, National Health System and the Passport Office.

The ‘simple’ computerization and digitization of records can greatly help to increase efficiency in these offices and reduce errors. However, I’m aware that there is legislation that has hamstrung certain efforts that needs to be repealed or amended to help T&T really catapult into the digital age.

Describe your experience at PitchIT Caribbean?

In a word, Fascinating. PitchIT was my first foray into the world of ‘Tech Startup Competitions’ and I ended each day learning so much about the Tech industry I was getting into. Further to that, being able to be around like minded people was a truly exciting and mentally fulfilling experience. Entrepreneurs really do think differently and it’s not always easy finding those people that will speak with passion about their dream openly.

Why do you think Firefox lost its popularity as a browser?

Google built a better mousetrap! Firefox is quite fine as a browser tbh, I use it off and on. Chrome just seems more refined, even though it uses a lot more RAM to make it happen. In an age where Apple Fanboys and Google Fanboys to go ‘war’ everyday online, it’s easy to see that when Google announced the launch of Chrome, people flocked to it in droves.

What is a Digital Martial Artist?

Haha I see you’ve done your homework! Well, my portfolio covers Digital Strategy at Senseo. I look at Digital Marketing Strategy like a battle, you have to learn what affects your customer to make the biggest impact.
I’m also a National Judo Champion. So when I was asked to pick my title, Digital Martial Artist fit for a few reasons; As a marketer and martial artist you train to refine ‘proven techniques’ and then you train to know when and where to apply them for maximum efficiency and impact.

Do you still own and use a printer?

Yep, I’m not sure I’ll ever want to fully get rid of it, being able to go over notes, practice pitch prep or just have a check in sheet available to go to the airport is still quite valuable.

Tell us anything about yourself.

Well, I went to PitchIT Caribbean believing that I had built a better mousetrap. I Co-Founded REACH to be a better taxi service after doing a lot of research on UBER and their issues. I also spent time running a taxi service locally. So I attacked the issues from both sides, leading to what we believe is a service that solves both the local taxi service issues and the issues we see UBER facing internationally.

What tech would you like to own?

Hmm, hard to say really. I’d love to own the tech that helps change the world for the better.

A smartphone or DSLR for taking photos?

Well, for me personally I don’t take much photos. But it’s down to if you know how to use it… I’ve seen DSLR photos that look like dog food and Smartphone photos that make your jaw drop. So I guess it’s not the brush but the artist.

The best advice you have received?

“No” is the answer to every question you don’t ask.

Which person in tech would you like to meet?

Well the ‘hot right now’ guy is Elon Musk. He’s like Einstein with Money! I definitely like the way he thinks and having a drink with him to discuss issues could be very fulfilling.

What sports teams do you support?

Glory Glory Man United!

How does Bill Gates enter his house?

Honestly, through the Blue Screen of Death!

Which tech company would you like to visit and spend the day at?

Pied Piper 😉

How would you invest a million dollars?

For myself, probably in Real Estate
For my Company, in R&D
For my Country, in Education

What future technology interests you?

During my time at Tribal DDB I met with our global CEO Paul Gunning in Miami. He gave a talk there (2012 or so) that said we’re entering the age where it’s no longer what we can do with our tech, but what our tech can do for us. To me, that’s fascinating. What can I build, so that I don’t have to turn on/off the lights in my house when i’m not using them, intelligent learning systems etc. Basically, things that help the average person be more efficient with the resources they have.

If you were to start a tech company, what would you call it?

If I were to start another one, probably Mezeker and focus it with a Bill Gates mentality. I.e. Where can I do the most good?

If you had to predict the next big thing in tech, what would it be?

I would say an extrapolation on Self Driving Vehicles, or a real revolution in Memory storage.

What question would you ask the next techie?

It’s 3AM on a Saturday Morning, what are you doing and why?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s