Edward Scott, ElectrifAi CEO has some thoughts on how businesses in Silicon Valley should rethink their culture and general practices.
In an article with Minebook, he covered some of his ideas on humility, transparency, and honesty in the tech business world, and his statements are making some waves.
Who is Edward Scott?
A good place to start is with a little bit more about Scott’s past and how he came to be ElectrifAi CEO. Educated first at Columbia and then at Harvard, Scott studied hard in business, history, and international relations to build up his understanding of workplaces and business culture.
When he was able to put those studies to work at White Oak Global Advisors, he quickly learned about how business really works and set to make real changes in the culture of business.
When he became the ElectrifAi CEO, he put those ideas to work right away.
ElectrifAi CEO on Humility, Transparency, and Honesty
Ed Scott believes humility is essential for honest and valuable business dealings. That’s certainly a change from standard Silicon Valley practices where tech companies are incentivized to present themselves as always having the answer. In Scott’s view, if you don’t know something, it’s best to admit that straight away and explain why it’s a challenging concept.
In the world of AI and machine learning, things change so fast that no one ever has all of the answers, and taking stock of what you do and don’t know is essential for shaping the journey forward.
Another of Scott’s ideas is radical transparency. ElectrifAi builds custom AI solutions for companies, primarily using machine learning to gather, organize, analyze, and utilize data. Since no two companies are quite the same, the custom AI tools for each company are also different.
As a result, ElectrifAi has a policy of allowing customers to see the source code for their custom tools. In Silicon Valley, keeping ingredients secret is standard practice. Scott has turned this notion upside down. The entire idea is that a company can better use its customized tools when it can see how the sauce is made. It improves the value of the products created by ElectrifAi, and that’s the real goal.
This idea led Scott to point out that ElectrifAi is not a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company. Instead, the business model is selling software as an owned product, so of course customers should have access to the raw code.
This combines with the last philosophical point rather well. Scott’s goal is to create a more honest business model. With humility and transparency, ElectrifAi representatives don’t need to use pressure tactics, make impossible promises, or engage in any business practices that don’t best serve the customer. This helps to build a deeper level of trust, and it might help Silicon Valley see a new way of conducting business — one that builds strong relationships and puts technological solutions to problems above everything else.
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