The Handshakr Huddle - B2B war stories and anecdotes from tech and telco execs.

The Handshakr Huddle - Season 3: Episode 1 with Justin Reilly CEO of Wavelo

February 02, 2023 Leon Season 3 Episode 1
The Handshakr Huddle - B2B war stories and anecdotes from tech and telco execs.
The Handshakr Huddle - Season 3: Episode 1 with Justin Reilly CEO of Wavelo
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome back to the Handshakr Huddle Podcast.  We kick off the new series with somebody I have the utmost admiration and respect for, Justin Reilly. Justin is the CEO of OSS/BSS disruptor Wavelo.  Our chat covers the man and the mission; we discuss his career, his passions and talk about the problems that Wavelo are solving for telco operators.

Please do get in touch about careers or if you're a forward-thinking telco about partnering here

[00:00:00] Hey everybody and welcome back to the Handshaker Huddle Podcast. I know we've been away for a little while. Uh, I, I do apologize. For 2023, [00:01:00] we're back with a bang. Um, I've been wanting to, uh, interview this guest for, for quite some time and, um, for, for all these reasons, we just ma haven't managed to get it done.

And today we've managed to get Justin Riley, the c e o of wave low on, uh, to the Handshaker huddle. And I'm super pleased that you able to join us and you've given us some time. So thank you very much for, for joining us Justin. 

Thanks for having me. It's great to, 

Awesome. So, like I said, uh, at the beginning we tend to do a little intro about our guests, but, um, a tradition on the, on the part is, is to ask our guests a little bit about their background, um, kind of leading up to how they got into telco and tech.

So I dunno if you, if you could give us a bit of a, uh, a view of your career to date and we'll go from 

there. Sure. Um, it's always a question when you get this, uh, how far to go back. Um, so I, [00:02:00] I'll maybe go back to university and then quickly kind of hit a couple stops along the way. Yep, yep. Um, I was in university in Philadelphia at a time where web two, uh, was really being created, uh, uh, and, and in, and in my very small world, things like Venmo and Invite Media were being incubated in Philadelphia.

down the road. This thing that we now call Facebook was, was being incubated, uh, by Mark in Boston. And so I became pretty fascinated with what the web might look like in our pockets. Uh, and so I got into social ad tech. Uh, I ended up starting a, a few companies mostly at the kind of intersection of digital product and.

At the time was referred to as big data. Um, I think we call everything AI these days. Yeah. . But at the time was, you know, how do you make these systems more intelligent? And then how do you, you know, kind of delight the consumer, uh, now that they're walking around with the supercomputer in their [00:03:00] hands or in their pockets.

Um, and at the time I was becoming more fascinated with, The intersection between software and infrastructure. This is kind of a key theme throughout my life where, um, I'm experiencing something really delightful and then it breaks. And what, what I think has been true for me, uh, as a human walking around the world is that often hits some piece of infrastructure or a system that can't keep up with, let's say, the delightfulness of what we were kind of experiencing.

And so around, uh, 2015, uh, Verizon called and was, uh, you know, kind of making that transition from a finance and sales driven organization into becoming a product company and becoming really focused on on what digital experiences feel like, um, and, and how those might carry cross channels and. . [00:04:00] And so I joined Verizon to, uh, lead product and that was kind of, you know, how I got into to telecom, uh, and I've been in ever, ever since.

And, and kind of, uh, deeply focused on how humans experience telecom all the way through, you know, kind of the operator into the network. It's quite 

a theme though, cuz you, if you look back over your, your career, it's customer plus product, product cus plus customer, you know, you seem to have that sort of, um, clear, uh, theme running through and, and you mentioned, you know, you've been really interested in that sort of intersection between the two, you know, from an early age.

Did you study something specific in that space or was it just a, a general interest that, you know, you had, uh, from a young 

age? You know, when I was a kid, uh, I used to drive my grandparents and my parents crazy with questions. I was one of those kids that [00:05:00] was just like, you know, I need to know how, what, you know, when you're ironing, where do the wrinkles go?

Yeah, yeah. Right. Like, take apart the iron and show me the wrinkles that went inside. Right. And my, uh, my grandfather used to climb telephone poles, um, uh, Southwestern Bell back in the day. Um, and. . I remember driving around with him when I was like five or six and looking at telephone poles and being like, what's in that, that black pouch?

And like, you know, asking him about conduit and, and just, I, I remember being interested in infrastructure at, at that time. Um, and then I think later in, in life I, um, you know, maybe before, later in life, Took one of those aptitude tests when I was a kid. And, um, you know, I did, I'm not, you know, I, I enjoyed being the, uh, least intelligent person on this podcast and also the least intelligent person in most, uh, rooms that I'm in.

And, uh, so I didn't, [00:06:00] I didn't, I didn't like blow the aptitude test out of the water. But one of the things that I scored higher than most kids score on was, uh, the ability. Uh, bring themes or ideas or processes across to disparate ideas. Yeah, yeah. Right. To connect those things. And I, I think that's always been a theme where I've felt in my life, like an outlier, uh, where I'm saying, no, no, this, thing's like that.

And someone's like, what are you talking? What are we, what are you? Leave this space because you're, you're making it weird. Uh, And so for me that I always felt that when I, when I started touching technology and I, I started intersecting that with things like telecom or healthcare, you and I have had lots of conversations around how healthcare and telecom are very similar and, and how e m r and eh r are very similar to o Ss and b s s.

Like these are very similar problems in to industries that most people would look at is couldn't be further. Uh, similar. Uh, and so I think that's just always been where I've [00:07:00] wanted to play. Like that's the space I've wanted to play in. It's where I feel most comfortable. Um, and I also think. I have a deep desire to solve problems that have outsized impact to humanity.

And when you put those two things together, it may not be as obvious that solving telecom software has an outsized impact to humanity, but it certainly does. It's the thing that we all touch and feel throughout our lives and, and so many days, uh, you know, so many times each day throughout our lives. And so I think those things connected.

I couldn't 

agree with you on that. I think. I think what, whatever you took from the pandemic and it was horrendous and a lot of people were impacted by, But the importance of telco and connectivity and things just seem to be magnified during that period. And so I, I think you're totally correct. If you're gonna make impact on people, telco's a really good place to, to be.

Um, and I think they're all, I, I, I see telco a little bit like, um, you know, you've got Ferrari and you've got like this Flintstone hole [00:08:00] in the bottom of the Ferrari and people are trying to pedal to get the thing to go fast. They're shiny forward looking companies on the outside, but internally they're suffering from these old systems and things.

And we'll talk about that, that side of it in a, in a sec. I think it's something that wave load's like squarely trying to take on. Um, but going back to the, to, to the, I guess your career, the other thing that comes through is you've got a very good mix of sort of SMB startup, SMB and, and enterprise experience and your.

And your, I guess your studies were entrepreneurial as well. So what do you think are the key differences in working in those different environments and like how, what, what have you learned from each of them, do you think? 

Over the years? I would say that in each of those environments, if you want to move the ball forward, you have to have a high tolerance for pain, and that that pain is different.

For me, that's always been, I think, where people say, I'm, yeah, I'm really [00:09:00] good in enterprise, I'm really good in smb. For me, I just hear, oh, you have a certain tolerance for, for pain in these certain ways. Um, I, I, maybe I just have a high tolerance for pain everywhere, , which has allowed me to deal with that.

I mean, I was, uh, I was an athlete, uh, you know, so I certainly, uh, being hurt or injured and playing through it was a thing that I, you know, kind of grew up on. Um, . But you know, I think that the speed with which you can move across those different, whether it's enterprise or s and b obviously is, you know, directly proportional to how big the organization is, um, and the intentionality with which, uh, they wanna move.

Um, so, you know, I think the biggest thing that I've learned is being really crisp on. The thing that you are trying to solve, right? And o oftentimes it's, well, we wanna make this a better experience or a better website, or, [00:10:00] you know, it's a better offer. and there's not the next level of intentionality of, hey, well we need to fix these three really specific things that have outside impact.

Yeah, yeah. Um, and particularly in enterprise, that always gets kind of lost, you know, this even better than I do. That gets just lost in the sea of, of people in meetings and, and, and paperwork and integrations that if you, if you don't have a really crisp view on like, if I solve this one thing, It will have an outsized impact.

To give you a crisp example from my Verizon days, one of the, you know, kind of outsized impacts that I saw was the ability to connect a cart between channels. Yep. Right? So you had lots of people working to make the store experience better, or this phone experience better, but just connecting the moments in the buyer.

in that seven to 10 day window had outsized impact to any other effort that could happen at that time. Um, and so that intentionality allowed it to, you know, [00:11:00] to deliver a lot more value. Um, but it's often a challenge to get to that Yeah. In maybe level of fidelity to solve the problem. Yeah. And I think, 

um, you talk about, you know, having that ex, you know, having that experience across all those different types of and size of organizations and then trying to make sure that you.

Weather pain, um, but also making sure everybody's focused. Um, I can imagine, you know, that's really helped with your leadership role, having that experience and being that sort of customer focused and trying to extract that intentionality out of people, um, is probably one of your superpowers, I suppose, as a, as a leader.

But what else do you think helps with the experiences you had? What, what, what do you think is. Key to being a good leader. And what have you learned over the years that sort of helps you with that leadership 

role that you have now? I, I would say, , my biggest [00:12:00] job, well, you know, I, I really have three jobs leading a company.

The first is don't run outta money. The second is, you know, you know this well. Running your own company, one, don't run how money. Two, set the direction and, and then, you know, augmented if we get off track. Um, and then three is people, right? It's. It's recruiting, it's, it's making sure we can keep everyone on the same page moving forward.

And I've always really enjoyed connecting people even outside of work. Uh, you know, I, I was fascinated with this idea of duality, which is like, that we can be many things that you and I are on this podcast doing a thing, but then we have all this other, you know, all these other attributes and experiences that make us who we are.

So I, in university I was an athlete, but I was also a poet and so I had these moments where I would have people over and it was just people from completely different backgrounds and, and stories and there was so much kinship in that. And, and I find that running a [00:13:00] company is, is really similar at any given moment.

You have, you know, kinda an engineer at the living in this part of the world. We're, you know, we're a fully remote company, so someone here in the world, in this, you know, customer success or product person or designer over here. and they're kind of saying the same thing, but they can't hear that they're saying the same thing.

Yeah. They're talking the two ships passing in the night. And, um, being able to connect that and, and find some commonality and some, some kinship. Almost every hard problem we're trying to solve is not actually the problem. It's, you know, getting people to work together in that way and to understand each other and move the ball forward.

And so I think as a leader, that's where I, I am most effective and I tend to view. What I'm gonna do next, or what I'm doing now, or what I'm doing tomorrow, through the lens of am I uniquely positioned to do this? There are lots of things that I could do, someone might want me to do, but am I uniquely positioned to do this?

Like am I the person to do that? [00:14:00] And that's both in where am I going in my career? Am I life? , but also in the micro, in the day-to-day, am I uniquely positioned to solve this problem or could someone else solve that problem? Um, and in certain situations, I am the best person to solve the problem, and others, most people in my seat would say, well, I'm leading the company, so I'm gonna have the say on this.

And I'm not actually, you know, I don't have enough data information. To solve the problem. And so I need to make sure I have the right, uh, really brilliant people to solve that. And then I empower them to, you know, to solve those problems. There's 

a humility in that, I have to say, because there's a lot of people that don't like going down that road.

It's always like, um, I, I suppose the world of leadership is a lot better than it used to be, but there's still folks out there that sort of go, okay. I suppose in startup world you have to in some ways, but people will go, okay, right. It's, it's time to. Nut up and just do everything you possibly can because there's nobody else, or because, you know, [00:15:00] it's just the cards I've been dealt with.

But actually more often than not, you, you're not best served doing that. So it's re it's, it is good to hear. Um, and I think there's a lot of stuff, you know, if, if you look at, um, you know, your, your career today, do you look at the stuff, the duality you mentioned, the stuff that you do, um, and you're passionate.

Outside of work, you know, all those things really add to, um, making a well-rounded leader and, you know, contributor to it, to an organization. Um, I I, I was funny, I was thinking about this, um, the other day. Cause of course leading up to these, these parts you have to do a bit of like, You know, stalking, uh, Googling

Um, and I saw that, uh, you posted a little bit about doing, um, some poetry in Toronto. Was it not recently, right? Mm-hmm. . So you, you actually got back on the horse, um, and, and got out there. So, uh, how did that go? 

So, uh, the [00:16:00] backstory here is, uh, so I started writing when I was, uh, I guess when I was like 10 or 11, or.

Um, but I didn't really know what it was, and it didn't sound like the poetry that they taught in school, uh, which had this very, like, specific rubric and, and rhyming methodology. And then when I was being, uh, recruited to play college basketball, uh, on my visit, um, The captain of the basketball team was like, Hey, listen, like you know, we're doing this cipher over here, and I experienced spoken word poetry for the first time as a 17, 16, 17 year old kid, and was like, oh, I think I've been doing that, but I didn't know the name of it and now I'm experiencing it.

And was actually one of the reasons that I chose to go to Penn to play basketball. when I think lots of people wanted me to go play at a, you know, maybe more [00:17:00] prestigious basketball school than, you know, prestigious academic school. Uh, but I felt that that moment that we were talking about earlier, that duality where I, I, I was, someone gave me permission to be more than one thing.

Like, you're an athlete, but you're also an artist, and then you're also this, and you also, you know, um, and no one had given me that permission before in my life. And it was transformative for me. Then when I got into university, I got hurt a couple times and had a number of surgeries and poetry was this outlet that I, basketball was such a big piece of my identity that when that was taken away I had this identity crisis.

And you know, I'm an 18 to 22 year old kid. We don't have the tools to kind of deal with that. And poetry was this outlet. And for those that are listening that don't know spoken word, it's a very performative. Form of expression and you know, it can be everywhere from angry to happy and everywhere in between.

And so, you know, at Penn, [00:18:00] those the, we have like live performances in front of lots of people. And, um, that became, A really, uh, therapeutic way for me to, to deal with the world and a way for me to articulate how I was thinking and feeling about the world. And there was a deep kinship in that. Um, and so at moments throughout my life, I toured, I guess semi-professionally.

I was surrounded by some of the best poets in the world at that time, um, that have all gone on to do really, really amazing things. And so they really pushed me to, to. Sharpened my craft and then I kind of, you know, got into building companies in tech and uh, was out speaking publicly for that. And so I stopped really doing poetry and uh, my partner Rena, who's a healthcare worker, Here in Toronto put on this really amazing, amazing show, um, for all of the healthcare workers, uh, coming out of Covid.

And that, uh, was focused on healthcare artists. Again, another duality moment. And so it was, you know, [00:19:00] paramedics and nurses that had, uh, art in their life. Uh, Rena's an amazing, uh, painter and visual artist. And so she, she put on this show and we talked about it and it was the kind of. Well, you know, I've, I've, before this in between telecom, I was doing some healthcare stuff, so I'm, you know, happy to get there and, and support.

And I got back on stage after about seven or eight years of not being on stage. And it was, uh, it was good. It was like riding a bike and it felt really great and, um, was able to connect with all the other artists at the show who are, you know, have been at the, at the, uh, you know, tip of the spear with covid and taking care of folks here in the, in Ontario.

And, um, it was really, it was a really great experience and it was awesome to see them all perform and, and have that that be an outlet for them too, you know, coming out of Covid. Yeah, 

exactly. Uh, it's, it's fantastic that you've, you've managed to sort of reignite their passion, um, uh, and, and get out there.

Um, focus on something that's so different to what you do on a daily basis, but it's, it's funny because [00:20:00] probably one of the most famous folks that. That have that sort of really, um, juxtaposed kind of duality is, um, I dunno if you know Terry Cruz, the actor comedian, um, I think one of you know, his outlets is art.

He's one of the, he's a really great artist, um, painter. Um, and, and I, and I remember listening to a podcast. He used to use it as an outlet after. Injuries or like, you know, if he was put to the sideline for, for his professional sports careers or his teams or whatever, he would use that as a way to sort of get his mind right and get back into things.

So it's, um, I think it's a wonderful thing to promote and talk about and, um, I, I think those things make you a better person, but not only a better person. It also makes you a, a better worker. You can solve problems you think differently. So it's, um, it's fantastic. Have you got another, uh, event coming up?

Have you, have you, you know, decided? 

Nothing doing there? [00:21:00] Nothing planned right now, but we've been talking about maybe doing a show in Toronto and I got a chance to be in Atlanta with some, some folks that are been, are back touring up to Covid and so we're talking about maybe doing, doing something. It would be great, um, you know, to get back.

Uh, but yeah, I think to your point, Some of the best workers that I've ever worked with, they have that orientation because they can kind of pull from the creative side of the problem solving. It helps them connect, you know, when you're building stuff for humans. The kinship, how you connect with them right is, is really important.

It's not just, oh, okay, they connect this API to this and it's gonna be a better data model or a data flow. It's how is a human gonna use this in the world and, and connecting that through to the technology. And artists have a really. Brilliant way of, of doing that. Um, you know, I'm sure you've been in shows or listened to a piece of music where you just don't understand why you feel the way you feel, but you're feeling something you didn't feel before you started to listen to that thing or, or, or, [00:22:00] or view that piece of art.

Um, and there's something really intrinsic in their, you know, ability to do that, whether it's innate or whether it's skill that they learned over time. It's, um, it's kind of, it's kind of the only thing, which is like, how do you make people feel, right? Because that's, yeah. How people take action or, um, you know, or, or move towards something is like they're being drawn to it.


It's the most important thing. Any function you work in, in a business, right, getting people to do things. Um, so we've, we, we've got to know the man a little bit. Um, and, and it's hard to jam in in 20 minutes everything that is Justin Riley. So we, we haven't done that justice. I'm, I'm, I'm sure of that cuz I've got to know you over the last year or so.

Um, and, and actually funny enough, how we met was, was quite interesting as well. So we'll maybe talk about that later. But, um, I, I wanted to talk about mission a little bit. You, you left off probably when you were talking about your career around the Verizon [00:23:00] period. Um, but uh, after that you shifted across to two cows, um, to take on this, uh, I guess this role.

Um, but I think soon after shifted to wave load. So, uh, tell us about that transition, cuz it wasn't, I think, was it wave load to start or was it waver later? Just, just a little bit of more background on that, 

if you may. Yeah, it's great. So Right, just a quick pit stop. Before then, right after Verizon, I, I was working on some of the healthcare stuff.

Um, you know, specifically how do you use large language models, uh, as a mechanism for being deterministic on, on a chronic illness. Um, and that was. A pit stop in between telecom and ama, some amazing work with some amazing people. Um, and then a lot of that work was at that time, uh, challenged by some of the regulatory environment in the United States.

And so what became like a kind of two to five year horizon became like a 10 to 15 year horizon. And [00:24:00] so we, we felt like, hey, you know, I think this is better as a research project with some great folks at, at places like m i t and kind of put that on that trajectory. And at that same time, I got a phone call about, uh, two cows and, uh, the wonderful work that they've been doing over many decades at, you know, kind of the early advent of the internet, but then also launching telecom businesses starting in 2012 with Ting Mobile and, uh, and then the 2015 era with Ting Internet, which is a fiber company, uh, challenger fiber company that's growing like a weed in, uh, in the United.

And, uh, the ask was, Hey, come on. As, you know, kind of the executive leader leading product and help us think about, uh, working across these telecom businesses. But, you know, they, they also have, uh, a domains business that has been there, um, for, you know, almost, almost three decades. Um, and so as we started to look at those businesses, um, one being an M V O and one, one being a fiber [00:25:00] company, it started to become clear that.

uh, there was a new path for, for at least our mobile business. Uh, you know, it's challenging as an MVNO in the United States if you don't have owner economics. Uh, and so, you know, the rates that you're buying wholesale, uh, kind of only get you so far. Uh, and we've seen that more and more as the incumbents have moved down market into a lower priced unlimited package.

It's kind of forcing a lot of the mb os out. Um, and, and so that was kind of happen. . And then the other thing was happening was during my time at Verizon, and I've seen this as a core problem for every operator that I've talked to globally in my career, is that you start either working from the network side or the customer side inward and you're, you're eating all this, all these issues and building beautiful experiences, whether an amazing 5G network with O Ran or a great mobile app.

And then you hit this box in the. and it's like a rock with a [00:26:00] trench line. You pick it up and say, oh, no, no, no. Shit, put it back down. I'm like, don't you know, don't touch it. Um, and I remember being fascinated by that. Um, and when I got to Tu Cals, we started to think about, okay, if, if we need to find a, a new home for T-Mobile, um, and we also.

Want to kind of look at this box in the middle, right, which is Effectionately known as O S S B S S, uh, in the industry, which, you know, uh, you and I have had moments where we've asked people out in the world, what is O S S B S S. If you ask 10 people, you get 10 different answers. no one knows. That's 

if they're totally honest, we're like, I don't know.

Uh, no idea. You know, no idea. , 

no idea. So, uh, So that all kind of came together in a really nice way with what we first called two cows, m ms e. And that was a, a, you know, a beautiful moment where, uh, we sold Ting Mobile to Dish [00:27:00] as their, uh, first entrance into postpaid, um, and then became the mobile mobile services enabler MSE underpinning their entrance into mobile, um, with Boost Mobile and, uh, That was, you know, kind of 20 into 21.

And as we were building out more products and services, both for Dish and for Ting Fiber, our fiber company, it started to become really clear as I went out, out into the market that there was a real need for, for what we were doing and that there was a better way to do this. And it always felt to me, telecom's been talking about digital transformation.

Ever since the dawn of existence, and this always felt like the last 30%, like we'd done 70, we'd made all the, you know, kind of beautiful apps and, and in-store experiences and we'd made real material change from the network side, but none of that was going to. [00:28:00] Get us to the next phase if we didn't solve the box.

And, and, and so that's when Wave Flow was born and we launched it in January as, you know, what we affectionately refer to as an alternative to O s S and B s s. 

And, and so that's the sort of, you know, you guys wanna make Telecom Breeze, I wanted to get that in there, this podcast. Just a little appreciate that there for you.

Um, and really the focus is trying to fix that ugly bit in the middle, right? And, and, I think ever since I started Telco, I think I've been in Telco for 18, 18 years. No, maybe 20. It's very muddy. I, I can't remember. It feels like an age, but, um, ever since I've been in telco, they've all, all the telcos have been talking about digital transformation, you know, at least from, from maybe 15 years ago.

But they've always really struggled with this. And you've got this like old adequate thing that's just. Like [00:29:00] stuck and entrenched in all the different things that they do, customer facing, non-customer. Um, and I think there's been a few, I guess, um, technological advances that have meant that you guys can shift this way.

So the cloud and, and things. Um, but it's very hard still to kind of get those telcos. To go, okay. Things have shifted this tech that can allow us to get there. Right? But there's still this trepidation about trying to mess with the box and like expose the tarantula or whatever underneath. Um, how are you guys, how are you guys finding those conversations with the, the, the telcos?

And is there a, not just an appetite, but a, um, I guess a mandate to shift in that direction now? And you must have seen some, some shift in the conversations you've had so far. Um, I think I, I just always find that it's, it's, you know, telco talks a lot. The telco operators talk a lot about shifting and [00:30:00] changing and they have done for a long time.

Um, but are you seeing the shoots of like, okay, let's get this damn thing done. Now let's shift this thing across. We know that there's a reason to do it. We know it'll give our customers far more, uh, pleasant experiences and we know that it'll make our lives easier. But there's always that, I always felt like there's still that like, oh, I dunno.

I dunno. Are you seeing a change 

there? It, it, it's cer, it's certainly. Very apt and accurate to say that what someone might stay on stage at a, uh, at an event about what they're doing versus what they'll say behind closed doors. And so I think what we're finding is lots of people saying like, yay, no, we want to, we want to change.

We're going through cloud transformation and we've got all this quote AI, and, and then you get behind the doors and it's, well, it's the same old system with some layers that. Putting around the sides, right, like a bandaid on a, on a bullet wound, for lack of a better term. And, um, but then there are some that are really [00:31:00] interested in changing, and I think it's a function of, of a couple different things.

The first is the cloud transformation that you mentioned. Is all but done on some of the systems that are closest to the customer. And now starting to be true at the network level. If you look at what's happening with Dish, for example, with, with a w s and, and, and a native standalone 5G network, um, they've, and then, you know, lots of telecoms have put their mobile app in the cloud or their, you know, And so you're kind of getting to the rest of the stack and what's left is this box.

And so that cloud transformation, taking that off-prem putting into the cloud is, is, is certainly a, a forcing mechanism. The second thing is when you've gone through all that transformation, either at the network or closest to the customer, you wanna get value out of all that work and all that capital that you've put in.

And anyone that's honest with themselves about the box. Will say the box was built for a previous world, whether it was copper [00:32:00] or 3g or charging for minutes and texts. Um, so if you're honest with yourself, you say, okay, this isn't built for the future. It's not, not only not built for just the basic offers and speed with which I need to get to market, but it's also not built for a world where I want to take advantage of some of.

Beautiful, amazing things that are happening, for example, with large language models and machine learning. Well, I don't have a box that lets me, lets me do that, and we've taken a really, you know, Telecom talks about bundling all the time. And so, you know, we've taken, uh, you, you and I have been in rooms where I referred to this as telecom unbundled.

Yeah. Um, and that's a little, you know, that's a little like marketing. I, I love it by the way, 

the right phrase. I think it's the 


right phrase. Uh, it's, you know, um, We've got some good marketing people walking around and, uh, . Um, but really what that means is the underlying stack is event driven, completely [00:33:00] decoupled.

Because so much of the issue in telecom is the bundling. Yep. Right. It's these business rules being translated literally into systems and then become so hard. To move and to change that, you get stuck in this just amalgamation of a monolithic system. And so we've taken this approach that, that has said, well, everything's decoupled.

It's event driven. And, and so in those conversations where folks are rightly scared to move or to change, we can take a more iterative approach than kind of a big bang shift for them because of how we've thought about the tech, the two biggest issues in. In this world are, you know, customer migrations and, and network integrations, right?

Those are the two hardest things. And so we went into this with the intentionality of like, we know people are gonna be scared, right? So how do we ease those fears, but also how do we get the most value out of every step that we take? Like if we make a move, if you use a piece of our technology, how do you get immediate value out of that?

[00:34:00] Because I've been, and lots of the folks on our leadership team and down into our organization have. On the operator side at major telecoms buying software and not getting that value, right? Going through these huge implementations and two, three years and hundreds of millions of dollars to get on the other side and feel well's.

This kind of just like, okay, now my thing's in the cloud , right? Yeah, exactly. What did I get, what did I get for this? Right? Um, and, and even worse, the human that's buying the services from the telecom doesn't feel a difference. And I think, you know, you, you brought up mission. and one of our, at the tcx level, at a holding company level, one of our missions across all of our businesses is making the internet better, right?

And, and protecting a free and open internet and, you know, really focused on the humans that are walking around the world. And that permeates through all of our businesses and for wave low, that is building amazing software for telecoms. So that the way that telecoms interact with human beings and then [00:35:00] human beings back into telecoms since, and networks is fundamentally better.

You, you know, you and I have gotten to know each other. I think you, you know me to be, uh, off the cuff. When, when, when, when, when we're together. I, this is a, this is a problem that I have to solve before I leave this earth. Like this isn't for me a, um, You know, just a, a, a business that I go to in the morning.

It's, I, this is a thing that I have to solve so that for, you know, for, for my children and your children and their grandchildren and like human beings walking the earth, that this gets better for them. Um, because if we don't solve this box, it just, it just won't happen. It's, it's, for me, the, you know, kind of the lock and key to the next phase of.

love that sense of purpose. And, um, I love the way that, that you, you, you position it and present it and you know, all the things we've talked about, um, uh, your background, the [00:36:00] duality, um, all play like this crucial role in, in, you know, helping you get that message, a message across and deliver that message.

And I. If you can't do it, I don't think anybody can. Right. So I, I'm, I'm, I'm really pleased that you, you're the, the, the guy that's trying to solve it and you have such a passion for it. Um, it, it strikes me, um, not just because, you know, you're on the podcast, but like I've seen you talk at events twice now actually in, in real life.

Uh, and you know, you are super passionate about it. It's very clear. That you want to make this thing a lot better, um, and you can't help but Ruth or something like that. So, you know, uh, I'm a big fan of what you're trying to do. I, I think the way you guys present things and, um, the message you're gonna across is, is fantastic.

It's, it's, it's pithy and it's direct and I, I really do hope you guys, [00:37:00] um, you know, make that significant change in the industry. Um, I certainly think you guys are the right people to do it. I, um, I wanna go back to when we met, just very briefly before we kind of wrap up a little bit. But you guys launched, I think, Jan 2022, right?

Officially. But you were kind of, it was a, a year in the making, maybe longer than that with all the stuff in the background, you know, uh, building over the years. Um, but it literally, the day you, you did a press. , this is when I pinged you on LinkedIn, right. So I was like, oh my God, I've got a, there's an opportunity, uh, that we should talk about, right?

Remember, remember that It was like I do, and I, I, I had, I, I had no expectation of that. Like speculative LinkedIn email, getting a response, but got a response. Um, I think you were doing loads of press at the time, if I remember rightly. I then we met in Barcelona, right? We did, um, But I [00:38:00] remember, I remember, um, dropping by the AWS location where you, you were at and you had to speak, um, at that event.

Uh, and it was super clear that you have great passion and drive for it. Subsequently, you guys have launched the Mons and ISOs product range, right? So that's like the latest news that you guys have put out to the market. Um, what's next for you guys? You've got this, this mission. , um, you know, you've got real passion and drive for it.

You've got products to kind of help fix the problem, like what, what's next on the agenda and how, how are you guys getting out there to, uh, spread the word, so to speak? 

Yeah. I mean, you know, so 20 threes a year for us of, of scale. We're actively looking for a couple, and, and I say a couple because I think we wanna work with a small number, number of really passionate, forward thinking telecoms that believe in what we believe.

Yeah. Yeah. Um, and so we're looking for a couple [00:39:00] more of those. We've got a, a great set of anchor customers that really believe this at a massive scale across. Mobile and fiber, uh, and ev whether it's fixed, wireless, everything in, in between. And so next year is about servicing those clients, bringing on a couple new ones and, and really building on top of the, the platform and the software that, that we have in place today, which, you know, we believe will work across, you know, kind of blur the lines of some of these arbitrary.

You know, silos that we put in telecom. Yeah. Like prepaid and postpaid and you know, like private 5G and fiber and, you know, Elliot, our, uh, our, our, uh, c e o at, at tcx and, and of ting fiber has been saying this for multiple decades. Like, everything's just billing and provisioning and we really believe that.

Right. Whether you. Billing or provisioning a customer for, you know, a mobile phone or for a robot walking [00:40:00] around a minefield in private 5g. Yeah, yeah. Um, or a fixed fiber line to a home or a business. It's all just billing and provisioning and, um, and, and so a lot of what we're thinking about for next year is, is not just do people that we bring on as our next set of partner.

Believe in our mission, but do they also believe in, in going to market that way, right? Wanting to blur those lines. And, and we think that's gonna be really important for how competitive the next couple years in telecom will be for, for operators. Um, and, uh, and then we're, we're hiring some great people and, uh, and we'll be out at, at many of the events and, and out in the world.

And so, you know, my only plug is if, uh, you know, you're interested in, in, in this, in this mission. I'd love to chat with you. That's my, you know, my, my only plug for the podcast. And, uh, um, you know, I've always enjoyed our conversations. I've, I've, uh, as we've gotten to know each [00:41:00] other, I've, I've always left them learning something from you and I love what you're building here with handshakes, so it's, uh, it's cool to be on.

I appreciate it and I appreciate you and. Very, very pleased to be launching 2023 with you as our first guest on the, on the podcast. Um, uh, guys, if, if you want to, um, learn more about Wave, load, their mission, um, uh, even talk to the guys there about, um, the hiring, um, you can find Um, Justin, where can people find you and, um, you spreading the good.

Uh, LinkedIn, uh, Justin Riley, uh, Twitter, Justin M. Riley. Uh, if Twitter's still around by the time this, uh, this goes out, , did you see the poll 

yesterday? There was like 18 million view, uh, uh, responses to the polls. I think it's 57. Call it a day, you know, the rest, uh, I, I think ev most folks are in favor him quitting.

Right. Um, crazy. Anyway, [00:42:00] 

I think so, and I'm wondering if I should put a poll out into our internal slack and see if, what, what, what we'll get if I ask folks whether I should stay on or not. It's a pretty bold thing. It's a bold move. It's a bold move. It's a bold 

move. Um, yeah, so Twitter, LinkedIn, I'll put all the links and stuff in, in the pod notes and, and, and things.

But it's, it's a great pleasure to, to chat to you. Um, Always love hearing what you have to say and, and hearing the passion, uh, that you've got for this particular problem in trying to solve this problem. Thanks so much for joining us. Um, Justin Riley. Thank you. Thank.