The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast

Phillip Koblence

May 09, 2023 Chris & Zoë Season 1 Episode 41
Phillip Koblence
The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast
More Info
The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast
Phillip Koblence
May 09, 2023 Season 1 Episode 41
Chris & Zoë

In this episode, we sit down with Philip Koblence, co-founder of NYI and the Nomad Futurist Foundation.

He shares his experiences of staying with a single company for an extended period and the concept of being a "creature of comfort."

Philip delves into how he structures his day, addresses the feeling of not being smart enough, and the importance of learning from the mistakes of others.

Join us on this exciting journey through Philip's world of internet infrastructure as we uncover his unique approach to navigating it successfully while embracing fun and overcoming imposter syndrome.

"Everyone is lying about their confidence.
If everyone is being honest, we’re all imposters.
We all have a plan until something happens."

Phil's Links:


Thanks for being an imposter - a part of the Imposter Syndrome Network (ISN)!

We'd love it if you connected with us on LinkedIn:

Make it a great day.

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we sit down with Philip Koblence, co-founder of NYI and the Nomad Futurist Foundation.

He shares his experiences of staying with a single company for an extended period and the concept of being a "creature of comfort."

Philip delves into how he structures his day, addresses the feeling of not being smart enough, and the importance of learning from the mistakes of others.

Join us on this exciting journey through Philip's world of internet infrastructure as we uncover his unique approach to navigating it successfully while embracing fun and overcoming imposter syndrome.

"Everyone is lying about their confidence.
If everyone is being honest, we’re all imposters.
We all have a plan until something happens."

Phil's Links:


Thanks for being an imposter - a part of the Imposter Syndrome Network (ISN)!

We'd love it if you connected with us on LinkedIn:

Make it a great day.

Machines made this, mistakes and all:

[00:00:00] Chris: Hello and welcome to the Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast where everyone belongs, especially if you think you don't welcome imposters. My name is Chris Grundman and I'm here with my co-host the always informative Zoe Rose. Hey ho. Hey, this is the Philip Koblence episode and man, oh man, are you in for a treat.

[00:00:28] Chris: Phil Co-founded NYI in 1996, which I'm fully aware is before some of you were born. So maybe we'll ask Phil about keeping the Velociraptors outta the data center back then. In addition to building NYI into the success that it is today, Phil is also the CEO at Critical Ventures and a director of the OIX Board.

[00:00:47] Chris: Plus he's more recently created, the Nomad Futurist Podcast and Foundation, which I'm pretty sure we're gonna talk more about today. 

[00:00:56] Chris: Hey, Phil, would you mind introducing yourself a bit further to the Imposter syndrome network? 

[00:01:01] Phil: Uh, no. I think you did a pretty good job. My name is Philip Koblence as Chris, so aptly pronounced, um, Gosh, I don't know where to start.

[00:01:10] Phil: You know, again, I guess I started, uh, I was tr uh, earlier in the pandemic. I decided to take it upon myself to like write a resume just to see what that was like. Because I've been at NYI for longer than certainly Zoe's been alive. And I realized that, you know, if I was doing it in a traditional form, it was like camp counselor and then founded NYI because it was so early.

[00:01:33] Phil: So, you know, I'll, I guess my life started when I founded NYI in 1996 when I was. 18 years old maybe? Uh, it might, I might have been 17. I'm not sure if I, if my, if it was my birthday. Yeah. And you know, it was kind of at the beginnings of the internet, you know, we wanted to be all things to all people at that point.

[00:01:50] Phil: I come from a background of, you know, father that was always entrepreneurial. He's a jeweler on 47th Street. So, you know, I, I was never exposed to like a lawyer or a doctor or, or someone that worked in large corporations. So when the internet came into kind of our lexicon, it just resonated with me. This idea that a computer was not gonna be the static device and we can communicate.

[00:02:13] Phil: Using it, which now, you know, kids like Zoe these days take for granted. This is gonna be about Zoe. Everything is gonna be compared to what Zoe thinks. Even though I've only just met Zoe, who is from the Netherlands apparently. Um, so I, I realized early on, I mean, I must have been had, having just turned 17 or so, I realized that that's what I wanted my future to be.

[00:02:34] Phil: And then, you know, there's a whole story about how, you know, we ended up coming up with NYI or the New York Internet Company, which was the original name, et cetera. But I'll pause there for a moment because it was a question of introduce yourself. And my name's Phil. 

[00:02:47] Chris: Nice. Nice. Thanks, Phil. Uh, that's excellent.

[00:02:50] Chris: And as I mentioned in my introduction, you sit on the board of directors at OIX, which I think is probably a continuation of this interest in the internet that started when you were 17 or so. It was formerly called Open ix. Uh, what I didn't mention is that you and I were both elected to the board in the most recent election, and that we both served as committee chairs before that you with the IX committee and me with the B C O P and marketing committees.

[00:03:12] Chris: So, so that seems like a, maybe a great place to start today. I'm hoping maybe you can tell us a little bit about OIX. And why you chose to volunteer your time and expertise with, with that particular group.

[00:03:23] Phil: Let's start by saying that as, as a ghost of directors, I think it makes you and our I twins we're twin brothers.

[00:03:28] Phil: We are, we're twin board brothers. Twin Borders. Credible. Uh, clearly, clearly. I'm the Danny DeVito and you're the Arnold Schwarzenegger of the twins. But you know what, I'll take it. I'll take it then I'll take for sure. Right, so look, OIX I think we've talked about this on a podcast before or recording before.

[00:03:43] Phil: What, what I love about Open IX and now O I X is it, it gives. The ability for, you know, people that have participated in the internet from its founding to kind of help set standards so that, that make it easier to have, you know, newer entrance incumbents, et cetera, and, and expand from a networking perspective, from a data center perspective, from an edge perspective.

[00:04:05] Phil: Like taking the lessons that we learned because when we started, you know, there was no, you know, how to run the internet for Dummies, trying to create a set of standards that. That make barriers to entry and, and expansion of the internet and all of the awesome applications that come out of that more accessible and more, more ubiquitous and more transferrable, you know, so you're not beholden to a particular proprietary standard and you can, you know, move from vendor to vendor and, and recognize that, you know, there are certain standards that they put into place.

[00:04:37] Phil: Is that a good answer, Zoe? I mean, it's, it's okay. It's okay. Oh, Jesus. Tough crowd. Tough crowd. I've always heard those. Dutch are tough.

[00:04:45] Zoe: I, I heard we're, well, I'm not Dutch, but we're blunt. I just happened to be here, so my thoughts were, yeah. Okay. I might be a slightly different generation, but um, I'm not as young as you think.

[00:04:57] Phil: You've aged, you've aged incredibly gracefully, Zoe. 

[00:05:01] Zoe: But, um, looking at your, uh, history, I mean, you said you've co-founded NYI in 1996 and you're still there. That's quite a career at the same place. And I dunno, like how do you. I mean, my generation, it tends to be you stay at a company for a couple years and you move on to another company.

[00:05:21] Zoe: Maybe it's a bit different if you found a company, but you know what's, what's it like being at a one organization for such a bloody long time? 

[00:05:29] Phil: I mean, part of it is, uh, a certain element of Stockholm syndrome. I, I assume, look, I, I think there's, there's always the desire to, I, I'm a creature of comfort.

[00:05:37] Phil: I've always been a creature of comfort, and I think. That what being such a young founder of, of a company like that, you kind of get to create a set of solutions and products in your image. So if what the evolution of a career is, is to try to, you know, keep yourself excited, keep yourself invested, and try to keep yourself fulfilled.

[00:06:01] Phil: What NYI has allowed me to do based on the fact that I was such a young founder is kind of insert elements of my personality in the solutions that we offer. That's not to say that there's like a laugh reel that comes with every colo cabinet that we, uh, that we give, but it is just my personality is so entrenched in kind of NYI that.

[00:06:19] Phil: You know, there's never been a time that I've been there. Certainly there have been frustrating times and ups and downs and, and, and probably more downs than ups, if I'm being honest. But, you know, in, in general it's, it's always been fulfilling and there's never really been this desire for me to try to, you know, fit myself into.

[00:06:38] Phil: Like a different kind of structure as opposed to having a structure that kind of evolves a bit based on, you know, my own evolution. So I don't wanna tie NYI like it's only me, it's not, we have, you know, obviously a team that, that supports the operation, but it's always given me the benefit of, of allowing me to, you know, evolve the offering, evolve my representation of, of NYI as I've evolved.

[00:07:04] Chris: So it's interesting that, you know, you talk about kind of this entrepreneurial lens that you maybe were even raised to see the world through. And obviously, you know, NYI while you have been there for a long time, I think it's something like, what, 27 years now or something? Thanks Chris. Yeah. I'm gonna say something 27 times just to make sure we, we get it.

[00:07:20] Chris: Uh, all 

[00:07:21] Phil: 27 shots take a shot for every year. Everyone. That could be the, uh, that's gonna be happening. Why am I throwing up every time I listen to this one podcast? It's a great episode. That's how you know, that's how you know. 

[00:07:32] Chris: But you said, you know, you also said creature of comfort, which, which to me, like this idea of comfort and the idea of entrepreneurialism doesn't necessarily mesh.

[00:07:39] Chris: So I think I find that really interesting and I wonder if you could you kind of dive into that a little bit. I mean, it makes sense in the way you said it, that okay, you know, once you've built this company kind of around yourself and you've got this team supporting you, maybe that becomes more comfortable.

[00:07:50] Chris: But I mean, there's still risk involved, right? 

[00:07:53] Phil: Oh no. I mean, there's a e e every day. I li I, I think the definition of comfort is different, right? There's an incredible amount of discomfort that's associated with like operating an infrastructure company that has to be, you know, online 24 7, right? You are, you are one missed ping away from the phones, you know, ringing out of control.

[00:08:11] Phil: I think when I, when I talk about creature of comfort, it's simply about like, The emotional comfort of not having to like, move around or switch careers, or switch jobs or, or you know, not tr trying to, it certainly hasn't been, I don't think for me, the most opportunistic in terms of how I can get the most money.

[00:08:30] Phil: It's never really been about, you know, trying to find like I. The pathway to most wealth creation, cuz obviously, you know, given the timing, there were probably times that it would've been better to, to monetize where NYI is in the space in terms of the ebbs and flows in m and a and all of those things.

[00:08:46] Phil: But for me it's always been like you spend so much of your time working that if, if it feels like work and a job, it's just not fun. Right? And if you can make the time that you spend working, Like something that allows you to experience it in the same way that you would experience a hobby or, you know, going to a family affair.

[00:09:07] Phil: There's just something comforting around going to a place that you don't, it's like, cheers. You know? It's a, it, it just feels like home. So that's what the creature of comfort is. Every element, every solution, every service. You know, you're always. Remembered for your outages or down times. Not that NYI has ever had any, but you're always remembered.

[00:09:25] Phil: Nobody ever calls you to say thank you for, you know, the 99% of the time you stayed up. So even when I'm like pitching services now, I don't represent a hundred percent uptime. I represent a hundred percent like chance of you going down at some point. And the question at the end of the day, 99.99% of the time, it won't be our fault.

[00:09:45] Phil: But who would you rather call the Ghostbusters pitch, right? Who would you rather call when something went down? Do you trust us to, you know, help try to steer you in the right direction and, and get you back up as quickly as possible? Or would you rather use, you know, a larger company that's, you know, more bureaucratic, et cetera, and more concerned about the liability that admitting to downtime or, or things like that.

[00:10:06] Phil: All we care about is making our. Customer is successful. And that's something that's difficult to kind of mold that with your personality if you, you know, try to do that with an or an organization that maybe you didn't find and it maybe it's not that hard. It's just the creature of comfort element to it is just the comfort of being like, Under the umbrella that I've created, even though the umbrella has holes, I just know where the holes are.

[00:10:29] Phil: So I avoid getting, getting wet. There's so many weird metaphors that I'm not sure that there's any benefit from you. Continuing. Go ahead. Sorry. Geez, Louise Zoe. Control yourself. My God, 

[00:10:41] Zoe: I, this is a hard episode to record. Apologies to our sound guy. 

[00:10:45] Chris: It's gonna be fun. It's gonna be fun to edit. Yeah. 

[00:10:49] Zoe: So after this, You know, it's a long journey for you.

[00:10:53] Zoe: 27 years. I just have to bring that up again. But what does your day look like? I mean, It sounds like it's so ingrained in you, the way the organization works, the passion that you have, the values of the organization. It's almost like it's, you know, it's you, but in a company. So what does your day look like?

[00:11:10] Zoe: How do you structure a day? Is it random or is it very structured? 

[00:11:14] Phil: Uh, it's not very structured. I don't believe in structure. I don't know if you could tell that by the way I'm responding to these questions. You know, it's, I try not to over calendar myself. Even if I go to like a, like you, you go to these events all the time, PTC, ITW, all of these things where you constantly are talking to people, they're like, oh, I'm back to back.

[00:11:30] Phil: I have meeting after meeting, after meeting of absolutely useless conversation that ends up going nowhere. I'm, I'm much rather just be there and, and see where, like, where the feeling kind of takes me. And, you know, the day is structured. I mean, I'm not just walking around with a bunch of Chui and, and barefoot trying to figure out what to do.

[00:11:49] Phil: Obviously there, there are meetings and, and goals that we have for a particular day, but I'm also not naive enough to think that I have any control of where the day takes me. Because it's, it's one of those things where the only thing I can prepare for is that there's gonna be some unexpected thing that I have to deal with, whether it's on the operation side or on the sales side, or some opportunity that comes in or on the business side, or a strategy side or, or what have you.

[00:12:16] Phil: So I can also say, because, you know, we live in this hybrid, uh, I'm running from home right now, so you know, I, I, you, I'm going to the office, you know, maybe two or three times a week. And because it's, you know, a company that I founded, there's some flexibility that I can weave into that schedule. But I'm also not working, you know, nine to five.

[00:12:35] Phil: It's very much a kind of 24 hour clock. That's not to say that I wake up at three o'clock in the morning and I'm, you know, working on proposals or, or come up with. An idea. It's just that I am going kind of in and out of different projects, varying over the course of a day, which I recognize is probably not the most efficient way to operate, but it's the way to operate that keeps me personally kind of engaged because it's, it doesn't feel like I'm clocked in and I need to clock out, and that's the thing that's comfortable to me.

[00:13:05] Phil: Like I, I don't want to be. I had this article that I wrote at the beginning of the pandemic when, you know, everyone went, went home, and at that point we were operating an office downtown. We had another data center in a different building downtown, and we had a, like an admin office in Midtown. This is all in New York City.

[00:13:22] Phil: And one of the things I felt during the day when I was going to the office every day, cuz that's what like, was expected of society, you know, somehow that all ended in, in, in March of 2020 because we weren't all nomads like Chris, uh, Chris, Chris got a beat on that like a little bit earlier on. And it was this concept that I finally, like when I was finally sitting at my desk and I wasn't expected to be anywhere.

[00:13:42] Phil: I ne I didn't have that overarching feeling that I was always in the wrong place. And I always had that. We had a, a data center that we, we had until 2019 in New Jersey. When I lived in Brooklyn. I actually to live in New Jersey now. Um, just to make it as efficient as possible. I moved to New Jersey after we sold, uh, the data center in New Jersey.

[00:13:58] Phil: But, you know, if I was in the data center in New Jersey, there was always some reason I needed to be in New York and I was always found myself going back and forth feeling like I was never at the right place. And when I suddenly the expectation of being in a physical place left. It was almost like a weight got lifted off the shoulders because we, we were just able to focus on like, what do we need to accomplish that day and how do we engage with the right people and what's the point of going to an office just to sit on Zoom calls with someone that's gonna be, you know, all over the place all day.

[00:14:27] Phil: And that there's, I, I don't know why that was something that we need. We needed a pandemic to tell us. But it just became this obvious, like, why was I running around all day? Why was I going from office to office all day? And what was I accomplishing other than burning up metro cards and using fossil fuels and, and doing all sorts of things that were, I, it just, I was spending all this time in between.

[00:14:49] Phil: The things that I wanted to be doing, which is like having a conversation like this. Maybe not this one specifically, but you know, with, with other people. I'm kidding. I love you too. Rest. 

[00:14:58] Chris: Yeah. I mean, and it burns up so much time too, right? This travel. It's crazy. Just amazing amounts of our life are spent getting somewhere, to your point that maybe we don't even need to be.

[00:15:06] Chris: I found it refreshing. A also, you know, it's a little bit different in New York City, I found commuting in New York City to be much less stressful because I wasn't the one in charge. Like I'm either in the back of a car. Or in a train someone else is driving. I don't have to worry about whether it slows down or not.

[00:15:18] Chris: It's just, hey, if I'm late, I'm late. Cuz the train stopped and everyone else is gonna be late anyway. And it's a lot less stressful. I remember when I was living in Denver still and actually driving myself to work every day. It's not only a time waster, but I would show up to work just ticked off because I'd been navigating traffic for 45 minutes or, or longer to get there.

[00:15:36] Chris: Anyway, I just plus one on let's, let's keep everything flexible, man. The flip side of, of kind of being able to make your own schedule and, and, you know, be comfortable in running, you know, this, this organization that you've kind of built in your image a little bit. Being in that position, I mean, I'm guessing that a lot of people are looking to you for answers a lot of the time.

[00:15:53] Phil: Heavy hangs the crown as they say. 

[00:15:54] Chris: Yeah, yeah. And I, it's, it's actually wiped all the hair off of your head. It's so heavy. 

[00:15:58] Phil: Uh, cle it slides off. It actually heavy slides the crown now. There's nowhere for it. There's no friction. I got no friction up there at all. Thanks for bringing that up, ponytail. 

[00:16:08] Chris: Thanks.

[00:16:08] Chris: Sorry I had to, you, you, you know, you put the crown out there. So the question though, seriously is do you ever feel like you're not smart enough 

[00:16:16] Phil: every second of every day? The only thing I've convinced myself of, I am a huge fan of faking it till you make it, which is pro, you know, probably a phrase that you could use as a tagline of imposter syndrome.

[00:16:25] Phil: Um, and I started this business when I was 17, is 17 and a half, 18 years old. I say all the time like, I don't know another way to do it cuz I've never worked anywhere real. Right. So, you know where I, I've been in an imposter from the get-go, but what I've recognized, what gets me through the day and allows me to look in the mirror, is I recognize everybody else is as well.

[00:16:45] Phil: I think especially in our industry where, you know, we were there at the, at the outset where everyone was just guessing their way through it. And I think so much of the internet flows through these duct tape, you know, switches and routers that are still in place that happen to still be working from 20, 30 years ago that just haven't been, you know, updated or fixed or, or, or changed because, you know, we're to a certain extent a victim of our own success.

[00:17:09] Phil: So there is no right way or wrong way. There's just. You know, does it work or does it not? And I'm sure you'll get all sorts of fan mail. Do people do that anymore? Or calls about how No, no, that's not, that's wrong. There is a specific right way to do everything, but you know, I've, I've always been a fan of, you know, keep it simple, stupid, and all of those really different phrases.

[00:17:28] Phil: But at the end of the day, I. I think everyone is lying about how confident they are in a particular thing. A lot of people are benefit from luck. I think that that has more to do with success than, than any sig particular knowledge base. And I think it's a great name for a podcast because if everyone's being honest, We're all imposters.

[00:17:48] Phil: I mean, how could we possibly know the right way to do anything? Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face, as Mike Tyson said, and every guy that's running infrastructure has a plan until something goes down and then they panic. I am the coach of my son's little league team. We had our first game.

[00:18:03] Phil: You imagine how much therapy those kids they're gonna need. We had our first game this past Saturday and you know, we had a practice before that where, you know, we had them in the field and we hit something to the short stop and said, throw it to first base cuz that's where the runner's gonna be. And you're trying to get these kids to understand the way the game is played until they're in the game and the kids just panic.

[00:18:22] Phil: They all just run after that same ball and they're all like going into the outfield and it got better as the game went on. But we are experiential animal. Right. So the only way you learn is by doing, and if you wait until you have all of the required knowledge to become an expert in your field before you start, you'll never get started.

[00:18:41] Zoe: Well, especially in technology, because if you wait so long, it's gonna change by the time you start anyway. 

[00:18:46] Phil: Right? I mean, you're only Yeah, you're, it's already outdated. 

[00:18:49] Zoe: Yeah, no, exactly. Although then again, you could work on those routers and switches that are 10 years old already. But no, that is a really good point.

[00:18:57] Zoe: And I think the other bet that I really relate to is, That sense of, well, I don't really know what I'm doing. I'm just gonna try my best, and if it works, awesome. If it doesn't work, I'm just gonna keep trying because I'm too stubborn. 

[00:19:10] Phil: Right. Well, look, I think at the end of the day, uh, I, I, I don't wanna pretend like this is a one man show, right?

[00:19:16] Phil: So of course, uh, you bring people into your sphere that are, you know, to a certain extent, experts in their field, recognizing that there is no one size fits all approach. And the way we look at issues within our ecosystem is cuz things go wrong all the time. Over the course of 27 years, it would take a lot more than fingers and toes to count, like the number of things that went down.

[00:19:36] Phil: And I appreciate the fact that you're swallowing your yawns, but if you, if you could admit, if you're vulnerable enough to be able to say, I'm not an expert in this, you know, I need help, I need, you know, people to recognize that we're not experts in this. And, and it's a totally, it's a team effort, but the way we look at issues is this learning experiences, you know, so, you know, you try not to repeat the same mistakes over again, but you recognize that these things are organic.

[00:20:01] Phil: Pieces of equipment, they're organic, almost beings that, you know, whether it's on the power side or the network side or the cooling side, that sometimes it just doesn't work out how they're expected to work. And you just do your best. You try to document as much as possible and bring people in your sphere that are not about, you know, cya.

[00:20:18] Phil: That's cover. Cover your buttocks. And, and just focus on, like, no one is gonna get blamed for the, the shit happens approach. We're all on the same team, and sometimes shit happens. And most of the time it doesn't. You're not gonna be blamed for, you know, something that goes wrong as long as, you know, we document it and, and we move forward.

[00:20:36] Phil: And we're a more powerful organization for it after an incident is resolved and before.

[00:20:42] Zoe: I mean, that rings true for me as well because I work in security, so stuff happens. It's always gonna happen, but creating that culture of like learning is so critical to success, or at least that's my opinion. The one last thing I had question about is throughout your career, I imagine as you mentioned, you had huge mistakes.

[00:21:00] Zoe: You had success, said you had failures, you had learning experiences. Was there ever a time that you were kind of stuck and you didn't know how to go forward or where to go, and how did you get out of that like rut? 

[00:21:13] Phil: Um, certainly and plenty of times. I mean, it's not like it just happens once I, again, human nature is to doubt yourself.

[00:21:22] Phil: Like anybody that the, the most confident person on the planet that you can find is usually just overcompensating for the fact that they are scared children on the inside that are using their, their egos to try to block it. I think at the end of the day, the mantra that I use, if there is one, and I'm terrible at doing anything that makes me sane.

[00:21:39] Phil: So, you know, I'm not good at, I, I want to be someone that's good at meditating and all those things, but that's a Grundemann thing. Uh, the jeans didn't come to, uh, my end of the gene pool, but you just think that there's nowhere to go but forward when you get knocked out. You have to get, I mean, it, it takes time.

[00:21:55] Phil: You know, sometimes you're not popping back up. Sometimes, you know, it takes a couple of days or it takes some rumination or you have to. You know, mourn for an idea that didn't work out or something that you were passionate about, that failed, but there's nowhere to go but forward, right? If you stick your head in the sand, it'll only work for so long.

[00:22:12] Phil: Sometimes you have to do that as a coping mechanism for some time. But 27 years goes by again, drink everyone and what, what is the alternative? But to, to, but to move forward. Give up. Then what? Never. Never. You'll never quit. 

[00:22:30] Chris: Speaking of time, we have done it again. We've run clean out of it for today. Phil, thanks for finally joining us and sharing your story with the Imposter Syndrome Network.

[00:22:39] Chris: And thank you to all of our listeners for your time and attention. We know these are your most valuable resources and it really means a lot that you spend them with us. Thank you. If you want more i s n Goodness between the weekly shows, feel free to join our LinkedIn group to give or get career advice, mentorship and community support.

[00:22:56] Chris: Now, Phil, before we let you go, um, back to Velossa Raptor Ranching, I think it is. I do have one more question for you. Tell us a little bit about this Nomad Futurist Podcast Foundation, this project, you know, what the heck is this? Is it as fun as this podcast has been? Are we in for something serious? 

[00:23:13] Phil: If it's not fun, I'm not doing it right.

[00:23:16] Phil: So it's a, it has to be some level of fun because it's the only, it's the only thing, it's my key differentiator as they say in our world, at least. I think it's, if I'm having fun, I assume Zoe's having fun, Zoe's having fun, I'm happy. So the Nomad futurist is, um, I have a, a co-founder, his name is Nabeel Mahmood.

[00:23:31] Phil: Right. And, uh, we've been in and around this industry for years. We only met in 2019. On the conference speaking circuit. And the one thing we agreed on, um, when we met again in 2020 at the first PTC I ever attended, he actually lives in Hawaii. So he goes to, to ptc. Lucky, lucky man is that, you know, we've been going to these conferences for the last 20 years or so, or.

[00:23:54] Phil: 27 years drink and we realized it's the same faces just getting older and older and there's not a lot of new blood coming into our industry. So we decided, or I just had this, this fun idea of starting a podcast where it was completely non-commercial and we would interview all the people that we know that are at the highest levels of our industry about their personal journeys in the hopes that.

[00:24:16] Phil: It would resonate with some of the youth today that, you know, might, first of all not know that our industry exists because we're a victim of our own success, and they all know they're all beholden to technology, but as soon as it doesn't work, they turn it into Neanderthals and they just start smacking it or wondering, you know, what the hell is wrong with this piece of junk?

[00:24:32] Phil: But also because they're, you know, they, they might think that in order to be involved in our industry, you need to be a computer science wiz or a scientist or have a lab coat or whatever. When in reality, everybody that has been in our industry for as long as we all have, maybe not as long as I have, but as long as most of us have fell into it by happenstance.

[00:24:50] Phil: You know, nobody was growing up saying, I want to be in the critical infrastructure business when, when I grow up. So that's how it started. Pandemic hit. We were all sit, we were both sitting at our desks in our respective, you know, corners of the world, and we decided to start it over Zoom and see how it went, how, how it went.

[00:25:05] Phil: Now we're in our third or fourth season. We have interviewed, you know, somewhat like 80 episodes that we've released, and it's gotten some really. Interesting play. Fast forward to 2022. We decided to take it one step further and fi and started at a 501(c)3 nonprofit called the Nomad Futurist Foundation, whose goal is to create academic tools.

[00:25:25] Phil: Take all of this brain trust that we have through, you know, the people that we know in this industry, and allow them to share their passion about our industry with. With the youth in underserved markets and underserved communities and try to get, demystify our industry at a younger and younger level so that we're teaching children not really how technology works.

[00:25:45] Phil: Cause they all know, my kids knew how to use an iPad before they knew how to speak, but why technology works and, and, and understand that foundational level and then advocate with. You know, uh, the Department of Education with, with different school districts and school systems to try to just kind of incrementally add the foundational elements of the internet industry into existing kind of STEAM curriculum.

[00:26:07] Phil: And that is the 10 minute response to what should have been a 30 second question. 

[00:26:12] Chris: No, that's excellent. That, that's awesome. And I, I think it's really interesting that, you know, Zoey and I essentially did the same thing a couple years later, right? I mean, independently we came up with almost the same idea. I think this podcast independently is very similar.

[00:26:22] Chris: I promise. I promise we didn't steal it 

[00:26:23] Phil: independently. All right. It's okay. Uh, you know what, what is it? Mimicry is the best form of flattery. I'll take it. That's right. It's fun. 

[00:26:29] Chris: That's what they say. Alright. And, and it's great to see the foundation come out. Um, and, uh, we'll, we'll obviously put links in the show notes so folks can kind of listen into that podcast as well.

[00:26:37] Chris: If you like this one, you'll probably love that one. And, you know, what can people do to support the foundation? I mean, is it, is it donations, is it volunteering? Or how do folks get involved?

[00:26:45] Phil: It's both. You know, we, uh, because we're a 501(c)3 we're funded entirely by donations, corporate, individual, et cetera.

[00:26:52] Phil: We have a, a set, you know, we have advocates and ambassadors and advisors that join us to, to provide, you know, time and effort and, uh, and volunteering. We're about to launch in Q3 of this year, the Nomad Futurist Academy and Partnership with Check Hub, which is an online platform that allows. Like the thought leaders in, in our industry to create like small lesson plans that are, that are palatable, that just, you know, show their passion for technology, the things that they've learned, and that those will, those will be tools that can be shared.

[00:27:24] Phil: You know, individually with, uh, with kids or as part of a set of tools that, that we can give to organizations, schools, et cetera, that that will allow us who are, you know, they, they have this old adage, you know, those that, that, that don't do teach everyone in, in our industry, because it's so young as an industry.

[00:27:41] Phil: It doesn't, we've never had the luxury of having teachers, you know, there's not really, even today a set curricula in in colleges and universities. It's getting better now than it was certainly when I was in college 350 years ago, first graduating class of the millennium. I graduated in 2000. So the, the academy is gonna be a big one.

[00:27:58] Phil: And, and we're, we're, you know, we, we'd love, uh, the support of the community. Certainly donations and sponsorships help and our goal is to make those assets free for people to use. How, how, how they can.

[00:28:08] Chris: That's awesome. I think I speak on behalf of the entire imposter syndrome network that, uh, we support this and uh, hopefully folks will go check those links out and get involved.

[00:28:16] Chris: Appreciate it. Thanks guys. We will be back next week.