Innovation Junkies Podcast

Will Hurst on Technology Innovations

The Jeffs talk with Will Hurst, an innovator with 30+ years’ experience. Don’t miss this episode as they discuss: what works & doesn’t work for innovation with mid to large companies, characteristics & environments of successful innovators, & what larger enterprises need to know to start innovating.

Jeff Standridge: This is Jeff Standridge, and this is the Innovation Junkies podcast. If you want to drastically improve your business, learn proven growth strategy and generate sustained results for your organization, you’ve come to the right place. Over the next half hour, we’re going to be sharing specific strategies, tactics and tips that you can use to grow your business, no matter the size, no matter the industry, no matter the geography.

We’ll be talking about everything from sales and marketing to organizational, operational and leadership effectiveness, to innovation, digital transformation, and everything in between. Routinely we’ll bring in a top mover and shaker, someone who’s done something unbelievable with his or her business. We’ll dig deep. We’ll uncover specific strategies, tactics and tools that they’ve used to help you achieve your business goals. Welcome to the Innovation Junkies podcast.

Announcer: Hey, guys. If you’re looking to put your business on the fast track to achieving sustained strategic growth, this episode is sponsored by the team at Innovation Junkie. To learn more about our Strategic Growth Diagnostic, go to innovationjunkie.com/diagnostic. Now let’s get on with the show.

Jeff Standridge: Hey, guys. Welcome to the Innovation Junkies podcast. I’m Jeff Standridge.

Jeff Amerine: This is Jeff Amerine.

Jeff Standridge: We’re really glad to be here. Jeff, tell us about our guests today.

Jeff Amerine: Well, we’ve got a pretty amazing guest coming on, Will Hurst. We’re really glad to have you here, Will, and I’ve known Will for a long time. Will’s got over 31 years of innovation experience. He’s got a bachelor of science degree in computer systems engineering from the University of Arkansas. Will and I have worked together literally for the past 20 years.

I first met him when I was a senior executive at American Freightways. He worked at American Freightways prior to that, but when I met him he was with Cymbal Technologies. He’s worked for AT&T as a global solutions architect, Xirgo Tech and most recently Sensata, but he’s just a world-class innovator. He’s done some things that have been of global scale, and rolling out big systems for companies like Maersk and others. Will, we’re really happy to have you here today. Thanks for joining us.

Will Hurst: Thanks, Jeff. I’m glad to be here. I appreciate you inviting me.

Jeff Amerine: I think most of that was true. I don’t know. I may have ad-libbed it.

Will Hurst: I think that’s pretty good, yeah. You did it a lot better than I could..

Jeff Standridge: Where are you located, Will?

Will Hurst: I’m currently in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Jeff Standridge: Oh, great. Fantastic. Well, we’re going to start today with a random musing, if you will. We’re going to talk about our music of choice, so you get to go first.

Will Hurst: That’s a tough one. I like all genres. I was just bragging to some workmates. My in-laws are coming in and when they come in, we have country music jam sessions. I like to play bass guitar to country music, but hey, I’ll even listen to hip hop and classic. If it’s good music, it’s good music. I’m kind of arbitrary when it comes to music. I like classic rock the best, though, I think.

Jeff Standridge: Yeah. How about you, Jeff A?

Jeff Amerine: Well, man, I’m kind of like Will, and I will tell you that I don’t think there’s been any good music after 1978. That’d be the one qualifier, but I love classic Motown. I listened to a lot of Motown music and classic rock and roll. Those would probably be my top two.

Jeff Standridge: Well, I listen to both kinds of music, country and western.

Will Hurst: Country and western, there you go. Merle Haggard is my favorite.

Jeff Standridge: Oh, yeah. I love classic country and classic rock, actually. I think both of those are very, very related. There’s a fine line between some of the classic rock of the Creedence world and some of the classic country.

Jeff Amerine: Yeah, I agree. Creedence is awesome. Marshall Tucker Band, Steve Miller, Eagles. We could go on.

Will Hurst: We play a lot of Creedence. My in laws are in their 70s and 80s, and we both like Creedence Clearwater. That’s good stuff.

Jeff Standridge: Oh, yeah. Some of the good stuff’s slim pickings around here now. You can’t hardly find it.

Jeff Amerine: No doubt, slim pickings. The old failsafe on that, on good rock and roll like that, would be ZZ Top or Lynyrd Skynyrd. I’ll tell you what, anything during the disco era was definitely slim pickings for anything that sounded like music and not just a random drumbeat.

Jeff Standridge: Exactly. Exactly. Well, how about we move from music genres and start talking about innovation?

Will Hurst: That’s my favorite subject.

Jeff Amerine: We’re going to hit you hard with some of this stuff because I know you have been at the center, both in the trenches and then at the strategic level on innovation. Let’s pose the question from a corporate standpoint. As you think about midsize to large companies, how should they be thinking about incorporating innovation into what they do? What have you seen work, and what have you seen not work?

Will Hurst: Well, you know, Jeff, I think the industry that you and I came from is a key entry to talk about. When you and I started in trucking, American Freightways was in a class of their own of leveraging technology to try and improve operations. Even to this day, my company I work for, we focus on transportation logistics, because it’s amazing how many operations are still using legal pads and pens to run their operations. Some industries are faster than the others to realize that you can leverage technology to really improve costs and improve your position in the marketplace.

I was talking to a former colleague at AT&T who now teaches in LA, and she was using the Maersk use case and she interviewed me to help with her lesson plans. We were talking about just how innovative it was 10 years ago that we were doing some things with smart shipping containers, and now it’s turned into an industry of its own. I think it’s starting to come down to even those small and medium-sized companies, that you’ve got to do whatever you can to get an edge these days, and technology and innovation is a key to that.

Jeff Amerine: When you look at Maersk in particular, which is a gigantic, probably more-than-a-hundred-year-old company, you could view them as being staid and maybe low-risk. How is it that you were able to be a driver to help them do something that ended up being globally consequential? What can you say about their culture or their willingness to adapt innovation that might be helpful to our audience?

Will Hurst: Well, luckily there are still some companies. Maersk is one of them. We’re seeing some of this. We saw it at FedEx, where even though they’re old, stable industries, they recognize you’ve got to do something to get a focus. We’ve seen this time and time again, whether it’s IBM or some of the other companies, that if they stayed the course for what they did, they would be dinosaurs. They would just disappear.

Those companies that recognize that, even a company like Maersk, they recognized that if they could do something that would really disrupt the industry, such as incorporating intelligent containers so that they wouldn’t have to buy as many containers … they’d have containers in the areas of the world that they needed them when they need them for revenue opportunities, and then they can make those containers last longer … they were smart enough and brave enough to embrace that and take that challenge.

Which by the way, it’s harder for a big company who’s got 400,000 shipping containers in their capital outlay. It’s harder for them to make that decision than it is a mom-and-pop who’s got 10. The economies of scale are amazing in that perspective. That’s one of the things, by the way, when I was with AT&T and now that I’ve been with Xirgo, we try to find those companies that are willing to take that risk. I think that’s step one, is corporations have to be brave. They have to be brave enough to embrace it.

Jeff Amerine: That’s really good. Jeff, you want to get in. Don’t let me dominate all the time. Will and I’ve got such a long history, we could chat about this stuff all day long, but jump in.

Jeff Standridge: That’s all right. I’m enjoying listening. Will, when you talk about innovation, you talk about, number one, being brave and being willing to take the risks. What else do you see among successful innovators, whether it’s characteristics of the innovator themselves or the environment in which they innovate?

Will Hurst: They have to know their business, and what we were seeing is there are some corporations that are ran by salespeople. Whether they’re selling internally or they’re talking about selling to their customer base, they lack the business knowledge and the acumen to understand what really pays the bills and what really takes away from their profits.

One of the things that I thought was very impressive about Maersk … and I’m going to use them again … is they told us, “We have this concept of a stool, and a stool has to have at least three legs to stand. Any time we’re looking at any type of innovative design or innovative process, we have to find three sources of significant ROI.” Not just one, not two, it’s got to be three, because inevitably one or two of those are going to fall off or we’re going to find they’re not as significant. By identifying three and focusing on those, it helps to make sure that the ROIs are realistic.

Having enough knowledge of your business to know where the flaws are and where technology innovation can truly make a difference. You see these companies all the time, that they’ll adopt an innovative product and they really don’t help. They look good. Someone in the organization looks good, but it really doesn’t impact on the business. What I’ve seen be successful in both large, small and medium companies is when they know their business, and the innovation that they’re adopting will make a significant difference.

Jeff Standridge: Do you have any examples you could share, maybe an innovation where there was those three legs to the stool, to help maybe our listeners understand that a little bit?

Jeff Amerine: Talk about American Freightways, and maybe weave in some of the Sheridan Garrison story and how he attacked the market, because I think it would illustrate the point. You were in the early days of the wireless handhelds there and whatnot. I think that’d be a good one to illustrate.

Will Hurst: Absolutely. Sheridan was a visionary, a good old Arkansas boy who started a trucking company in Harrison, Arkansas. It was amazing, the things that they were doing. I graduated from the U of A in ’93 with a computer engineering degree, and had been working in a facility that was manufacturing some of the highest-technology chips that were used in fighter jets. I thought, “No telling where I’m going to end up and what I’m going to be working on,” and I ended up in Harrison, Arkansas. I was amazed because of the things that they were doing there, the technology that they were leveraging.

Sheridan understood that the business was stagnant. The business, the model was set in stone, and there was going to have to be something to disrupt that in order to cut costs, improve service, and so that’s what they did. They identified three areas. It was how do we cut costs, how do we improve our service so we maintain our customers, and how do we be able to build a system that will allow us to scale to take on things like … and Jeff, you remember this. There’d be times when the U.S. Postal Service would have issues or UPS would go on strike, and there’d be the surge of business that would come in. It was inevitable that we’d get this big spike in business, and then as soon as the strike was over with, the customers would go back.

Well, Sheridan recognized, “We’ve got to do something that allows us to scale and to offer these services and improve on those services, so that when we have these opportunities, we can grab market share.” Cutting costs, keeping customers and grabbing market share, they seem simple and they’re business principles, but knowing the technology and focusing on the technology that would address those three business challenges and be able to make a significant difference, I thought that was an area that FedEx … now it’s FedEx Freight … American Freightways did very, very well, especially in those early days.

Jeff Amerine: Well, and specifically, some specific things that I know you were in the middle of, is they were very early out of the gate building their own internally-developed transportation management system, which they didn’t buy from the cloud or other players.

Will Hurst: That’s right.

Jeff Amerine: They built this state-of-the-art wireless pickup and delivery solution that was better than what anybody else had, including FedEx. A lot of people don’t realize that 70% of all of the pickup and delivery activity is dynamic. In other words, that driver leaves that truck terminal, and they don’t know what 70% of their activity is going to be. It’s dynamically sent to them. Talk about some of that.

One other thing, too, is the people part of it’s real important. We used to say that if you talked to an IT person from American Freightways, you’d think you were talking to someone in operations. Talk a little bit more like that. I mean, we know these guys. Talk a little bit more about that.

Will Hurst: A quick story. My mother, when I graduated from the University of Arkansas, she bought me a suit and I think four pairs of nice slacks and shirts, because I was going to work in Corporate America, right? First day I show up at the office, and the CTO at the time came to my desk and said, “What are you doing here? Why are you dressed like that?” I was a kid out of college. I said, “I’m sorry, sir.” He said, “You must not have gotten the memo. You need to be in Little Rock, and you’d better go by Walmart and buy you some blue jeans,” because basically the first six months as a computer engineer, I was on the dock, and I was busting freight off of trailers and I was driving a forklift.

I was fortunate enough to have a CDL because I drove transit buses at the U of A, helping put myself through school, so I actually drove a truck and was part of an emergency response team. I was very impressed with the fact that it didn’t matter what you did for that company, you spent the first six months basically entrenched in the organization, learning from the ground exactly how things work. Because he said, “Before you write a single line of code that’s going to change my operation, I want to make darn sure you know what that operation is and how it works,” for real. I thought that was very innovative, for that to be the case.

Jeff Standridge: Hey, folks, we’ll be right back with the episode, but first we want to tell you about a limited opportunity to take advantage of our Strategic Growth Diagnostic. For short time only, we’re offering a free strategy call to see whether or not our unique diagnostic tool is right for you. Go to innovationjunkie.com/diagnostic to learn more.

Will Hurst: Some of the systems, I’ll never forget, Jeff. There’s those moments in every career that you’re proud of, and one of the things I’m most proud of is the day I was in Kansas City and the Wall Street Journal came to the freight terminal there in Kansas City. They said, “This is the most innovative operation, period, right now,” when you looked at the automation that we’d put in. We’d put in a dock system which automated the moving of trailers from one door to another, and understanding how that affected load. We had a pickup and delivery handheld in every driver’s hand. We had this route optimization system that they put in to make sure that long haul was optimized. To be a young kid from Arkansas and be there and to be involved in that, it was very proud moment and very impressive.

Jeff Amerine: The lesson I think that our audience can learn from that was Sheridan Garrison would attack the market, not with technology for the sake of technology, but he would always ask the question. Not, well, what can go wrong, not necessarily immediately what’s the ROI, but he said, “What will happen if we don’t do this?”

Will Hurst: Exactly.

Jeff Amerine: He was very much one that wanted to attack the marketplace with things that he believed were going to deliver competitive advantage, and it made all the difference. For those 18 years prior to the acquisition, it was the fastest-growing LTL company in the country by a long shot, and still has the best reputation for what they did during that timeframe. It was always Old Dominion and American Freightways that were viewed as the service leaders.

Will Hurst: Exactly.

Jeff Amerine: It was largely because … we talk about how do you make innovation stick … the culture and innovation went hand in hand there, a very tight coupling, where everyone believed that what they were doing was important and that they needed to constantly figure out how to be better. Anyway.

Will Hurst: Jeff, another illustration of that is it wasn’t technology for the sake of technology. At the same time, we were like the Walmart of the T&L industry. We were just breaking the rules on how you did pickup and delivery, how you did over, short and damaged processing so that claims were down, and that you married freight up before it even got lost on your dock.

The same time we were doing these extremely innovative things, things like voicemail and email. I mean, they were so far behind, because he didn’t see those. He said, “I don’t want a voicemail. I want you to be able to be in contact with customers. That’s a crutch.” They did not just throw investment into technology for technology’s sake. That’s a prime example of that, is we were very behind the times on the things that he didn’t see as major impacts on the business.

Jeff Amerine: Well, and it made a difference too, because even though it wasn’t innovative, one of the things that I can tell you for the period of years that I was there is if you called into that place and you had a problem that you wanted worked on, you got a live human being, who wouldn’t release the call until they found exactly the person that could help you. Their service levels, constantly, and that in and of itself was innovation. Sometimes not adopting a technology to maintain a white-glove treatment or a customer satisfaction level is a competitive advantage, where you walk away from what might otherwise be an easier route by implementing voicemail and other similar tools.

Will Hurst: Absolutely.

Jeff Standridge: Will, how do you spend your time today? Tell us what you work on today.

Will Hurst: Well, I’ve found the perfect company to work for. I’ve been in technology my entire career, straight out of university. I found a company, Xirgo, which we just got acquired by Sensata. It was a perfect fit because it’s a hardware company. We design and manufacture hardware, but we did something uniquely different than virtually everyone else in our competitive space, is everyone else that designs and manufacturers IoT … which IoT stands for the Internet of Things.

It’s one of the hottest technologies. It touches every industry, from healthcare to education to manufacturing, transportation and logistics. Virtually all of our competitors are out there and they try to guess what the market wants. Then they build a product, and if that’s what the market needs, great. If it isn’t, the customers have to go somewhere else.

When I was at AT&T, I was part of an innovation group, that anytime an enterprise customer for AT&T came to us and said, “Hey, we’re looking for something that either it’s not on the shelf or it’s on the shelf but it’s not what we need, what do you suggest,” and AT&T partnered with Xirgo, my current company, because all of our products started as a custom solution for somebody. It was something that didn’t exist. What I spend my time doing is I get to work with people on a daily basis in all industries, all over the globe, trying to solve problems.

I was up at 5:30 this morning. I was on a call with some folks at an integration company in the Congo, the People’s Republic of the Congo. They have a problem with people vandalizing their power lines, and I’m talking about high-voltage power lines. They destroying these towers so they can steal the line, the copper. They’re looking for an innovative solution to put in place to try to detect when there’s these issues, and come up with a way to address that and react to it in time to salvage and save costs. That was my 6:00 AM. Then at 7:30, I’m on the phone with a gentleman from the National Health Service in Great Britain, talking about tracking medical assets.

That’s what my company does, is we solve problems. The wonderful thing about that is we don’t have to worry about price a lot of times, because the solution we’re offering is totally unique. I get to play with cool toys and help companies solve problems, that innovation is the only way they can solve it.

Jeff Standridge: Talk us through the process that you go through with a customer. Do they come to you with ideas? Do they come to you with problems? Talk us through that.

Will Hurst: Both, and typically problems. Typically what we see is we have customers like AT&T and Verizon and T-Mobile that will have a customer that is trying to solve a problem. By the way, Maersk, that’s how that happened, is they’d tried six times to find a solution that would solve their issues with tracking refrigerated containers. They came to AT&T as an outside chance, because they’re a Danish company. They don’t necessarily love the fact that they would deal with a U.S. company, but we got through that.

We showed them that we knew what we were talking about, and we approach all these deals the same way, is you shut your mouth and you open your ears. You know the old saying, God gave you two ears and one mouth? That’s a pretty wise statement, because you listen to what the customer’s needs are. You listen to what their challenges are. It’s not only enough to know what they’re trying to accomplish. You need to spend your time discovering what the challenges and the roadblocks are to get to that.

That’s usually the devil of the details, is what are the parameters you’re going to have to work around. We spend a significant amount of time in presales, just trying to understand the problem the customer’s trying to solve. Then we have a tool kit of platforms instead of products, that will find the platform that’s the closest match, and we build from that. That gets us to the market quicker.

We have adapted the Lean method of development where we have these two-week sprints, which allows us to interact with the customer more often and make sure we validate the solution before we go too far down the path, which is great because it gives you an excuse to be in front of the customer, to continue to show the value and to have their interactions, so you don’t build a bunch of stuff that you learn six months later is not what they were looking for. When you do that every two weeks, you have a lot fewer errors.

It’s kind of like when you’re building a house, right? If you talk to the builder close to the end of the project, and you find out he used the wrong carpet and he built this room the wrong way, it’s kind of too late. It’s going to be very costly to change those mistakes. If you’re interacting with him on a daily basis, as he starts to make mistakes, you can say, “Hey, no, that’s not how I want it.” It’s a lot cheaper. We had this methodical method that we approached these innovative product development projects, and it works really well. It’s worked both at AT&T and at Xirgo.

Jeff Standridge: What’s the biggest challenge you see across these clients with whom you work in terms of really getting them to innovate?

Will Hurst: Companies have leaned down so much that the subject matter experts … and we’re seeing this mistake in every industry across the board. To cut costs, companies are shedding what they see as their expensive resources, those subject matter experts that actually know their business. They’re shedding them and they’re adopting these new methods of doing business, that it’s hard to find the experts anymore.

There’s a large retailer. I’m not going to mention any names, but there’s large retailer we’re working with. About the time we figure we have leverage to help them out, they shuffle everybody around or people leave, and you can’t find anyone that knows what’s going on, that can even analyze the issues. Like I said, if we’re starting this by opening our ears and letting the customer tell us what their challenges are and what the parameters are, if they don’t know what their challenges and their features that they need are, how are we going to know that? They should know their business.

That’s one of the biggest challenges, is companies are … it’s almost like the dumbing down of Corporate America. It’s hard to find someone in organizations anymore that knows what’s going on, and then having the time to sit with you to tell you about those things is a challenge. Then the IT departments have all been watered down, and they have consultants. It’s hard to find the experts that know how their IT systems are organized. That’s one of our biggest challenges, is finding those internal subject matter experts that we need to interact with us.

Jeff Standridge: You know, as a follow-up on some of that, you all have had a successful, now publicly-known event where very innovative small to medium-size … I guess you’d say medium. You guys were pretty good-sized. It’s been acquired now by a publicly-traded company that’s over a hundred years old. Talk about that, then talk about how you see the future going as part of this larger innovative juggernaut. How do you think that’s going to work out?

Will Hurst: Well, Jeff, the proof’s in the pudding. We’re a hardware company. When you look at the fact that we sold for 20X, and everything that our parent company is telling us, the reason they bought us is when they compared us to everyone else, they saw that we had true intellectual property. Even though we’re a hardware design company, the things that we’ve learned over 10, 15 years of experience, things like adaptive power management, which is very important.

When you talk about a little piece of hardware that’s the size of a matchbox, and it’s got to last for two years on a single battery charge, things like power management are important. Things like picking the right battery so that it can withstand being charged in high or low temperatures. That knowledge and experience is not trivial. When they looked at, “Oh, you guys are actually designing this. You’re designing your own [inaudible 00:26:57]. You’re designing and you’re writing your own software that’s using machine learning and machine vision.”

We have true data scientists in our organization. That, they saw as, “Okay, you’re not a commodity shop. You are actually an intellectual property shop. You’ve got all this knowledge and this expertise.” I think that should be a lesson for a lot of industries. That goes back to what I was saying, is that when companies almost commoditize their business and they get rid of those subject matter experts, those innovative thinkers, it can be devastating.

Jeff Standridge: Well, and you know, IPOs for companies like yours are slim pickings and rare events really, but an acquisition by a big publicly-traded player like Sensata that bought you guys, tell us a little bit about them and what your perception is of their culture and a little bit of their history, because I think it’s also instructive. They’ve obviously valued the fact that you guys represented a competitive advantage through how innovative you were and your place in the market. Talk a little bit about the acquiring company.

Will Hurst: Sure. Sensata, there were some of us in upper middle management that knew something was going on, and we knew there was a couple of possibilities for an acquisition. When we found out it was Sensata, we were very, very pleased with that because number one, they were an existing partner. We’d actually worked with them, so we knew the culture. We knew that they were a hardworking company for a company so large, and they were kind of like us.

It’s hard to find anyone who knows who Xirgo is. Once we tell you where our products are … you know, at Progressive Insurance, whenever you see Flo hold up that little Snapshot device, that’s a device we custom designed for Progressive. Then when you look at any Maersk container and you see our devices on there, and FedEx trailers running down the road you see, every FedEx trailer, no matter if it’s here or in Canada or in Europe, it’s got our tracking device on it.

Sensata was kind of the same way. It’s hard to find people who know who they are, but the fact of the matter is if you’re driving a car or in a train or on an airplane, their sensors. They’re a sensor company, and they have invented and designed and developed and sell some of the most robust and mission-critical sensors. They had equipment on Apollo 11, control panels and sensors. I mean, it doesn’t get any more mission-critical than that.

We’re proud of the fact that they have a long history of developing innovative products that are made for the most extreme environments, which fits in perfect with what Xirgo does in the IoT industry, so a good fit. A big company, $3 billion-plus in revenue, about 19,000 employees. Corporate headquarters based out of London with U.S. offices in all of the U.S., but our U.S. corporate office is in Attleboro, Massachusetts.

It seems too that they want to keep us nimble. They have us as an innovative group, and they want us to stay an innovative group. They’re actually hoping that we’re going to help infuse that innovation into some of their core products, which I think is very intelligent. That’s the opposite of what we’re seeing. They’re buying subject matter expertise to bolster and make sure innovation continues.

Jeff Standridge: Will, let’s talk a little bit, get very practical for a moment before we land the plane, if you will, for our listeners. Let’s say it’s a CEO of a midsize or senior executive of a midsized company, all the way up to a senior executive, to a CEO in a larger enterprise. They know they need to innovate. They’re not really sure where to start. They’re looking at the environment around them or constraints that are continuing to be heaped upon them, if you will. What would you tell them?

Will Hurst: That’s a tough one. That is a tough one. You know, one of the things that Sensata promotes … and I’ve talked to Jeff about this … is they recognize that giving back to STEM … they actually have a program where they encourage employees to have X number of volunteer hours towards STEM activities, to give back to the community and to help small firms. One of the things that they value … and by the way, AT&T did the same thing. AT&T changed their Bell Labs structure to actually be a series of foundries that were supposed to promote and help small companies to use innovation and to increase their place in the world.

I think those companies need to invest time in understanding what’s going on in the marketplace from an innovation standpoint. A lot of times, they’re so focused on the tactical things that they forget that you’ve got to be thinking about what is going to be impacting your business tomorrow, and next year and the year after that. If you don’t get out there in these particular arenas, the startup community … there’s a lot of stuff I learned from being involved in helping Jeff out with some of the startups.

There’s a lot of cool things that I’ve found that I’ve applied, and Xirgo was a medium-sized company. I can say that not having the blinders on, and also not being stuck-up to think you’re only going to learn things from Harvard Business Journal or from going to CES, that you actually are going to learn things from the people who are doing the most of the innovation in those hungry companies that are in startups.

The entrepreneurship, that’s where you learn a lot of what’s going on. A lot of the trends are coming from these small, tiny startups that are trying stuff. They’re bold and they’re passionate. I would say don’t be blind to something that’s probably right there in your community, where you’re going to get a lot of ideas and you’re going to get energy from that innovation.

Jeff Standridge: Very good. Thank you so much for that.

Will Hurst: No problem.

Jeff Standridge: Well, we appreciate you being with us today. It’s been a pleasure. I appreciate getting the chance to meet you. I know you’ve known the other Jeff for quite some time, so I appreciate the opportunity to put names and faces together as well.

Will Hurst: Well, I appreciate the opportunity to come on.

Jeff Amerine: Yeah. Thanks for coming on. Your insights are always spot on, and I know our audience is going to get a lot of value out of it. Thank you very much.

Will Hurst: Well, Jeff, you guys keep up the good work. This world’s going to need it. There’s a lot of work to do. We have a lot of challenges, and I think innovation is going to be the way to get right-sized.

Jeff Standridge: That’s Xirgo, X-I-R-G-O. Check them out. We’re with Will Hurst today on the Innovation Junkies podcast. Thanks for being with us. We’ll see you on the next episode.

Jeff Amerine: Hey, listeners. This is Jeff Amerine. We want to thank you for tuning in. We sincerely appreciate your time. If you’re enjoying the Innovation Junkies Podcast, please do us a huge favor. Click the Subscribe button right now and leave us a review. It would mean the world to both of us, and don’t forget to share us on social media.

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