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InTechnology Podcast

#58 – Mooly Eden on Risk and Betting on New Technologies

How do you get over the fear of betting on new trends? What makes a great leader? And how do you keep your chin up when your ideas are ridiculed?  On this episode Tom and Camille go straight to the source and answer these questions with guest Mooly Eden – Board Member, Speaker, Former Intel Executive, and all-around fantastic innovator and leader.

Mooly has experienced first-hand what it’s like to have a world-changing idea laughed at, and is a prime example of why you should stick to your guns even if you feel discouraged at first.

He’s a wealth of knowledge and an incredibly entertaining guest, so you’re not going to want to miss it!

They cover:

  • Why employees need to be proactive and persuasive about their concerns, especially relating to cybersecurity, rather than silently stewing and placing blame on others
  • How all innovation requires a certain level of risk
  • Why you shouldn’t get too discouraged if your innovative idea isn’t received well at first, using Mooly’s involvement with Centrino and the development of Wi-Fi and pervasive connectivity as a prime example
  • How to improve your leadership skills by looking inward
  • Why it’s better not to sugarcoat things, even if that may seem counterintuitive to some
  • How it’s impossible to predict the future, but possessing a strong ability to learn and adapt puts you in an excellent position to thrive

… and more.  Tune in now!


The views and opinions expressed are those of the guests and author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Intel Corporation.


Here are some key takeaways:

  • There are essentially two types of people when it comes to thinking about cybersecurity – those who take it very seriously because they recognize we are very vulnerable, and those who take a more lax approach because they believe nothing will happen to them.
  • Blaming high-level management for problems or shortcomings is not the way; you can’t internalize these things. You need to be diligent and persuasive and explain the issues so that people will understand what jeopardizes the company.
  • Every innovation requires a certain level of risk, it’s just about finding a balance.
  • When you do present an innovative idea, people may likely ridicule you for it, but that doesn’t mean you are wrong or that you should be discouraged.
  • There’s no set formula for being a great leader because everyone has different strengths; if you want to be a great leader, you must understand your leadership style and capitalize on it.
  • Intellectual honesty is always the best policy, even if it’s not what people want to hear.
  • The future is impossible to predict, so a focus on being able to learn and adapt is critical, especially for school children who are likely to enter a job market full of positions that haven’t even been invented yet.

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EP58 CSI – Discovering & Betting on New Trends – Mooly Eden
Machine Transcript
people, octopuses, microprocessor, intel, security, problem, world, understand, speak, swag, leadership, happen, years, risk, brilliant, laughing, told, blame, guests, invented
Tom Garrison:, ANNOUNCER, Announcer, Camille Morhardt:, Mooly Eden, Camille Morhardt

You ‘re watching Cybersecurity Inside, a videocast where you can discover what you need to know about cybersecurity. Here are your hosts, Tom Garrison and Camille Morhardt.

Tom Garrison: 00:15
Our guest today is Mooly Eden. Mooly is currently a consultant in high tech delivering virtual keynotes during the COVID pandemic. After over 30 years at Intel. In his last position at Intel, he was senior vice president and general manager for the perceptual computing group, and president of Intel, Israel, he was instrumental in the Wi Fi transformation. In 2012, mooli was voted Forbes top 10 most brilliant technological minds in the world. And in 2010, he was number 26, on fast company’s list of most creative people. I’ve worked with muhly for many years at Intel. And I can tell you he is a straight shooter. He says it like it is and he’s an extremely intelligent and entertaining guy. So it is great to have you on the on the podcast, Mooly,

Mooly Eden 01:11
Thanks. It’s great to be here.

Tom Garrison: 01:12
I mentioned that you are number 26 on Forbes Top List of brilliant minds, like how do you top that?

Mooly Eden 01:19
First of all, I don’t have a clue how they did it. But the one thing I do know is the first rung up the top number one was Lady Gaga. And when this was published, everybody in intervals laughing at me that I didn’t care because they told finally I got some respect for my kids, that I build a decent list. So I just keep the title and go on with this. I thought that the clue of their memory is fine.

Tom Garrison: 01:44
Well, I tell you, if I was on either of those lists, my head would be so big, I wouldn’t be elephant in the room. But anyway, it’s great to have you here.

Mooly Eden 01:52

Tom Garrison: 01:54
We’ve had guests all over the industry in different facets, talking about various forms of security. I just wondered from your perspective and out of Intel. Now for a while you’re talking to these other groups, you’re consulting, you’re speaking, what do you see as on top of people’s minds? or What are they talking about? when they think about security,

Mooly Eden 02:14
I will divide into two categories, the category of people that understand what is the security and what is the risk of security, and these are the people who do not sleep at night, they understand that we are very vulnerable. They understand that. If it’s softer, it’s penetrable, you try to put yourself totally offline. And still there’s a risk, you see what’s happened in the centrifuges in Iran, etc, etc. And I believe these people know that one, somebody inside ransomware or any other way that could jeopardize your information can destroy the company. The other people, which are the complacent people say yes, it’s interesting, it’s not gonna happen to me, and they do not put the right priority. But definitely the issue of security, cyber security, all the things probably one of the most important things to there are many of the systems which are designed today are designed with security in mind from the first stage, in order to ensure that the information or the development or whatever that tried to keep will not be jeopardized.

Tom Garrison: 03:17
We’ve talked for some time, Camille and I with various guests, the challenge with the mindset of a lot won’t happen to me. We’re trying to dispel that with people that it will happen to you, and it’s preventable. Have you seen any either arguments or whatnot within your consulting practice that have been more impactful to get people to actually take notice and start making actual changes?

Mooly Eden 03:42
I believe that people that do not take action to improve their security, probably it’s because they’re ignorant, though the bad people have bad judgment, they do not understand the risk. Now I have a lot of people when I was working in Intel around the complaint about the stupid cod does not get it. The stupid CIO that is or IT manager is not willing to spend money on security, always blaming the high the executive, the high level management, which by the way, makes sense because you know, the higher you are, the oxygen concentration is lower. So blaming high level management for not being the breathing guides, okay? The guys, I used to tell my guys and I’m used to the company and working with the three things in life that you do not choose and you need to live with it your kids, it’s your boss, and it’s to customer. You get it, you need to live with it. Now, if you cannot persuade your boss, and I used to say it’s also an Intel, you cannot say the boss is stupid or you do not understand you fail to persuade him. So it’s your problem. So guys, if you go and speak with somebody who killed or not internalizing you some other to use father I believe you quality in English but fear, uncertainty and doubt. Let me tell you what to do. Change in tactic use do something that you cannot blame him blame yourself for you’re not successful, go resign and let somebody who is better than you do it. These are the people you need to persuade, that’s your job. Just to give you an example, some of the innovations that we used to have in internet were not called names, because everybody knows, some of the people I used to work with. Some of my managers have been brilliant people. But their imagination was not great. This was not their forte. And, you know, I was trying to say, you know, this is gonna be so great and so beautiful and everything, and they didn’t get it. And I was blaming them until I realized one day that I need to blame myself. So you know what I spend $50,000 on videos, or whenever I they need an idea, I try to demonstrate the user a video, something else, in order to make sure that it’s much more palatable for them to understand the thing. So I believe security is a huge issue. It’s the engineer is a salesperson, it’s the marketing people, it’s their job, to explain the information in such a way that people will understand this is this the jeopardize that company, and you read about it every day in the press, see what’s happening.

Camille Morhardt: 06:09
I want to ask a little bit along those lines, it’s a bit parallel to security. But you’ve been at the forefront of a couple of different major technological transformations in the world, that really changed so much how we interact with technology that it can’t even be put into a technology category anymore. So for example, mobile compute, when you place your bet, or decide to make a call to go with something like mobile compute, or wireless in the compute space, is it an intuitive decision for you? Or is that an analytical decision?

Mooly Eden 06:46
I hope that everybody understand that when you speak about mega project, like the wireless like Centrino, like inter context technology, the first unit processor, definitely, it’s not me, I had the privilege to lead an army of people to other brilliant people to under 50 people. And you say, Molly, yes, I was the captain of the ship, but they’ve been many brilliant officers. Without them, nothing would have happened. So you know, you interview me, but definitely, you know, I may represent the group, if it’s not a one man show it definitely I cannot take the credit. But every innovation really innovation is coming and challenging the status quo. What is innovation, you know, I could do something nobody has done before, or whatever you did, so far, I can do it faster, better and cheaper. But I’m trying to take people out of the comfort zone, you take risk, you go to unknown charges. So everything which is innovative, includes risk. Now the question is, how are you balancing? So I believe me, I used to tell it to my people in CCG. You know, I used to say in Gobi trust from the rest, they won’t data. So when First of all, I want to have all available data before I make the decision. But one thing I learned from my boss is really to me as the minutes will go up and up in the management rank, you’ll have the to make the decision, this is less people, less money less time, which means the unknown factor is going to be bigger. So So first of all, it’s capitalized the nature of the data, which is available. open parentheses, make sure you don’t go into analysis, paralysis, close. At some point in time, probably you got 80 85% of the data, you’ll never have 100% because it’s risk. The risk is using ability to use the word God’s experience, intuition, whatever you call it, but you use another thing, and this is the part of the risk. It definitely there’s intuition involved, and you feel it in your stomach If you make a big decision.

Tom Garrison: 08:46
You mentioned about Centrino. And I’m just intrigued with it because I lived through it. Although I was on a different part of Intel when you were working through Centrino Centrino for people that aren’t Intel. historians’ was the time when Intel expanded what the brand really meant for the product to include Wi Fi, into the product into a notebook. And so we not only had Wi Fi as a capability, but we tested it to make sure that it was a good high quality experience that you could connect to if you went to the airport, for example. So that’s the history. But movie back to you, as somebody who was part of that transition to see where we are today. Could you even imagine how that would impact people’s lives number one, and number two, try to bring it back to security. how that changes the whole sort of risk profile or risk management for people that now they can connect anywhere and other people might be able to connect to them whether they know it or not. But I just wonder what’s your perspective as somebody who really was on the forefront early on in that transition?

Mooly Eden 09:57
Well, people ask me, How did you know that people would like to have like etc. I asked Alan Kay from Xerox PARC, he’s the guy that was involved in inventing the mouse and the icons and stuff like this. How did you know that people would like to use it. And he gave me a sentence that I always use as my last call in my presentation. He said, our current exponential world, it’s very difficult to predict the future no matter where we’ve been 30 years ago, 25 years ago in life was a ball, you know, I need to do a microprocessor, I could do linear extrapolation. I knew what only three years from now six months from now, it was easy. The guys who today you come in, tell me what’s going to be five years from now it’s exponential. It’s crazy. How do you do prediction, it mainly will speak about risk taking later on, etc, etc. But definitely need to make a huge amount of risk. And you need to try to know what to shoot. And what he told me is a great thing he said, there’s only one way to predict the future invented meaning is that he didn’t know that people would like to play with mouth. He didn’t know that people are, he invented it, and people use it. I believe same thing happened to us. Because if I try to spell some of the stories about Centrino way, because the story that you go to read them, the test case of the university is nothing to do with reality. We’d like most of the test cases. First of all, the microprocessor design, the barriers to low form factor are very low quality, there was only one small problem, bias frequency when we introduce Centrino was lower than venture in management told us that we are crazy, we have free singular ETFs how are we going to sell the microprocessor, a new microprocessor which a lot less frequency, after we educated the market, the frequency is what matters, this work sells. And we explain to them guys, it’s like a car, you don’t care about the speed of the engine, the frequency, you care about how fast the car is going, and the performance of valuables great, and everybody was laughing at us. You know, for Israeli, we laugh at you, you’re sure that he’s wrong, he throws through the window, you come from the doorway through from the door, you come back from the other window. But it was definitely not easy. People didn’t like that, it was not easy way to sell it. In I remember 2003 when we introduced the genome, we say you know, you’re gonna have Wi Fi in each house, you’re gonna have Wi Fi in hotels, you’re gonna have wife in Elk Lake, people laughed at us, literally, they laughed at us. And by the way, four years later, that tax rate of WiFi to notebooks was 96%. It’s unbelievable. The key takeaway, every great innovative idea is going through three stages. First of all, you are ridiculed. It doesn’t mean that you are wrong. Secondly, you are strongly opposed. Don’t be discouraged, you take them out of the comfort zone, probably you will behave similarly. In third, it’s accepted as a fact of life. It was his idea to start, which is again, okay. Because he believes in it, and it’s fine. But I say if there’s a few key takeaway that I can take from the whole project of Centrino is first is the idea that you are coming up with innovative idea, nobody will come and tell you, hey, you’re so brilliant, you’re great, because you take them out of the comfort zone, guys, we need to prove ourselves, we’re going to prove to the world and if you know how to take the team in how to corral them. And actually it was almost a personal ego issue. You could take a crisis made something wonderful out of youth. And from a leadership point of view, this was one of my biggest lessons. In my life in Intel.

Camille Morhardt: 13:33
You mentioned a couple of things about how you lead and the things that you’ve learned. I’m wondering how many of these things come naturally and how much of it you push yourself. Because I worked I’ll say in your division way, way down very junior many years ago, I saw you do a couple of different things. You know, one was with senior people within your organization you did not put up with for analysis. That was unacceptable. And the meeting would just end and they would have to come back with the proper analysis. Whereas with Junior people, including myself, you listened very carefully, kindly, were considerate, you were very nice about it when things maybe weren’t perfect, very encouraging. And you actually gave quite a bit of support and opportunities for some of the more junior people who are coming up. And then I also witnessed myself that you are very transparent and direct, as Tom said, straight shooter with, I would say, both customers and the press and I think both loved you. So I’m wondering, are these sort of hard won, or hard earned ways of being or did you just kind of walk into the world and you’re like this, and it just happened to work out.

Mooly Eden 14:57
I don’t know divided to two things that I divide I spoke about it being many times, there’s management that does leadership. Management, I can train everybody to be a manager. Because you know how to play, how to track, how to speak with people how to promote people, it’s one thing. Leadership is much more complicated. people fail to recognize it. The manager is a manager because I nominated him to be a manager. A leader is a leader because people choose to follow him. He’s the role model, they want to be like him, but they’ll grow up, they like to work with him, etc. And you cannot nominate a leader. So I believe there’s two things. First of all, I believe that you can improve leadership of every person who worries today, is it going to be a great leader? I don’t know. It depends. There are some people that will never be great leaders, some people will be. But the other thing which is very important to understand if you’re trying to be a leader, an organization is what is the leader because when asked people give them names of leaders, so some people start is Winston Churchill and George Washington and they go to Marie Curie. And some people go to Moses, and some people go to Jesus. And after we connect, connect 20 people which are totally difference is Teresa, etc. They will come and ask what is common to all these people. And it’s very difficult to find it, there’s no one source of leadership, each one of us have its own strength, its own forte. One person is brilliant. So people follow him because he’s brilliant. The other person is a people person, he cares about people they want to promote and listen to them. People go after him because of them. The third one, is it three successful startups so people want to join him. The point which is important to every step is, first of all, try to understand what’s your own leadership, and then capitalize on it. The tragedy is when you look up somebody else that you say, Hey, he’s nice road line, you’re trying to imitate his leadership. And I remember it’s happened to me, I was coaching somebody who was a brilliant architect, and he was giving a speech after me. And you know, I’m using a lot of sense of humor and stuff, and he tried to be funny. And it was a disaster, people almost start crying and I went to the Listen, the next time you tell a joke, I’ll start doing architecture of microprocessors. If they will, no, go verify with it. So to understand what you strike, don’t try to be funny. You’re not funny. But you’re brilliant. Capitalise on your own strength. Imagine it is the right coaching. People can understand what their strengths and try to capitalize in get to better and you know, the rest is who you are. What is the environment some luck? Everything is in this?

Camille Morhardt: 17:51
I think you’re basically telling me I should not have worn the braid today. This was this was imitation, oh,

Mooly Eden 17:59
No, as long as it still can go and you’re not infringing my, my IP. It’s okay.

Camille Morhardt: 18:06
One thing I remember you saying used to say, Stop it, stop it. It’s not a challenge. It’s a problem. Quit calling it an issue or a challenge. It’s a problem.

Mooly Eden 18:16
I want people to admit that they have a problem. And I told everybody guys, I don’t have a problem is bad news. If we’re doing innovative things we’ll have I have a problem with surprises. Because it means if somebody tells me something after quarter, it tells me to go three months delays, it does it the clue what he’s doing. If he’s coming, say Moody, I’ve got problem, ABC, I need assistance, ABC, we need to do it only to go that’s fine.

Tom Garrison: 18:43
But I will say though, that the language piece that you mentioned, is super important. And it is something in my 27 years of the company and seeing individuals like you Billy, who just you know, cut right through it. It matters.

Mooly Eden 18:58
And by the way, my role model for this was a person that which has more chance to work with him I was he will just lift Intel stuff like this was Andy Grove. He was not trying to fail. He was trying to have a culture say guys, Don’t bullshit each other says it is if you don’t have anything to say, say I don’t have anything to say. We need to be honest. And I believe he coined the word intellectually honest. And I follow it.

Camille Morhardt: 19:25
I was listening to YouTube, where you were giving a presentation about one of the biggest policy problems that we have as a world right now. Because how do we teach our children and how do we set up a curriculum and classes when we don’t know what the future is? Like you say that if we want our kids to be the biggest innovators, they’re gonna have to make the future. We don’t have problems defined yet. We don’t know what technology they’re going to have at their disposal. I know that you’re working with a major university in Israel now. Do you think that the definition of relevant education is changing?

Mooly Eden 20:03
Is not changing, it’s been changed. Totally a lot of what we are doing now is totally non relevant. people haven’t internalized it yet. And the reason is, is following First of all, the combination of CPU compute power, the cloud, AI and robotics, is going to put millions of people out of job, by the way, starting with the lower socio economical level, because jobs that are simple, repeating themselves dangerous, etc, etc. Whenever you look at the things that we are so proud of all these automatic warehouses, all the things, many people are going to be no relevant. Now, if we’re an exponential world, as we said before, it’s very difficult to predict the future. We need to train our people, our kids, to jobs that don’t exist, yet, no one of us can predict what’s going to happen 20 years from now, to solve problems can happen by using technology that haven’t been invented. That’s what you need to teach the kids. And somebody told me, You didn’t say anything. And I say no, I said everything. Because the only way to teach people to do it is to teach them to learn. If there’s no way that I can tell them what’s going to happen, 20 years from now, if they are given a toolkit to learn, then when they’re going to face new problems, they’ll be able to do it, go into another direction, do rewind, Albert Einstein saying what the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again, and again, expecting different results, which means you do the same, you’ll get the same guys, if you go to school, you’ll see that a lot of the curriculum, the way they teach the kid is the same way that they did it to you. So in 4050 years, that education, the world have changed dramatically. It started by internalizing that what you used 15 years ago, is not relevant anymore. But the delivery of the system will recognize it will be important. If people will not recognize it. In 50 years, we’ll find that they grew up generations that are not competitive. In when I speak about the exponential world, there’s only one thing which is stays, but it’s not exponential, it stays linear. And it’s tied to take to bring a kid from the age of six to the age of 18 to 12 years. And if you screwed it, it will take you another 12 years to fix it. It’s linear, you cannot accelerate time. So yes, I believe the education was good, huge challenge. All over the world. What we used to learn is totally different today.

Tom Garrison: 22:36
Well, we have covered a lot. We’ve talked about security, we talked about communication and leadership and now education. But we have one more important segment movie. And that is our fun facts. And so what kind of interesting fun facts Do you have, that you would want to share with our listeners?

Mooly Eden 23:04
I’ll speak about something happened to me in the interim. I was no challenge. You told me the moment. I was engaged in many strategic meetings, I was sitting in the CEO stuff. And whenever we wanted to do something for three, four or five years ahead, we used to swag it is who we used to swag things. For 10 years, I was swagging at the beginning is director of market the end of CCG. And I came back to Israel and say I’m going to continue to do it and then I went around the internet as soon as they know what is swag because I guess it’s an acronym that they’re not familiar with. When I go back to teach people they’re gonna ask me Moody What is swagging? In this strategic don’t do know what?

Tom Garrison: 23:47
I know what it means. But I don’t know if it stands for something. But what it means if you take a swag, it’s something it’s not a guess. But it’s like an educated informed guess. I guess if you think about it that way.

Mooly Eden 24:00
You’ve been very close. And I went to everybody and nobody could tell me that Oh, go to NC grow. And he will tell you because he coined this word. So I went to NDSU and they start laughing and asked me why do you ask for it? I said because everybody’s using it. And I’m using it. He told me scientific wild ass guess. Now I know what swagging is. I use it for 10 years. And Tom garrison was killed one minute ago didn’t know what the minute of swag. So his scientific world as guests you can call it intuitive or whatever, but definitely use it in for me this one of the funny thing is I find only 10 years after I’ve been in Intel.

Tom Garrison: 24:38
That’s great. That’s a good one. That’s a good one. All right, Camille. What? What What fun fact you have for us?

Camille Morhardt: 24:46
Well, I have to say I learned something else about cephalopods. I guess it’s Latin. I think it’s Latin, I don’t know, is that basically head and foot together. So these are things like octopuses and nautiluses.

Mooly Eden 25:00
Because until a minute ago, it sounds to me like a bit virus.

Camille Morhardt 25:03
But I had no idea that octopuses have actually three hearts. And I was looking more about this three heart thing and an octopus because my son told me, I was like, Wow, really, I’m gonna have to fact check that one before I use it as a fun fact. And one of their hearts is a system heart, which kind of pumps blood around the system. But then the two other hearts, pump the blood through the gills. But then I discovered that octopuses have nine brains, and that just kind of blew me away. They have a brain, between their eyes, and then they have a brain for each one of their eight arms. They also have a brain.

Mooly Eden 25:45
So I want to tell you, I’m so happy that Israel is not octopuses. Because if you can easily with a good nine brain, he will argue with himself to death.

Camille Morhardt 25:54
Three hearts and nine brains, you know, that’s gonna be an interesting creature.

Tom Garrison: 25:59
That is really, really cool. I knew octopuses were cool, but I didn’t realize that those those are good ones. So I’m going into the world of food. And I stumbled on this article, it actually turns out that McDonald’s, the company, McDonald’s, they once made bubblegum flavored broccoli, in the hopes that kids would want to eat broccoli. And it shouldn’t be necessarily surprised the kids did not like it. They were confused by the taste. That was a bad gut decision by somebody high up, bully. This is a really, really interesting conversation. So thanks for the time and we will talk soon.

Mooly Eden 26:40
See you guys.

Camille Morhardt 26:41

Announcer 26:43
Thanks for joining us for cyber security inside. You can follow us here on YouTube or wherever you get your audio podcasts.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the guests and author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Intel Corporation.

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