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Modern CTO Podcast: Augury Co-Founder Says Your Tech Is Only As Strong As Your People

Machine health AI, modern podcast.

Under the title ‘Versatile Machine Health AI’, Modern CTO Podcast talks with Augury Co-Founder Gal Shaul about his tech roots, how machine health reduces unplanned downtime, and what it takes to accelerate innovation. Key takeaway: “Tech is for people by people to people.”

Keeping The Machines Running

Once upon a time, Gal Shaul was that kid taking apart his parents’ VCR to figure out how it worked – and then being unable to put it back together. While one can sympathize with his parents, these efforts did set him on a path. A few leaps later, he’s Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at a recently-minted unicorn as it undergoes aggressive growth.

While a youthful Gal left a trail of electronic debris behind him, his parents kept supporting him. In fact, he and CEO Saar Yoskovitz originally co-founded Augury ten years ago in a spare room of the parental house. Today, Augury’s state-of-the-art full-stack AI-driven solution can work to prevent 80% of unexpected downtime for manufacturers, while also functioning as a stepping stone for complete digital transformation.

The podcast #389 Gal Shaul, Co-Founder & CTO at Augury – ‘Versatile Machine Health AI’ features Gal and host Joel Beasley discussing COVID-19 accelerating years of innovation into the space of a few months, how to embrace new ways of thinking, and the best ways to inspire your team. The episode is currently nearing 100,000 listens. What follows are some of the essential quotes.

On The Roots Of Machine Health…

“Saar and I know each other for ages. We had been talking about startups for five years before we started Augury. Every class we took at university, we were talking about startups. We went to meetups, compared books, compared notes, and even decided on our first jobs based on what is the right path to start a company. We didn’t always agree but we always had it in mind.” 

Finding That Hole In The Market…

“Saar was very interested in voice and sound in general, as well as machine learning. He felt there were missing opportunities between everything learned about image processing, and speech recognition – sound in itself wasn’t being as explored at that time. Something clicked. And a few months later, we quit everything else and started working on Augury.”

Fusing Machines With Humans…

“In the sense of our data science and AI, Augury is a very hybrid company. We use mathematical models and very modern AI. And on the other end, we bring people who are subject domain experts in machinery, coming in from predictive maintenance, who have been around these machines for years. And we try to marry these two elements. How do we tie together a very real understanding of machinery with AI?  

Why Augury’s Time To ROI Is So Fast…

“If you make ‘X’ amount of product in an hour, and some of that product wasn’t produced, the direct cost is that you have less things that you can ship to market. Now with commodities, this means that someone will buy something else. People will simply buy another brand of toilet paper. The manufacturers missed their targets because they weren’t fast and efficient enough. On top of that, there are a lot of things that break. Would you prefer to tighten a bolt today, or replace an entire motor in two weeks?

How COVID-19 Accelerated Aggressive Growth

“When COVID hit, we had all our installations canceled in a day. We had to do our two-year plan in three months – to do everything completely differently. Today, this is our biggest advantage: we know what to do and how to do it fast. And we’re excited about being able to grow in three different dimensions at the same time. It’s an aggressive growth model where we grow geographically and go after new markets, while also going after new types of machines. It means we can really have this transformational impactful on manufacturing.”

The Abilities All Leaders Should Possess

“For me, leaders who can lead from behind can enable teams to flourish. And for that you need to be a good listener to actually understand what people meant and to be able to ask the right questions […] Inclusion is also very important. Sometimes leaders themselves, or the people who they like to work with, are people who are very open in conversation and would start speaking right away and feel confident. This doesn’t mean that they’re the smartest or it’s the right solution. It’s just the one that caught the mic first. And I think being able to get everyone in the room to a comfortable position where they can share and think together is really important.”

The Importance Of Nurturing Chaos For Creativity

“We don’t want to lose those water fountain moments when people from different teams are talking and something clicks. Those are the moments we care about. And those are the reasons startups exist. It’s this chaos that creates innovation that can go missing in larger organizations. And you want to keep that and not only worry about effectiveness, efficiency or any of the other metrics that are generally measured.”

For People, By People, To People…

“I think that sometimes as CTOs, or tech people in general, we sometimes fall in love with technology speaking to other technologies, and keeping humans out of the loop. I want to remind all of us that all these transformations are for people, by people, to people. It’s very important to Include people. This can’t be overstated.”

Listen to the full Modern CTO podcast #389 Gal Shaul, Co-Founder & CTO at Augury – ‘Versatile Machine Health AI’.

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