As I mentioned in my kickoff post, we will host a series of blog interviews over the next two weeks with speakers from our upcoming PreCommerce Summit (March 10) and Movers & Shapers Summit (March 12). Today’s interview starts with the CMO of Sysomos, Mark Young.

According to Mark’s LinkedIn profile, prior to joining Sysomos as their CMO he has worked in various roles such as EVP of Marketing solutions at Clear Channel Outdoor, Senior Director of Business Development at Intellectual Ventures and GM at Microsoft (who are those guys?). He’s also been endorsed for such topics as “strategic partnerships, management, business development, leadership, marketing and SaaS.” Not too shabby!a - MarkYoung

Without further ado, let’s jump right into our five questions:

  1. Aaron: How do you define innovation?
    Mark: I believe only true step functions can be innovation, the rest is evolution, which is great, but I like to save it for unique ideas.
  2. Aaron: What are you or your organization doing to drive innovation?
    Mark: Culturally we have built a company where all employees feel they have the ability to listen and create, not just the Data Scientists and Engineers. We had an internal hack-day a few weeks ago and we saw six ideas that were truly different uses of our data science and current technology.
  3. Aaron: Who is someone in your industry (or outside) that you admire? Why?
    Mark: Always my father… but inside the Industry there are so many. I was fortunate to work at Microsoft and got to see Bill Gates not only transform a business but turn that passion into greater good for the world. I feel like Sheryl Sandberg is doing that now. And as a father of a 22 year old woman who loves science, I really admire what Sheryl’s doing.
  4. Aaron: Where do you see your industry being in 3 years? 5? 10?
    Mark: We are on a journey with our clients to reduce the time to find insights and take action. We will move closer and closer to Autonomous solutions that empower marketers to be great story tellers and for consumers to have relevant and timely messages.
  5. Aaron: What book are you reading right now? How did you choose it?
    Mark: Think Like a Freak. Not a great story, my boss read it and recommended 😉

Thank you Mark. Love your answers. And trust me, you could do worse than taking advice from your boss and your spouse. But you knew that already.