#63 Set Yourself Multi-Year Professional Challenges with Felipe Flores – Founder & Podcast Host

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In this episode, Anthony Ugoni, one of Australia’s more prominent leaders in analytics interviews Felipe. Felipe came to Australia as a backpacker and ended up falling in love with the place. With Spanish as his first language, the only English he could say was the jacket is black. Then, Felipe explains some of his odd jobs and working freelance IT. At university, Felipe wanted to specialize in data, but all of his friends told him it was dead. So, he ended up specializing in hardware, even though all of his work was in data. When Felipe went to do his thesis, he happened to stumble into a project involving brain wave activity. The electrical engineer did all the research and design, the signals would be passed to Felipe’s computer, where he made his first application of machine learning. 

Then, Felipe explains how he and a colleague of his made the decision to quit their jobs at a small consulting firm. They decided to start their own firm, despite knowing very little about business. The first year they almost went bankrupt about four times and made lots of mistakes. They wanted to be in analytics but were unsure how to sell their services. The two spent six months creating a piece of software. When they went to show prospects they found out people did not like the entire product. So they decided to focus on their consulting business. 

After gaining so many clients, Felipe was literally sleeping in the office and billing over 100 hours each week. Coming up with solutions for the customers needed to be part of the sales process. Do exactly what the customer needs, and do it very quickly to build trust. Although you may be able to do even more for the customers to advance their businesses, target their needs first. After three trusted transactions with the customer, your relationship is built on trust, and then you can start recommending different projects. Eventually, Felipe went back to some of the people who expressed interest in investing in the company over the years and said they had an opportunity to invest. His partner got 51%, and Felipe sold his shares, the company is still going and has been rebranded. Later, Felipe discusses his work as the Executive Director & Head of Data Science at ANZ and explains their supportive work culture. Felipe also reveals the inspiration behind his podcast, Data Futurology, and describes his excitement behind explainable AI. 

Enjoy the show!

We speak about:

  • [02:40] Felipe’s background 

  • [06:10] Education and specializations

  • [14:30] Quick delivery of value  

  • [17:20] A series of odd jobs and IT freelancing  

  • [24:20] Setting up his own consulting company  

  • [33:15] Highs and lows of Clear Blue Water

  • [37:30] Executive Director & Head of Data Science at ANZ

  • [47:55] Supportive and open culture at work 

  • [52:40] Understanding the business at a new job

  • [54:45] Inspiration behind Data Futurology

  • [62:00] Explainable AI 

Resources:

Felipe’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/felipefloresanalytics/?originalSubdomain=au

Episode #21 Antony Ugoni: https://www.datafuturology.com/podcast/21

Quotes:

  • “If I’m an engineer, people will think I’m smart.”

  • “A colleague of mine and I decided to set up our own consulting company. Professionally, it was the best and worst thing I’ve ever done.”

  • “Sales is built on trust and a human connection.”

  • “I had not done a good job of being a leader and creating a culture.”

  • “How can we make data scientists today, the CEOs of tomorrow?” 

Now you can support Data Futurology on Patreon!

https://www.patreon.com/datafuturology

Thank you to our sponsors:

UNSW Master of Data Science Online: studyonline.unsw.edu.au

Datasource Services: datasourceservices.com.au or email Will Howard on will@datasourceservices.com.au

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Felipe Flores is based in Melbourne, Australia.

And as always, we appreciate your Reviews, Follows, Likes, Shares and Ratings. Thank you so much for listening. Enjoy the show!