Legends of Tech
A weekly podcast where Chris Georgellis, on the Customer Development Team, interviews people across the tech industry. From veterans, to hall of famers, day to day tech industry people as well up and comers. Get to know them as individuals, find out what drives them, how they got into tech, and what they see now.
Welcome everyone to Legends of Tech on this beautiful Wednesday morning. We have a returning guest Mr Mick Grossfeldt, or as we call him MG, on the show today.
We had such a great session on the first one MG, I thought it'd be great to bring you back online.
So thanks for joining. No worries, thank you for having me and probably some rocky music or something mate next time.
We're not that advanced yet but you know there is discussions, we'll have a makeup crew soon, a bit of music, introductory music, so you just tell me what your theme song is mate.
So hopefully by the next one we can have that on.
The A Team, sounds good. Oh mate that's another good one.
So mate, I know you and I have been chatting over the last few weeks and you know there's a topic that I think is pretty interesting because it's one of those areas where I think a lot of people in our industries is having a chat about or trying to figure things out and really it's you know how have you been or what are some of the ways you've been staying connected to the world during the isolation phase.
In particular you know what I like to call is you know the thing that's missing now those watercooler conversations or the pulse that's happening within the marketplace.
So mate, I know we've spoken about it in a lot of detail and I thought you know it'd be good to have a chat because I know I'm sure there's a lot of people out there especially within our industry or even just in general that you know we're in this world you know where we're isolated behind a screen.
We're doing a lot of work, everyone's busy but it's like there's something missing in terms of you know how do we stay connected.
So I'm keen to get your thoughts on that.
Yeah sure. So initially when we first went into lockdown or isolation the first week was was surreal.
I really felt like a recluse. The house was full, kids were you know scattered around the house and you know Jodie was elsewhere and it was just whilst the house was busy but there was it was you still felt isolated and you sort of felt shut off from the world and you know I know we were busy at work or behind screens and we were doing our email but literally I had to make a decision the following week.
I thought you know I can either sit here on my own or I need to work out how I can co-exist like the rest of the world with work and with this you know with this pandemic going on.
So I literally would reach out to people.
I mean obviously I watch the news every hour but but in terms of my network, in terms of getting an understanding of what was going on out there in the market and how other people were coping and whatnot.
WhatsApp has been a great tool for myself.
I WhatsApp a lot of people, a lot of people WhatsApp me and one of the advantages that I've had over the years mate as you know when I've run big people intensive businesses is that I still get a lot of people reach out from time to time for advice or for help or a reference check or whatever the case may be.
So I've always had a level of connectivity but I felt that if I wasn't proactive in reaching out to my peers or my contacts out there in the industry then yeah that isolation could have very much been you know the epitome of what the word means right.
So that's how I've had to do it and just you know if you get the opportunity during the day as you know you sit behind this damn screen for hours and there's no commute to and between meetings it's just click one button click next.
But when I've often had a 15 minute break in the calendar I would literally get outside and just walk up and down the street just to get the legs moving but I'd also then jump on the phone and make some phone calls just to just to stay connected just to find out what people are doing find out how people are coping because everyone's different and people handle things fundamentally differently.
So yeah so it's been an interesting ride but co-existing I think globally I think our day starts or my day starts typically around about 7 30 in the morning because you grab a cup of coffee you sit down at your laptop you start looking at your emails as to what's flowing through overnight and then you know you pretty much you can you can work up until 5 30 or 6 o'clock or 7 o'clock because you're not driving anywhere so the length of the hours is you know is completely up to you know yourself and how much effort you put into the day.
You're spot on I mean look for me personally I'm pretty structured in terms of my day I do things in certain times of day so I'll do my training in the morning then typically I'll go to the office do my you know my admin my emails my follow-ups make my phone calls as you do on your way to the office but now being at home I've got a young family so kids at home wife's at home I do my exercise in the morning but as soon as we get home the family's up and then we start our morning routine we're getting things ready and then once that happens then you're into your day of work so I've actually had to change the way I work and now typically I wouldn't do things like late at night that's typically when I'm pretty tired because I've had a big day I've had to change my strategic time in terms of okay I wanted to now block out three four hours at night or even in different parts of day to do these things but I think yeah you're absolutely right I think it's always in retrospect when we think about these things I was I was having a chat to a colleague that's in a similar role to me and you know he was he was just saying right now he's finding it hard to get his finger on the pulse because you go out to a lunch or you have a meeting somewhere around about and you just there'll be chatter people be talking you'll hear what this customer's doing or what this partner's doing or what this vendor's doing and there was it's like a back channel in terms of information you know we've got tools and we're online and we can you know punch in you know news websites and linkedin but it's that it's that discussion point that's been I guess you know and I guess everyone's got a perspective of it that's been the thing so so you're saying that you've been using those mechanisms I guess to keep in in check with what's happening in the market yeah pretty much because as you rightly say right you go to the office you go across the road with a couple of your you know your work colleagues you go and grab a coffee together you have a chat you go and have a lunch meeting with a customer or with a partner or a vendor or then you know you typically have a more of a dialogue with those guys and you get to hear what's going on out there in the industry who's doing this who's doing that what's happening what RFPs are coming out that's all literally being cut off and if you don't proactively engage people then that information isn't going to flow through to you because you know yes I know we can go to pubs now we can go to restaurants and that now it's obviously a lot more different because you obviously you've got to coordinate things a bit differently but I find that I probably still reach out to three or four people a day and it might just be it might just be an innocuous three-second message or it could turn into a or into a you know a 15 -minute phone call but at least trying to get a finger on the pulse as to you know what they're seeing in the market which partners doing this which customers buying etc so but you have to be you have to be incredibly proactive I know a lot of people have gone to ground and a lot of people that I know have you know have pretty much almost gone literally into isolation themselves and haven't reached out people haven't heard from them for months and and you know and then that causes other challenges and but you know I wouldn't suggest it's you know becoming a victim of the pandemic um quite easily to do that no question um but certainly I think certainly you being a participant in your own rescue around how you how you get a get above and beyond it and get out there and communicate with people and make time to connect that's that's critical absolutely that's spot on I think yeah I think it's really important I think with it's having these conversations and I think it's just being aware of what's happening around you it's it's you know I think we're in this for the long haul and you know I think there's a lot of hope that yeah this is going to be a few month thing the thing's going to go away and then we're going to be back to normal but I think you know for a lot of people now it's okay well this thing may not go away in the short or medium term so you have to like you said you can't be a victim to the situation you have to be proactive and I think it's important because you're right there's it's everyone's got a different personality some people live at home on their own some people need to be forced into an environment to come out so you know I've been doing similar things switching out to various people and you can see the ones that are you know that are potentially struggling with it in terms of you know they're really busy but it's all good to be busy but not to be connected at the same time as well right so I guess it's always good to help others and figure out what works for you in terms of staying connected to the to the outside world and understanding what's going on so mate in terms of what you're seeing now and I know you've you know you've you've been around the tracks quite a fair bit you've had a lot of experience I mean have you seen any other time where we have gone through or where you've actually gone through a similar situation because I'm sure you being in the navy at some point mate you would have been isolated yourself being out on sea and doing other things like that yeah definitely definitely in the military especially when you're at sea for a very very long time and you're doing workups which is basically a bunch of exercises that the navy puts you through the whole ship through to get to a certain state of readiness to go to a war zone and you know people are literally working around the clock as crazy as it sounds you could be on a warship with 200 people and in the 24-hour period you might only see and talk to two people just because everybody's busy doing their thing and everybody when they can they get the rest they can get so and that does play on your mind because you're sitting out there bobbing up and down in the ocean for months on end and you literally are back there in those days we had an in-mass satellite which could connect email you know once once a week or something like that but we were fundamentally cut off from the world so at least during covid you've got all the resources of technology at your disposal and you can pick up the phone or you can email or you can do zoom what we're doing now or facetime or you know maybe chris you might even want to do tiktok um better there's none of that there was none of that in in in the navy at sea and you had no idea what was going on like you you know we we come back from being away for you know months on end and there was fundamental issues going on there was economic challenges or there was some country had been attacked or whatever like that and you just fundamentally cut off from the world so it does play it does play on your mind but it's how you handle it and how you manage it and as you said earlier to your point people are different and everyone's ideology is very very different to somebody else's and what motivates you may not motivate me or vice versa or how much pressure you can handle or how much emotional attention you need is different to the next person so you know a lot of the people that i still reach out to they live on their own as you said they're busy they're busy from 7 38 o 'clock till 6 30 you know in a day but they're glued to work but after that there's nothing because they live on their own they've got no one to talk to after work so you just you know just i guess just knowing that people are in that situation are isolated that i think it's good from time to time to reach out and just say hey listen i'm here you know you can pop over you can have even if you just do a phone call just to make sure that they're all right um at sea you couldn't do that that was it was a very different world but you know it was but you were mentally in a different state if that makes sense yeah hundred percent i think look and i think here now um you know we've done a really good job here right you know set up daily meetings for us as a team to get together and you know there's it's great that we've got all these different avenues within the week um for us to connect as a team i think that's that's really important because you know where especially how we operate you know we typically used to operate within the office that was the culture but now that we're all dispersed um i'm just i'm just glad to see that us as a team has that real connection within what's happening within our team and you know there's regular touch points and i think it's been good i'm actually speaking probably to more of the team now than i was before but i guess you know that's always good to have that that connection now mick i'm going to change it up a little bit as as i like to do um and these you know as we know you've been trending on linkedin for for this segment and i've already had a couple of requests um wanting to hear some stories of mg um in particular his days back in the navy so mate i'm gonna i'm gonna leave this one to you i'm not gonna i'm not gonna there hasn't been any ask about this particular story but i've actually had a couple of requests saying when mg's on can you ask him for a funny story that's happened to him while he was in the story that's happened to me i thought i'll put it out there's been a few there's been a lot um i guess ones that are above board um i guess a relatively clean one relatively clean um in 1999 you remember when the t and i came down and invaded east timor and dilly um anyway we were asked to go up there on the ship to um to get into dilly but then also get around to acousi on clay which is where the t and i was sort of hustled in there and um anyway so we we sailed up and we went via brisbane and when we got to brisbane because of you know just the nature of you know east timor and malaria and whatnot they gave us a whole bunch of um antibiotics every single day so when you got your dinner the antibiotics were there the chief medic was there and they made you take the uh the antibiotic and so it was probably a good two week sail around from brisbane to darwin because we got into stokes hill wharf in darwin just to prepare then spend the two days to get over to east timor anyway we finally got into um into darwin at and and it was a it was a saturday and the next day which was a sunday and the ship decided to do what was called a navy open day where families could come down and they could see what life was like in the military and especially what life was like in the navy you know they could see where people slept and the sleeping quarters and the messes and and that sort of thing and the spaces and all that and so so that was pretty much going to be done from like 7 30 in the morning until about one and then by the afternoon we had to sail anyway so when we got into stokes hill wharf the chief medic said rightio folks you've got 24 hours pretty much um go out have a rest because we're going to be in east timor for a number of months but you can't drink because you know this medicine that you're on will interfere with the alcohol and the outcome might be good and you know myself and some of the lads were 23 24 years of age what would a medic know with medicine and alcohol please so um whereas as young lads do we went straight to the pub and um drank and we put on a bit of a wild bender now now the rest of this story is actually hearsay because i actually don't remember but how it's been articulated back to me by several senior um officers on the ship and in fact did interact with the alcohol and it wasn't a great outcome but what was interesting was that come the next fast forward to the next morning you got all these families in stokes hill wharf lining up to want to come and bring on to the open day and half the ship's company are in their uniform and they've dressed the ship and all the flags are out and all the festooning lights and all that sort of razzmatazz was there and anyway apparently the the warren officer had said to a couple of lads i said fair dinkum have a look up there on the wharf in the corner boys discreetly go and get him there's mickey g up there and i was naked and and all i had was a bowl of chinese and i had no idea where my clothes were and and if you know stokes hill wharf and you know darwin there's not a chinese shop within cooey so how on earth i got from wherever i was drinking to a chinese shop on the wharf and then decided to take my clothes off i don't know but i can fair to say that a whole bunch of families had a real understanding of what life was like in the military mate and um mg's on the wharf naked eating a bowl of chinese so probably my finest the moment you find us the hours or days i should say but it's always a good one and i'm sure there's plenty of those stories mate and i think um thanks for that for the for the anonymous person out in the wilderness within the digital world that asked that question so it's great um you know like i was saying mate people people have been really keen just to see you talk we know you've got a lot of stories so hopefully we can share the Cloudflare tv world um you know just some some of some of the interesting things that have happened in your world mate so that's really good that's fantastic mate so always always a good story i think you know i guess back to the the original point um these are the things that i think are missing in a way yeah you have chats and you have talks but it's always the stories that come out in these environments you know whether we're you know in the office having a chat or whether someone chimes into something it's that chiming into things i'm finding you know and i guess this is what people are saying that's the part that's that that that is missing and i think it's really and i was having a chat to uh i guess a mate of mine and i said well we probably just need to create environments or groups or even zoom calls where you know we can just get on and have have a chat share a story and have a bit of a laugh as well because you know it's all good to work and you know obviously we're all focused on doing that but i think you know personally mentally we all need to to you know loosen up a bit and make sure that we're um you know we're having a laugh and i think you know yes we do that with our families and our close friends but i think you know with our peers and our colleagues across the industry that's the that's the thing you know when was the last time we had a you know a vendor conference or or something that happened where people connect and meet and you wouldn't see someone for a couple of years and all of a sudden you've seen them again that that's the part that has been definitely the last few ones right i agree with you and that's and make no mistake whilst we're feeling this and we're going through the iterations in our mind about certain things the majority of our peers are as well they're seeing them from home wondering i wonder what xyz is doing i wonder how their business is going i wonder what challenges they're facing during covid but you and i are very similar animals in terms of how we like to network you know we like to be at a pub or a cafe or whatever and talking to colleagues peers customers in the old school way have a beer with them and you know get to learn about them as an individual and a person not just from a business point of view but also you get to learn the personal side of things that's been very very challenging um but even just in you know whether it's a conference so to speak at a bar you get 10 people from the industry um and having a point of view yeah um i don't think that i've heard anybody's real point of view about certain things just because of that that dialogue hasn't been there it hasn't existed that interaction now what's interesting is i went and met somebody um for a meeting last week drove all the way into st leonard's and it was a fantastic meeting it was great to meet the person and we had a coffee and we sat in the office and we talked about old times and things like that which was awesome but then i'm driving back home and it was a half an hour commute and i thought whilst it was great to meet and great to connect i thought to myself self what am i driving for half an hour it's an absolute waste of my time i could have done three emails i've called four partners or whatever it happened to be right but that's where the psyche's changed and i literally thought you know six months ago we had no issue commuting six months ago it was part of it and you'd block out times in your calendar to go here there and everywhere but now it's like well what an absolute waste of time when i can could have just seen yeah sure i couldn't have the guy and i couldn't have hugged um with a virtual coffee and yeah but um but i literally thought about the productivity side of i thought sitting in my car for half an hour is an absolute waste of time yeah yeah so so you're you're finding yourself to be super productive during this time yes absolutely i'm i'm to the point where you don't look you don't know when to switch off which is one thing however but because my my i guess my workstation is set up 24 7 you know i can cook dinner sort the kids out quickly jump on and just see what's popped in so the challenges here you do find it challenging to to switch off but i do find to i do find myself being so much more efficient and i i'm getting an enormous amount of work done um and i literally because i'm not wasting time either sitting in a car or sitting in a train or sitting in an uber going places and um so that side of it but i guess the consequence of that is you don't get that human interaction you don't get that bond you don't get that i guess the mental stimulation of just standing around the the water cooler um so that's where i think you really need to you know for those that want it and those that need it i think it's critical that you you still connect to your network and you still reach out and you still and you still maintain you know that that level of dialogue and communication around with your peers and with partners or whoever it happens to be yes spot on mate so what have you done to i guess to separate work from life or or is it all blended how have you how do you manage um that side of the fence for yourself it's funny what you get used to chris it really is because as you know i'm big into my f45 um i mean it's in covid because everything was stopped so we went to virtual f45 and i thought how on earth am i going to do virtual f45 right i need somebody you know i'm i'm the sort of bloke that you know when i felt the urge to go for a run i'd lay down to the urge passed so i need someone to motivate me and to really kick me along i can't do staring at a screen however within the literally this wall behind me i had a couple of weights i had the so i'd finish you know quarter past five i'd just hit stop on my meeting or i'd leave the email i'd literally go next door and i do 45 minutes of f45 i wasn't wasting 20 minutes driving there and back and then as soon as i'm done i come straight back in here and just see what's happened in the last 45 minutes so i guess exercise has been a bit of a way to help me structure um my day keep my mind open free but certainly you know in being in the city and walking to and from meetings or whatever like i don't get as much vitamin d as i should be getting absolutely not it's probably why i'm so pale um but yeah trying to maintain a good balance is challenging because i'm like you i'm very structured very rigorous around how i what i want to achieve by the end of the day um and expectations of you know what happens if i don't so trying to blend that in there has been has been difficult but it's just you know you just you just need to find your rhythm find what works for you and and just really stick to it as best as you can right fantastic i mean i think you know the the best thing that we can all do here just be open i guess the advice is you know reach out to your to your to your peers um chat to them and i think uh yeah one one observation i have made a lot of people thought it was just them like this is the like maybe it's just me this is the reason why i'm feeling but you'd be surprised how many people you talk to everyone everyone's feeling the same thing but i just don't think a lot of us are having those conversations around what's actually happening because we're just stuck in our worlds right and there's no time to sort of think back and go hey what's going on but look i think you know everyone's different everyone's you know some people are loving the isolation i've had people go you know what this is the best thing ever for me i'm i get up in the morning i do my work you know and i'm on i love being online i don't i don't prefer that so for some people they're loving it for some other people they're not and there's everything in between but i think it's you know really important that this this this situation's not going to change anytime soon and i think all of us you know have a responsibility to to reach out to one another and make sure that we're having these conversations i think it's i think it's very important because we you know you see on the news there's a lot of issues around people's mental health um but you mentioned something about things like getting vitamin d and making sure that our immune systems are strong you know because we're not walking to a station or walking to the office and doing this we're just sitting around um not moving so i think you know as individuals like i've got a stand-up desk um that's helping my back issues for sure but i also make sure that i'm staying active all day so mate some really good tips that's some really good stories as always mr mr mg i love a good navy story from you mate i'm sure i'm sure the crowd today loved it and hopefully the rating spiked because of it mate so on that note mate we thank you for your time mate it's always a pleasure um make some really good tips for the community out there um again i'd love to have you on the in the future probably once once the baby comes along we'll be post that so have a good day thank you everyone see if today thanks for the questions that came live through today as well um and we'll speak to everyone next week thanks mate i appreciate you having me and good luck with the baby anyway see you thanks bye everyone you you you you you you you you you what is a WAF a WAF is a security system that uses a set of rules to filter and monitor HTTP traffic between web applications and the Internet just as a toll booth allows paying customers to drive across a toll road and prevents non -paying customers from accessing the roadway network traffic must pass through a firewall before it is allowed to reach the server WAFs use adaptable policies to defend vulnerabilities in a web application allowing for easy policy modification and faster responses to new attack vectors by quickly adjusting their policies to address new threats WAFs protect against cyber attacks like cross -site forgery, file inclusion, cross-site scripting, and SQL injection