Hyperscience is thrilled to announce that industry veteran, Michael Patsalos-Fox, has joined the organization as an acting Board Advisor. This announcement comes at an exciting time for the company, as we look to invest our Series D funding to scale the business and help create even better outcomes for our clients and their customers. Charlie Newark-French, our COO, took a few minutes to sit down with Michael to discuss his new role, garner industry insights, and explore his visionary outlook for Hyperscience.
Michael, you’ve held many executive and board-level positions across various industries throughout your career—from telehealth and video to cybersecurity. Why take an advisory board position at Hyperscience now?
I spent over 30 years in business management consulting as a Senior Partner and Chairman at one of the leading global management consulting firms and gained invaluable experience while partnering closely with leaders across numerous enterprise organizations.
After dozens of ventures, I’m at a point in my career where I want to apply my experience and expertise towards companies with vision and promise – and with leaders who have sheer intellectual capabilities. Hyperscience is on an incredibly fast-paced and unique trajectory. My goal is to help them navigate certain “make or break” thresholds growing companies typically face at the six, twelve, and eighteen-month marks. While I am not a software guru by any means, I understand how enterprise organizations work, make decisions and advise for growth and this position gives me the space to do just that. Thus far, Hyperscience has exceeded these thresholds and are poised for healthy and continued growth based on their current path.
What excites you about this new role?
Hyperscience has raised over $190 million in VC funding, putting them in an excellent financial position to excel. Without that need to focus on financials, I’m really in a position to spend my time providing strategic business counsel and sage advice. I’m excited to be in that position – to advise on decisions that propel the company forward and get their innovative automation solution into the market.
Technology is advancing in all facets of our lives – especially with AI, ML, and automation. How do you view the human-machine relationship?
A hard truth for many to face is that machines have been replacing humans for more than 150 years, creating economic efficiency that’s driven our western economy forward. Yet, as I continue to see this topic arise, I can’t help but reflect on the origin story of the word “sabotage.”
Back when the threshing machine was first introduced to farming communities in Northern France, farmers performed much of their work by hand and grew concerned about their job security. So much so that they deliberately threw their wooden clogs, or sabots, into the machines to clog them up. And while a valiant effort to stave off advancement, we’ve seen the natural progression of machines replacing humans in many ways since.
However, the important thing to keep in mind is that advancements in technology vary from industry to industry, and the human aspect will not just go away. Whenever there is a problem and need for a solution, people are key to solving it. And if you look at the U.S. Census, nearly 70% of jobs today didn’t exist 50 years ago. In short, humans evolve and so too must careers.
COVID-19 rapidly accelerated need, demand and adoption for many solutions to “future-proof the business.” What are your thoughts on that?
I remember back in business school discussing a case study on the passenger railroad industry and when they couldn’t imagine the airlines replacing them as a primary transportation mode. But as the story goes, eventually, the airlines took hold of passenger transportation—but it was not instantaneous.
Before the pandemic, several active trends were happening. Things like Zoom and online banking, for example, had slowly gained momentum and market share alongside evolving consumer preferences—similar to airline travel. But unlike the steady evolution, we saw in the travel industry, the pandemic massively accelerated many of those trends in a way we haven’t seen before. And while the adoption of some solutions was an instant problem-solution response that caused some businesses to close and others to spring up, I don’t foresee a complete and utter disappearance of in-person or brick and mortar on the near horizon.
All that aside, as an individual who has experienced much in life and work, I find it fascinating to keep a pulse on these changing habits, preferences, and technology adoptions across the business and consumer markets – the pandemic’s impact on enterprise business, especially.
What are your hopes and aspirations for Hyperscience?
Hyperscience has a massive opportunity to verticalize their automation technology beyond where they are today. As the company grows, ensuring the software can accurately and efficiently work for different use cases will be critical for market dominance. And, from what I’ve seen the company do to date, I know they’ll get there.
Thanks to Michael for taking the time to speak with us! You can connect with him on LinkedIn.