We are a company that is focused on emerging technology, particularly AI, as it intersects with space, defense and critical infrastructure. The business has a services aspect of the business, where we create services for companies across defense, oil and gas, and other essential businesses, a platform business where we help launch various defense related products, and a space business focused building next-gen AI-driven satellite constellations.
As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ben Lamm, a serial technology entrepreneur dedicated to making the impossible possible. Ben is the Founder/CEO of Hypergiant Industries. Previously, he was the Founder/CEO of Conversable acquired by LivePerson, Founder/CEO of Chaotic Moon Studios acquired by Accenture and Team Chaos, acquired by Zynga.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
The short answer is that I was only ever going to be an entrepreneur. I’ve been hustling since I was a kid paying other people to work for me and always on the lookout for how I could take a “job” and make it into a business. It feels trite to say, but it’s just my DNA that I’m someone who is passionately curious, knows how to build and scale an idea and likes the challenge of bringing a business to life. Because of that I’ve grown four businesses in four different industries that have all been acquired over the years. That’s happened because I’m always working at the intersection of technology and culture: e-learning, mobile, gaming, conversational AI and now AI, space, and defense.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
Right now, I’m the CEO of Hypergiant Industries. We are a company that is focused on emerging technology, particularly AI, as it intersects with space, defense and critical infrastructure. The business has a services aspect of the business, where we create services for companies across defense, oil and gas, and other essential businesses, a platform business where we help launch various defense related products, and a space business focused building next-gen AI-driven satellite constellations.
Our goal is to help humanity tomorrow today meaning that we are focused on creating a business that is actively pushing businesses forward to produce less carbon, improve their processes, better defend America, and make critical decisions in a smooth and predictive manner.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Back when I was running Chaotic Moon I approved the office design layout and later realized the office doors were installed opening outward rather than inward (in a busy hallway). Needless to say, we had a lot of doors to the face before we fixed that problem. I learned: Details matter 🙂
We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
I’ve been really inspired by the former CTO of Newscorp and AOL who is a current advisory board member and longtime mentor, John McKinley. John is a brilliant strategist, a strong leader and has been part of the big companies that have changed the technology landscape for America. Early on he told me to always hire people smarter than me. I have a huge network and when I meet people that I click with and I can tell are very smart I remember them and usually end up hiring or partnering with them at some point in my career.
In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?
I think only systems that need to be disrupted can be. Those systems that are withstanding the test of time are doing so because disruptions came and they absorbed the blow. Examples include: the systems that run America (judicial, congressional and presidential). However, other systems ripe for disruption are ones that are seeing disruption: healthcare, technology, and education come to mind. And, others are beginning to feel the systemic movement that will encourage even more disruption: higher education, our economy, and even the restaurant industry all come to mind. Disruption is good because it asks the question: are you resilient enough to withstand change? If a system is not, then change is a natural result.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
1. Don’t take advice: this is from a long time mentor and his advice is to just keep doing what you are doing. You do not need other people’s advice but you must follow your own path.
2. More is more: this is a phrase I’ve adapted that I love to remind people of. More is actually more: More time is more time. More potential is more potential. The way forward is to build more because more creates resiliency.
3. When people die, the thing they regret most is not having lived up to their potential: I read this from a study about dying and I was drawn to it. We so often fail to meet our potential and I’ve decided that will not be my story. I’m going to continue to strive for as much as I can bring to the world, for as long as I can bring it.
Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business. Can you share some of the strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?
Great leads are about relationships. Build strong relationships. Do good work. Continue to do that work and bring customers and clients with you to new ventures and new experiences.
We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?
If I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret. 😉 Expect a lot more from Hypergiant in the next few months. We are working on big R&D projects and other announcements.
Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?
I’m an avid consumer of pop culture. So, I’m reading and watching and listening to everything. I’m a huge Joe Rogan fan and think his podcast is worth listening to. A few of my favorite episodes were with Graham Hancock, Cmdr. David Fravor, and Lawrence Krauss. I’m a strange thinker and I’m drawn to hearing stories and experiences directly from the people who had the experience. I always end up going down a rabbit hole reading about the podcast topic.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Do what you are good at and love. For a long time, I wanted to do EVERYTHING. I felt like I had a say in and an opinion on everything that happened in the company. However, as I’ve grown bigger companies and made more progress in my career I’ve come to learn that there are things I really love and enjoy doing and other people who love and enjoy things that I do not. So, I have them do the work they are good at and I focus on doing the work that I love.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Rewilding. I believe rewilding is an important topic that is overlooked. Rewilding is an environmental movement focused on the need to restore an area of land to its natural uncultivated state. Rewilding looks to both the help of the ecosystem for what needs to be replaced but also asks what is missing? Rewilding is about systems thinking. It’s about bringing in wolves to Yellowstone but also improving waterways for Elk. It means thinking about wild pig integration but also how those antibodies might infect other animals. It requires us to be far-sighted and wide ranging in our thinking. Systems thinking is sorely missing in our world.
How can our readers follow you online?
For Ben Lamm:
- Instagram: @federallammofficial — https://www.instagram.com/federallammofficial/
- Twitter: @federallamm — https://twitter.com/federallamm
- LinkedIn: Ben Lamm — https://www.linkedin.com/in/benlamm/
- Instagram: @hypergiant — https://www.instagram.com/hypergiant/
- Twitter: @hypergiant — https://twitter.com/hypergiant
- LinkedIn: Hypergiant — https://www.linkedin.com/company/hypergiant/
- Facebook: GoHypergiant — https://www.facebook.com/gohypergiant/
YouTube (we don’t promote): HypergiantIndustries — https://www.youtube.com/c/HypergiantIndustries/videos
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!