Jason Velasco of Kindato Global: “Making sure that you have a positive and balanced mindset”

Number three is making sure that you have a positive and balanced mindset. Emerging from the Covid pandemic, it’s obvious that the lines between our private and business lives have blurred. As we move forward, I think it is going to be essential to be able to strike the appropriate balance between supporting our families, […]

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Number three is making sure that you have a positive and balanced mindset. Emerging from the Covid pandemic, it’s obvious that the lines between our private and business lives have blurred. As we move forward, I think it is going to be essential to be able to strike the appropriate balance between supporting our families, developing and performing as professionals, and making sure that we are making a meaningful impact on our organizations.

In our series, called, How 5G Technology May Improve and Impact Our Lives, we are talking to tech and telecom leaders who can share how 5G can impact and enhance our lives.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jason Velasco.

Jason Velasco is a co-founder and CEO for Kindato Global assisting organizations conceptualize, initiate, manage and complete big-picture technology & data transformation. Forward-thinking and influential executive leader at the forefront of technology, data privacy, e-Discovery, Legal Hold, Information Governance, data analytics, and its sub-disciplines. Recognized as one of the pioneers in the evolving field of e-Discovery having created innovative & strategic solutions for prominent corporations & law firms in managing and governing digital data with legal, regulatory, and ethical integrity.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

My journey began with a general liberal arts education that transitioned into technology through the in the early days of computer forensics and electronic discovery, also known as e-Discovery. These practice areas provided me with unique insights into how people use and aggregate data across multiple messaging and communications systems like telephones, mobile devices, email, databases, data storage, and other large data-centric platforms.

At the age of 29, I started a company in Austin, TX called Renew Data, which operated in the computer forensics space and pioneered techniques for organizing and recovering large volumes of unstructured data related to litigation matters.

I was fortunate to have played a role in the early stages of the industry and was involved in some pretty public cases, such as the Enron bankruptcy. During that incident, we processed all the backup tapes containing petabytes upon petabytes of data, created searches, and delivered them to all requesting parties. Over that period, I also served as an expert witness and e-Discovery specialist in numerous high-profile matters. Today, I often work with numerous verticals related to data privacy and security, as well as create defensible approaches on how to collect and preserve information in litigation and regulatory requests.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

My career is a dynamic one, and I’ve traveled the world retrieving data and conducting forensic investigations.

Still, when you ask what is the most interesting or exciting aspect of my career, I have to say that it is being an entrepreneur. I revel in the risk-taking, growth opportunities, and development aspects of business, and I find every day to be vibrant, inspiring, and extremely invigorating.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

There are many excellent life quotes that I hold dear, however, the one that comes to mind is super simple and is one that I live by.

“There is only do. You either do it or you don’t.”

What I mean by that is, if you are going to be an entrepreneur then be an entrepreneur. Don’t try to be an entrepreneur. This is something I work towards every single day.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I am a product of the age-old adage, “it takes a village,” and consider myself blessed to have had many mentors who have taken an interest in me and helped guide both the personal and professional aspects of my life.

It would be tough to recognize just one person though, as I seek to gain value and information from virtually every relationship and interaction.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

I will actually give you five, which I consider to be my core strengths.

First is ideation. Simply put, I see viable connections where a lot of people don’t. Second, positivity. I’m ridiculously positive and optimistic almost to a fault. Third, being strategic — putting together a plan and an overall strategy. Those are key to success for anyone in a leadership position.

However, these two last characteristics on my list are perhaps most critical: adaptability and empathy. Being adaptable means that I am able to navigate virtually any social or professional situation with ease, and that I have enough general knowledge to carry on a conversation with people from all walks of life. And fifth, empathy. It really all boils down to the ability to find and make a connection with people. Combined, these five characteristics are very important to me and are the core strengths that I focus on every day.

In the case of Enron, where we succeeded when those before us did not, our positivity and ideation as well as our ability to look at a problem through a unique prism ultimately created an innovative solution. This approach applies to the hundreds of other projects I’ve worked on where the seemingly impossible was achieved through strategic analysis, planning, and creative adaptability — these traits have always proven key to my success.

Are you working on any new or exciting projects? How do you think that will help people?

There are always several interesting projects currently on the burners, but I’ll share one that I am working on within the e-Discovery space with Microsoft Advanced e-Discovery. e-Discovery by the way, is the process, methodology, and workflow around managing the preservation, collection, identification, processing, review, and ultimately delivery of electronic information in regulatory and litigation matters.

This project is quite complex and deals with the ability to collect and manage data within the Microsoft M365 cloud environment. Finding and collecting relevant data in a defensible manner can become quite cumbersome and is not as simple as downloading information from a single server or laptop.

While working with some of our clients on their own e-Discovery programs, I identified some of the challenges they faced, and realized that there had to be a better way. That led to new ideations, which resulted in the creation of an automated portal built within Microsoft Teams that allows people to self-manage their own e-Discovery efforts without having to purchase outside technology.

This project will provide an impactful solution for those responsible for managing e-Discovery, who don’t yet have a significant litigation profile. Our approach to automation, supported by our vast expertise in this area, will make life a lot easier for those dealing with litigation practices and data discovery of all kinds.

Ok wonderful. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Like 4G, 5G has many different facets, and I’m sure many will approach this question differently. But for the benefit of our readers can you explain to us what 5G is? How is 5G different from its predecessor 4G?

5G is the fifth-generation network of mobile connectivity. Like its predecessor 4G LTE, 5G is cellular-based, as opposed to WIFI. 5G offers exponential capabilities beyond the prevailing 4G LTE network in terms of speed, bandwidth, and data transfer capabilities. 5G has the potential for explosive technology growth in virtually every area of our lives. From AI, manufacturing, smart homes and even smart cities, to gaming, event management, online entertainment, and so much more, 5G, coupled with the IoT (Internet of Things) is a paradigm shift in the making. While 5G is gradually making its appearance, it has not yet replaced 4G LTE and WIFI services and is probably a good decade away from complete dominance.

One of the key advantages of 5G is that it is highly democratizing and invites greater opportunity for everyone where it is available. From a people perspective, the faster speeds will translate into greater access to more robust data sources as data transfers through the pipeline. 5G will also have a significant impact on the technology that people can create because of the broadened consumer base.

Can you share three or four ways that 5G might improve our lives? If you can please share an example, for each.

5G is set to affect and enhance many aspects of our lives. The examples are virtually endless, but here are a few we can all relate to.

In our homes, because of its increased speed and decreased latency comparable to the level of human visual processing, people will soon be able to control their remote devices in near real-time. This becomes advantageous when applications using 5G and IoT will function via machine-to-machine communication without any potentially limiting human intervention.

The entertainment arena is also sure to benefit from its broader adoption of 5G, especially in the worlds of gaming and virtual reality, as amped up speeds and data transfer capabilities will allow for more realistic experiences. Movie and other media downloads will surge with 5G, as will the ability to livestream virtually seamlessly.

On the industrial front, businesses that collect data using 4Gwill one day be able to effectively analyze the data they receive and convert it into strategic action more rapidly to create actionable decisions.

Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this 5G technology that people should think more deeply about?

Data privacy is, without a doubt, one of the major potential drawbacks of 5G. The more technology we use, be it through 5G, or IoT, or both, the greater the potential risk to data privacy.

Think about it this way, the ability to be able to transport data and record more information is going to be significant. We also need to continue to think about the expansion of data. We are creating billions if not potentially trillions of files containing new information every single day so the Information Cloud around us keeps growing and growing.

This is going to continue to be impacted by 5G because access to the greater speeds increases the opportunity to create more and more data. A good analogy is the difference between a speed-controlled, narrow, two-lane American interstate versus the wider, faster, unrestricted German Autobahn. As we as a society access more technology, delivered faster and more broadly, we in turn run the risk of losing information in the process. My focus is on current and emerging data privacy risks, especially in the United States.

To confront this risk, we need to continue to educate the consumer base, especially our younger generation, who grew up around social media. I believe that there is going to be a significant role to play by both federal and state governments around data privacy and the technologies being deployed to mitigate the increasing risk for both fraud and exposure to individuals.

Some have raised the question that 5G might widen the digital divide and leave poor people or marginalized people behind. From your perspective, what can be done to address and correct this concern?

I don’t see this as a major concern. Most people have phones these days, and while it will take some time for 5G to completely replace 4G LTE, eventually it will so that everyone will be on board the 5G train.

Excellent. We are nearly done. Let’s zoom out a bit and ask a more general question. Based on your experience and success, what are the 5 things you need to create a highly successful career in the telecommunication industry?

My advice really applies to any industry, not just telecommunications, but certainly, in any of the rapidly evolving IT fields, they are especially key.

Number one is always going to be around seeking, embracing, and providing mentorship.

I firmly believe that you are only as good as the community that you belong to and help create and nurture.

Number two, education, whether informal or formal, through certifications, continuing education, or even by simply following your favorite podcast or newsletter, being able to stay informed on the latest developments in your industry and related topics will continue to ensure your marketability and professional value.

Number three is making sure that you have a positive and balanced mindset. Emerging from the Covid pandemic, it’s obvious that the lines between our private and business lives have blurred. As we move forward, I think it is going to be essential to be able to strike the appropriate balance between supporting our families, developing and performing as professionals, and making sure that we are making a meaningful impact on our organizations.

And lastly, something that you might not expect to hear during this interview, is health. I am an advocate of exercise and maintaining a healthy diet, because what goes in is what comes out. If you’re not resting well, don’t eat properly, or are not looking after yourself physically, it becomes very challenging to optimally take care of your professional career.

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. 🙂

My original background and passion were around history, and understanding and trying to make sense of the past bled into my career as a technologist. Like our company name Kindato, which is an acronym reflecting the gathering of knowledge and intelligence through data, the movement I would want to create is one that builds knowledge through history. By continuing to understand, digest and synthesize facts for historical purposes, we can gain the wisdom to move forward, creating better decisions for the future.

To illustrate, Kindato is my third startup. As I go through the process of building this organization, I am leaning on all of the previous experience and journal documentation that I’ve maintained over the past twenty plus years. I have the ability to access past reflections, notes, reminders, and post-mortems to help confront situations in the present in order to make richer, sharper, and more informed decisions.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

There are a few ways to reach out and view my latest content. Follow the Kindato blog, which is on our website at Kindato.com/blog. Watch my podcast called Out of Curiosity, where I share insights and continue to gather history on people who cross my path at Kindato.com/out-of-curiosity-podcast. And connect via LinkedIn, where I am highly active and post regularly LinkedIn.com/in/jsnvelasco.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

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