Cathy Hackl is a true thought leader in the exploding metaverse/ web 3 space, being named as one of the “Top 10 Most Influential Women in Tech Right Now” by BigThink, one of the top tech voices on LinkedIn, and on the Thinkers50 list, among many other accolades.
In an interview on the Thriving on Overload podcast she shared how she got there, beginning by describing what happened after she was first given a VR headset to put on.
If you know enough about the technology, if you’re interested in something, for me, it’s about getting to the right place at the right time. It’s almost about recognizing a rocket when you see one. I’m sure many people saw some of the same things I did, but they didn’t see it. They didn’t see the rocket. I saw the rocket and I jumped on it. I’m taking this trip to wherever this is leading, and it’s paid off really well. So, I think it’s about being able to recognize some of those rockets, the new things that are coming.
She developed her expertise by becoming a participant. As she found interesting ideas she shared them, which enabled her to develop her own ideas and vision, and thus her own voice as part of the conversation of builders and doers.
If people are really excited about a new technology, get in there, jump in there really be an active participant in the industry. It’s also about that, how are you becoming a voice, an active participant, in the idea sharing and everything that’s being built? The metaverse, for example, as a greater vision doesn’t currently exist, we’re building it. But now is the time to start voicing what you believe this metaverse should be, how you think it should be built. That was a time to be a participant and have your voice out there. We’re all slowly building it. I would say those are some of the things.
She learned from those who were already in the industry, connecting, working out who was worth listening to (because not everyone is), and having the active open-minded quest for knowledge that leads to learning.
Making connections, making lots of connections in the industry. Who are the people that you should be paying attention to? Being open to being educated and being open to being teachable, I think that’s very important, especially in my in my space.
However to be an expert in any field you need to choose your domain, where you will focus. From that focus you will know what you need to learn and keep current on to be on the edge of exciting change.
Another thing I think, specifically, for people that are interested in becoming tech futurist is you can’t know everything about technology and you cannot be an expert in all the technologies. That is way beyond anyone’s capability really. Not even Elon Musk attempts to do that. He has his arms in a lot of different things, but not everything in tech.
Sometimes being a generalist in some other areas might be beneficial. But I think in tech, you have to be kind of focused. And you have to realize, what is it exactly that I’m focused on here? There are some folks that are very focused on artificial intelligence, folks that are very focused on more on the bio science side. It’s trying to figure out exactly what you’re going to focus on.
Listen to (or read the transcript of) the full conversation with Cathy Hackl for more deep insights into keeping ahead of rapidly evolving technologies.
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