10 Feb Business, future, innovation: an interview with Murray Vince
We are really pleased to introduce you to Mr. Murray Vince, the Senior Director, Strategic Business Development of Intellectual Ventures, the global leader company in the business of invention.
Murray joined Intellectual Ventures in 2013, but prior to this role he was in global team leadership positions at Microsoft Corporation, and before Microsoft he held a variety of leadership positions including General Counsel, VP of Legal Services and Business Development Manager at industry-leading technology firms including Tropian, HearMe, Silicon Graphics, and Apple Computer as well as practicing intellectual property law at Borden & Elliott, focusing on computer law and technology issues.
Today, working with Intellectual Ventures, Murray’s mission is to energize and streamline an invention economy that will drive innovation around the world. Entering the Copernico building he granted the first unofficial part of the interview: he told us that in Copernico he felt the same incredible energy he lived in the early ‘90s working for Apple Computer.
Which are the moments that define your work-day?
The continual flow of exciting, innovative ideas generated by our partners and internally define my work-day. The rate of change and creative ideas to address challenges are a critical part of my job satisfaction at Intellectual Ventures. In association with our partners we are presented with a continuous flow of ingenuous, innovative ideas to remedy many challenges in our current society. Sustainable energy, improved agriculture technology, medical technologies, healthcare innovation, improved bandwidth….are just a few of the recent concepts encountered day to day.
How do you manage your schedule?
Staying current can be challenging. Technologies and the associated business models are moving so quickly. Also, I am conscientious about being punctual and respectful of my partners’ valuable time. I have adapted to the mobile office working from hotels, airports, airplanes and other offsite locations in order to be responsive. I deliberately keep one calendar of events. Also, sometimes just managing jetlag and time zones is the challenge: I love the cafes and coffee in Milano. Although Seattle (my home base) has a reputation for coffee connoisseurs, I am learning the art of the espresso as part of my day and keeping awake and on schedule.
Do you always work from the office or you look for different places to work, meet your contacts and schedule meetings?
Flexible working has been part of my career success since the early 1990s. The improvements in smartphones, portable laptops, touch down spots, wifi connectivity all enhance our out-of-office capabilities. While I’m comfortable working at the airport departure gate, I do seek the familiarity in cities that I visit frequently of favorite hotels, cafes and touch down work spots.
What type of environment reflects your personality, through design and style?
Working in high tech continuously for the last decades, the ability to interact with others, present visually, connect for global communications and engage in highly interactive, creative discussions is critical in our modern work environment. The free form office, and space allocation for informal discussion and brainstorming is a necessary outlet for constructively and collaboratively addressing opportunities presented to fast growth companies large and small.
What do you do to relax after a busy workday?
I refer to my daughters as “my other full time job”. Time with my family is irreplaceable and my preferred after work activity. Skiing, mountain biking and playing competitive ice hockey are also on my list. My daily routine also includes walking my two Labrador Retrievers several miles a day.
How important is food in your daily life and for your lifestyle?
Ahh…one look at me, you know fresh, well-prepared food is a passion. I do try to balance my appetite and portion control with daily exercise. I try to avoid low nutritious meals as much as possible and opt for more protein intensive foods. My travel gives me opportunities to try many types of cuisine, I am adventuresome about trying new foods. I was able to experiment with new recipes over the holidays.
Intellectual Ventures is an ambitious project that, we imagine, can lead to new challenges every day; is there a personality that has inspired you so far in pursuing your objectives?
Positions at Apple, Silicon Graphics, starts ups, Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures have opened new doors and fostered amazing personal growth. I don’t have a single mentor that has consistently been there through my career but numerous managers have provided guidance, patience, ideas, and development. Perhaps the greatest growth came through managing global teams and learning to listen better, heeding the counsel of my team members with deep local expertise. In terms of negotiation style and expertise, I have always admired Koji Hase from Toshiba. I was able to work with Hase san in the 1990s when I was at Apple. He is an individual of tremendous ability and I was fortunate to observe him in negotiations.
Every day you deal with innovation in all its forms; what innovation you think could really make a difference in the way we work?
In terms of the modern work environment? Bandwidth, definitely bandwidth. Cloud has incredible promise and efficiencies. Processor speed and capability improve with amazing efficiency. However my perception is that the variability and reliability of connectivity is the next major infrastructure challenge to address in terms of delivering an enhanced experience for information workers. Bandwidth with corresponding Cloud operating systems, security and services: that is the next major wave of technology to anticipate. We’re on the cusp.
Is there an innovative idea/concept you’ve been told about that you’re really looking forward to seeing developed?
So many wonderful ideas. We are doing amazing work in global healthcare, including focusing on malaria eradication. Globally more than 500,000 people die from malaria each year. According to the WHO: in 2015, there were roughly 214 million malaria cases and an estimated 438,000 malaria deaths. The majority of these deaths are in children under 5 years old. Also from the WHO: children under 5 are particularly susceptible to infection, illness and death. Alleviating this suffering by eradicating this disease will be one of the first major medical technology breakthroughs of this millennium. Other areas of healthcare will also improve but I’m looking forward to seeing technology, science, knowledge and information breakthroughs to reduce the impact of malaria for our global population.
What is the single greatest benefit you expect in working with our company?
Copernico is a highly energized hub of thousands of individuals and hundreds of companies coming together to foster new businesses, products and services that promise increased value and improved efficiencies, collectively, for millions of consumers. It’s a dynamic, innovative, exciting environment. People here are passionate about their work and dedicated to results. It is invigorating. I am excited to be involved, listen to the stories, ambitions and opportunities, and learn how we can help provide global intellectual property expertise. We can help improve freedom to operate, reduce risk, overcome technical challenges and improve business prospects through our global network and expertise. We all operate in an intense, rapidly-evolving, globally competitive environment: innovation, invention and intellectual property are critical elements in a successful business strategy. Our global capabilities, assets and experience can help enhance and extend business prospects for our business partners in the Copernico network of companies.