Podcast: How the Future Works – Securing the Gig Economy


Ray Wolf, A2K Partners CEO joins Barry and Elanor Matthews of Re-Source discuss the A2K Partners next-generation Desktop as a Service VDI based security solution that’s designed to enable workers from any freelance platform to safely and securely access enterprise systems in an “open talent” capacity.

The trio also discusses the future of work, the open talent economy, and the recent merger of Re-Source with Open Assembly, the world’s leading learning resource and consultancy for the future of work and the open talent economy.

This content reposted with full credit to original post on How the Future Works Website:




Barry Mathews 0:05
Hello, and welcome to the how the future works podcast, the new podcast where we discuss all things open talent, gig economy and crowdsourcing. It’s part news update part chat show part in depth interviews, we will try to keep you informed, entertained and inspired with what’s happening in the rapidly changing world of open talent. It’s hosted by me, Barry Matthews, and my amazing partner in business and in life, Elena Matthews, and is created by resource the new consulting firm helping business to access the power of a global on demand crowd. Come and join the discussion and help us to understand to keep up to date and of course to influence how the future works. So hello everyone and welcome to Episode 22 of how the future works. We really enjoyed the last episode, which was with Callum and Adamson have distributed a great discussion and actually resulted in Carl sending us some delicious orange wine so thank you very much for that gallactica listening

Eleanor Matthews 1:00
it was indeed a treat it was a ganache it was fruity was freezing. It was slightly fizzy. It was an extremely interesting and different experience if you haven’t tried orange wine I recommend you do you love it. Oh wait exactly um yes, we had a great chat with Callum and we took a bet we did do you remember this? So I we may have to mention this every episode for the next four years. So we took a bet for an E foil

Barry Mathews 1:29
Yeah, like in a like a surfboard is a hydrofoil that floats above the water about six grand?

Eleanor Matthews 1:35
Yes, they’re very, super cool. I’d like to see one actually in use, I’m bit worried that we might win it, to ride on it. But, of course, the bet that we had was whether freelancing was going to be the predominant employment model for technology skills by 2025. I’m not quite clear whether we were betting for I don’t

Barry Mathews 1:57
know whether we were

Eleanor Matthews 1:59
betting we may all be buying a group, a group discount by hydrophobia. I

Barry Mathews 2:05
actually wonder whether you know, we’re in 2021, whether or not in four years time, that’s going to be possible, right? Because there are so many hundreds of millions of technology workers. Yeah, I think all of them, you know, not all of them, but the majority of the more than half of them. The freelancing is a big goal.

Eleanor Matthews 2:25
Here’s a big goal, but then it’s the part of the industry where it’s most likely to happen outside pizza delivery,

Barry Mathews 2:32
driving and driving. So anyway, we’ll see,

Eleanor Matthews 2:37
we will see and talking of seeing this week, we’ve seen some big news. Do you want to share it? Or shall I?

Barry Mathews 2:45
No, let me I’m super excited. So. So our company resource, which most of our listeners will know, is a consulting company that helps businesses to adopt open talent models, we’ve officially merged with the open assembly. And for anyone who doesn’t know open assembly is the world’s leading learning and consulting resource for the future of work and for the open town economy. So we’ve combined forces with the objective of reaching a bigger and a more global audience. So together, we’ll be able to help more businesses adopt open talent and open innovation models. So yeah, couldn’t be more excited.

Eleanor Matthews 3:24
It is so exciting for us. So we, when we started resource, looked at open assembly from afar, and then slightly shy Lee entered their community calls and started to take take part and eventually plucked up the courage to say something. And it’s an extraordinarily well coordinated community. So everyone has a chance to connect one to one as part of those calls you get put into these much smaller groups as part of the bigger community called just for a brief period of time, they have a chance to meet lots of people and we’ve met so many fascinating people, some of being on this podcast, some of them we’ve met face to face now.

Barry Mathews 4:09
Yeah, I’ve literally just come off that call the word 66 people on there john younger the Forbes contributor, he writes on freelancing was giving the results of a survey that they’ve just done, which he now bequeathed to us. I met David Albert’s a guy from a company called been there done that job. Yeah, really nice guy. Doesn’t matter what they do. We just love the company. Yeah, I mean, just the just the quality of the thought leadership that is part of the the open assembly and the center of the transformation of workers is amazing. And so yeah, it’s a great opportunity for us practically it means that we stop providing services as resource and we start providing services as open assembly. The services will be the same or better. I hope so. Our existing clients are pleased I mean, they’ve been really positive in their reaction doesn’t make any difference to the services we provide to them we’re just able to add in more, more more people and we’ll start to add in more services to go alongside our consulting services in areas like training, research on the platforms in the marketplace, their platform accreditation that type of thing to really be the eyes and ears and the sort of the the single source of truth for the open talent economy. That’s what we’re going for. Yeah,

Eleanor Matthews 5:23
super cool to to really drive the industry forward in that way. And associated with that kind of commercial enterprise is the other side of that coin, which is a not for profit, which is called the Center for the transformation of work affectionately known as the city WCW. City W is a not for profit, which is been set up to work on behalf of freelance workers. So rather than the big companies, the platforms the enterprises that make use of the services, it’s the actual freelance freelance workers and it has a very big hairy audacious goal at its heart, doesn’t it?

Barry Mathews 6:04
Yeah, trying to transform work for a billion people by by 2025 it’s super super cool. You know, be hag big, hairy, audacious goal important to have a be hag, but it’s, um, it’s an amazing cause. I think it’s such a great idea to focus on the quality of working life for freelance as a freelancer, you shouldn’t be a secondary career choice, you know, should be something where you’re able to take back control of your career if you’ve if you’ve got a skill, and so we’re able to help to, you know, to get more reliable demand for freelancers to look after, freelancers welfare, from a security tax, pension, health care perspective, you know, this is for freelancers, globally. Of course, not all freelancers have the benefit of the NHS, like we do in, in the UK. And so we’ve set it up for the community, and it’s run by the community. So there’s two and a half 1000 people in it now. And it’s growing, growing, growing really quickly.

Eleanor Matthews 7:08
It’s super interesting. And by giving people a voice by advocating on their behalf, by helping to enable the economy to evolve in support of those workers, were allowing them to get back to their passions, which is something that I think it’s really important. And recently when we were talking to that green group of chief executives, and you started to talk about how in the olden days, in olden days, people were artisans. And they did what they were passionate about what they were brilliant at. And then as industrialism came in, and companies got created, they were sucked into a bigger being part of a bigger machine. And so this actually gives a way for people to free themselves from that to get off, maybe what might be they might feel as a corporate hamster wheel. Yeah. Where they’re filling in timesheets, and doing lots of non value added activities, and instead they can focus on their patterns.

Barry Mathews 8:09
Yeah, no, I love that analogy. Yeah, yeah. And one of the first things we’re going to do with the the CT W’s and for the transformation of work, is to formally set it up as a decentralized organization, potentially a decentralized autonomous organization or a Dao, which is very progressive new sort of model is in the web 3.0 world. But we’re going to set it up on blockchain probably on Ethereum. And the idea being that we can reward the community, the two and a half 1000 people that are involved in it at the moment with blockchain tokens for their efforts. So as they are giving their time and, and their their brain power to the center of the transformation of work for the benefit of others, they are rewarded with blockchain tokens that, you know if if and when we Ico that token on Coinbase or wherever, then their token will then end up being worth something. So it’s a real, I think it’s a great thing for the industry. And when we’re designing a smart contract at the moment, we’ll hopefully have it all sorted by the end of the year. And then three months after that, we’ll be able to start so many tokens Exactly.

Eleanor Matthews 9:17
And it sort of reflects the philosophy of open talent and operating in an open way and democratizing access to work and democratizing access to influence in this really important and evolving market. So that’s all extremely exciting. And the plan is that we’re going to use this podcast as one of the many tools in the C Tw toolkit. So we’re going to keep the name how the future works because we rather like that Yeah, but we it will be branded as a CT w podcast and will involve members of that CT w community which is already two and a half 1000 people which is extremely And we’ll discuss topics that support freelancers freelancing through open talent and open innovation platforms. So something that is dear to my heart, yes, freelance, absolutely

Barry Mathews 10:10
as the poster child. So yeah, expect episodes on freelancers for, you know, with freelancers, on freelance working on the different platforms that they use the experience, the commercial model, the tax complexities, the, you know, the people working in the business side of the gig economy, whatever they want to cover will will cover so I think, yeah, it’s gonna be a really exciting project.

Eleanor Matthews 10:32
Many exciting topics. Yeah. Tax complexities. Yeah. Yeah. However, interesting that all of that is, it’s not the main topic of the day to day, because today, we’re here to talk about one of the most critical areas in making open talent work in businesses. So in an enterprise setting, and that is security. So more accurately, making sure that a freelancer who accesses systems and data on a company’s behalf does so in a way that is safe, secure, and contractually compliant.

Barry Mathews 11:07
Yeah, yeah, I mean, it’s a really hot an important topic. It’s one of the first questions that you get asked when you talk to a business about using on demand freelance talent, just, you know, as we work as consultants going into businesses, you imagine a scenario where we’re brought in by a company who are struggling to find the talent that they need to meet their customer demand, let’s assume it’s like technology talent, which is in particularly high demand right now. So we like listen to their challenges and say, okay, we can help you find the talent you need, the budget you’re looking for. And we help set up a relationship with a talent platform like Upwork, or freelancer.com, or any other. So we can find the skills that they’re looking looking for. And they can wait for a few weeks or a few months or for a specific outcome or deliverable. And so the business is really pleased. And they’re bound to sort of crack on with it all. And then of course, their security team or their legal team say, Oh, well, to access our systems, a freelancer must use our corporate laptop. Now, I mean, that sounds sensible. And that was always the way it worked. In the past, you use a freelancer, we’re going to send them our corporate laptop. But not only is that incredibly inefficient, right takes involves physically sending something in the post, to likely to an international destination. But it also puts the freelancer off, they’re likely working on multiple projects. And they’ve typically got if they’re professional freelancers, the very latest tech kit, and then you’re going to ask them to use some corporate laptop that, you know, that they’ve been saying, which won’t be as good as like, you know, driving a freelancer driving a Porsche, and then suddenly being asked to drive a voxel lastra. It just

Eleanor Matthews 12:54
nothing against the master. I’m sure it’s a fine vehicle for getting from A to B,

Barry Mathews 12:58
but yeah, just this is mafia. B. Exactly. Yeah,

Eleanor Matthews 13:01
exactly. And so it’s, as you say, for the freelancers. It’s their tool, it’s their main tool, they’re an artisan, and they need the equipment they need to get their job done. So downgrading them doesn’t make any sense. And it’s also such an analogue old fashioned way of working putting laptops in boxes in the post and sending them to people in vans is rubbish. So yeah, so people want to access skills through a digital platform, which is nothing clever and modern technology to match supply and demand. And then they flip over into the analog was

Barry Mathews 13:36
like sending somebody a fax, to say you’re going to meet them in virtual reality

Eleanor Matthews 13:44
is ridiculous as well. Luckily, there is a better solution. And to help bring that to life. Today, we’ve got Ray Wolf, who is the CEO of at UK partners, Ray and as at UK, the business make the future of work a reality for a lot of business leaders, and their missions to help clients digitally transcend the way that work currently, that’s done by freeing people up, speeding up revenue and scaling up growth. So Ray, welcome to the podcast. Would you like to introduce yourself to our listeners?

Ray Wolf 14:19
Yeah, so awesome. Well, thank you for having me. So Ray Wolf, CEO of a to k, I’m out here in Austin, Texas, trying to enjoy a little bit of our fall weather. And maybe just tell you a little bit about myself. First of all, my passion is snow skiing. So if I’m not out transforming, and looking at the future of work, I’m skiing. I’m an engineer by first degree worked in aerospace for about 20 years and I can safely say all of you are flying around on some of my parts. And then I went into more finance and innovation and became the transfer And growth guides for some big companies like Honeywell and Dell and Broadcom. I did that for a while as an intrapreneur. Taking on big projects, and then I found you know what, I just love to do this. So I became an entrepreneur. And that’s really what led me to a to k.

Barry Mathews 15:16
Now, if I’m fantastic, and can you tell us a little bit more about about 80k partners, I know, you know, we want to talk about security. And I know because I’ve, I’ve seen you’ve got a great solution for that. But I know at UK partners do a lot more than than focus on security. So give us a little bit of background about the company.

Ray Wolf 15:34
Well, the first thing I think would be an interesting fact Barry is at UK is founded by three guys that came together and my other two partners were actually freelancers I hired while building businesses for some of those large companies. So the freelancing model is alive and well, and we know it. So cool. So with that, I’ll just tell you really fundamentally, what we’re doing is changing the way the workforce leverages technology to get stuff done. And what comes out of that is really massive value for the businesses, and ensures that people get to work at the top of their skill range. We’re like viscerally pushing back on the low value, mundane administrative tasks that we have really talented people spending their time. So that’s what we’re doing across the board. And we do that, too, from translate technology into business value.

Eleanor Matthews 16:30
Cool, now interesting. And so we talked a little bit at the beginning about the challenges and we played light about it and sending laptops out, etc. But with this growing trend for remote, did flexible distributed access, and the increasing use of freelance platforms, there are real security challenges out there that people are tackling and client concerns, which I’m guessing you are, you’re working with those organizations to help them to address everyday. So we’d love to find out a bit more about what those concerns are and how you’re helping.

Ray Wolf 17:07
Yeah, I’ll start out we spent a lot of time first of all being freelancers. And then we spent a lot of time with freelancers, the air, food and water of being a freelancer is having access to the applications, files and data, you need to do your job, you need to be able to do that from anywhere, because a lot of these folks are working as nomads. And freelancers want to do it on devices they prefer. So they like their own device, it’s you know, all of us have our own personal laptop and phone. So they want to do that. Now, on the security side, when you think about the organizations that we’re working for as freelancers, they think about a lot of things around what I call the trust continuum. And it starts out the first thing is ID proofing is Ray Wolf, who Ray wolf is, you know, digitally like and have a LinkedIn profile, but they want to make sure, but then you need to authenticate people into a system, you need to give them authorization to only those systems and applications, then you need to make sure that while the freelancer is in the application that is being done securely. And think about things like this, you don’t want to be taking have people be able to take screenshots, or record information or download information that is sensitive for an organization. And in the process of securing that you want to be able to monitor it and be able to trigger some real time actions. And then lastly, and we’ll get into this a little bit more later, I believe, is once you get the air food and water security down pat and in access, you can then start to do some really impactful things around automating the work that they’re doing as a freelancer.

Barry Mathews 18:50
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think getting that getting this area resolved or solved is the key to opening up scale of open talent. But before we go into that, a view deep how to clients typically manage radio, I know we’re sort of early days of the open talent revolution. And you know, and we talked about laptops being shipped and all that type of thing, but how do you see clients who use open talent or freelance talent models? managing are they using VPN? Are they are they shipping laptops? And and I suppose my question is, have you seen companies struggle to scale open talent as a result of not having a security solution? Because I absolutely have.

Ray Wolf 19:37
Yeah, barriers. Matter of fact, it’s beyond struggle. What we see is that for certain roles in certain projects, usually in the areas where they have the highest demand, such as coding and software development, they’re totally avoiding it because they just internally, they either don’t see a solution or just aren’t ready to embrace it but the mindset before the pandemic was around security it was, you know, on my device on my network in my physical location and everything is good well, that went out the window. And most of the freelance or talent isn’t about to go back into the office. So what companies are still doing and 90 plus percent, they are shipping laptops. And this is really like a comfort item. Because shipping laptops are actually less secure. And here’s the reason why the data physically resides usually in the cloud, and then also on the laptop. And laptops, when they get shipped in both directions. They don’t always make it to those locations. We were working with one company that is scaling up, and obsoleting the laptop shipping process, but they actually found that only 90% of the laptops they shipped made it in terms of the return laptop, they only receive 50% back. So what happens to the other 50 that have company data on it?

Barry Mathews 21:02
Yeah. Right. Yeah. And this is often big numbers, right? I know, like, you know, delights contingent workers, they all use love to imagine how many 10s of 1000s they are, I’m sure, you know, imagine an Accenture or IBM or, I mean, it’s just crazy numbers, if only 50% of that. That’s an example. Is it? I mean, yeah, absolutely. That’s got to be much worse security solution. Isn’t it?

Eleanor Matthews 21:25
Crazy? And so so you guys have developed a VDI solution. I’ve heard a lot about this from Mr. Matthews. He’s He’s quite an evangelist about the idea of using this type of solution. And I’d love to know a little bit more about it. I know you guys have developed using Citrix. Let’s imagine that you’re speaking to a 10 year old child. Yes, that was about the level of my knowledge about Citrix and such things. Can you explain it in simple terms? For me?

Ray Wolf 21:53
We can so Elena, I’ll tell you, we took a step back. And we said, What are companies wanting in in what a freelancers want, and then we started designing the experience around there. And what I can tell you is tech technology that is proven in use by the highest security highest compliance organizations enable you to work from anywhere on any device, with higher levels of security than shipping a laptop. And so we’re in process. And what we have been working on is making that an easy solution for them to adopt not only just from a technology perspective, but also from a pricing. If you think about the biggest hurdle here is this technology is existed. But most of the people and organizations haven’t thought about it. Unless they’re looking at 1000 or 2000 individuals. And you know, people working with freelancers, they’re starting out with 10 and 20. Yeah, and 50. So the first thing we had to do was really make sure this was a scalable, easy to use affordable solution. That’s what we’ve done, we could deploy this for as few as 10 freelancers. And then once we do the initial setup, we can deploy it in less than an hour. So think about this. If you are an employer, and you need freelancers, and you want to bring them on for a project, once you identify the freelancer, we can get them access to the files and data they need, securely in a remote fashion in less than an hour. And even more importantly, on the back end, when the project’s over, if it’s short term, we’re able to assuredly shut off their access. So then the companies can sleep at night. And this actually, in most cases exceeds the security that they have for their own employees. Yeah,

Barry Mathews 23:46
yeah. Yeah, I mean, when I first saw this with, Ray presented it to, to us, it was the first time I’d seen a solution that I thought would work at scale for the type of companies that we work within. And we’ve done quite a lot of work with outsourcing suppliers, who need to ensure that the security of their clients systems, yeah, it’s not just their own system, it’s their client system. So they’ve got to have something that’s really robust, and that just didn’t exist. And so, you know, I’ve seen other solutions where you have to send a USB stick or, or whatever, right? Whereas this is you don’t have to do any of that once you’ve built it. You then for each individual client, there’s a small amount of upfront work. But that is a race that can be done pretty quickly. Yeah. And then you can have freelancers can access client systems, safe and securely. And so your your compliance people internally, your security people internally, your legal technology, they’re all happy. Yeah, and it’s such a great idea.

Eleanor Matthews 24:48
It is interesting particularly from and we just happen to have a particular interest in outsourcing and service providers of course, but to think that the the strength of the proposition extends into that supply chain. Yeah, it’s something that’s super useful for a very important corner of the economy.

Barry Mathews 25:08
Yeah, yeah, no, absolutely. What do you think regulated industries, whether it’s financial services, broaches the obvious one, or whether it’s energy or a public sector, you know, this will meet all of their audit requirements. Yeah. And I think it’s so I think, you know, Ray got a great, great solution there, I was leaving here on. I’m a big fan, as you know, and I’d love to continue this relationship and help you to take it to some of our clients, right. So

Ray Wolf 25:34
we would as well in by the way, there is a cherry on the top barrier that I didn’t mention yet is with this new technology, it actually opens up new talent pools. And what I mean by that is, there’s a lot of people around the globe, including here in the US that have very low bandwidth, they don’t have, you know, gigabyte Wi Fi, in there excluded from a lot of remote opportunities. This technology does a great job of compressing the audio and video so that they can work in remote areas with lower Wi Fi than what you would typically expect.

Eleanor Matthews 26:12
That’s brilliant. Do you remember the discussions that we had five or six years ago about impact sourcing? Yeah. and job creation in low employment areas? like Africa? Yeah. So this actually lends itself really well to that.

Barry Mathews 26:27
Well, we’ve just been talking about that with john younger on The CW, actually, about a freelancing in Africa. I mean, this, you know, I would imagine, certainly, in parts of Africa, this would be a perfect solution, right? Where bandwidth is likely Yeah, to be so much poorer.

Eleanor Matthews 26:42
So yeah, yeah.

Barry Mathews 26:45
But um, Ray, tell us a bit more about the other things that 18k you’re working on, because like we said, at the beginning, I know you’re doing so much more than just security, but sort of bring to life, what are the other types of projects that you’re doing?

Ray Wolf 26:59
We’re working in the area of workflow automation. And what we we do in there is we look at different personas in the company, the applications they use regularly, and we orchestrate between those applications, what they get done most often, we working a lot with sales and finance, because primarily it is closest to driving revenue, their dividend is usually one day a week in terms of time being freed up for more productive, or we’re focused on transformational activities. In call center settings, we’re actually taking the average call handling time down by 30%. So pretty amazing things. The other piece that we’re working on is we use some really sophisticated, what I call forensic tools around process mining. What we’re able to do there is identify process variability that’s costing companies money. So we can come up with what we call the happy path, where if you follow this path, you will be operating in an optimal mode. And then we could show every variation. Most of the time, those variations are driven due to human behaviors or human choices. So we’re able to automate out those variables so that people follow the happy path. So we’re working a notch for some very large organizations right now that Eleanor as a matter of fact, they’re doing big business process outsourcing.

Barry Mathews 28:29
Interesting. Yeah, this is we did quite a bit of consulting back in the day in robotic process automation. And so you know, there’s sort of companies like Ceylon s and blue prism and UiPath, and automation anywhere and, and those those guys, we know quite a few companies and people in in that in that space and in the orchestration space.

Eleanor Matthews 28:51
Yeah. And that’s all sorts of interesting things that we can talk about another time. Yeah. But so it sounds like you’re very much focused on enabling the future of work through technology. So you must spend some time internally looking at what you think is coming. I’d love to know more about how you and your team see the world of work transforming in the next, say, five or 10 years time.

Ray Wolf 29:16
Yeah, I think there’s a couple of forces that are at play here that we’re trying to get ahead of and understand. The first one is our consumer mobile experience is shaping the expectation for how work is done. If you think how easy it is our applications work on our phone, and they all seem to work together and we get notifications we want. Well, that expectation is now translating to work. And so there’s a pretty big gap that we need to address. The other piece that we’re working on, is in the front of where robots meet humans. So we’re not in the business of supplanting new robots, and replacing Humans, were looking at using robots, to free up humans to work on only the complex situations that humans can uniquely do. And these are things that companies haven’t even thought about yet, in terms of services and products. So that’s another area. And then one that is coming on really fast, is what we call human less interactions. There’s high expectations around being able to build, comp, build and sell complex solutions, without a lot of human touch points. So this is part of that digital transformation. Everybody wants to be able to find it online, execute most of it online and only talk to people and interact only to the extent that they want. So this, this particular trend is really having a big impact on us as well.

Barry Mathews 30:51
It’s right at the cutting edge of the future of work is to think about end to end, you know, human free processing. And as you say, like, you know, and robots, whether it’s physical or software, robots for freeing up people to do more cerebral tasks.

Ray Wolf 31:10
Yeah, someone wants to describe this very to us, as they said, Ray, you’re trying to make people feel the way they they do when they leave work while they’re at work. And I think that’s pretty close to what we’re working on. Yeah,

Eleanor Matthews 31:22
that’s bringing humanity that’s workers.

Barry Mathews 31:23
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Ray, if you haven’t joined the, the Center for the transformation of work or open assembly, you you should your moment. Yeah, absolutely. Because your objectives and ours are so well aligned. Yeah. so fantastic. So we’re so we’re moving on to the last part of the podcast. Now, this is a segment we call our five by 10. So five questions in the last 10 minutes. And this is where we learn a little bit more about you personally, right? And it’s where I know you know what the first two questions are, because you will have listened to previous episodes. And as it’s a future of work related podcast, we talk about work. So we’re going to ask you in a second, your first job, and then what’s been your worst job so far? And then I have absolutely no idea what the next three questions are going to be. Because my, my partner in, in in life, and work has come up with them herself, I think, or he may not have done yet. So but I’ll start with the first thing because they’re easy. What was your first ever job,

Ray Wolf 32:28
so I won’t name the company. But I was a design engineer on the Star Wars program back in the late 80s. And my job was to work out the challenges of sending the neutron Particle Beam accelerator up into space. This was part of the day when we had Ronald Reagan, one of those black projects, we got locked in the room. But that really shaped me in the sense that we were taking on things that were never done before. Yeah, you know, I asked, you know, Why us? You know, as a junior engineer, certainly not with a lot of experience. And my boss came back to me and he said, the reason you’re here is because you don’t know you can’t. Yeah, brilliant. So I was pretty fortunate. I actually had some experiments go up in the space shuttle, and it was pretty meaningful for me.

Barry Mathews 33:20
Wow, I think I have over 22 episodes so far. That’s the best first job.

Eleanor Matthews 33:24
Yeah, sorry, all previous participants, but we just don’t you

Barry Mathews 33:29
know, most people were like, I had a milk round or a hamper round. Or, I worked on a shelf of lemonade outside my house. Yeah, this is such a What a great first job. So So let’s do the opposite then what’s and I’m sure it wouldn’t be the same answer. What’s been what’s been your worst job to date?

Ray Wolf 33:47
Yes, I was working for another, a different government contractor at the time. And my boss pulled me aside and he said, Ray, you need to learn to work at the pace of the group. And he wasn’t telling me to hurry up. As a matter of fact, his coaching was right. You know, why don’t you learn to eat bagels and drink coffee, and take some breaks in between your work and I was like, wow, this is the worst work working ethic I could ever step. So I left after six months because that just is not who I am.

Eleanor Matthews 34:22
That’s cool. As extraordinary, isn’t it? How do you motivated Yeah, can one working environment be? Okay, I have a question for you. So I have been doing a little bit of research into Austin, Texas, where you’re from, and I read online that the Austin Texas motto is keep Austin weird, which of course intrigued me massively and I wanted to know from an Estonian what that means to you. And how would you help people understand what’s special and slash maybe slightly weird about

Ray Wolf 35:00
You know, I would, I would say Austin is a very progressive town. demographics are really mixed, we have a lot of accomplished people, but I think keep Austin weird, at least my translation is we make space for people to be who they want to be, and to allow that to occur. So there’s not a lot of infringement on your personal space here. If you’re into biking or you’re into music or dressing a certain way or whatever your your interest area is, we make room for that here very casually. You know, as a business person, I’ll tell you the best thing is that people give away their business secrets left and right here meaning you could ask anybody who’s built a billion dollar company has you do it they’ll sit down and have a cup of coffee with you and tell you so that’s that’s my definition of keep Austin weird.

Barry Mathews 35:51
Sounds like a very cool nice does.

Eleanor Matthews 35:53
Austin just make?

Barry Mathews 35:54
Yeah, because it sounds very accepting.

Ray Wolf 35:57
I have a place for you here and a nice bottle of wine waiting as well. An excellent.

Eleanor Matthews 36:03
We’ll come and keep Austin weird. Yeah, time. Yeah, I

Barry Mathews 36:06
think that you shouldn’t offer things like that to Elena, because we’ll be there. We will

Eleanor Matthews 36:11
be there. All invitations are taken very literally in my life. Okay, so I have another question. It’s a quote, I’m going to ask the question, but it relates to Mr. Matthews, really. Oh. So Mr. Matthews is very passionate about technology Ray. He is famous for buying every gadget known to man, as soon as something new comes out, he needs it,

Barry Mathews 36:36
which reminds me of the iPhone 13, year by

Eleanor Matthews 36:39
hertz. And then it very often ends up in the drawer. And as a technology guy, especially from an engineering background, I wondered if that’s the same for you? And if so, what’s the best gadget that you’ve ever bought?

Ray Wolf 36:54
The best gadget that I ever bought, okay, I have, I get a little crazy with home automation. And we’re, we’re in the midst of remodeling. So I want to be able to monitor stuff from anywhere I just bought this new thing called cents. It sits inside your electricity panel, and it uses artificial intelligence around the electricity usage and tells you what devices are using why and then how to make improvements so it’s a little geeky. I haven’t yet figured out you know all the finances and how to make that work but I’m just loving it. I look at it like 10 times a day on my iPhone. Oh,

Eleanor Matthews 37:32
I seriously won’t one although it’ll become an obsession really quick. I love that kind of thing. I’m very data driven. It’s great. I do disagree. Okay, so my final question I love having the liberty to make it through questions. This is good. My final question so we’ve talked about the future of work and I’d like to know more about the future of not work. So at some point you’re going to be stopping working heading for the ski slopes slash somewhere else What does the future look like for you Ray? And not worked out you may like when you’re passionate about and excited about looking forward to doing when you don’t have to work okay?

Ray Wolf 38:17
You know, I I have an expression for that I call it rather than retirement or I call it freedom of work meaning I get to pick and choose the things I want to do and the people I want to work with. candidly you know, I see myself involved in helping other people accelerate their dreams and ideas and making them become true you know, leveraging all the learnings good and bad that I’ve had so that’s Ray Wolf and yes, I will be doing it slopeside in the morning and I did on the technology front I did get bluetooth headphones on the life ski helmet and I have conducted a conference call actually skiing so that’s probably a visual I’ll leave you with like that.

Barry Mathews 39:06
Yeah so so Ray, thank you so much for joining us it’s been another really good episode a really interesting conversation. It’s great to see at gay doing doing so well. As I’ve already said, I’m so impressed meeting you and the solution that you guys came up with to solve the problem that our clients need from a security perspective but really excited to see how your business continues to develop. Tell us how our listeners can learn more about you website LinkedIn, Twitter, social media, that type of stuff.

Ray Wolf 39:36
Yep, probably the easiest way is just go a to K partners comm you’ll find a way to contact one of the three founders there or Rei dot Wolf, that’s w o lF at eight UK partners. I’d love to chat with you and help you along your journey.

Eleanor Matthews 39:54
Wonderful. Well, thank you for me as well. Thanks for joining us looking forward to keeping Austin where At some point in the future, and a big thank you of course, as always, to our listeners for joining us again, if you like what you’ve heard, please click that like button review and subscribe and of course come back in a couple of weeks time. Yeah. Thank

Unknown Speaker 40:15

A2K Partners