HeadSpin's Brien Colwell shows us how humans can work together with AI to create successful systems

Media 7 | November 8, 2021

Brien Colwell, Co-Founder, and CTO at HeadSpin takes us through his journey from being a software engineer to building the world’s first Digital Experience AI Platform. Read on as he talks about Artificial Intelligence and how HeadSpin is helping organizations assure optimal digital experiences across mobile and web delivery channels.

I think it’s useful to ask yourself what you see the world looking like in 3 years, and where you want it to go in 15 years.

MEDIA 7: Your work experience spans across highly complex matrix organizations to entrepreneurial and start-up businesses. What do you believe is your driving force behind your proven track records and achievements?
BRIEN COLWELL:
I graduated with a BS in 2006 and jumped into working with a small team on an important problem –security and making sense of malicious human behavior.  That set the tone for my journey through industry and research. I’ve looked for teams that take a long-term perspective on a big problem. I think it’s useful to ask yourself what you see the world looking like in 3 years, and where you want it to go in 15 years. It’s easier to project 3 years out but the real impact takes longer to realize. The challenge I have seen in my career is how to balance working on relevant problems now but also align with a larger movement. The movements I have been focused on in my career are the platforms for modern teams to work better.


M7: Can you tell us briefly about HeadSpin? What were the challenges you faced during the launch and how has it changed compared to the beginning of the company?
BC:
We started HeadSpin to let teams iterate and see their products from the user perspective – on the real edges, using data to quantify and share the learnings. Traditionally quality teams take on this challenge inside an engineering organization. It’s been very rewarding to see many different parts inside the engineering teams use the platform to build, improve, monitor, and test their products. One pattern I see is that teams and structures are evolving rapidly. It may be that every few years a team will fully recreate themselves and they will need to choose the right tools to hit the ground running.

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One pattern I see is that teams and structures are evolving rapidly.



M7: You had the opportunity to work with Peter Thiel at your first startup, how was that experience like?
BC:
It was interesting. One thing that stood out at that experience was to see people taking a risk on a contrarian view.


M7: Since California hosts a vibrant entrepreneurial community, what short and long-term survival strategies do you focus on?
BC:
California is a beautiful state – the weather, nature, culture. In California, you can take a leap of faith, and if you’re a free thinker open to the connections along the way, end up somewhere interesting. On the whole, there are more people who want you to succeed than not. I’m not sure that is the same in other parts of the world. However, the lack of space and cost of living is becoming harder to justify when there are now so many opportunities to be remote.

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I think until there is artificial general intelligence, AI will work in the background to streamline existing tasks.



M7: Few years down the line, how do you see AI changing the world around us?
BC:
I think until there is artificial general intelligence, AI will work in the background to streamline existing tasks. I think successful AI systems will combine human interaction to work collaboratively with AI.


M7: What do you read, and how do you consume information to stay at the top of your game?
BC:
In technology, I follow open-source projects and whitepapers in areas I think are important or interesting - security, deployment, networking, payments, distributed and decentralized systems. I try new products frequently and like to see how things are built correctly with security, usability and speed in mind. I try to get to a few conferences per year. I’m an optimist so most news media are hard for me these days, but I do follow Bloomberg and WSJ.

ABOUT HEADSPIN

Founded in 2015, HeadSpin is trusted by top brands as the platform for testing, building, and iterating from the user perspective. Teams can run existing tests effortlessly on hosted or on-premise device, debug on the spot, and use the built-in data analysis to take their products to the next level.

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HeadSpin

HeadSpin

Founded in 2015, HeadSpin is trusted by top brands as the platform for testing, building, and iterating from the user perspective. Teams can run existing tests effortlessly on hosted or on-premise device, debug on the spot, and use the built-in data analysis to take their products to the next level....

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