Spotlight: Jeff Day – Advisor | Connector | Entrepreneur
In my biweekly blog series, I am highlighting some of the incredible people who work for the Audio Video Industry. In this post, we are profiling Jeff Day. Here is a brief introduction.
Jeff Day is Founder of North of 10 Advisors and also Chairman of the Board of Directors of AVIXA.
1. Describe your journey in the AV industry? How did it start?
I do not consider myself an AV native. I actually started as a translator for a software company called WordPerfect. In a roundabout way, I found myself at Cisco bringing telepresence video and WebEx web collaboration solutions to the world at an incredibly transformational at the time. I did not realize as I do today how are industries and experiences were colliding in such a profound way. I found a real home in the kind of experiences that professionals working with AV deliver.
2. What do you think are the challenges that are facing a new person who wants to join the industry?
I do not see major challenges for people coming into this space right now for the first time because the horizon is extremely bright! Audiovisual technologies are at the core of creating incredible experiences that individuals crave! This plays out in technology used to run businesses as well as ways that individuals interact with brands. The biggest challenge someone coming into the space may have is narrowing their focus enough to be able to make the impact they may desire. I think it is a bigger challenge for those who have been in the industry for a long time to shed the way they have thought about things in the past to give way to new possibilities and opportunities.
3. What are the positives of working in this industry?
This is an incredibly interactive industry. In other spaces I have found extreme reluctance from players to interact and collaborate with each other. I find great energy in the collaborative powers of people working more closely together. I suppose what I find here is less of a world domination approach and more of a find a way to create the best experience mindset. Additionally, there are so many opportunities to create game changing technology and consumption models that individuals who are innovative and progressive will find incredible energy and excitement in the space.
4. What in your opinion would you change in the industry? What are the negatives that are prevalent?
The industry is changing itself. I am not on a mission to change anyone. What I have learned in my interactions with others is that opportunities are all around us and individuals need to keep an open mind to be able to see them and seize appropriately. Tragically, I still run into a lot of people who are horribly unhappy in their work. For some reason they lack the courage to be able to make changes because they feel stuck. I think some of this relates to legacy mindsets that simply need to change and become more current with the times. A great example of this is how quickly we have all shifted to virtual work environments in the pandemic era. Before the pandemic I was shocked to find so many in the space still not embracing an understanding flexible workspace. Such a tragedy given the fact that this is one of them absolute high technology points of our industry!
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5. Describe your ideal client? What do you wish clients to know before hiring you?
My ideal client is someone who wants to collaborate with an open book of possibilities. I love working with people who are passionate about the things that they do. I also value tremendously the contribution of different ideas and approaches two opportunities and challenges. I do not like to be boxed in by tradition or needless constraint. I love the creative process! I would hope clients like to work with me best for being open collaborative and creative. Passion drives everything I do!
6. If you were going to start over, what would you do differently?
My journey has been perfect for me! I wish I would have understood at an earlier age how important it is to take complete accountability and control of your career destiny. I have especially enjoyed entrepreneurism and seizing opportunities to gain change. So much of my limitations have been self-imposed doubt and not enough trust in the process of failing and learning. It is never too late to try something new. If you ever hear yourself saying you cannot do something because …you need to back up and take a serious inventory around what is causing you to say that! The last suggestion I would give myself if I could fly back in a time machine would be to enjoy life and take plenty of risks. Each time I have found how much I have grown from taking those opportunities.
7. Describe a typical workday for you. What are your daily disciplines?
I do not have a typical workday. I like to start early and typically find my sleeping habits align with the sun. I start with some reflection and meditation and get right into some exercise if I can! I like to run, cycle, golf, and anything that gives me an extended amount of time outdoors! I am a huge outdoors fan! My disciplines include cycling through the different aspects of my business and creating habits around feeding innovation and thought leadership. I read a ton! I get my information from a variety of trade pubs and research. If you are going to develop thought leadership, you must have a pulse on a lot of things simultaneously. I find a lot of energy from learning about different things all the time! If you ever run into me ask me what book I am currently reading 🙂
8. Describe the apps and gear that you use daily which makes you more productive?
My setup is straightforward. I am a converted MS Windows fan on the desktop. I pack the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 plus on the mobility front. There are a couple of super collaboration apps that I found make me hugely productive including Calendly for scheduling and Microsoft OneNote to end my dependence on paper notebooks. Hootsuite helps me manage my social feeds and I am working desperately to get out of email through Slack and Teams. Outside the productivity apps, I am running the Bose NC700 for my office and travel audio and use the Plantronics Backbeats for the workouts. I am a big fan of fitness apps and gadgets including the Garmin 245 to log workout vitals, Strava for community fitness, and I just started Zwifting!
9. How do you stay relevant in this industry?
I like to balance the needs between what businesses need in our space and what customers are asking for. I have found that my practice enables me to stay deeply engaged in customer pursuits from time to time as an experience advisor and technology connector. My projects have led me to major global brands, architectural and design firms, and unique cutting-edge entities looking to create amazing experiences. I find that this practical day to day engagement with real customers in industry keeps my strategic work fresh and relevant. I also strongly recommend that individuals pay very close attention to the future bellwether signs. There are budding and emergent categories all around us. They may not be traditionally considered audiovisual technology. I believe relevance in our industry is closely aligned to the ability of individuals to keep the pulse on what is driving great experiences and powerful outcomes. It is nobody else’s job to keep you relevant. It is a personal investment of time and effort.
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