Cognitive Business: This CEO Uses AI to Make You Money

by Lolita Taub (@lolitataub)

Photo by Olin Hyde

In this interview, we feature Olin Hyde, CEO of LeadCrunch, a cognitive and AI sales and marketing solution company.

When Olin Hyde was 12, he wrote his first line of code and, for his first entrepreneurial venture, sold encyclopedias door-to-door. At 25, he started his first company and, at 28, exited. Since then, Olin has launched and invested in several more companies, including LeadCrunch.

You can definitely say that he’s an engineer by trade and an entrepreneur by nature.

What problem does your company solve and what business functions / industries does it help?

Olin: LeadCrunch solves the challenge of finding your next customer. We’re a prediction lead generation company, serving all industries, and transforming B2B sales and marketing functions.

How do you define cognitive computing?

Olin: It’s tech that has the capability to think abstractly, find patterns, similar to humans, and present it for human consumption. They key is that it learns without explicit programing. It evolves to make sense of complex and dynamic data.

For example, at LeadCrunch, our technology takes a list of your best customers then automatically finds the patterns of your ideal customer profiles and the signals that are in the market for your product or service. It then produces a list of high-potential leads for our clients to pursue. LeadCrunch learns each time you use it so it gets more precise over time. Our customers regularly report they are generating 300% more sales from the same number of leads.

What trends / challenges are most impacting cognitive computing right now?

Olin: The biggest challenge I see is in making people believe the technology works. Another challenge is addressing people’s fear of job-displacement. The technology works and, while it may displace some out of jobs, it will create others and augment the roles of many employees. After all, you can’t replace human to human relationships.

“Early adopters win.” — Olin Hyde

What are your predictions about the future of cognitive computing 2016 and beyond?

Olin: I predict that the terminology will shift to simply “computing.” Fear will lessen and people will better embrace and have more comfort in computing if they are among the first to adopt the technology.

What makes a customer ready to deploy cognitive solutions such as yours?

Olin: A customer needs to want to change and have a desire to grow their business. Our customers are competitive. LeadCrunch gives sales teams an unfair advantage.

How can a customer get ready for cognitive solutions such as yours?

Olin: We look for customers who have least 25 customers, a measurable sales process and at least one marketing technology. Our AI technology will work for almost any company that sells across multiple verticals. We look for customers who are quick to adopt new technologies because they are the most likely to be successful.

What is your favorite cognitive computing use case?

Olin: It has to be the use case where LeadCrunch helped a capital equipment leasing company generate 360x better results! I’ll email you the story.

Here’s the case study:

Capital Equipment Leasing Company Generates 360X Better Results
A regional capital equipment leasing company increased qualification rates from 1% to 24% while boosting the average deal value from $100,000 to $1.5 million using LeadCrunch’s predictive lead generation services. Unlike buying leads from credit scoring companies, LeadCrunch was able to provide a subscription of high-precision leads that were most likely to lease or buy capital equipment in the next 6 to12 months. The leasing company used LeadCrunch to identify accounts and decision makers to build a relationship so that they could reach opportunities before competitors could respond. The leasing company report positive ROI in less than a month.

What industries do you see cognitive computing, in general, benefiting first and why?

Olin: Instead of industries, I think of it in terms of companies who redefine the economy. AI enables first-movers to win in places that collect a lot of complex, unstructured and non-linear data. Easy examples are Apple, Facebook and Google. These are also the companies that are buying AI startups at unprecedented valuations. AI is the tool that transforms data into money. These companies no longer think of themselves as industry leaders ― they are civilization shapers. AI innovations affect everyone ― especially those that get early access. This is why we designed our system to help small companies compete against big incumbents. Unlike systems designed for and by big enterprises, LeadCrunch democratizes AI to empower every sales person to achieve superhuman results.

How can we learn more about you and your company?

Olin: The easiest way is to look us up online at LeadCrunch.com.

“Cognitive Business” is an interview series featuring prominent figures in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) world. Written by Lolita Taub and written for C-suite and Line-of-Business seeking to address business challenges and goals using the smartest tech.


Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on August 29, 2016.