When Geoff Hinton first came across computer learning, there were few people in the world who thought it was possible. Then, after twenty years of working arduously to create A.I., there were even fewer. In fact, Geoff might have been the only clarion call that computers were able to do these things during an era of pandemic technological growth. And now, as we talk about machine learning and A.I., the truth he’s seen so clearly is finally coming into focus for the rest of us.
Thought leadership is hard
We have to remind ourselves that the vignettes and montages we see online of people “making it” often omit the reality of the struggle to keep focus, maintain optimism, and pursue something that others might reject. At least, that’s how it has been for the Sage team.
Even before Sage, many Sagers were pursuing sustainability with the reuse of technology in the earlier company Jill and Bob started called Redemtech. Thought leadership with regards to sustainability—and especially sustainability with IT assets—has been a slow rise. Much of the Sage team has been at this almost as long as there’s been an environmental movement—and far longer than businesses have been thinking twice about their IT assets.
Thought leadership isn’t about pride
Geoff’s resistance to the trend opposite of what he believed was consistently about knowing that he was right. In the same way, the Sage team pursues sustainability doggedly—not out of pride, but because we know this is the right thing to do. Along the way, we’ve found that being sustainable with IT assets also produces superior results for enterprise ITAD programs. Not to mention that it’s a fantastic way to boost morale, help the community, and create another revenue opportunity.
Jill, Bob, and the rest of the Sage team don’t care to go down in history as the voice leading this charge. Sage’s resistance to the upgrade cycle many of American businesses are stuck in simply has to do with believing that it’s the best thing for the planet.
The key is persistence
To make this kind of persistence work, ultimately you have to start with a vision that’s relevant to the market and stay the course to see it come to fruition. But lest you think it’s the secret sauce of vision, persistence is what determines that you’re ultimately successful. It’s not so much being the lone voice, but the dogged persistence that makes it happen.
Faithfulness to the core vision is something that the lifers of Sage have been doing for the last 20 years. And, while it can be easy to chase after the new and shiny alternatives, the truth about reuse and extended use is the core vision that will never go out of style.