July 29: AI Strategy and Buy-In

For the second episode of the Scaletech AI Product series, we focused on getting buy-in for AI products. Nahla Salem walked us through Loop.io’s journey from automation to machine learning in their efforts to simplify proposal management. And data science heavyweight Mike Olson—founder of both the Sleepycat time-series database and Hadoop innovator Cloudera—drew from his decades of experience growing scale-stage companies based on data.

Alistair Croll and Dr. Theresa Johnson co-chaired the episode, and we brought in Scaletech alum Jeremy Edberg for a quick discussion. To learn more about this discussion and see a summary of key takeaways, check out this post.

Mike Olson

Mike Olson

Mike co-founded Cloudera in 2008 and served as its CEO until 2013 when he took on his current role of chief strategy officer (CSO). As CSO, Mike is responsible for Cloudera’s product strategy, open source leadership, engineering alignment and direct engagement with customers.

Prior to Cloudera Mike was CEO of Sleepycat Software, makers of Berkeley DB, the open source embedded database engine. Mike spent two years at Oracle Corporation as vice president for Embedded Technologies after Oracle’s acquisition of Sleepycat in 2006.

Prior to joining Sleepycat, Mike held technical and business positions at database vendors Britton Lee, Illustra Information Technologies and Informix Software. Mike has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Nahla Salem

Nahla specializes in large-scale Enterprise Machine Learning products. She is a mentor and an international speaker.

Her current areas of focus as an Enterprise PM are Product Strategy, Product Metrics, and Experimentation. Her areas of focus as a Technical PM are building (ML) teams and setting processes.

She has owned and shipped end-to-end SaaS products at ideation, POC, or scaling stages, and worked with Microsoft, Cloudera, and Slack as partners. Her customers have included Fortune-50 Manufacturing conglomerate, United Technologies; the world’s largest health and beauty retail group A.S. Watson; Reliance Home Comfort, and Wakefield Canada. She engineered a partnership with Cloudera and worked with Slack and Microsoft as partners.

She currently works in Loopio, leading the Machine Learning team, and working on exciting Natural Language Processing problems to boost the intelligence of the Loopio platform. Loopio is an RFP response product with 800+ customers including Docusign, Siemens, IBM, and FedEx.

Alistair Croll