The Tech Blog Writer Podcast - Inspired Startup Stories & Interviews With Tech Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Innovators & Disruptors

Tech Columnist Neil C. Hughes Interviews Innovative Startups, Tech Leaders, CEO's, Solopreneurs and Entrepreneurs. Guests share their stories, experiences and invaluable advice about the latest tech trends affecting multiple industries. As a tech blog writer, I created this podcast to add real human voices to my written articles and bring them to life. My aim was to create a top podcast that unites the global community and connect every tech fan and entrepreneur in the world. A wealth of guests that cover every aspect of the startup scene discussing Venture Capital, Technology Startups, Advice and Strategy, Angel Investors, Bootstrapping, Business Ideas, Co-Founders, and Crowdfunding. We also look at how the digital transformation and technologies such as machine learning, AI, AR, VR, FinTech, Edtech are impacting businesses. Steve Jobs once said, "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." This show aims to empower those followers to learn from those on a similar journey so they too can create their own path by educating and mentoring.
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Now displaying: May, 2017

 The Tech Blog Writer Podcast


Tech columnist Neil Hughes is the host of the Tech Blog Writer Podcast that is also available on iTunesStitcher, PlayerFM and TuneIn Radio.

I launched this podcast to add real human voices to my written articles and bring them to life. My aim was to create a top podcast that unites the global community and connect every tech fan and entrepreneur in the world.

Steve Jobs once said, "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." This show aims to empower those followers to learn from those on a similar journey so they too can create their own path by educating and mentoring.

You can also reach me on Twitter at @NeilCHughes or at





May 30, 2017

Reflektion have been quietly dominating retail by using AI in uncharted areas for a number of years. They were understanding consumer preferences in real time and delivering a 1:1 experience on the fly before it was even a thing.

The company was born by Google/Netflix pioneers and is used by brands like Disney, Godiva, Marmot, and Uniqlo.

Reflektion understands the individual intent and preferences of each customer and intelligently responds in real time. When combined with our knowledge of your brand’s product offerings, these insights allow you to leverage your most relevant content or products to influence each customer at every relevant point of engagement.

I invited Reflektion’s Chief Strategy Officer Kurt Heinemann onto the show tonight to learn more about what we should expect in the e-commerce industry when it comes to tech and the newest trends.




May 29, 2017

Jason Wilk is better known as the AllScreen and Founder, and is currently an active Angel Investor, and Co-Founder Advisor of Mark Cuban-backed WriteyBoard.

But today, I invited him onto the show to talk about his brand new FinTech app Called Dave! The app helps millennials by predicting future expenses and preventing negative balances with a unique spin on borrowing money.

Dave exists because its creators think it's fundamentally wrong to kick people when they're down. A coffee should not end up costing you $38 after overdraft and bank fees.

Upon connecting any checking account, Dave instantly analyzes trends from an individual's bank history and displays their '7 Day Low', a number which represents the lowest Dave forecasts your account balance will get in the next week. It's like a weather report for your checking account. If your '7 Day Low' dips below $0, Dave notifies you to take action.

"We invented this new type of account balance because a current balance just doesn't mean anything if your Netflix bill is due tomorrow and your rent check is going to be cashed tonight." says Dave CEO Jason Wilk, who is working with Mark Cuban on their 3rd company together. 


May 27, 2017

Before she joined Radial, Andrea Dougherty didn’t even know fraud was a thing. Fast forward 7+ years and she’s now a sought-after security expert who’s protecting major brands and retailers around the world. Andrea has teamed with the FBI/police to bust cases wide open – like where a fraudster used a dead man’s credit card to buy a diamond ring (luckily the jeweler was Andrea’s client).

I invited Andrea onto the show to discuss the following:

· Playing by the rules: The best defense against fraud? A good rule. How Andrea uses her technical expertise to write hundreds of business rules to spot bogus transactions. When her rules flag suspect patterns, they’re sent to human analysts who can verify the legitimacy or contact the customer directly.

· The changing face of fraud: Fraud is skyrocketing by 30% YoY. Andrea shares the latest tactics being used by the bad guys, and the cutting-edge methods the good guys are using to foil sinister plots. For example, social selling, which is gaining transaction among retailers due to consumer demand, can open the floodgates to fraud.

· Advice to retailers and brands: It boils down to this – they can’t fight fraud alone. Today’s criminals are too smart; they’re only growing stronger and harder to stop. Retailers aren’t equipped to handle a fraud onslaught. If they don’t work with a security expert, they run a grave risk: canceling half their orders and sales volume, and losing millions of dollars in the process.

Detecting fraud is a balancing act that radial do with a precise combination of machine learning, big data, and human intelligence to deliver the highest fraud approval rates in the industry.







May 25, 2017

Wendy Williams is a media mogul, actress, comedian, entrepreneur, designer, and New York Times best-selling author, who is best known for her long-running Daytime Emmy® nominated talk show, “The Wendy Williams Show.”

Prior to achieving success in daytime television, Wendy built a devoted fan base throughout a successful 23-year career in radio, with, “The Wendy Williams Experience,” being a top-rated daily radio show. Syndicated nationally, it aired on WBLS in New York and was listened to by an audience of more than 12 million people.

One of the most popular personalities in radio, Wendy was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in November of 2009 – one of only a handful of women with that honor. In addition to her talk show, Williams also created her own production company, Wendy.

Wendy Williams, is expanding her winning formula into Mobile with the official launch of her new entertainment and lifestyle app, Wendy Digital, available on Apple and Android, starting today. The app aims to provide a fun content-rich entertainment experience that indulges users with a daily dose of pop culture.

Hot Topics

Daily celebrity Hot Topic discussions where you get to chime in with fans.

Suddenly Wendy

Catch exclusive video content and go behind-the-scenes, for a closer look into Wendy’s world.

ETrivia Challenge

Your celebrity and entertainment knowledge and compete for a chance to win prizes.

Shopping Shop Wendy’s

OOTD, HSN Collection, Wendy’s merch and new product recommendations.

I speak to Wendy about why she is launching the Wendy Digital Entertainment & Lifestyle App.

May 24, 2017

As businesses continue to get excited about machine learning and AI to unlock data. But make no mistake next year the focus will be on GDPR.

Especially considering the penalty for not complying can lead to fines of up to €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover. 

Preparing Your Data for GDPR
Whether a company is already operating in the European Union or has expansion plans there in the future, the upcoming GDPR rules will have a profound impact on how all organizations handle, manage, and use consumer data.

I invited Florian Douetteau CEO at Dataiku to discuss his thoughts on the impending GDPR regulation.

In the interview we discuss:

  • How to structure your company data to meet the demands of GDPR
  • How a company should prepare for GDPR - even if they don’t plan to collect EU customer data.
  • What are the best practices for data management?
May 22, 2017

I recently came across a company called Pollfish and they captured my attention with their intro which went something like:

Don't you want to know what your competitor's customers really think? How can a 'David'-sized app acquire users in a landscape dominated by a handful of 'Goliath' companies?

Answer: Go undercover—now there is a tool that can ask a competitor’s users exactly what they're thinking so apps can optimize their offering accordingly and slingshot around the competition.

The app is using groundbreaking 'behind enemy lines' technology that helps app publishers take down even the most established competitors from the inside.

With Pollfish’s proprietary polling technology via third-party mobile apps, they claim that startups can conduct fast, flexible, economical market research they need to compete with—and even win against—big brands.

App publishers can deliver a customized survey straight to the users of the app of their choosing. Examples could include ridesharing apps targeting Uber users, personal finance apps surveying Mint users, or new social networks questioning Snapchat users.


May 21, 2017

Neo Technology is the creator of Neo4j, the world’s leading graph database. Neo4j is a highly scalable native graph database that leverages data relationships as first-class entities to help companies build intelligent applications that meet today’s evolving connected data challenges including fraud detection, real-time recommendations, master data management, network security and IT operations.

Global enterprises like Walmart, UBS, Cisco, HP, Adidas Group and Lufthansa and hot startups like Medium, Qualia and Glowbl rely on Neo4j to harness the connections in their data.

With $36M in new funding secured last year, Graph Databases are rapidly becoming an enterprise standard.

Guest Info 

Jeff Morris is the head of product marketing at Neo Technology, helping enterprise customers see their world as "graphs" through the connections and relationships they hold with customers, processes, systems and data assets.


May 21, 2017

Audeze have built a reputation selling award-winning audio products engineered with the latest innovations in science and tech, matched with precision craftsmanship. Cutting-edge planar magnetic technology also delivers an unparalleled listening experience that's renowned by producers, musicians, and audiophiles alike.

Designed and assembled at Audeze’s California factory with industrial style by BMW’s DesignWorks, the company's commitment to research, development, and design is reflected in every facet of their products.

Their EL-8 Titanium claimed its fame as the first set of headphones with a fully integrated Lightning cable. Receiving numerous awards at CES 2016, the SINE was the first on-ear planar magnetic headphone. Now, the iSINE are the first in-ear planar magnetic headphones! But, it doesn’t stop there. At CES 2017, Audeze debuted its latest innovation, the iSINE Virtual Reality Headphones, further impacting the world of audio.

I invited Sankar Thiagasamudram, CEO of Audeze onto the show to talk about the importance of 3D audio and emerging audio technologies.

May 18, 2017

Chore Check is a great tool for busy parents to raise responsible, money-smart kids! The app makes it easy to keep everyone organized and accountable for household responsibilities.

As a parent, you can track your children's completed chores, send payments, and even distribute their earnings to SPEND, SAVE, and GIVE categories. Chores can even be set to "stealable" so that the first child to check it off earns the credit. When kids login, they can check off chores, track progress, and watch their allowance grow!

I invited Chore Check CEO Ada Vaughan onto the show to find out more.


May 16, 2017

Crestron is a $1.5B company that builds connected home and office technology. In Dec., Mark Zuckerberg talked about how Crestron powers his home. Many will remember that at the beginning of 2016 Mark Zuckerberg set himself a challenge to build a smart home AI called Jarvis, but his lighting, doors, and thermostat were already controlled by a Crestron automation system.

The company has some pretty incredible conn ected office tech, too, and is currently used by the likes of Facebook and Microsoft.

Crestron also recently announced a new product that will make high-end collaboration technology traditionally reserved for large enterprises accessible to any business.

Crestron are a big deal in the tech world and although their unicorn status but this only tells half the story, so I invited Dan Jackson Onto the show to find out more.

Guest Info 

Daniel Jackson
Director, Enterprise Technology, Crestron.

May 15, 2017

You may have heard about the thriving tech start-up scene in New York, Chicago, Houston or even Tel Aviv, but I recently learned that Ukraine also has a fantastic tech scene too.

MacPaw is a team of like-minded techies, who live in the heart of Ukraine and create apps loved by users everywhere. As true geeks, we never stop exploring tech and looking for ways to make your Mac life better. Not because they have to, but because it’s fun.

You may remember that back on episode 199 I interviewed the CEO of Setapp which was made by MacPaw and offers Netflix for Mac Apps in an alternative app store and they made me realise that I am intrigued about a new tech start-up scene in Ukraine, and I have a contact out there too.

Add these two together, and I was able to convince Julia Petryk, the PR & Media Manager over at MacPaw Inc to come on the show and tell us all about how technology is transforming life in Ukraine.

I chat to Julia about everything from the Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev, the thriving tech and startup scene and even visiting Chernobyl in an episode which is a must listen to those passionate about technology and travel.

May 15, 2017

I recently read how Gartner predicts 20.8 billion connected things will be in use worldwide by 2020, up from 6.4 billion in 2016.

While Much of the media is focusing on the security concerns of every member of society having hundreds of devices permanently connected online. Others are seeing great opportunity

Twisthink released a great strategy guide entitled SMART, CONNECTED, AND PROFITABLE 5 steps to monetizing your IOT Strategy which is a fantastic read and I was intrigued to find out more.

Robert Niemiec is a managing partner at Twisthink where he manages business strategy, day-to-day team leadership, and business development. 

Throughout his 15 years of entrepreneurial experience and 17 years of senior-level corporate experience, Robert has a proven track record of building high functioning, diverse teams that achieve success and deliver results so I invited him onto the show.

May 14, 2017

From the number of steps we take to the hours we sleep, it's clear we are obsessed with tracking their bodies' data. So why not track sperm? The average sperm count in men has fallen significantly and continuously over the last several decades due to biological, environmental, and lifestyle shifts.

Now, men will be able to take control of their health with a new, FDA-cleared, at-home device called the Trak Male Fertility Testing System. The test allows men to measure and track their sperm counts as "low," "moderate," or "optimal" based on World Health Organization guidelines. The award-winning system allows men to measure and improve reproductive health addressing the growing problem of male fertility, which accounts for 30-50% of all infertility cases…all from the comfort of their recliner.

The Trak Male Fertility Testing System from Sandstone Diagnostics uses centrifugal force to isolate and quantify sperm cells using specially designed disposable cartridges.

I chat to Sandstone Diagnostics Founder & CEO, Greg Sommer, PhD about the Trak Male Fertility Testing System and the label of Fitbit for Sperm

May 11, 2017

Dale Drew, the CSO of Level 3 covers the following security topics in a conversation with Neil Hughes.

The evolution of the botnet
Botnets are becoming more sophisticated – which means they are becoming harder to detect, track and take down. Dale has some interesting stats around costs to rent botnets and the percentage of internet traffic that is bad/botnet traffc.

The state of healthcare security
Despite breaches increasing in volume and sophistication, only about 1/3 of healthcare organizations are highly concerned over a breach impacting critical care in the next year according to a study conducted by HIMSS Analytics we recently announced.

A few other key takeaways:
Nearly 80 percent of survey participants identified employee security awareness as the source of their greatest concern regarding threat exposure. Respondents identified which systems have the greatest need for network uptime – including those needed to deliver critical care.

The majority of organizations employ multiple risk mitigation practices – and Dale can walk through what those as well as what organizations are looking to do in the next two years.

The big threat for 2017 = Ransomware
Startling recent findings include victims are paying and nearly half of consumers haven’t heard of ransomware. 

About Dale Drew

As Chief Security Officer, Dale is responsible for Level 3's Global Global Security Program; Corporate and Product Security Policies, Logical Security, Physical Security, Voice/VoIP Fraud, Managed Security, Corporate Risk, Governance, Federal Programs and Corporate Investigations programs. Dale manages Level 3's centralized Global Security organization that encompasses both responsibility for Level 3's internal assets, and all product and service portfolios.

About Level 3

Level 3 Communications is a premier global communications provider headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado, that provides communications services to enterprise, government and carrier customers.

Anchored by extensive fiber networks on three continents and connected by undersea facilities, our global services platform features deep metro assets reaching more than 500 markets in more than 60 countries.

May 10, 2017

ClearMetal, an edgy logistics tech provider applying AI and machine learning to the massive global logistics industry where a digital overhaul is desperately needed. The $26T per year global supply chain represents nearly 10% of global GDP, but still runs on legacy, pre-internet technology.

The industry is poised for digital disruption as logistics professionals seek new ways to make sense of the supply chain's overwhelming complexities. Just as machine learning and AI have overhauled other industries, they’ve already started to streamline efficiencies in supply chain and create a powerful new digital solution called “predictive logistics.”

By gathering and harnessing siloed supply chain data, adding new data sources, and applying advanced technology, predictive logistics has emerged.

I speak with Adam Compain, founder and CEO of ClearMetal, about how this startup is specializing in predictive analytics within freight transportation.

May 9, 2017

In 1995, British Medical Journal (BMJ) became the first medical publisher to go online. Now, the company has made history again by bringing their latest research directly to healthcare professionals via the Figure 1 app.

With more than one million doctors, nurses, and medical students on the network, BMJ researchers are using Figure 1 to discuss their work with their target audience immediately after its publication.

Dr. Yusuke Tsugawa of Harvard University was the first BMJ researcher to take part in a live Q&A on Figure 1. He presented research showing that US patients have lower mortality rates when they are treated by foreign-trained doctors.

“The intelligent conversation sparked by the forum was something that just didn’t exist before,” said Dr. Tsugawa. “It’s an incredible way for researchers to bring their work directly to the global medical community“

Dr. Tsugawa’s one-hour Q&A was viewed more than 125,000 times by healthcare professionals in 83 countries and received more than 150 comments and questions from a specialized audience.

BMJ publishes more than 55 medical and allied science journals and was a pioneer of the migration to digital publishing and the development of open access. Figure 1 has since flourished in the open access environment that BMJ helped to create. A partnership is the next step towards bringing open access evidence-based medicine to healthcare professionals.

I interview Dr. Joshua Landy, the co-founder and chief medical officer of Figure 1 in tonight's show.

About Figure 1
Figure 1 is a free mobile app that helps millions of healthcare professionals in more than 190 countries connect, communicate, and collaborate. With 70% of North American medical students now using it as an educational resource, Figure 1 represents the future of medicine. To learn more, go to

About BMJ
BMJ is a healthcare knowledge provider that aims to advance healthcare worldwide by sharing knowledge and expertise to improve experiences, outcomes, and value. For a full list of BMJ products and services visit

May 9, 2017

Around 3,500 representatives from the largest enterprises in the world braved the unseasonal heatwave in San Francisco to attend the Apttus Accelerate conference over in Pier 48 last week. As the doors opened for the show, word spread quickly about the quote-to-cash solution provider being recognized as a visionary in the 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for the second year in a row.

It’s easy to see how Apttus have been continuously growing at a phenomenal rate since its humble beginnings in a laundry room. After bootstrapping its way to unicorn status, it can now only be a matter of time that they hit the IPO button.

I invited Apttus CEO Kirk Krappe onto the show to learn about their entire journey and introducing the world's first intelligent agent at Accelerate.



May 8, 2017

Completed, which is based in San Francisco, is the first verified peer review platform to cover all professionals in every industry. Its mission is to create the most comprehensive profile of an individual on the internet.

A Completed profile will show the full person including constructive feedback that identifies their strengths and weaknesses, helping people improve themselves while at the same time opening the door to opportunities for other people to engage with them in a positive manner. 

In the same way that Yelp! users review businesses, allows users to rate and review every professional – from a waiter to Fortune 500 CEO – anonymously or using a verified identity.

Completed’s easy-to-use 5-star ratings and reviews, which are verified by the company’s proprietary algorithm, can help professionals identify areas of weakness to improve their work and provide employers an unadulterated profile of a candidate to enable them to hire with confidence.

“Yelp doesn’t identify employees, LinkedIn doesn’t identify weakness, one-off professional reviews sites, like, omit most industries, and professional complaint boards, like, are not trusted,” said Zammuto.

 “The current professional review landscape is broken, and there is a clear need for a central information source and a trusted review system that provides accurate ratings for all professional in every industry. 

I invited Michael Zammuto, CEO of San Francisco-based Completed onto the show to find out more.

For more information, visit:

May 4, 2017

Thomson Reuters provides content, expertise, and technology solutions to help lawyers, bankers, and tax and accounting professionals make critical decisions every day. 

Digitization is transforming the global media and information industry. Upon learning how Thomson Reuters is leveraging the power of Quote-to-Cash in the cloud to stay on top in this digitized landscape at the Apttus Accelerate event, I invited them onto the show.

Craig Eiter, the VP, Sales Enablement at Thomson Reuters Legal talks about the digital transformation and leveraging the power of Quote-to-Cash in the cloud.

May 3, 2017

Derek Schoettle, General Manager of IBM’s Watson Data Platform, had a fantastic keynote speech at the Apttus Accelerate event in San Francisco. Demystifying all those not so user-friendly phrases such as AI, Machine Learning, and cognitive business just before lunch was a tough ask but he made it look effortless.

If today's cognitive businesses are already achieving new levels of performance – from improving customer engagement to scaling expertise to driving innovation and growth.  I had to find out more.

I caught up Schoettle and asked him to share an insider’s view to the innovation that drives IBM Watson and for providing insight on how to build your cognitive business. Most importantly, the examples of real-world ROI from leveraging Watson for Quote-to-Cash and business performance.


May 1, 2017

According to a Business Insider report, messaging apps are growing faster than social networks. While consumer social networks have moved aggressively to take advantage of the rise of mobile messaging, there is a huge void in the market for chatting with your extended business network.

Further, LinkedIn users are unhappy with the social network experience due to recruiter solicitations and InMail spam, which no longer makes it the platform to engage with your most valued business connections.

VentureApp is a chat platform for professionals to communicate with their closest business contacts and connect with new partners in their extended business network. 

Upon hearing about $4 million funding and that thousands of professionals from DraftKings, Silicon Valley Bank, HubSpot, Drizly, Goodwin Procter, and more, are chatting on VentureApp, I invited Chase Garbarino, co-founder and CEO onto the show to learn more.