One of our favorite things about Business Energy’s co-working and networking space is that we are able to bring together Westfield’s local entrepreneurs and experts from a wide range of fields, each with unique ideas and experiences to share. We learn something new from everyone who walks through the door at Business Energy, and we’re excited to feature some individual stories in our new Your Business Energy column. We’ll be focusing on how the talented professionals in our community manage to stay inspired, focused and productive.
MEET RYAN MEYERS.
If you’ve heard the buzz about Internet of Things (or IoT), you know just how interconnected our lives are becoming. Your oven talks to your phone, your watch controls your thermostat … and everything collects data along the way. Applying these principles to industrial devices is a growing field for large businesses like GE Digital, where Ryan Meyers serves as a Senior Director. His division is focused on owning the industrial IOT (IIoT) space, which means Ryan gets to experience the innovation of a startup and the resources and complexity of a huge multi-national. His team scopes out new markets, new players, new fields and new approaches — all with the “grand world conquest” goal of digitizing all industrial equipment everywhere.
A remote employee (most of his team is based in California), Ryan found Business Energy when his family was lucky enough to embark on a major remodel that temporarily made his home office a tough place to work. He’s been co-working here with us at Business Energy for the past few months, and his friendly, engaging nature is a great addition to our community. We grabbed some time for a quick chat this week to learn more about what energizes him!
You have a very cool sounding job … what is it you’re actually doing?
Most folks get the concept behind a FitBit — you put it on and go about your day, and it kicks off a lot of data which you ideally use to make different choices and live a healthier lifestyle. It’s sort of the same concept with the IIoT solutions we’re implementing, but we’re gathering data about industrial equipment at an industrial scale to ensure it works to the optimal performance.
So, for example, if we stick a bunch of sensors on wind turbines throughout the world, the collected data can help us better understand real-time conditions for each turbine and find ways to improve each turbine’s output. Since every asset is used differently, we create the ability to treat a turbine in Iowa differently than one sitting in the North Sea. Multiply that by every kind of equipment in every industry, and you can see the potential to help us do everything better.
What ties you to the Westfield community?
Honestly, I think most people in town tend to know me as Gretchen’s husband! She’s so involved with the kids and schools, and that’s usually the connection point. That said, I’m certainly connected to the community through youth sports. I have 4 kids, who range in age from 3-11 and I love coaching their sporting activities: soccer, flag football, basketball, baseball, lacrosse... I particularly love flag football because it’s really the definition of community to spend an hour and a half on a brisk Saturday morning down at Tamaques drinking coffee and watching 300 kids run around and play flag together.
What’s the secret to your productivity?
I’m not sure it’s really a secret, especially since it’s something I tell my kids to do all the time, but whatever I set out to do, my goal is always to make sure I’m doing it right. There are lots of ways to skirt the system and cut corners in this world, but if you’re going to do that, then what’s the point in the first place? If I have a job that I need to do, I’m going to go after it the right way – throw myself into it, be positive, be enthusiastic, and do it in the best way possible.
How do you balance it all?
We all have more demands than we can live up to, so I focus on what I prioritize to achieve, and on being VERY comfortable in the choices that I make. A pet peeve of mine is when people say “I was just too busy” to do something. That doesn’t resonate with me. If it’s important enough to do, you will always find a way. If not, don’t commit in the first place. We all have to make choices, and you just can’t punish yourself or lament the things you choose not to do. I do my best to prioritize and then I let the rest go. It’s the closest to balance I can get.
What inspires you?
I’m excited and inspired by working with people who are genuinely and plainly passionate about what they are doing and the impact they are making on people’s lives. It’s easy to find that kind of passion in the IIoT world, with engineers, data scientists or sales teams building solutions that improve access to electricity or ensure airplanes are continually getting safer. I’m happiest when I’m working with people that are the opposite of those who just want to check the box and call it day. Life is too short to work with people that aren’t passionate.