363 episodes

Broadcasting from Dubai, The CTO Show with Mehmet is a captivating podcast that delves into the latest trends, insights, and strategies within technology and startups. Host Mehmet Gonullu spearheads in-depth discussions and interviews with thought leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs spanning a diverse array of industries. From cybersecurity to emerging technologies and beyond, the show presents a well-balanced and insightful lens through which listeners can navigate the ever-evolving realms of business and technology, and their profound impact on our lives.

The CTO Show with Mehmet Gonullu Mehmet Gonullu

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 12 Ratings

Broadcasting from Dubai, The CTO Show with Mehmet is a captivating podcast that delves into the latest trends, insights, and strategies within technology and startups. Host Mehmet Gonullu spearheads in-depth discussions and interviews with thought leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs spanning a diverse array of industries. From cybersecurity to emerging technologies and beyond, the show presents a well-balanced and insightful lens through which listeners can navigate the ever-evolving realms of business and technology, and their profound impact on our lives.

    #363 Maintaining the North Star from a CTO Perspective: Francis Lacoste on the Inner Game of Leadership

    #363 Maintaining the North Star from a CTO Perspective: Francis Lacoste on the Inner Game of Leadership

    In this episode of The CTO Show with Mehmet, we have a thought-provoking conversation with Francis Lacoste, an executive coach specializing in CTOs and VPs of engineering. Francis shares his journey from being a software engineer to taking on leadership roles at Salesforce and Heroku, and now coaching executives in scaling startups. He delves into the challenges faced by startups as they grow, particularly the transition from a small team to a larger organization. Francis highlights the identity shift that technical co-founders experience as they move from product builders to organizational leaders, emphasizing the importance of understanding and navigating this personal transformation.

    Francis also discusses the critical role of culture in startup growth. He explains that as teams expand rapidly, maintaining a strong, cohesive culture becomes paramount to avoid chaos and dilution of core values. He provides insights into how leadership teams can champion and sustain the desired culture, ensuring everyone is aligned with the company’s North Star.

    The conversation further explores the concept of the ‘inner game’ of leadership, which involves self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and character development. Francis links these inner qualities to effective leadership, particularly in fostering psychological safety within teams. He underscores the importance of vulnerability-based trust and how it can be cultivated in both in-person and remote work environments.

    Francis shares his experiences with remote work, dating back 25 years, and offers practical advice on maintaining team cohesion and clarity of purpose in distributed settings. He touches on the impact of rapid technological changes, like AI, on startups and the pressure these developments place on CTOs to stay ahead. He advises balancing attention to external innovations with a firm grounding in the company’s core mission and values.

    Throughout the episode, Francis emphasizes the importance of creating space for reflection and maintaining a clear vision to navigate the fast-paced startup environment effectively. He advocates for using frameworks like OKRs or V2MOMs as tools to communicate and align with the North Star but warns against overcomplicating them.

    More about Francis:

    Francis is an Engineering Leadership Coach who helps CTOs and VPs of Engineering at scaling tech startups nurture amazing work cultures and high-performance teams that build products and services that delight their customers.

    Until early 2023, Francis was the Senior Director of Software Engineering, Culture, and Engagement at Salesforce, where he coached top engineering managers to be better leaders as they helped grow the company and build a culture of collaboration and innovation across the Salesforce Platform engineering division with 1200 people.

    He has spent 25+ years working from home in the open-source and cloud developer tools industry and also previously worked at Heroku and Canonical, where he built successful high-performance remote engineering teams.



    01:09 Francis Lacoste's Background and Role

    02:26 Challenges in Scaling Startups

    03:35 Identity Shift and Cultural Challenges

    06:55 Leadership and Accountability in Startups

    09:43 The Concept of Inner Game

    12:20 Balancing Business Needs and Team Well-being

    17:54 Maintaining Culture in Remote Teams

    24:56 Frameworks and Adaptability in Startups

    34:25 Navigating Technological Changes

    39:21 Final Thoughts and Contact Information

    • 42 min
    #362 Transforming Healthcare: The Intersection of AI, Blockchain, and Fitness with Jean-Philippe Diel

    #362 Transforming Healthcare: The Intersection of AI, Blockchain, and Fitness with Jean-Philippe Diel

    In this episode of The CTO Show with Mehmet, we have the pleasure of speaking with Jean-Philippe Diel, the founder of SymbionIQ, who joins us from New Zealand. Jean-Philippe shares his fascinating journey from his early days in FMCG to his passion for technology and eventual transition into the tech industry. He describes his experiences working with major companies like Samsung and his ventures into entrepreneurship, which ultimately led to the creation of SymbionIQ.

    Jean-Philippe delves into the inspiration behind SymbionIQ, highlighting the concept of using motion capture and sensors to record and analyze movements. This technology aims to revolutionize remote training by enabling users, such as yoga instructors and physical activity trainers, to create detailed, interactive lessons. He explains how the integration of haptic feedback and AI enhances the learning experience by providing real-time corrections and personalized guidance.

    The conversation explores the broader vision of SymbionIQ, which includes building a decentralized healthcare ecosystem that prioritizes data privacy and user control. Jean-Philippe discusses the challenges of the current healthcare system, emphasizing the need for a shift from a “sick care” model to one focused on health span and longevity. He introduces the concept of a protocol network economy, where blockchain technology ensures users maintain ownership of their health data, enabling a more holistic and personalized approach to healthcare.

    Jean-Philippe also touches on the potential for integrating augmented reality and virtual reality into SymbionIQ’s platform. By using devices like the Apple Vision Pro, users can interact with their digital selves, receiving precise feedback and guidance in real-time. This innovative approach aims to make fitness and health training more accessible and effective.

    The episode concludes with a discussion on the future of SymbionIQ and its potential impact on the healthcare industry. Jean-Philippe shares his plans for raising a pre-seed round to further develop the platform and expand the team. He envisions a collaborative ecosystem where multiple startups can build on SymbionIQ’s backend, creating a comprehensive and user-centric health management system.

    More about Jean-Philippe:



    01:12 Jean Philippe's Background and Career Journey

    02:49 The Birth of Symbionic

    05:46 Symbionic's Vision and Data Privacy

    10:29 Building a Health Data Ecosystem

    13:45 Challenges in Health Data and AI

    25:34 Addressing Data Biases and Sovereignty

    30:53 Recovering Seed Phrases and Blockchain Security

    31:49 User Experience in Web3 Solutions

    32:38 Jurisdiction and Regulation in Health Tech

    33:13 Innovative Environment in Dubai

    34:51 Integrating AI and Blockchain

    36:36 Federated Learning and Edge AI

    40:08 Future of Motion Capture and VR Integration

    46:25 Building a Health Ecosystem

    51:02 Raising Funds and Future Vision

    • 1 hr 2 min
    #361 From Hacking to Protecting: Vivek Ramachandran Discusses AI and Browser Security

    #361 From Hacking to Protecting: Vivek Ramachandran Discusses AI and Browser Security

    In this episode of “The CTO Show with Mehmet,” Mehmet is joined by Vivek Ramachandran, the CEO and founder of SquareX, for an in-depth discussion on cybersecurity, AI, and browser security. Vivek, a veteran in the cybersecurity field with over 20 years of experience, shares his journey from working at Cisco Systems to becoming an entrepreneur and starting multiple companies, including SquareX. He delves into his fascination with breaking security systems and how this led him to focus on offensive cybersecurity research and training.

    Vivek explains the current gaps in cybersecurity, particularly in how traditional security solutions like Secure Web Gateways (SWGs) and endpoint security products are insufficient in today’s complex web application environment. He highlights how attackers exploit these gaps, particularly through browsers, which are now the primary workspace for many employees. Vivek’s insights into how attackers use AI to create sophisticated phishing attacks and malware emphasize the need for advanced, browser-native security solutions.

    SquareX’s innovative approach involves deploying a browser extension that monitors and analyzes browser and DOM events in real-time using machine learning models. This allows for anomaly detection, policy enforcement, and proactive isolation of suspicious activities and files, thus providing a robust layer of security right where the user interacts with the web. Vivek also discusses the importance of context-aware security measures, which traditional SWGs lack, and how SquareX aims to fill this void.

    The conversation also touches on the broader implications of AI in cybersecurity, both as a tool for attackers and defenders. Vivek discusses how AI can be leveraged to enhance security measures, streamline security operations through natural language interfaces, and perform real-time threat detection and response. He also shares practical advice for C-level executives on adapting to the rapid advancements in AI and integrating it effectively into their security posture.

    In a lighter segment, Vivek talks about his initiative to create the first hacker comic book, aimed at educating young people about the positive aspects of hacking and cybersecurity. This project reflects his passion for cybersecurity and his desire to change the mainstream perception of hackers.

    Towards the end of the episode, Vivek offers valuable advice for aspiring founders, emphasizing patience, resilience, and the importance of realistic expectations. He also highlights the importance of building a company with a deep understanding of the problem space, which in cybersecurity, often comes from having an offensive background.

    More about Vivek:

    Vivek Ramachandran is the Founder of SquareX, which is building a browser-native security product to mitigate last mile attacks. SquareX has raised USD 6M seed round from Sequoia Capital SEA in April 2023. 

    Previously, he was the Founder, CEO of Pentester Academy which trained thousands of customers from government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, and smaller enterprises from over 90 countries. Pentester Academy was acquired by INE in 2021. 

    Vivek has been researching Wi-Fi security for over a decade. He discovered the Caffe Latte attack, broke WEP Cloaking, conceptualized enterprise Wi-Fi Backdoors, created Chellam (Wi-Fi Firewall), WiMonitor Enterprise (802.11ac monitoring), Chigula (Wi-Fi traffic analysis via SQL), Deceptacon (IoT Honeypots) and others. He is the author of multiple five star rated books on Wi-Fi security which have together sold over 20,000+ copies worldwide and have been translated to multiple languages.



    01:13 Vivek's Journey in Cybersecurity

    02:59 Identifying Market Gaps and Founding SquareX

    04:32 Challenges in Cybersecurity and Browser Vulnerabilities

    29:39 The Role of AI in Cybersecurity

    50:34 Advice for Founders and Conclusion

    • 54 min
    #360 Bridging AI Development and Operations: Brad Micklea MLOps and Enterprise Strategy

    #360 Bridging AI Development and Operations: Brad Micklea MLOps and Enterprise Strategy

    In this episode of “The CTO Show with Mehmet,” we are joined by Brad Micklea, the CEO of Jozu. Brad shares his extensive experience in the tech industry, detailing his journey from leading the Amazon API Gateway to founding Jozu. Jozu is building what they believe is the first control plane for AI projects inside enterprises, aiming to help organizations accelerate their AI development and protect their operations.

    Brad discusses the current challenges enterprises face in integrating AI projects into production. He emphasizes the importance of having the right strategy and organizational structure to execute AI initiatives effectively. Brad shares his insights on the need for a solid connection between AI teams and product teams, ensuring that data scientists are embedded within the product teams to better understand and address customer needs.

    One of the core topics explored in this episode is KitOps, Jozu’s open-source project that aims to simplify the management of AI models and their deployment in production. Brad explains how KitOps provides a central registry for all AI project components, ensuring that organizations can manage dependencies and control versions effectively. This approach helps enterprises maintain control over their AI models, ensuring that sensitive data is protected and that AI-driven differentiation is retained within the organization.

    Brad also highlights the similarities and differences between MLOps and DevOps, illustrating how KitOps bridges the gap between these two disciplines. He explains the importance of using existing tools while centralizing AI project artifacts to streamline deployment and management processes. This integration allows enterprises to maintain a high level of control and security over their AI operations.

    Throughout the conversation, Brad offers valuable advice for tech founders and executives looking to integrate AI into their organizations. He emphasizes the importance of listening to customers and iterating on AI initiatives based on real-world usage and feedback. Brad shares his optimistic view of AI’s potential to unleash human creativity and transform various industries, drawing parallels to past technological disruptions like the internet and mobile computing.

    More about Brad:

    Brad is the Founder & CEO of Jozu and a project lead for the open source Kitops.ml project, a toolset designed to increase the speed and safety of building, testing, and managing AI/ML models in production. This is Brad’s second startup, his first (Codenvy, the market’s first container-based developer environment) was sold to Red Hat in 2017. In his 25 year career in the developer tools and DevOps software market, he’s been the GM for Amazon’s API Gateway, and built open- and closed-source products that have been leaders in Gartner Magic Quadrants. In his free time he enjoys cycling, reading, and vintage cars.



    01:08 Brad Micklea's Background and Experience

    02:41 Challenges in AI Implementation

    04:16 Strategies for Effective AI Integration

    04:54 The Role of Documentation in AI Strategy

    05:48 Organizational Structure for AI Success

    07:06 Moving AI Projects into Production

    09:05 Managing AI Models in Production

    10:22 Introduction to KitOps

    12:27 Centralizing AI Project Components

    20:37 KitOps and Enterprise Integration

    21:37 Measuring AI Integration Success

    25:45 Balancing Public and Private AI Models

    27:12 Addressing the Skills Gap in AI

    29:13 The Role of Open Source Models

    30:41 Specialized AI Models: A Case Study

    34:50 The Future of AI and Human Creativity

    38:51 Advice for AI Startups

    45:12 Building and Testing AI Prototypes

    46:10 Conclusion and Final Thoughts

    • 48 min
    #359 AI, Economics, and Value: Dr. Michael Proksch’s Unique Perspective

    #359 AI, Economics, and Value: Dr. Michael Proksch’s Unique Perspective

    In this episode of “The CTO Show with Mehmet,” we are joined by Dr. Michael Proksch, Chief Scientist at AccelerEd, who shares his extensive journey from academia to the industry, focusing on AI and value creation. Dr. Proksch discusses his background in economics and how it led him to work with organizations across the globe in the fields of data and AI. He emphasizes the importance of understanding the multiplicative relationship between various factors such as technology, data, business, and psychology in creating value within an organization.

    Dr. Proksch delves into his experiences in consulting and working with big companies like Aetna CVS and AI unicorns, highlighting the common challenges faced in achieving value creation. He explains that many organizations fail because they operate in silos where departments do not communicate effectively, and he stresses the need for integrated efforts across all critical areas to truly create value. According to Dr. Proksch, the real breakthrough comes when different departments start talking to each other and work together towards a common goal.

    In discussing his book “The Secrets of AI Value Creation,” co-authored with Nisha Paliwal and Dr. Wilhlem Bielert, Dr. Proksch elaborates on the holistic framework they present for achieving value in AI. He shares that the book is a culmination of insights from various industry experts and AI achievers who have successfully implemented AI to drive business value. The conversation also touches on the common pitfalls organizations face when adopting new technologies and the importance of aligning technological advancements with business objectives and employee incentives.

    More about Michael:

    Michael Proksch is an accomplished Expert and Leader, who has had the privilege of working with numerous Fortune 500 organizations throughout his career. He possesses extensive industry experience in creating business value with Data and AI, offering innovative and unique solutions to various industries and organizations across Europe, Asia, and the US. However, his broad knowledge encompassing business, analytics, technology, and psychology has not only earned him recognition as a sought-after industry expert but also as a respected thought leader in the field. His insightful perspectives and extensive experience have made him a sought-after speaker at conferences and events, where he shares his expertise.



    01:19 Dr. Michael Proksch's Background

    02:34 The Importance of Value Creation

    03:14 Challenges in Value Creation

    04:12 Multiplicative Relationship in Value Creation

    04:52 Dr. Proksch's Career Journey

    05:21 Writing the Book on AI Value Creation

    06:37 Industry Contributions to the Book

    07:31 Current Work and Projects

    08:39 The Future of AI and Value Creation

    11:39 Communication in Organizations

    21:29 Defining Value in Business

    31:48 Reflecting on Change Management

    32:43 AI Strategy and Value Creation

    33:40 Industry Use Cases and Competitive Edge

    36:35 Adopting New Technologies

    39:19 The Disruption Debate

    49:20 Future of AI and Job Transformation

    59:33 Conclusion and Final Thoughts

    • 1 hr 1 min
    #358 AI Meets Workforce Training: Luis Garcia’s Approach to Education at Scale

    #358 AI Meets Workforce Training: Luis Garcia’s Approach to Education at Scale

    In this episode of “The CTO Show with Mehmet,” Mehmet welcomes Luis Garcia, co-founder and president of PETE. PETE, which stands for Personalized Education, Training, and Enrichment, provides AI-powered learning tools for workforce development. Luis shares his journey from being a programmer to taking on various roles in project management, product management, and general management, eventually leading to his current role at PETE. He also discusses his significant achievement of launching an online university that grew to serve 12,000 students and employed 1,000 people, generating $180 million in yearly revenue.

    The conversation dives into the common challenges faced by organizations in workforce training. Luis explains how companies often lack the resources to create effective training materials and how traditional solutions, such as hiring third-party companies or relying on internal experts, can be costly and inefficient. He introduces PETE’s innovative approach of using AI to automate the creation of training materials and assessments, making the process more efficient and cost-effective.

    Luis elaborates on the benefits of using AI in training, highlighting how it reduces the burden on internal experts, speeds up the creation of training materials, and improves the evaluation of learners. He provides real-world examples of how AI can enhance onboarding processes and continuous training, and discusses the potential for AI to adapt training programs to keep up with rapidly changing skill requirements.

    From a business perspective, Luis outlines the immediate and long-term ROI of AI-powered training solutions. He explains how reducing the time experts spend on training and speeding up the onboarding process can deliver immediate ROI, while improved employee retention through better and more relevant training offers long-term benefits. He provides real-world examples to demonstrate these tangible benefits.

    The conversation shifts to the investor perspective on AI, where Luis discusses the importance of being AI-native rather than AI-sprinkled. He shares his experience with investors, noting their informed skepticism and decision-making process when evaluating AI applications.

    About Luis:

    Luis Garcia is a seasoned international executive with over 25 years of experience in technology, digital media, and education. He specializes in driving new ventures and products to rapid growth by building effective teams that harness innovation, technology, and creativity to solve complex problems.

    He is the president of PETE, an Orlando-based tech startup that offers a suite of cost-effective and customizable solutions that enable organizations to deliver personalized workforce learning at scale. The PETE team is dedicated to harnessing the power of AI to help organizations of all sizes optimize their training initiatives, spanning from onboarding to regulatory compliance, product knowledge, technical skills, and more, without hiring additional training resources.



    01:10 Luis Garcia's Background and PETE Overview

    04:08 Challenges in Workforce Learning and AI Solutions

    09:21 The Role of AI in Training and Education

    20:38 Investor Interest in AI and Future Trends

    27:36 Luis Garcia's Motivation and Advice for Entrepreneurs

    34:26 Conclusion and Final Thoughts

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

Steve Tafaro ,

Winning at SaaS

Mehmet was open, engaging and asked great questions. He was adept at relating the content of the podcast to the needs of his audience.

pmwcreativity ,


Mehmet is a superb host. He is passionate, attentive, and has great rapport. He is prepared and has excellent questions. He allows the guest to fully express their ideas. I highly recommend listening to The CTO Show with Mehmet!

Joe_Guy ,

Pulse on the future

Mehmet goes to great pains to get to the essence of what’s upcoming and more importantly relevant for tech. For the CIO/CTO or people aspiring to the those roles, Mehmet’s show is a must listen.

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