Systems Contractor News CoverKaren Robinson, our EVP of Business Development at NanoLumens, recently made the cover of SCN Magazine because of a compelling interview and we have the full article right here! Read more about Karen’s take on failure, the current pace of technology, and young minds in the A/V world:

1.) When did you discover that you had a knack for technology?

I actually don’t think that I have an inherent knack for technology; Rather, I have a curious and inquisitive nature. I believe the knack that I have is being able to ask people questions, listen to them, discuss their knowledge, and help people solve the problems that they may be facing. In the world of technology, the desire to continue to ask questions is what keeps innovation thriving.

2.) If you were going to write a book about your work as CEO for four high-growth companies, what would you title it? And what would be the most important theme across the CEO chapters?

“Fail Early so that you can Succeed Sooner”. I don’t think failure is bad. That being said, I personally do not believe that you will truly succeed until you fail. The most important theme would stress that you should not fear failure because when survived, it eventually leads to success.

3.) Your career highlights include involvement with established technologies and cutting-edge developments. What strikes you as most surprising about the pace of technological change in recent decades?

Technology advancements are speeding fast and coming from all parts of the world. I grew up thinking technology would always come solely from tech giants like IBM or AT&T. However, we are now in an age where technology is coming from everywhere, and from people at all stages of life. We have twelve-year-old kids writing code for top-selling apps.

With technology moving so fast and innovation being so readily accessible, CEO’s need to be curious—Always be listening and aware of what is happening around you. Ideas for your industry may be coming from a completely different field. I recommend that you become an avid reader, and subscribe to things outside of your comfort zone. This month, subscribe to Mechanical Engineering Magazine and next month read People magazine and the next Motherhood Today. Continue to reach far beyond your comfort zone, continuing to ask questions.

4.) What have you most challenging and most rewarding in selling the potential of new technology in your role as EVP of Business Development at NanoLumens?

NanoLumens is such an exciting brand with unlimited potential. The capability to create not only a product, but also an experience allows our team to reap the rewards of a “job well done” every time we complete an installation. That being said, the challenges that come along with that are fulfilling the unique dream of every client; no project is the same. This makes for a great challenge, but the reward is well worth it.

5.) You’ve received awards and accolades for your leadership roles in technology and for your work in empowering women in business leadership. Do you have some advice for how the AV industry could attract and nurture young talent?

I encourage all companies in A/V to develop internship programs and start educating students about the growing field. AV is no different than any other industry—our goal is to find, cultivate, and deploy the best and smartest. An important aspect of empowering women is creating a culture in which women can bring their talents and unique skills. Men have historically dominated AV, but there is no reason women can’t be successful in it.