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Reality Check: Tin Network's Greg Shanahan

Reality Check: Tin Network's Greg Shanahan

As part of Idealog's ongoing celebration of the technology sector, we've picked the brains of some of the movers and shakers in the industry to find out their favourite tech-related things, their biggest fears for the future and what other companies and individuals inspire their work. Here's Tin Network's Greg Shanahan. 

What’s your favourite…

Technology you can’t live without?

My phone and a copy of the TIN100 Report.

Underrated or old technology?

My mountain bike.

New Zealand tech company or individual in that space that’s doing seriously cool things? Too many to list, and you can read more about many of them in the annual TIN Report due out October 17.  But off the top of my head:  F&P Healthcare, Xero, Rocket Lab, Weta Workshop and Weta Digital to name but a few, along with Veriphi, the medical device company I co-founded.

Global tech company or individual in that space that’s doing seriously cool things?

Elon Musk. He reflects so much of the positive potential of technology.

Tech project or product you’ve had a hand in

The annual TIN Report; the trusted bible of tech entrepreneurs and investors.

Veriphi, our medical device company, that uses lasers to verify intravenous drugs to prevent medication errors.

Tech project or product that isn’t yours, but you’re envious of?

Tesla.

What first drew you to this industry?

I’ve been working in technology for most of my career and I’ll never tire of it. I founded TIN in 1999 when I saw a gap in the market for technology-related events and information and staged the first TIN event in the America’s Cup Village in 2000.  Those were pioneering times. I co-founded Veriphi in 2002.

What do you enjoy the most about working in tech?

Constant change and innovation. It’s a blank canvas.

How would you describe New Zealand’s tech culture?

Vibrant, exciting, innovative, world-class.

Where does inspiration come from for you?

Others around me.

Reality check

How has tech impacted on your work? How will it impact on it in the future?

Tech is core to what we do at TIN and Veriphi and it will only continue to grow. It enables us to maximise the talent in and beyond our organisations and market in ways previously not possible.

What’s been the most concerning change that technology has made to human behaviour, in your experience?

Lack of socialisation and isolation from being present.

How would you describe your relationship with technology? Do you think you’re addicted to any form of it?

A healthy respect for it but not addicted. I’d be mad if I lost my phone, though.

Do you think social media is a blessing or a curse?

Blessing.  It’s opened up another world but is a mixed blessing.

Do you think technology needs more laws surrounding it, or a form of resource consent regulation?

We need to protect society from harmful use of technology without choking off the innovation that drives all the positives.

What needs to be done to tackle the diversity issue in tech?

I think technology can actually be transformative in addressing diversity issues by democratising opportunity across gender culture etc.

What worries you the most about technology?

Being able to keep up with the growth.

What’s your scariest prediction for the future? Will the robots kill us all?

No.  We might be forced to upgrade our phones though.

What will New Zealand look like as a country in 2037?

Tech will be our number one export earner, so long as we can maintain the environment that sustains innovation, i.e. a place where talent wants to live and pursue their ambitions.