Making Data Simple: IoT, patents and invention with Lisa Seacat DeLuca

Making Data Simple: IoT, patents and invention with Lisa Seacat DeLuca


Would you like a car that responds to voice commands? What about regularly changing seats at the Super Bowl to experience different views of the game? In this episode of Making Data Simple, learn about the Internet of Things (IoT) and the steps to invention from Lisa Seacat DeLuca, IBM distinguished engineer, IoT App Factory. As the most prolific female inventor in IBM history, Lisa's latest inventions focus on the world of IoT. She shares how IoT will change the automotive industry, the importance of data privacy and her perspective on cloud in 2018.

Show notes:

00.30 Connect with Al Martin on Twitter and LinkedIn.

00.40 Connect with Kate Nichols on LinkedIn.

00.45 Connect with Fatima Sirhindi on Twitter and LinkedIn.

00.50 Connect with Lisa Seacat DeLuca on Twitter and LinkedIn.

01.35 Learn more about what it means to be a Master Inventor.

01.45 Learn more about the Internet of Things (IoT).

02.14 Learn more about Carnegie Mellon University.

05.30 Listen to "How to Hack Your Job for Optimal Meaning and Fulfillment with SnackNation CEO Sean Kelly" on Awesome Office: Lead.Create.Inspire.

06.25 Find A Robot Story: Learn to Count to ten in Binary by Lisa Seacat DeLuca.

06.40 Listen to "A Young Inventor's Vision of The Future" Featuring Lisa Seacat DeLuca on TEDTALKS.

06.50 Find The Internet of Mysterious Things by Lisa Seacat DeLuca. 

07.15 Learn more about what it means to be a top influencer in IoT.

08.15 See Lisa's list of pending and approved patents here.

14.00 Learn more about Cloud Computing here. Want a podcast? Listen Making Data Simple: Cloud Computing with Sam Lightstone.

19.35 Learn more about AI at IBM

21.45 Learn more about the IBM patent approval process here.

28.45 Find Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. 

30.40 Find Even Superheroes Have to Sleep by Sara Crow. 

Ready to dig deeper? Check out our previous podcast episodes of Making Data Simple.



Al Martin:             Welcome to the Making Data Simple series. This is Al Martin. Pleased to be here and I want to thank the listeners as we continue to grow exponentially and I hope you’re finding interest or as much interest as I am in all the guests that we bring on. Let me thank Kate Nichols and Fatima Sirhindi that find the great guests.

                            You will not be disappointed today. My guest is Lisa Seacat DeLuca. Did I pronounce that correctly, Lisa?

Lisa DeLuca:      Yes.

Al Martin:            OK, very good. She is a distinguished engineer in the IoT department and runs the App Factory and we will talk a little bit about that but welcome, this is our little podcast about Making Data Simple but I have to tell we go absolutely everywhere. Pretty soon we may have to rename this to talk soup or something because that's essentially where we go. But anything is possible so I hope you're game, you game? 

Lisa DeLuca:         I’m game. Let’s do this.

Al Martin:             All right.  So we talked about this before in terms of what title we would give this to even figure out what title, we thought about "All about IoT with Master Inventor Lisa DeLuca" or we could have gone with "A Young Inventor’s Vision of the Future." Which, you'll notice, was your TED Talk. Here is what I know, I know that you are the No. 1 female Master Inventor at IBM and I think that's of all time, you can correct me if I am wrong. I know you are an IoT expert of some form or another. I know you to be a children’s book author, a software engineer, I think I could go on.

                           Clearly a wide range of interests unlike some other guests, maybe I should ask you what don't you do?

Lisa DeLuca:   Haha, what don't I do?

Al Martin:             What don’t you tell us a little about yourself, your role, your interest, what makes you tick that would be great.

Lisa DeLuca:         Sure. I’m a software engineer by training. I grew up in Helena, Montana, and I had no computer sciences background whatsoever. I decided to go to Carnegie Mellon University.

                              I liked being on a computer but I wasn’t  I didn't write any code until college. When I got there, I fell in love with being a computer science person. That was mostly because of my internship. Being thrown into the real world of what a software engineer does I just loved it and I could see myself and my future in that career path.

                              So I graduated from Carnegie Mellon. I did some internships while I was there at IBM and I took a job in Austin, Texas, so I was there for about a year and was working on our process server Java development.

                              From there, my career’s been all over the place. It’s kind of fun being at IBM because we’re so big because you can change groups and it’s like you’re at a whole new company.

                              I’ve met a lot of IBMers through all of my careers. The only thing that’s really stayed consistent is the invention process so it’s been really fun coming up with patents and meeting other people through that whole brainstorming process.

Al Martin:             Why don’t we dive into a little bit and of each of that, but could you also explain your current role within IBM if you could?

Lisa DeLuca:         Of course. Yes I just joined a group. This was back in July. It’s called the App Factory so I’m leading a team that is looking at all the different industries and what the opportunities are for the Internet of Things.

                              So we were putting together business cases and trying to understand the market opportunities for IoT across a lot of different industries. We’re teaming with DBS for market strategies, all of sales and –- it’s almost like we’re starting a bunch of companies.

                              So even though we were at this big enterprise they are really doing a lot of that from the bottom’s up approach to bringing IoT to the market. So the two that we’re currently focusing on are an automotive use case and retail use case.

Al Martin:             I’m going to jump back for a second. So you finished college at that time when you started, you had no aspirations to be a software engineer, what was your original major?

Lisa DeLuca:         So that was my major. I don’t know.

Al Martin:             Oh.

Lisa DeLuca:         I really liked being on a computer but I didn’t know like what, where I want to go into so I applied to the computer science program at Carnegie Mellon, and I also applied to the information technology/information systems as well.

                              So I ended up getting into both and I had to make a decision of which way to go and I heard it was harder to move into computer science than to get out of it so I started in computer science.

                              I mean, it was tough. I mean, having no previous programming experience, you know, I did feel less ahead of my classmates. It’s just the courses. I  like I said, I really just – I thought about the end goal, not so much getting the straight As I was used to in high school and I made it through it.

Al Martin:             Sounds like you got a little bit of a competitive streak in you that keeps you. It has got to be something. I want to ask you something else and then we will jump back to some more questions about you and some of your personal experiences. As I was in the office today, I was listening to a podcast myself and they were talking about job hacking, and job hacking being the art of redesigning your role to find fulfillment in said role. 

                              And I thought about the podcast we are doing today. I am always talking to my team about doing three things, being empowered, being an expert in something and then having purpose and passion that you want to come in every day so you don't have any of these Monday morning blues. Right? Sunday night you're not going “oh god, I have to go into work tomorrow.” 

                              And the reason I wanted to ask this question is to put you on the spot a little bit because it seems like you have mastered at least, well, all three of those things in the sense that you have done everything. You are a master inventor and you are also doing children's books.

                              So, in other words, I think that is kind of the definition of job hacking what you want to do. So my question is I guess any comment then I guess overall and where did that energy come from? I mean, it is awesome that you are able to do all those elements and still have the ability to breathe. 

Lisa DeLuca:         Yes. I definitely think that, you know, the person that cares the most about your career and where you’re going is yourself, and you have to be a little selfish about what it is you like to do not just do it because it’s paying the paycheck, right?

                              So I’m always looking for opportunities to follow my passions and sometimes I  I’ll start playing with things outside of work, like the children's books. It sounds like it has nothing to do with computer science or being a software engineer, but I really want to learn about starting a business and writing a book.

                              I’ve always wanted to write a book so I learned about how to get an ISBN number and run and kick start a campaign and fulfill orders from  for all over the world to get that idea out there.

                              I was also nerdy so my first one was How to Count to Ten in Binary  very nerdy. So it was very fun just like meeting new people, all these people from around the world that just had similar passions as me and were excited to see a project be successful and bring it to life.

                              From there and it got noticed and I ended up doing a TED talk within IBM, A Better Vision for the Future. So even though this book had nothing to do with my day job it ended up helping my career. Just stop doing that. I’m kind of working and doing it.

                              Then my latest book was called The Internet of Mysterious Things and it’s got NFC tags in the pages. You can tap your phone and it’ll bring up a website with a little animation and explain how technology works.

                              So again, nothing to do with technology really it was mostly for fun but at the same time, it landed me on the Internet of Things group. Being shown as having a voice around IoT how I made a couple of lists including the top most influential women in IoT.

                              And I  and that definitely helped getting noticed and get a foot in the door of the things that I like to do outside of work making it into my day job.

Al Martin:            You know you refer to them as children's books, but they can be a book perfectly fitting for myself. By the way, everybody listening here, I have a stand-up desk. Lisa has a stand-up desk too but she is also on a treadmill. You never quit, do you? I can tell this energy just continues for you. 

Lisa DeLuca:         Well let's check my steps here. I’m at 12,800 so at the end of this, we’ll see what I get up to. But yes, I mean, I had trouble getting to the gym and I wasn’t being as active as I wanted to be.

                              Just being able to do multiple things, multitask always really helps me to stay healthy and happy.

Al Martin:             Fantastic. You are  tell us something and I don’t think I understated anything you are the number one female Master Inventor at IBM.  And that is saying something because IBM continues to push out the most patents of any company. That is correct, right? 

Lisa DeLuca:         Unless somebody comes and beats me.  I think I’m the only one that gets to that 100th plateau and then right now I’m at 165 so I hope more women get to that 100th plateau over time.

                              And a 100th plateau is an IBM internal system. Basically it’s about 4 passes is what is comes out to be so I piled over 600.

Al Martin:             Oh 600 patents. Yes you’re doing multiple patents a day it sounds like. Very good.

Lisa DeLuca:         Yes, just everything we do. If you have a team and work with a brain charm and realize there’s a whole lot of people and it makes people more successful. And I  well sometimes I was with other people so I don’t typically invent alone unless it’s the middle of the night where I come up with some crazy idea and I’ll write it up real quick, but most of the time it is with others.

Al Martin:             Oh, very good. It also seems like you're in a good spot with IoT which is like a good liaison, I'll come back to you in a bit. I think it’s a good spot for patents to have because it is wide open right now and there is a lot of opportunities there. I did listen to your TED Talk and I would encourage everybody to do so. One thing you said in there – you define IoT is the Internet of Things and Internet of Everything.

                              I guess the first question  let’s just start. Sometimes I skip the basics and that's dismissive of me. If someone isn't familiar with IoT would you give that a brief description, your description, Lisa's description of IoT?

Lisa DeLuca:         Yes, IoT stands for Internet of Things and it really just this nothing that it’s just something about anything. It talks to anything else  their data. Typically, it’s over a network like the Internet.

                              They’ll use APIs and send information to a network so you can then process, but really, it’s just about how things collect the data and then making sense of that data, right?

                              So just collecting the data is not really that interesting and we’ve been doing it for years, but if you can still try and figure out something useful about that data or gain some experience say for an end user or lead to another machine that’s really the color of IoT.

Al Martin:             So I’m intrigued with IoT because I don't believe it's been conquered and if anybody has listened to my previous podcast I have talked about this. Connected devices, there are so many out there but 11 billion and that's not counting phones. I don't know they're talking about 30 billion objects by 2020. 8, 9, 10 trillion dollars, I have seen up to 17 trillion dollars by 2020, it is crazy. Hence that is my interest it's so open. Do you see IoT almost replacing the Cloud or becoming the new Cloud? Because we can place compute and storage on the edge and somewhat move data storage that we just created. 

Lisa DeLuca:         I think IoT and Cloud are kinds of siblings. They go hand in hand, you can't really have one without the other. I mean you can have Cloud without IoT. But the power of Cloud is that it is able to capture all those censored Data from anything. It can be a regular laptop computer or anything out there. I don't think IoT will replace Cloud, if anything it is just going to make Cloud more popular.

Al Martin:             So, but fair enough. Is there...I got a couple of questions myself. Do you see any distinction between IoT and the edge or are they one of the same or is there a definition distinction between the two?  

Lisa DeLuca:         There’s definitely a distinction. I think the edge is more about knowing that you’re in a situation where you can’t necessarily have access or send your data to the call point fast enough to where you make insights quick enough. 

                              Maybe the network is not as strong or you’re in a dead spot. I mean, I grew up in Montana so there was a lot of times where I can’t make a phone call or get on the Internet, because that is to me the edge those places where it’s a lot harder to process information fast enough has because you cannot get on the Cloud fast enough. So, edge computing is making those decisions locally – more locally on the devices and then sharing it when it’s possible through the right network. That is my difference.

Al Martin:           What role do you think Data plays? You know this is the Making Data Simple even though we go everywhere, but what role do you think data plays or what should organizations be thinking about as it relates to their data?

Lisa DeLuca:    Yes, I mean data is everything. IoT wouldn't be anything without data. It really is the information and the sensors and the information that is being created by these things. That is data in the world of IoT. In my opinion, they are the same thing, data is IoT and of course, it is more that marring of data with the processing and the insights. So, using Artificial Intelligence and machine learning and cognitive computing to make that data interesting. 

Al Martin:             The next question I was going to ask you is what role does AI play but I will change that a little bit because of you kind of mentioned an element of AI. What do you see as some of the changes in IoT? We just started out the new year in 2018 and beyond.

                              Now we’ve got IoT and artificial intelligence. We’ve got blockchain, we have the edge, seems like it is all coming together. If you were to predict anything, what would your prediction be about 2018 and beyond?

Lisa DeLuca:         And, I mean, we just got started and it is so exciting to see where this is all taking us. I personally am excited about stuff like voice and how voice and the interaction with individuals are going to take off, being able to talk to our things and our computers without having to type it because a lot of people are slow typists. 

                              Some people are unable to text. I’m a pretty fast typer, but not everybody is so this ability to use your voice and to explain what it is you want the machine to do (unintelligible) out of that.

                              I think that we’re going to see a lot of things incorporate voice to be controlled or do other interesting things, and that’ll take into account a lot of the blockchain and to do and have results out of that. I think we are going to see a lot of our things incorporate voice to be able to do things and that will take in to account a lot of the blockchain and edge computing and stuff like that just because of the nature of voice.

Al Martin:             But let me ask you a question. I mean, you  I get your point of IoT being siblings  but do you also see a scenario where IoT or edge can be self-contained where you can have computer storage or edge acting solely with the other IoT devices without the need of Cloud? Or do you see Cloud sort of being there to take that information back? Doing some learning and throwing it back and maybe doing some machine learning and throwing it back to the devices? You ever see it being self-contained or do you always see it as something like siblings connected.

Lisa DeLuca:         There is definitely an aspect of it that is self-constrained. I know that we had a use case within IBM where we were talking about helping a speedboat. They were doing all this edge computing because they were not able to go over the server fast enough to make decisions for the driver of that speedboat how to change all the levers in the boat in order to win the race, but then after the race is over being able to send that data to the cloud to then process and make hindsight kind of insights of how they could’ve done this differently or the decisions that you made gave this result.

                              So I do agree that there’s definitely an excitement about being able to do it just on the edge sort of sending back and the learning from those behaviors. That is also interesting and we can’t get away with not doing the Cloud as well.

Al Martin:             So you do  right, then your answer is that they come hand in hand and they build upon one another. Yes, that makes sense. I mean…

Lisa DeLuca:         Yes.

Al Martin:             That makes sense. I often use the car as an example, an autonomous car, the thing is you are going to have the make some decisions on the edge and use AI, Machine Learning because you don't want to have to make the car run into everything before they learn something. Having said that you want to take that data and throw it back to the Cloud, learn from it and then make those devices smarter of course.

Lisa DeLuca:         Yes.

Al Martin:             And I also think privacy will have a say in what stays in IoT or on the edge versus what’s in the Cloud as well. Is that the way you look at it as well?

Lisa DeLuca:         I understand them. I think that we’re going to see more of that control being given to the end user right now, people kind of are new, I mean I have a fit bit and I am okay with it tracking me but I think there isn’t this notion of what am I okay sharing? What hours of the day am I okay sharing, this notion of being able to just have a little bit more control over what your data is and what is personal and what is not personal that privacy aspect of it. I think we’re going to see more of that control in the coming years.

Al Martin:             Very good. So hey don’t  tell us about the App Factory. What is that all about? What does your team focus on? This is where you spend most of your day, I don't know you're doing multiple things day to day but at least that is your title if you could talk to us about it, that would be great.

Lisa DeLuca:         Yes, it’s, I mean, I’m so excited about it because it’s like bringing more opportunity for IoT across industries and listening to what our clients are saying. They want to test these limits and they want to test IoT to a limit that it has not been tested to before. So we are working on a couple of retail solutions for example around occupancy insights, understanding your building, energy optimization, for example, you are a company that has some refrigerator units and a refrigeration goes down. Being able to automatically be able to schedule a service even before it goes down. To get people to come look at it and get some of that preventative maintenance before there are any issues, that is a lot of the retail solutions we are looking at.

                              Even moving towards automotive. I said that we are going to move towards the voice.  I mean, being able to talk to your car and using hands-free I mean, the voice is the perfect use case for automotive and it’s safer and not having to put that piece on myself. And like I say reach over and change the radio station or not and you may  and you may put it in your steering wheel it is still a distraction.

                              If you can just talk to your car it makes people a little bit safer and that’s another thing that we’re looking at as well, and just at 53 and then we’re constantly evaluating other industries and looking at other opportunities for us to expand IoT.

Al Martin:             Certainly this will make me feel more comfortable because I have three teenage daughters that are driving, they could use more voice command. So please, push that along a little bit faster if you would. haha. 

Lisa DeLuca:         IBM just had an issue this year that was, we talked about AI and these autonomous vehicles but when do you release control of the vehicle to the human, when do you know the machine can't make a decision you know in those situations, in those situations you may want the human to make the decision even though the car is normally the one driving. So there are a lot of opportunities for this mix, of AI and humans to play and merge together nicely. 

Al Martin:             Yes I agree. I think I may have said this on a previous podcast. I was reading an article that was kind of interesting about AI right now, and they said one of the biggest challenges is just caught me off I don't know why. AI has a hard time telling when it doesn't know, it always has a tendency to want to know, in other words, if you are trying to tell the difference between a dog and a cat you know, it will do dog and cat. But you throw the elephant in ....

                              And if it’s not been trained on the elephant a lot of times it’ll try to, you know, it will try to put it in one of the categories you know, dog or cat “Hey I’m not on this one. Somebody else needs to take over because it’s not my expertise.”

                              So I think there is a long way to go with AI on that. Are there any other use cases that you would say that you guys are driving in the App Factory or are that pretty much the ones that you gave the ones that you have?

Lisa DeLuca:         Two of the ones that I can talk about now. There are some exciting ones that are coming up we are definitely looking into some edge computing stuff as well. 

Al Martin:             I promise you all the listeners will keep it quite if you want to go ahead and just tell us, we will be fine. I'm just kidding. I don’t want to get in trouble. We’re great. So switching gears a little bit lets go back to being this inventor wit was over 600. Wow, 600 patents to your name.

                              You have to tell me just tell me more about this. How does that happen? How do you come up with the next great idea and how do you, you know, how do you go, maybe, I think the audience would like to hear about  well it’s not only how do you personally come up with an idea but what is the process for then creating a patent and carrying it through?

Lisa DeLuca:         IBM makes it you know really a little easy, we are teamed with an attorney that helps write the patent so…you know, I am not out spending hours writing up this giant legal document and someone else gets to help me with that so I just do the easy part - coming up with the idea.

                              But how it works at IBM is once you come up with an idea that you think is possible, then you submit it through a tool, we call it THINKIP and you submit it. It’s usually about three sections or you talk about the probable statement, how you came up with the idea and then there’s a summary section with a couple of sentences about what it is you’re doing.

                              We encourage you to do some researching if anything exists. It’s definitely like starting a business, right. What is the competition what is out there?

                              And then the last section is all about implementation so how – so what are the technical steps that you would have to create in order to bring your idea to life?

                              And then once you’ve got all that written up you submit it through the system  there’s and we have what we call invention review boards or IDT. IDT stands for Invention Development Team so it’s really a group of people that are subject area experts and the hear your idea.

                              And then at the end of your pitch, so you’ve got about five minutes and then there’s ten minutes for question and answer. They’ll ask you more about the part that they see and then they’ll vote on it.

                              And if you get a vote of a search then they go out and do a formal search to see if there are any patents around it, and if that comes out clean then you get to work without attorney to write it up. So it’s a long process and that was a very fast explanation of what it is. 

Al Martin:             A lot of times I look at these kinds of scenarios and think, “Oh we’ve got somebody that’s just, you know, trying to get as fast as they could get, push, push but I did take an opportunity to go out and look and I mean your stuff is some good stuff.

                              So I don’t  I think if  are you getting parts of the network effectively? I mean, you said you work on things in groups so you must be working with colleges otherwise to come up with these ideas that are distinct and are patentable. I have to believe it’s on a network of people, not to take away anything from your brilliance but I mean you have got so many it is awesome.

Lisa DeLuca:       I mean at the beginning it is very easy once you start getting into patenting around things that you do on the day to day bases. I had a lot of patents on mobile devices and calendaring and instant messaging and the things that I would run into every day that I am like,  “I wish it did this, or oh I hate it when it does that.” That kind of weaves into problem-solving and how you get that problem and create a solution and then check to see if that solution has been done before.

                              And then the more I did it the better I got at recognizing what was possible and now it just comes very easy to me so I’d hear someone mention a problem and I’ll instantly think of a solution and think about how to create a patent out of it.

                              When I joined the IoT team I submitted probably that first week probably like ten patents because I was so excited because I was hearing with fresh eyes or fresh ears all these problems people were facing around IoT.

                              And then my instinct was to solve the problems and so I started looking into what exists and what doesn’t exist, so I’ve been really good at taking the problem from my day job and turning into patents as well and now integrating them back into the product

Al Martin:             Well what happens after that though? Do you get people that call you and are like look, good patent I need to use it. Have you had those calls I mean, what is the next step for said patents?

Lisa DeLuca:         So at IBM, it is all IBM so you don't have to contact the inventor. Once it is ours, it is ours but it is the inventor coming to the product teams and telling them what they have or what they came up with. There is a correlation between telling people what you have but all of our review boards are related to a specific technology so we have a board that’s just around IoT. They know all the innovations that are going on around IoT. 

                              It’s not like there’s one group that’s hearing everything across the whole company. They’re very focused in that regard so we can get at the solutions that we’re coming up with.

Al Martin:             Can you talk to a few or a couple of your favorite patents? maybe the most relevant patents? Maybe throw a fun one in there or something?

Lisa DeLuca:         Yes. Yes and let me think. So my very first one ever  I like that one just because it got me over the hurdle of submitting patents. I was pretty new at IBM and I noticed there were these patent awards in people’s offices and I thought, " I need to get one of these I can get one of these". The idea was in Java development, that output the console window, whenever I wanted to highlight something I would do an (unintelligible) message with starts. So I saw all my stars coming through and I thought to myself, this looks like a browser window, I should be able to customize this just like you would a website, be able to customize or style so that when certain code was executed you know a dancing banana would show up so you can know your code was executed in a fun way.  

                              So I did some research and my very first one. It then for issued so that one was really exciting for me. But then I submitted a couple outside of IBM so I got what we call a disclaimer title and did that. 

                              There was one particularly fun idea I guess. I wanted to start a business related to sports so the idea is that right now when you go to sporting events you sit in one seat for the whole duration of the event. The idea is that you want to experience multiple parts of the venue so if it was baseball you could sit behind home plate for three innings, and then on the third base line and then on the outfield and then pay proportionally to however long you were at whatever seat. 

                              So, I got my disclaimer title from IBM, and I wrote up the full title myself and then I would figure everything like PowerPoint did on the claim language and ended up getting that patent issued.

                              And that one’s like near and dear to my heart because it’s mine that I wrote myself and I learned so much about the patent system just by forcing myself to learn about it. 

Al Martin:            Has major league baseball called you or anything?

Lisa DeLuca:         I called them!

Al Martin:             Oh really good for you! I wouldn't expect anything less.

Lisa DeLuca:         Yes. I think I talked to about 21 professional sports teams’ baseball which is a little tough because they have an agreement with Ticketmaster so they kind of stepped down before I could really talk to them.

                              And I don’t know, my IBM career has taken off so that whole business is paying my issuance fee because I think someday I’ll do something with it.

Al Martin:             Now I’m waiting for a big virtual reality to come in so we’re just like this virtual reality camera sitting right behind home plate. But someday it'll be nothing but Virtual reality cameras throughout the stadium.  

                              Nobody will be there. Everybody could be a sitting at home. They could switch seats like you are saying like "Hey I want to go to the outfield".

Lisa DeLuca:         Players should be virtual too. I love that idea, it's similar to Ready Player One is my favorite book. I mean to don't have time to read so I do not read that many books but if you want to read a book, Ready Player one is really good it's all about the future behind Virtual Reality head seat.

Al Martin:             Awesome. Ready Player One I got it. I am always asking for books as Kate and Fatima know. You are already ahead of the game.

                             So my favorite invention that you had is the one where you take your Fitbit step goal and post it to Facebook by 5 PM so everybody is going to know how lazy you are or how motivated you are that day. I got a buddy his name is Scott, if you are listening to Scott, you could use this, you could use this.  

                            So within all of this, you write two books, you already talked about your two books. You got more coming I presume I can't imagine you are slowing down. How do you get in the book writing mood? Are you doing that on the weekend? Are you doing that at night I don't know how you do it.

Lisa DeLuca:         I was very lucky. It only took me a couple of hours on the weekend to write the stories and then, the first book I paired with a guy from Latvia, I actually googled, I figured, you are teaching binary it must be a robot that does the teaching so I went and looked at some illustrations around robots and I found this one that was awesome and I downloaded it and thought I could do it myself, try and move the robot and its arms and stuff. And It was so much harder than I thought, being an illustrator I have to give credit to them. 

                              But I reached out to the illustrator and I asked him if he’d be the illustrator for my children’s book and he said yes. So it was kind of fun working with someone in Latvia and doing all that.

                              Then the second book I got my sister excited about writing books and so she wrote a children's book on Kickstarter as well, it was called Even Superheroes have to Sleep and it got picked up by penguin random house and so it is going to be in Targets which is awesome for her. 

Al Martin:             Wow.

Al Martin:             Fantastic. So just for those folks that are listening, we will put those books in the notes. Also, you have your own website, Lisa SeaCat.com correct?

Lisa DeLuca:         Yes.

Al Martin:            And the women in technology inductee? Is that right. Do I have that right too? It was this year or I mean last year since it is 2018 now. 

Lisa DeLuca:         I do. Yes that is right 2017 I was inducted into the women in technology hall of fame, so very exciting.

Al Martin:             Congratulations that is awesome. So Engineer, inventor, Author, Keynote Speaker, Mom of twins...you have two sets of twins? 

Lisa DeLuca:         I do haha.

Al Martin:             You don't do anything normal do you?! You just go all out. Two sets of twins. So now is for all the women listening, well anybody, how in the heck, you have to tell me about work-life balance how does that work?

Lisa DeLuca:        I think probably by asking for help and prioritizing what makes you happy. Like for me, I do not like housework. I understand that I rather spend time you know I could spend an hour writing out a patent or I can spend an hour cleaning the house. 

                              And I’ll probably make more with the patent money than with cleaning the house. So I asked for a helper who comes and helps with a few things. I actually fired my cleaning people though because I was actually more stressed with them than anything else. Before they came in I had to clean the house. . 


Lisa DeLuca:         So I needed to find a better solution for that. There’s got to be some service where someone helps put things away before they clean but I’m still looking for that piece of it.

                              Yes, I mean we have an Au Pair, and in fact our first Au Pair she just left yesterday. It’s really sad. She had to go back to Brazil and we have a new one coming tomorrow from Columbia so, the Au Pair helps out and my girls are still at home they are two so she helps watch them during the day and the boys go out to school. 

Al Martin:             Wow. I mean I feel sorry for your husband I mean he must wake up every day and go, damn what did you do today and the competition kicks in. Is he as equally as motivated as you doing all kinds of crazy stuff?

Lisa DeLuca:         Funny we’re opposites and maybe that’s why we get along so well. He is a scientist, a PhD scientist he is getting is Post Doc right now. The scientist mentality is very against patenting so um, it has been very interesting, he is always writing papers. It’s okay I like being challenged so maybe that is why we work out so well together. 

Al Martin:             Very good. So – but what I find is successful people tend to be good with failure, in other words, they can learn from failure, move on and learn from it quickly. It is fail fast if you will.  You know you got to give me one failure so I could feel good about myself. Just say something. Anything.

Lisa DeLuca:         I mean, we all fail, we can't be good at everything, there are always other people that are better than you at something. Well, I think it’s just knowing yourself and knowing what you’re good at and being willing to accept not being the best at everything. But in those areas that you love, pushing yourself and working and being the best at it.

                              Let me think of one failure. And like I said, with computer science, I didn’t get all As and that was kind of a failure, in my opinion, I was valedictorian in my high school and then going to Carnegie Mellon and not getting all As.

                              But then the  I would turn that failure into knowing that that was what I wanted to do with my life and it wasn’t about getting all As and it was okay that fail in the little day to day because in the end, and then it created a career opportunity for me and I love  I wouldn’t change anything for the world.

Al Martin:             You have a yearly plan that you start off with. Like a life plan for the year, do you have a cadence in your day where you spend the first three hours on you know some of the you stuff that you are interested in before you dive into the task-oriented items that you have to address? 

Lisa DeLuca:         Yes and I was  I’m really good at saying no. When you say no you have to say yes first. In fact, when I was asked to do my TED Talk, the TED at IBM Talk, afterwards, a guy came up to me and he said that he has coached people for a living into doing TED Talks and he said that 9/10 men, if you ask them they will say yes to doing a talk like that but 9/10 women say no just because they are not willing to take the chance on themselves and do something a little scary. I was really good at saying yes to things and then I got a lot of opportunities and it was really hard saying no. So I think it's about saying yes to things to a point where you are able to say no. If that makes sense.

Al Martin:             Yes. it makes a ton of sense. And you know coming from a gentleman, and I use the gentleman term loosely, with three girls you are a role model, in fact I am going to send your information their way so they can read up and see what you are capable of and what they are capable of. Look anything you would want to end with anything we didn’t talk about? I want to give you the last word to make sure we hit everything you wanted to discuss.

Lisa DeLuca:         No, Thanks for having me and this has been a lot of fun.

Al Martin:             Thank you. And you know technologists like you are the reason why I am still with IBM. I appreciate you joining, typically I ask about books but you already gave me the book that I am going to take off Ready Player One. I have learned a lot I am inspired by everything that you do. Do you have any more Ted Talks in the future? You off to more patents?

Lisa DeLuca:         Yes nothing lined up yet, I have to change the world over here with IoT.

Al Martin:             Please do. Please do and get that voice-automated system right in the car so I can make sure my kids aren't messing with their phones. We got to do that. Thank you so much. Maybe we will check in with you at some later date but I appreciate you joining us. 

Lisa DeLuca:  Thank you, Thanks Guys.