Vokal Founder/CEO Reid Lappin: On Organic Farming, Digital Design and Innovation, Using Technology to Improve Lives

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Reid Lappin is the founder and CEO of Vokal, one of Chicago’s leading digital design and innovation firms. Thanks to Reid, his company’s client roster will certainly get your attention — Vokal has worked with Whole Foods, Bosch, Groupon and the San Francisco 49ers, to name a few. So yes, Reid is a technological prodigy, a genius by any measure — but interestingly enough, he wasn’t always on the front lines of technology and innovation. Before founding his first tech company, Reid was an organic farmer. So come along for the ride as our host Brian Burkhart chats with Reid about organic farming, using technology to better people’s lives and why knowledge and security must be at the forefront of technological advances in the future.

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INTERVIEW NOTES:

:50 — From farming to the front lines of technology

2:29 — A technological prodigy

4:27 — “Family-first, life-first effort — but business is my new sport”

6:29 — Try not to bring it home: Make your time at home about family, not about work

10:31 — Not cut out to be a plumber

12:29 — Organic farming gave Reid his first taste of business leadership

14:44 — Lettuce, zucchini and blueberries: You name it, Reid’s grown it  

20:10 — Vokal’s mission? Finding magic in products

24:59 — Technology isn’t going anywhere — and it’ll keep making our lives better

27:32 — You can’t just attach yourself to one product — but you can attach yourself to people. And a vision.

29:46 — You can’t keep everything in: Being transparent with your team goes a long way

34:44 — Gino Wickman’s “Traction” a must-own book for entrepreneurs and business leaders

36:51 — Reid’s goals going forward: Take care of family and friends, make the world a better place

39:31 — Gratitude is one of the most important things for human beings to have

41:39 — Use your imagination: How Vokal is using technology to delight people and make their lives better

45:11 — Technology + Pizza = Magic

48:03 — Suing a client teaches you a lot — about both financials and business in general

52:12 — Reid’s/Vokal’s core belief: Family is truly way more important than any product or project

55:28 — The future of technology? Knowledge and security must come together

57:42 — Digital products need to be built to work for you, not take advantage of you

59:14 — Take life and work in stride, and always find ways to make yourself better

1:00:54 — Want more Reid? Hit him up at reid.lappin@vokal.io