Jennifer Bonine, the Powerful CEO of PinkPowered Innovations Inc and Richard Lowe discuss AI, digital transformation and pink lions

Jennifer Bonine
Conversations With Influencers: Jennifer Bonine

Join Richard Lowe as he engages in a fascinating discussion with Jennifer Bonine, the dynamic CEO of PinkPowered Innovations Inc. In this interview, Jennifer sheds light on her unique approach to making AI accessible to those developing the world’s mobile apps and websites. She underlines the importance of education, giving back, and social responsibility in the context of her startup. Moreover, Jennifer shares inspiring insights about her initiatives to encourage more women in AI and technology, contributing towards more diversity of thought in the space. The interview also delves into Jennifer’s commendable efforts to provide healthy distractions for children recovering from serious illnesses, revealing the human side of technology and its potential for social good. Tune in to understand how businesses can merge profitability with making the world a better place.

Your host is Richard Lowe of The Writing King, which provides ghostwriting and freelance writing services.

Interview Transcript Jennifer Bonine

Richard Lowe  00:00

I’m with Jennifer Bonnin, of PinkPowered Innovations Inc. She’s the CEO. And the pink line company is consistent. Let me start that over. I’m with Jennifer Bonnin, CEO of the pink lion company, which consists of pink, and the pink Lion Foundation. Hi, Jennifer, how are you today?

Jennifer Bonine  00:18

I am doing great. Richard, thank you so much for having me on the podcast. I’m very excited to be here today.

Richard Lowe  00:25

Well, I’m excited to have you and I think our listeners will learn something very interesting. today are many interesting things about you and your foundation and company. Why don’t you tell me a little bit about each of those?

Jennifer Bonine  00:36

Yeah, so um, we started a little bit different than Lee than a lot of startups. So I’m one of the founders of the pink line company, we initially started with an idea around bringing AI to the people that build and develop the world’s mobile apps and websites, and making something that was a really kind of complex and on a lot of ways, challenging technology, easier to understand and a soft landing, so to speak, of how to engage with AI. Because we hear a lot today about artificial intelligence, machine learning. All the buzzwords get thrown around, but what does that really mean? And, and how do I get involved? And how does it apply to my job, and I’m kind of confused. So what we wanted to do was start a startup, from the beginning with the mindset of education, giving back and social responsibility. And my other two co founders, Andrew Birkholz, Rick Felice, the three of us had known each other for about 10 years, we have been through ups and downs together. And we have seen what makes something work well, what are the challenges. So we have this unique opportunity in July of 2018, to start this AI based company, but we also started a foundation at the same time and the idea of the foundation, so similar to the idea of The Walt Disney Company, and that’s why we call it the pink lion company. And one of the things we started doing right away was trying to make an impact in the space of artificial intelligence. So what we did was partnered with organizations like aI girls, to encourage more women in AI and technology. I was one of the first female CEOs of an AI testing tech company in the world, which is crazy, because AI has been around for 20 years. And there are a few females of highly technical companies and organizations that also our founders, so we wanted to bring to light the need for more diversity of thought in that space. So we started working with AI girls, we also wanted to give back where we live, we are from Middle America, we are from Minneapolis in Minnesota. So also makes us unique. Besides having a female CEOs, the fact that we’re based in Minnesota, obviously, we’re not in the west or east coast of the country, which is unique for an AI company as well. But we wanted to shine a light on all of the amazing and wonderful talent and things that exist here in the Midwest. So we partner with Chad Greenway, who has an organization called lead the way and it’s a phenomenal organization that did studies on children who are recovering from serious illnesses or are required to have extended stays in hospitals due to their illnesses and the fact that if we give them healthy distractions, and healthy technology, distractions, that they are known to recover faster, to have better experiences, and and had better actual recovery rates and faster recovery than their peers that don’t have those healthy distractions. So lead the way partners to provide Chad’s lockers and technology assets inside those hospitals to children whose parents may not be able to afford an iPad or a PlayStation or an Xbox or any of those things. So they have them available to them when they need them, to keep them in healthy distraction during their hospital stays. And we go and visit those hospitals meet with the kids. We’ve even had the opportunity with one of them to bring him in to help us. He’s going to actually help us test some of our AI technology because he has some time on his hands. He happened to be a young gentleman that got a diagnosis of cancer in his senior year in college. So his plans of his internship, his future his college was all put on hold. But we’re gonna give him some healthy distraction at pink lion and have him assist us in training some AI so things like that are really core to our values in the club. So while we build a lot of technology, we also focus on giving back and what it means to be socially responsible as a company. And what we’d like to talk about is how other companies can do that as well. Because I think if we all focus more on, you know, not just how can we make money and, and create revenue and, and do that for the world, but how do we actually combine that with bringing a better world to bear creating social projects and programs that engage more people that we’re actually leaving the world a better place than we started with the technology we’re building with the companies we work with in partnership with them. And the programs and projects we bring together, we think is really powerful.

Richard Lowe  05:45

Well, that’s, that’s very interesting. I’m struck by the, the women part of it, where you look for you try and get women into the field. And when I was Director of Technical Services at Trader Joe’s, I hired a lot of people. And one thing that I found as the IT industry doesn’t have a lot of or didn’t, at the time have a lot of women in it. And the women that I did hire, I found that they, they introduced a unique and interesting viewpoint that was different than the men both have strengths. And both have weaknesses. But it was it was good when I could find a woman to work, who had the same qualifications to work on in like a database manager or something like that, or technical writer or whatever. Because they offered a different viewpoint than men and kind of a balance, the same with minorities and things. So I was I was very keen on basically allowing for, I don’t know if at the time we didn’t call it diverse, but it was a pretty diverse workspace. Because like, I remember that Google made some big goofs with some of their, their early AI where they miscategorized pictures of gorillas as black people and stuff like that. That would not have happened, had they had some black people, probably on the team.

Jennifer Bonine  07:04

Right, you know, and there’s so many stories is that Richard, I mean, you touched on something that is there’s there’s actually a business practicality to diverse teams, and having diversity and inclusion and, and more females more, more diversity in your geography of where they come from in the world, their life experiences, diversity of thought, diversity of approach to problems, you know, all different types of diversity is so good for teams, they’ve done studies. So it’s not just be a good human thing even right, like you want to be a good person and promote things like diversity in the world, because it’s a good thing to do. But it also has an economic benefit. They’ve shown in the studies they’ve done, that companies that have more diversity in their teams, like you mentioned at Trader Joe’s, when the diversity is higher, that it actually correlates to higher innovation in those technical teams. And with higher innovation comes higher revenue from innovative, more innovative products in the market space. So they actually generate more revenue than companies who are less diverse. And they have less innovation because of their less diversity that they have in those teams. So the studies actually support that if you do want higher revenues, if you want more innovative products, if you want products that serve a broader population to your point, you need that diversity to achieve that. And it really helps you in regards to that. Because your point on Google wasn’t just Google, we also looked at every major tech company had a similar flaw and things that they brought to market from, if everyone remembers the the dryers when they first came out, when you would put your hand under them. And they would sense that your hand was there, and then they would dispense either air or they may dispense. So for other things. Those dispensers originally were not tested with different skin tones. And so they wouldn’t recognize different skin tones. We’ve had voice recognition systems that didn’t pick up female intonation and the pitches that female voices have, or people with a higher pitched or lower pitched voice, as opposed to those middle tones. So all kinds of products, and when you have to go back and re architect a product after it’s gone all the way through its lifecycle and it’s about to go out to market or even goes out to market. To take it all the way back here is incredibly expensive for companies, you start to see the business benefit of that as well.

Richard Lowe  09:37

Of course, then the public relations hit is not minor either.

Jennifer Bonine  09:42

Right? That’s even mentioned that piece. Well, it’s not even

Richard Lowe  09:44

more diversity. It’s a different kind of not diversity, innovation. It’s a different kind of innovation. Because your men and women tend to think differently and people from other cultures tend to have different you know, they brought it up differently so they think differently. So when you have Um, you know, a Muslim or Jewish person, or Christian or whatever, they can interact on Scrum teams and things like that. And you get a different kind of variety of things to talk about and ideas. That’s what I found anyway. And it, it’s very interesting. But when you have one, that’s all just the same, regardless of what it is, you get just the same kind of innovation. And that doesn’t always work. Well. I mean, suppose you want some innovation that breaks into new markets, like you were saying, you want to break into the dryer market for a black neighborhood, you better make sure your hair dryers don’t do what you just said.

Jennifer Bonine  10:42

Yeah, exactly. Absolutely,

Richard Lowe  10:45

you better makes you better make sure that your translations into Japanese actually translate to words that aren’t insults in Japanese. So you might want to have a Japanese person on the team. You know, I’ve heard of that kind of thing before too, and marketing. So it’s all very interesting. And then the, the things you mentioned about children fascinate me, my sister owns a school, charter school now to charter schools. Nonprofits go in California. And she deals with children. And, of course, you know, with 4000 students, a lot of them are disadvantaged or have Yes, challenges and things. So she has to do it, her own son is autistic. And she has to deal with all that stuff all the time. So what you just said is extremely important to her that, that she gets programs for her children. And that’s something she looks for. And I like companies that that invest in humanity, as opposed to just profit, as you were saying, anybody can invest in profit. And we all want to do that we all want to make profit, but you can make profit and still contribute to your neighborhood, your communities, the world, the nation, whatever. You don’t, you don’t have to just scrape all the money you can out of something without worrying about people, that tends to make your company not long lived.

Jennifer Bonine  12:03

I think that’s I mean, my perspective on that, too, is if companies wake up and see that, and what they’re going to realize, I think even post COVID and pandemic and all of that, that even more so this generation of consumers that are coming through, want to understand what type of personality that company has, right, they have options to buy from different people, there are different products on the market. And and what I think you’re seeing is people being very much more aware of what the company stands for, and what they’re about and making buying decisions and choices, not just off of the product, but what the company actually does. And we heard it with Mark Cuban, he said it that how people and companies treat their employees through this COVID 19. And the pandemic and the shutdown, and the way that they operate and conduct themselves could be their reputation and their brand for many, many years to come of how they’re viewed in the market space and how people view them. And that they’re going to get branded not just by the products they make, but they’re how they showed up during a very challenging economic time in the world, and the types of response that they had as companies. She got situation. So I think we’re seeing this social consciousness kind of rise across consumers, that it’s not just about, can I get something because there’s a lot of access to product now through you know, technology and things like that consumers can get more information on products and companies than they’ve ever been able to get faster. So building that, I think it’s going to be imperative for companies to have a strategy around it and what they want to show up as and how they show up in that space.

Richard Lowe  13:52

Yeah, well, I’m a ghostwriter. And I read a lot of blog articles. And one of the things that I’ve been writing about lately is how consumers have a choice now. Whereas before, your choice was basically what you could drive to. Typically, now your choice is anywhere in the world. I mean, I’ve ordered products direct from other countries, over to the United States, I’ve ordered through sub companies that are sourced from other companies. And now when I want to buy something, and I take a look on Amazon, then I look on eBay and then I look on other sites BestBuy, and other sites until I find the one that actually is the right price and the right support and so forth. Whereas before you’re stuck with the local, whatever store is in your neighborhood. Yeah. Or unless you wanted to drive so that that’s a that’s a lot of competition the whole world.

Jennifer Bonine  14:45

Yeah, exactly. It is and I think you and I have talked about this before but it opens up a lot of opportunity for companies in and people like yourselves as writers right where you’re not limited to the people that can find you Richard and your geography your You can work with anyone all over the world because of the advanced technology we have because of the access to be able to talk and communicate globally, and to be able to do that. But I think it increases the responsibility too, because now you have a lot of opportunity. But that also means consumers have a lot of choice in the reputation, the person, right, the type of person they’re engaging with. So they’re now looking at you and saying, Hey, do I want to see what Richards done? I have access to lots of writers, Does he stand out instead of just amongst writers in the US? Or in this geography? How does he stand out amongst people in the world and defining those characteristics for companies and individuals and businesses is really important because you are competing on a global stage,

Richard Lowe  15:47

especially now with the gig economy where I was really a master of this a Trader Joe’s where I would hire contractors to do specific small tasks. Yes. And that’s, that’s something that’s more and more prevalent. And I think with COVID, people who are furloughed right now or laid off, really have an opportunity to go out there and grab this gig, there’s an opportunity on the GIG market. There’s lots of websites and or they could do Etsy, or eBay or whatever, and make themselves a second business or a third business even, and bring in some extra money startup, as a freelancer, what do you what are you good at. If you’re good at needlepoint, well then get on Etsy and start selling your needlepoint and make a few extra bucks.

Jennifer Bonine  16:31

I think you’re gonna see more and more that they said the economy would move towards it. And I think COVID will push it, we’ll see less and less employees who just earn salary from companies, and more and more unique independents, that are contractors that you’re your own business, and you sell those services to lots of companies to do those very unique skills that you have, and that you’re very good at, and you serve us and help companies with those skills.

Richard Lowe  16:56

Yeah, while you’re sitting at home, collecting your unemployment insurance for the next 13 weeks, or however long we’re doing this thing, put your skills to work and go out there. And one thing you could do is sign up for Help Desk kind of stuff. Call Centers are looking for people like crazy, there are a lot of offers for call centers. Oh, yeah, that’s what that’s all remote. And they’d rather hire you than hire somebody overseas. Certainly. So, and my neighbors, they’re doing the call center stuff, and they’re making making quite a bit of money. And some neighbors are picking up the gig idea, some needle point. Anyway, that’s kind of off the top that we were talking about. But that’s a big thing coming

Jennifer Bonine  17:36

in, I think being able to pivot yourself, right, like you said, just being creative enough in companies, not even individuals. But I think the companies will see, I was reading some articles on pre COVID thesis is on the world and post COVID thesis like just of what is going to change? How are consumers gonna pivot? How is our thinking pivoting as a consumer, right? So things that used to be important to us imagine someone who is looking at a new vehicle? Well, guess what, you haven’t been in your car in probably four to six weeks other than to go a few places, right? So, you know, does that $200,000 really nice, you know, Mercedes, or Porsche or whatever makes sense right now, because they’re all sitting basically dormant, not around? Or is other things more important that you need? And so where will consumers heads be? So how do you help pivot and help them see what helps them right now you see companies like hertz, where people aren’t renting cars. I’ve seen them driving by my house dropping off Amazon packages, because they’ve got drivers, they’ve got vehicles, and they can now repurpose them for package deliveries, because there’s tons of deliveries going on that delivery services can’t handle to make all the drop offs. Right, right. You’re getting your own companies, your own fleets of vehicles, your services to serve, like you said, these gaps in the market where there’s demand, it just may be slightly different than what you were doing before watching hotels, pivot to house, you know, homeless people and other folks so that we’re not having issues with people on the street, you know, that are infecting each other in increasing spread, using those hotels potentially for displaced healthcare workers who don’t want to be in their homes infecting their own families, while they’re on the frontlines. You know, different pivots like that for industries where you maybe weren’t getting revenue from where you typically do, how do you become creative and pivot and do the things that are needed and required and those I think, are the companies besides the social responsibility kind of bring it back to where pink lion likes to live in the pink Land Company in general we want to live is smart pivots to serve and understand the needs of the broader community and how we actually bring that forward in the world. So you mentioned children before. You know we believe children are the future for AI and tech And we don’t want to leave them behind as this tech gets built and developed, because they’re going to be a huge part of its future, and to be a huge part of their lives. So we’re very big in focusing on diversity, and also getting diversity of thought in the children and getting more children interested in math and sciences in particular. So we’re working right now, obviously, on programs around programs around children and encouraging them to learn more about AI and machine learning. Oh, my God. Sorry, Richard.

Richard Lowe  20:38

We’re all working from home now.

Jennifer Bonine  20:40

I know it’s part of the pivot. Yes. Yeah, it’s so funny isn’t to begin children, they come in right when I’m talking about, but they’re a big part of what we do. And, and a lot of the folks that come blind, and the penguin company will bring their children into the office or have them a part of some of the things we’re doing or run ideas past them. Because, again, just like, different people from different backgrounds have different perspectives, you see that children have a different perspective. So of course, we’ve helped them play with and use our technology. We love that. I love the questions when we do a demo of our tech for youth. I love their question, because they asked me sometimes even more thoughtful questions that I’ll get from senior executives in Fortune 100 companies, because children just have a different mindset and how they approach it. So I love it. It teaches us a lot.

Richard Lowe  21:42

Yes, yes. So one thing that I’ve been learning a lot about, it’s related to this topic is the 911 moments. It’s called a 911 moment. Pearl Harbor was one of those Sputnik was another 911 was obviously another. And that’s where you can look at the United States. And it’s specific to the United States. And you see that before that moment. And after that moment, they’re totally different places, the United States before World War Two, and after World War Two were completely different. You’re almost unrecognizable. And before and after Sputnik before after 911 before and after the main and the Spanish American War. If you go back far enough, well, this is our 911 moment now. The COVID thing, and it’s going to cause massive change in society and in in businesses and industry. That are would have been inconceivable just a few years ago, I mean, industry is going to come back to the United States I predict a lot of it or to other countries, because people are companies are finding out how how fragile supply chains can be. And, of course, the medical industrial complex is gonna grow big that industry.

Jennifer Bonine  22:56

Embed, right like just think about tellement like people that didn’t ever think before I go to my doctor, that’s the last thing I’ll ever do is see a doctor online? Like I’m not doing that? Yes, yes. First to do that, right.

Richard Lowe  23:09

I did my first one. Right. I just did my first telemedicine just a couple of days after they announced everything’s closed. I had a toothache and the dentist was closed. So I called telemedicine and he’s prescribing an antibiotic and it took 10 minutes. It was great. I didn’t have to leave the house. It didn’t go off the room for less. So you

Jennifer Bonine  23:27

know? Yeah. It’s things like that, right? Where we were like, Nah, I’m not going to do that, that it’s really pushing, there’s going to be these fields, like you said that maybe the adaption was going to be farther down the road, we’re going to wait another 510 15, who knows how long right before people really got on board with it. And now, because of where we are at because of the restrictions placed on us. People are finding creative ways where it was a limiting kind of belief or a limiting mindset in certain industries, where those limits have been tested just because of where we sit and what’s happened.

Richard Lowe  24:03

Now, there’s a company that’s local to me that has about 100 employees. They were very adamant that employees work in the building. All those employees are remote now. And if this COVID thing last, which it probably will, you know, through early next year, then those employees will probably stay remote for the most part. I mean, they’ll come back in the office occasionally for meetings and things. But you don’t need all the real estate anymore. Because

Jennifer Bonine  24:28

yeah, you’re totally right. Because think about that, like, there was so many staunch traditional companies that said we can’t be effective remotely, this isn’t going to work. You know, they’ve been forced to do that. Right? They’ve been forced to be put in a situation and adapt. And will you ever go back to big office spaces, even for companies, right? Maybe you’ll go to a smaller space where you don’t everyone doesn’t have pre assigned desks and all of those things, more shifting towards you know, it’s just a common gathering location for meetings that are critical. were other things. But most people will be remote most of the time. And it’s just more of a place when people need to come together or even shift in co working from cheer co working to just another community that people engage in with other companies, where they collectively engage instead of companies having their own spaces. I think I don’t know that we’ll know what it’s gonna be. But I think there’s gonna be a lot created out of this moment in time, as you said that we didn’t work couldn’t have predicted last year even in 2019.

Richard Lowe  25:32

I mean, I’ve never been in a company that encouraged remote workers, and now you have to and schools, they were really against remote for the most part. And now they’re all remote, they have to be they have no choice. And I found that an interesting statistic, one of my neighbors, her child went in school, it was a full day to get to her lessons to doing it from home, hour and a half. And she got higher grades. That’s very interesting. The only thing she’s missing is the social and she really misses the social aspect. But besides that, she’s doing better. She’s getting higher grades by at least a grade level than she was before. It’s thrilling. It’s very interesting. Of course, she’s driving her parents crazy.

Jennifer Bonine  26:13

Right. But I think what you’re seeing is that, you know, how do you adapt that for the students, and maybe it’s not one size fits all anymore, where every student goes to school, they start at a certain time, they end at a certain time. And this is the pattern, right? Someone was telling me that our school systems needed or an overhaul for a long time. And this may be the impetus to actually do that really effectively now, to meet the needs of the kids. Because, you know, now kids are able to get up at a time that works for their body clock, think about us as humans, all of us have a different way we like to work and when we’re most optimal. So now instead of forcing kids to get up, learn at a certain time, math happens in the morning Social Studies happens next, then you do you know this and that. And the other thing, some kids may be better at math in the morning, and they may wait till the evening and do their science and English homework, right. But now those kids have more control over how they like to do their schedule than it being dictated. And I think you’ll see exactly what you’re seeing in that example, which is better grades, more productivity, and less time needed on it, but more absorption, and actually deeper learning.

Richard Lowe  27:26

We’ll also think about it from this viewpoint, if the children are remote, say half the time, and then they come to school for half, for social to get togethers and stuff. You may not need as much real estate, well, that frees up a lot more money for education that’s being spent on buildings and maintenance of buildings right now. Oh, yes, buildings aren’t needed anymore, you can dump a lot more money into, into helping children because children don’t really need to have fancy buildings.

Jennifer Bonine  27:53

No, those buildings Yeah, you think about, it would be interesting to see what a school spends just on its physical space, right from, from the maintenance of it to the building itself to the upgrades in the buildings, you know, all of the things that are required to make that run and go right, the school buses, all of the different things that are required when they’re running, you know, more often all of those types of things, you could redo a lot of that planning and like you said, shift the spend to where it actually impacts learning and the children and their ability to be successful, productive human beings

Richard Lowe  28:28

and pay teachers more, because they don’t, you’re not putting you’re not sinking hundreds of literally hundreds of million dollars into each building. Because in California, they have to be earthquake proof. So they’re expensive. Well,

Jennifer Bonine  28:39

think about it, maybe even adopting the model of higher ed, where instead of teachers that teach all the subjects or you know, in the elementary schools, you get specialists who can come in and teach courses on certain things, that they have deep knowledge or skills. And you know, it opens up a lot of different opportunity just based on a different mindset where they can record sessions or have curriculum that’s very specific. And that evolves quicker than we used to evolve curriculum right then when you print textbooks, and you have to use those same textbooks year over year for multiple years. Now you can iterate curriculum without having to do that and not have the cost of those physical books and different things that they’ve had to bear the cost of.

Richard Lowe  29:21

Yeah, and here’s an interesting technology that’s coming more and more to the forefront is 3d printing. You could have children have 3d printers at home, which are getting much cheaper. So Oh, yeah. And then say they want to look at what a saber toothed Tigers claw looks like. You could print it right in their house and they could actually feel it. That’s an example of something that’s that’s probably an opportunity waiting for somebody to take advantage of.

Jennifer Bonine  29:44

Oh, yeah, this whole space can get reinvented and that’s where I think it’s a really cool opportunity right now. Both for people and companies with the space that’s being created a literal space and, and mental space that we’re getting as humans, right Where we were used to filling our nights and evenings and weekends with social activities, going to restaurants, parties, doing all these things, sporting events, all these things we can’t do right now, if we were to fill even a little bit of that space brainstorming what we think the opportunities are, where this world’s gonna go, how we make it better. I think that’s a really good use case of how to use some of that time to just envision and and brainstorm and participate in, what can we reinvent and make better and look at as an opportunity versus a negative right now, there’s a lot of opportunity that will come out of this, some of the best, most successful companies were bred out of the financial crisis in 2008. When you look at startups, they come because innovation comes from their scarcity. Innovation comes when you don’t have access to the same number of resources and money and all the things. So I think this is a time for organizations to take a step back and breed creativity, right? Because there is a lot of schools struggling, the Higher Education universities are struggling, because they’re not making money off their dorms and their food and a lot of the other things that make them money, but how do they pivot, right and

Richard Lowe  31:14

financial, their financial models have totally changed. And if they don’t recognize that and adjust to it, they’re not going to survive. If they don’t recognize it and pivot as you say, then they have a chance of survival. And they have to do that, because this is not going to be over. I mean, we’ll probably be unlocked down for a while, we’ll probably be allowed to do some things. But I seriously doubt they’re gonna let us go back into school. I think they’ve already announced schools are gonna be closed for the next year.

Jennifer Bonine  31:42

Yeah, in our state in Minnesota, our governor announced yesterday, officially, schools are closed through the end of the year. So that’s a done year, school year, and they’re still questionable, I think whether the fall will even be okay, because they’re saying in the northern states that even if we get people out of lockdown, even if we stopped schools for this year, we let people out during the summer, but there’s a second wave coming in the fall, which will coincide with our normal flu season. So that it may be too impactful to let students back in that peak flu season in the fall, right, where they can start to increase again, if we start seeing that trajectory. So, you know, I as a school, I think, as a company, you have to plan six to 12 months out and plan that you’re not going to be in a normal state of affairs, potentially at least that long.

Richard Lowe  32:32

Yeah. And I doubt if the government is going to be funding those schools for at all, or as much as they hope to replace all of that infrastructure that they have. So but another thing I found interesting is those companies that were already in the digital transformation age, are doing moat for the most part relatively well, depending on their industry, and those that weren’t. I betcha they’re struggling a lot. Because there’s still manual.

Jennifer Bonine  33:03

Yep, exactly. And this is forcing companies, you know, and that’s where I think you’re gonna see players drop off again, you’re gonna see huge winners in this. And then you’re gonna see some companies that just can’t pivot as fast as they needed to. They should have been pivoting already. There’s some that obviously weren’t and weren’t adapting and adjusting and transforming. But now you’re seeing, you know, really, they’re having issues and struggles. It’s funny to me, even restaurants, right? There was some restaurants that had very much embraced models that worked well, with delivery and remote service and servicing a broader group and population. So instead of someone having to physically come into your restaurant, allowing for things like DoorDash, and Grubhub. And these services, and those ones were positioned way better for this shift than ones that hadn’t even started thinking or looking at those as options in their models.

Richard Lowe  34:02

Yeah, we have some local restaurants here that that deliver. And they’re I mean, they’re obviously their profits are down because they don’t have the in the dining room stuff. But they have a line wrapped around the building every day to pick up. But then there’s another one that’s real close by that doesn’t have a web presence. This one one does. And it’s it’s out of business, probably permanently, because it doesn’t deliver and nobody has a place way to order it.

Jennifer Bonine  34:25

Yep, that’s a great example. And there’s so many companies like that, right? Where you have to think about how did you pivot. And the companies that were ahead of this, even like, I give target credit, I was a big adopter, because being in technology, I’m usually a big adopter of new tech that eases my life. But target a while ago had done drive up service where they had drive up capability and not a lot of people were using it. And it was we’re from Minnesota, we’re targets headquartered. So we were one of the original beta programs and had it much earlier than other or parts. But positioning like that was so relevant because now you can order all your target stuff online, drive up, have it put in your car, it’s no touch, similar to anything else. And target saw a huge uptick in sales more people using that service, you know, and they had the capabilities to even if as a big box retailer, they were losing people walking into the store, they still had people who are placing large orders, and really helped target because a lot of retailers were starting to struggle because big box was having trouble with online and competing and all of that, but shifting towards some of these things, which assist with more remote and online and delivery mechanisms outside of traditional using shipped for groceries, they picked up the ship service. So now you can have a shopper shop for your groceries and have it delivered to your home. Like all of this, I think is going to serve companies. Well. And if you didn’t do it before, and you’re now you know, struggling again, this is a huge wake up call, I think for all companies in that regard.

Richard Lowe  36:04

Yeah, our local supermarket Publix, which is East Coast only. They were already digitally transformed quite well. And you can see it they have a website, you can get curbside delivery, which wasn’t very popular. As you say now it’s really popular. They have delivery service, these I think shift are one of the other one of the competitors. And they they’re they’re doing exceptionally well, of course, first of all, people are doing outrageous buying outrageous numbers. So I don’t know where people are getting the money for all the toilet paper to tell you the truth. Right, in groceries and things must be buying on credit cards or something. But the public is is pretty well packed. And they have to stagger people outside because they can’t allow them in the store because of the distancing stuff. And they’re making lots of money. And they’re doing a lot of the drive up and a lot of the deliveries. And that’s really helping the older people in the community. You know, I mean, Clearwater, and that’s more of a retirement community. So the older people, they want to have it delivered with the contactless stuff because they don’t want to get exposed to COVID. Oh, totally. Yeah. Very well.

Jennifer Bonine  37:08

Yeah. And it’s brilliant. And that’s where more people had to go. Anyways, there’s a lot of people that already took advantage of those types of services. But there is a huge again, like tellement, there was populations that were kind of okay with this shifting to a more digital engagement and interaction. Now, I think the flip side that I worry about coming out of this is things like you mentioned 911, and these defining moments. So one of the things that happened post 911, I still remember when you could go to an airport and walk your person to the gate, you could see them off, and you didn’t need a ticket to go there. And we didn’t monitor size of liquids and different restrictions. And then we were like, Oh, this is only temporary, and then it’s gonna go back. And we’ll do it the way we did it before. So I just wonder, you know, what will the things be that post this, we won’t do anymore. And the one thing I hope we do do, because this was kind of the argument, when I would hear people say, be careful of all of this, no touch, low touch, remote, you don’t have checkout workers, you do self checkout, all these types of things are great and amazing. And I love them as a technologist. But when I don’t hope, I hope we don’t lose the ability to be good humans, where we don’t stop helping other people where we don’t stop being kind where we, you know, eventually don’t stop engaging with with strangers and being kind in situations and stuff like that, like I think as long as we can remember to still be good humans, and keep that connectedness, while being distanced that that will be good, especially for the older population, because what they were saying in some of the studies is, if you were an older person, now, when you want them isolated, they can be very isolated. You don’t have to go to the grocery store. You don’t have to go out for most things anymore. Most of it can come to your home and be delivered. But then how do they get their social interaction and creating? I think that’s another opportunity. How do we create safe and healthy ways for social engagement for people when they’re not getting it in normal places like at your grocery store clerk or you’re at your pharmacy, or your doctor appointment? Or all those things where you normally would have had that human engagement interaction?

Richard Lowe  39:23

Well, yeah, that’s something that’s that’s important is we used to have I would call them micro engagements where we’re standing in the checkout line talking to the pretty girl standing next to us. Well, we don’t we’re not doing that anymore. No, or whatever. Those things have sharply reduced, because it’s harder to talk six feet away, or 10 feet away or whatever. Through a mask. Yep. I predicted handshakes are gone forever.

Jennifer Bonine  39:49

I know people have started saying that, that we won’t do that anymore, that we won’t shake hands and different things. And that’s why I say I know some of that will shift which is good, but I think there’s He’s also a way to say how do we still maintain, you know that, that that distance with the connectedness to other humans that, that we’re all still collectively part of the same world. And that is the one thing that I’ve never seen in my lifetime ever before you and we’ve mentioned, because I, I wasn’t around for the World Wars. So I don’t know those are experienced that. But this is the first time where I feel like the entire world, no matter where you are, is collectively experiencing this new thing, right? That we’re all in it together. It’s not one country, one group or a few countries experiencing something going on. This is a, this is an entire world that’s been disrupted and is forced to think differently. So for the first time, I remember when 911 happened, and people stopped and change their lives for a few days or a few weeks, if you were impacted directly and lived in New York, or one of the cities where the planes went down, you were impacted more if you knew a family member or a person on one of the planes who were impacted more, you knew someone that was in New York and was impacted, it was different. But this is like everyone has impact from this and feels it your children’s schools are closed, you’re not able to go to your job, you maybe had a job loss, you’ve seen the economy change, right? Everyone is experiencing it to gather. It’s not one group. And so I think there’s a power in that, and how do we harness that to come out collectively, and work together better, like the doctors are to share information and coming up with cures and things that will help us around vaccines and treatments and things like that, instead of saying, It’s not my problem? It’s Europe’s problem. It’s not the US problem. It’s the Middle East problem, right? Like now we actually collectively need to come out together, I think and sell this as a collective to get the true ideas when you bring it back to diversity, instead of just diversity in our companies or in our organizations, diversity of thought across a broader population of how do we collectively come out better and create a better world out of this?

Richard Lowe  42:10

Yeah, yeah. Well, it’s interesting in my where I live, it’s a complex, and there’s 320 units. And it’s pretty diverse. There’s, there’s a lot of different cultures and races and religions here. And it’s interesting now that we’re in COVID, people are bored out of their minds. So they’re walking around, they’re maintaining distance. And we’re all starting to talk more than we used to. And just from six feet, you know, Hi, how you doing? You know, what’s it like in your house? You know, it’s very interesting that that there is some social stuff happening. It’s a little bit different than before. And we’re definitely not shaking hands. No. Who wants this disease? I hear? It’s not fun.

Jennifer Bonine  42:53

Right? Great. But yeah, that’s so true. What you say I have a lot of friends in California, New York. And what’s funny, exactly what you said, which was, oh, my gosh, I’ve seen more people in my building my complex my neighborhood than I’ve seen in the 10 years, I’ve been here, right, because people are doing that distancing. But they’re outside like, so in some ways, you know, you are engaging in a different way or meeting people that otherwise you kind of went about your own thing. It was your world, your bubble your stuff. But now they’re like, I’ve met more neighbors through this than I would have ever met otherwise, right in certain parts. And I think that very true in high density populations, where everyone just kind of went about their way and had their head down and was in their world, and didn’t pull it up because they didn’t need to.

Richard Lowe  43:46

Yep, yep. Yeah. And we’re only at the beginning of this, this some pandemic, because it’s maybe at least a year before we get a vaccine. Vaccines normally take 10 years to develop. So it’s going to take at least a year or two for us to do this. My My opinion is they should do like a Manhattan Project, remember the atomic bomb project on this kind of thing and just make a drug that targets viruses directly? But we don’t have that right now, really? But

Jennifer Bonine  44:17

would that be right to talk about coming together as a collective world, where you bring the brightest scientists from all over? Who had different perspectives and different things they’ve seen in different research data? Because this may be impacting you know, one of the things I think we’ll see, just like skin cancer or anything impacts different people differently. You need that diverse population because I actually think, you know, depending on people’s diets, their their level of activity their you know, what their their pollution levels you know, all different factors probably are gonna we’ll find out later on have impacted why certain people and not others why or in certain countries and others more in certain states than others. Right,

Richard Lowe  45:00

they figured out why some people are impacted more. Turns out obesity is a major risk factor. Yeah. It’ll be cities and type of inflammation. So the article said that I read and it turns out a lot of people who have died from COVID have been obese, more than more than you would think more than the population sample. And there’s other factors to diets, probably one. There’s all kinds of factors. I mean, who knows? And they’ll figure it out. I also find the number of scams going around interesting about oh, you know, just take lots of vitamins take my special vitamin C, and you got to buy it at $25 per pill. It will solve your COVID problem. It’s like No, nobody’s show me the empirical double, double blind study on that. And I believe you otherwise.

Jennifer Bonine  45:49

Exactly. Right. Yeah. Well, you’re gonna have a lot of that to to your point of, there’s a lot of good opportunity that comes out. And there’s a lot of what do you call it scams or, or taking advantage that comes out the other thing we’ve seen, ironically, like you always see the good and the bad. The thing I’ve seen is more hackers trying to get in our systems at our organization and companies like, oh, gosh, they’re real desperate for money, because they’re trying a lot more of these intrusion and different types of hacking scams. The other thing I heard, in the US HERE AT LEAST was car break ins, because there isn’t other types of crime, where they’re able to get money or other things. So vehicles that are sitting outside unlocked or even locked are getting broken into more often, like it’s shifting the types of crimes that are occurring. Now.

Richard Lowe  46:40

We’ve noticed a little uptick in crime in our in our community. Also, just a small one. It’s just people who are bored. Really, they’re usually younger people who are bored. They’re running around, they break a window or they open a car that’s unlocked. Are they? Yeah, one had a gun was waving it around. Here in Florida gun, you can carry guns. You can get a concealed carry license for I think 50 bucks an hour long lesson.

Jennifer Bonine  47:06

Wow. That’s amazing. It’s just crazy, right? Like all the different states what the requirements are?

Richard Lowe  47:12

Yeah, I think I think I’m estimating that a little low, but it’s pretty easy to get a concealed carry license. We don’t have open carry though, you’re not allowed to do that. But um, that’s neither here nor there. Let’s not get into that subject.

Jennifer Bonine  47:26

Right. Right now we’re going political, but ya know, the idea of being right, it’s, you always see the opportunity. But then you’ll also see and be wary of the things that where people are taking advantage because they see the opportunity, but it’s not always in a positive.

Richard Lowe  47:40

Well, yeah, people are very creative. And criminals are just as creative as everybody else. I’ve noticed an uptick in the the quote, Nigerian, quote, scams. I’ve been getting a lot of COVID related ones, interestingly enough. Interesting. I did find out why the Nigerian scam letters are written, the way they’re written. They’re written, you know, they are written with grammar errors and things like that. They’re actually done that way intentionally. Did you know that they’re trying to catch people who aren’t so bright? Smart people. I mean, I’ve actually had scammers hit me three times. They didn’t they didn’t succeed. But they got far enough where I was like, they got through my defenses. Unfortunately, my second wall of Defense has caught him you know, mental wall. Yeah. But I had a, I had a scammer come in and say he was uh, he wanted to have a book ghost written and we got almost all the way through it. Until he until it came time to pay and he said he wanted to pay more and then have me pay him part of it to his consultant friend. Oh, no, he’s ever done that before that says this is a scam. Right? This is not a thing. Yes. This is not a thing. So yeah, that’s a typical that’s typical scam. It’s like the the apartment scam where you pay more than just Oh, can you refund me the money that I paid you? That was too much. And then you lose that money? That’s the apartment scam. Wow. I’ve written lots of articles on the scamming and the difference. romance scam is a big one. There’s some lady who lost $200,000 to some person. Never met him. Never saw a picture of him. On the phone is all text and she gave him $200,000

Jennifer Bonine  49:19

It’s amazing. Like, it just blows my mind. It just blows my mind. Yep.

Richard Lowe  49:23

And and even after he was caught, she still wanted to give him more money. They had to stop her. Oh, oh, yeah. Oh,

Jennifer Bonine  49:31

see. That’s just that’s why I say I think through all of this, my lesson is we still have to figure out how to create humanization connectedness and bring it back to like, our pink lion stuff we’re all about one of our taglines is humanizing AI. Because what I fear is I love tech more than anyone else. I technology’s amazing. I love trying out new technologies. I love optimizing things that I call my virtual research assistants. I need lots of them. do all the things I want to do in my day in my life, because I never have enough time. But we need to humanize it. And we need to still show up as good humans. I think companies need to focus on good tech, but show up as a good human, and how do we continue to be good humans, as we get more technology technologically advanced, and not have people because that to me that scam you just talked about? People need and crave human interaction, even in negative places. So how do we continue to, to give them that in a positive way, so that they’re not tied to people like that, where they still want to do it, even though they know what’s happening? Because that’s just a fundamental lack in their life of connection, and support and a human being, you know?

Richard Lowe  50:48

Yep. No, I had one last thing I wanted to talk about, if possible, you mentioned and when we talked earlier, you have these little stuffed animals. Yes, thank lions. Tell me about those and what it’s about?

Jennifer Bonine  51:01

Oh, yeah, so one of the things we learned about pink line is we wanted it to symbolize more than just artificial intelligence. They are tiny, they’re about six inches tall, and they’re pink, and they’re very fuzzy and fluffy. And what we started doing was giving them out to children at different events and things like that, ironically, to a lot of adults who wanted them for their children as well. And we would get all these photos back from parents who attended these tech conferences, have these pink lines with their children. And what they would say is this represents to me x, right? Like women in technology, this represents the idea that my daughter can grow up and be a CEO of a tech company, this represents, you know, her ability to be whatever she wants in life, everyone made it their own. And so what we started doing is, is realize that our brand, what we stand for is as important as the tech, we’re going to build in this world. And we want to be a positive role model for all of those kids and those adults in those parents and provide these pink lines to the pink lines. We were even in a conference, I’ll quick tell this story. It was a single dad, he had lost his wife to a disease where in Europe, he had brought his daughter to the tech conference, if you can imagine that. So it was a two day tech conference. She was six years old. And I saw him and her and I walked over and I gave her one of these pink lines in our little face lit up. Everyone else was kind of like what’s he doing with a six year old at a tech conference? Right? She was the only child in the event. There was 700 people. And I said this is for you. And she spoke a different language. But he translated he could speak English, as well. And so I translated they went home that night on the train. She’d been there, they got there at 730 in the morning, The event lasted into the evening, they left about 7pm after the event ended. And I got through the channel of the event, a message the next day that apparently both of them being so exhausted, she fell asleep on the train. And so did he. When they got off, he picked her up and left the lion. Oops, he cried all night. And he said, Can anyone help a dad that has failed his little daughter? Because he left she left her pink line, which has become her most important asset for her in her life at this point. So we got her another one. But the thing about these lions because he’s like, Where can I buy one? Can I just get a link? No one makes them we are they don’t produce them. So we’re the only ones that produce these pin clients. And so luckily, we were able to get one but but so if you want a pink line where the only people in the world we will get you on we had a ton of them produced actually before COVID. But our manufacturer had to hold them for a month. Because you know anything coming out of China in that region, they wanted to ensure that there was no issue with COVID and all of that. But we just got our shipment of lions because they were deemed safe in an appropriate quarantine with appropriate amount of time on both sides of the world. But we are the only ones that have them. And we’re actually now starting a children’s book series where when you get the first book, our goal is in our vision is you will get one of these stuffed pink lions. And we want to see the photos of the kids with these lions doing whatever is their passion, whatever is their dream and living their dream with their pink lion. We really just want those lions to represent being the best version of yourself. You can be for anyone, whether it’s children, adults, whoever. We want to be a symbol of hope and being your best self.

Richard Lowe  54:54

Well, thank you very much. That’s very cool. Well, that was that’s the end of the Interview. Any final words,

Jennifer Bonine  55:03

I would just say find us. Anyone who has a passion in this space, if anything we talked about resonated with you connect with us, my email, super simple, it’s Jennifer at pink or find pink lion. We’d love connecting with humans we haven’t met before. And, and hopefully some of this resonated, we’re always happy to connect with people, if you’re building a business or have one and want to know how we did this. And our approach, we’d love to share. So we’re here to help and hopefully leave the world better than we started. So

Richard Lowe  55:38

there will be a link in the description of this in the podcast. So they’ll be able to get to you and your website or whatever. You can give me that information afterwards. And I’ll put it in there. And this is this is Richard Lowe. I’m a ghostwriter. For the writing King, you can find me at the writing I go strike books and blogs and all kinds of other things, anything writing related, just just contact me if you need something. But that’s really not what this podcast is about. It’s about conversations with people who are of influence in their community or in society. And I think I think I found a good one here. And that’s it. So until next time, thank you.

Jennifer Bonine  56:18

Thanks so much. This was amazing. Thank you.

Richard Lowe  56:21

That’s a wrap. Okay, so that’s the

Richard Lowe
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