At B2BNN we’ve been casting some light on leaders in the B2B sector. This week’s installment charts the development of a 13 year-old boy learning to code with an Apple II Plus into a c-suite executive. Brad Bush, COO of Dialexa, has paved his own way to success.
After a winding road of experiences, high powered roles, and choosing unemployment, in May 2015, Brad became the COO of Dialexa, a global innovation company that helps people and companies use cutting edge technologies.
Through his role as COO, Brad has helped companies navigate the world of technology and turn ideas into actions – while giving him a renewed sense of excitement for his job and his work.
As an end-to-end innovation shop, Dialexa takes ideas that companies have and translates them into something tangible and useable. Their portfolio of clients is diverse and includes Amazon, Lockheed Martin, Staples and Evernote – and that is what drives Brad. It’s his love of the fast startup pace, which allows him to thrive and help with the operational side, and the open environment gives him a creative outlet for building.
And the company culture is nothing short of empowering. There are often company sponsored drone races, the encouragement to pursue passion projects, and on occasion, a group skydiving outing. In Brad’s opinion, this camaraderie and team-focused attitude is one that fosters an enjoyable and productive work environment. The “family” feel invites individuals to connect beyond work and build deeper relationships.
But, his road to success begins when he had his first brush with technology.
Thirty-seven years ago, as a 13 year-old boy, Brad received his first computer for his birthday – that Apple II Plus. The bulky, brown colored piece of “high tech” equipment was the catalyst to building Brad Bush’s first technology interest and skillset – coding.
From the time his fingers touched the keys on that top of the line Apple product, Bush’s interest in coding grew – and continued growing through his adolescence and into adulthood. Bush continued his education at Rice University by majoring in engineering.
With his degree in hand, Brad landed his first job was at an architectural engineering company, and then went on to design buildings for his dad’s company. These jobs paid the bills and allowed him to apply his formal education – but he still knew something was missing.
In 1994, Brad found it. When the Internet went mainstream, the web rocked his world and Brad knew that his career would be on a parallel trajectory using this new “space” and applying his “computer geek love.”
With a shiny price tag of six dollars a minute, Brad accessed the Internet as much as possible and navigated the new world. Soon, he began building websites and web applications by putting his coding chops to work. He was slowly molded into an entrepreneur and his use of his talents transcended into creating a successful business. After four years, Brad sold his business so he could go work for a big company (Nortel) as an IT manager.
During his tenure at Nortel, Brad watched the company grow from 40,000 to 100,000 employees – and then back down to 40,000 when the 2001 Internet bubble burst. This experience, as told by Brad, was a dual education in how to build a company and what happens as the result of tough decision-making.
Through a series of position changes within the company and other job changes, Brad forged ahead to explore opportunities and continued building his unique skillset.
In 2006, Brad became the CIO at GENBAND, a global leader in real-time communications software solutions. Through his time at the company, he held a number of challenging roles including CMO, which allowed him to be innovative, think creativity, and learn different aspects of business including mergers and acquisitions.
When Brad felt that he hit the climbed to the top of the challenge mountain at GENDBAND, he and his boss made a mutual decision that it was time for Brad to explore other options – and he quit.
Brad was on a mission to be fulfilled in his professional life. After talking to [literally] hundreds of people and constantly networking and exploring, Brad reached out to the CEO of Dialexa. Knowing that the company was innovative and forward thinking, Brad thought there may be a place for him and he could make an impact.
In May 2015, Brad landed his current role as the COO of Dialexa.
But, being in a c-suite role, he still faces his fair share of challenges. Currently, Brad’s biggest challenge lies in controlling his emotions. He knows that sometimes his passion and excitement push him toward excellence, but it can also be taken the wrong way and be overwhelming to some. This is something he continually works on and hopes to improve as he works on his leadership skills.
From a personal/professional standpoint, Brad serves as a mentor to startups. Brad explained that he learns just as much from the startups as they learn from him. He said that his involvement helps him, “become a better person and see things from other perspectives – which is like a breath of fresh air.”
Featured image credit: Jon Evans
Jen Cohen Crompton
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