What do Microsoft, Amazon, and Resolute Software have in common? Mike Hines! Our new Principal Evangelist is bringing valuable experience from these high-profile Fortune 100s and is on a mission to tell the world about the benefits of app modernization. In a recent interview, Mike opened up about his background and his career, and why he’s taking on the challenge of spreading the word about Resolute’s exceptional developer capabilities.
While many people assume that evangelism is synonymous with sales, contracts aren’t Mike’s specialty. “Resolute already has an excellent sales team that can work with people who have reached out to us,” he said. “My job is to find the people who need Resolute but don’t know about us yet. I will make sure that they have the information they need to start the conversation.”
A Long-time Love of Technology
Mike fell in love with technology at an early age, programming Dungeons and Dragons on his family computer. And his interest in computer science never faded – although in college he majored in Business and Economics, he did receive a minor in Computer Science. But he didn’t always want to work in the tech industry. “As a kid, I really wanted to be a pilot, but I’m color-blind,” he said. “I’d have been unable to find an airport after dark!”
He toyed with becoming a stockbroker and joined a brokerage firm after graduating. But he quickly learned that he wasn’t cut out for selling questionable stocks to make a quick profit. “I’m not good at putting unnatural pressure on people to close a sale,” he said. “However, I found out that I am good at teaching and public speaking.”
Mike left the brokerage and started his own investment company, programming equity analysis routines to help him select winning stocks. But complying with the numerous regulations imposed on the financial services industry was taking up more than half of his work week. “I had very little time left to do what I enjoyed – teaching people ways to make money in the stock market. So, I sold the business.” A client of Mike’s who worked in the software industry had appreciated Mike’s programming prowess and immediately hired him to work at his company.
From Startups to Fortune 100s
After working for a year at his client’s software company, Microsoft made Mike an offer he couldn’t refuse. He spent 13 years there devising a method for creating programmatic assessments and remediation for K-12 education topics.
“Essentially we let teachers teach the software what they did and analyze what the kids needed to work on," he said. “This made it possible for us to help the pedagogy of the best teachers reach the most disadvantaged students around the world.”
After Microsoft, Mike worked for 10 years at Amazon, where he evangelized Amazon’s App Store to the mobile gaming community. “I basically did this job that I’m doing for Resolute for Amazon,” he said. “When the Amazon App Store launched, no one in the gaming community knew about it – they thought Amazon just sold books. So, we had the job of going from completely unknown in the industry to getting mobile app developers to put their games in our store.”
Over the years, Mike also worked with a handful of startups and mature projects, taking development projects from conception to end-of-life. He is most proud of the work he did at his last startup, where he designed an augmented reality framework that let augmented reality developers create objects that can interact with other independently created objects and interact with the environment, even if the developers had no previous knowledge of the other person’s object. “The objects carry their own instructions and metadata with them,” he said. “The middle layer interprets the instructions and then tells them how to behave nicely together when they’re being rendered. We obtained a patent for the technology.” After that, Mike retired.
Then one day while watching trees grow on his farm in Georgia, he got a call from Resolute. The fact that Resolute was targeting industries new to Mike such as Medical Devices and Fintech, was intriguing, and when he learned he would have the opportunity to build the Evangelist function from the ground up, he was sold – and came out of retirement!
Talking to prospective customers about Resolute and our best-of-breed developer capabilities was also a big draw.
“I believe Resolute is outstanding at what they do – among the very best. I’m excited to go out there and teach people about how we can solve their problems,” he said.
Establishing Thought Leadership
Mike’s first big challenge will be learning all there is to know about the industries Resolute is approaching, then determining the best way to explain to prospects how Resolute can benefit their business. “Even if a company has an existing relationship with a different technology vendor and doesn’t plan on switching to Resolute, we can teach them something valuable and they’ll be smarter about what they need,” he said. “While we may not have their business immediately, we’ll become a thought leader and a trusted resource. Word will spread about Resolute and our capabilities.”
Mike has some great ideas for transferring his experience in the gaming industry and what game developers know about UI/UX and modernization to create value in the medical device industry. “Video game companies live and die by being extremely intuitive and usable, and by keeping user engagement for long periods of time,” he said, adding that Resolute can apply those same principles to their projects for medical device clients.
“They’re not only going to get something more engaging, but they’ll also pay less for it and spend less time maintaining it,” he said.
Being of service to organizations looking to modernize their applications and improve margins is an overarching goal for Mike and keeps him motivated. He recalled a time at a gaming conference when a game developer hugged and thanked him for helping increase margins by 35% in a year.
“I want to walk into a conference on behalf of Resolute and hear from a customer that they have saved money and increased their capabilities because they followed Resolute’s advice and modernized their apps,” he said.
Rules for Success
In his spare time, Hines enjoys growing trees, target shooting, wine tasting, Formula One racing, and singing Broadway tunes. His unconventional rule for success? “Don’t follow your dream – follow your competence!” He believes that by pursuing something you do well for a living, you will feel good about doing what you do well and enjoy getting paid for it. “Keep your dreams, but maybe as a hobby. You don’t want the pilot of your next flight wondering where the airport is.”
With Hines’s wide experience in tech giants and passion for technology, teaching, and public speaking, Resolute Software is sure to benefit greatly from his expertise.