A Future Point of View
Scott Klososky, the keynote speaker for OVF’s 2020 Venture of the Year & Most Promising New Business Awards, is well known in Oklahoma and around the world. He is a technologist, a serial entrepreneur, a writer of books and white papers, an internationally recognized speaker, and a self-proclaimed lover of humanity. But lesser known is the fact that his earliest entrepreneurial experience was knotty at best.
In 1978, while Scott’s hometown of Cleveland, Ohio made headlines for a severe blizzard forecast and a Springsteen concert simulcast, Scott had a front row seat to another show: “I was sixteen years old and working for a company called Craft and Flower,” he recalls. “I got to watch the founder’s son start his own company that manufactured macramé boards.”
“I will never forget watching Jeff buy fiber board at the lumberyard, print out some macramé grids, and run it all through a shrink wrap machine.” Scott and a few of his buddies did the manufacturing after school and Jeff sold the boards as fast as they were made.
“By the time I was 18,” recalls Scott, “I knew that it was possible to have an idea or see some hole in the market and just start up something. And I knew I wanted to start something of my own someday.”
At first, Scott’s lumberyard was a delivery route, but that quickly morphed into a computer sales opportunity. He bought the computer company and expanded it into a dozen stores in a trio of states. Along the way he fell in love with technology.
His ventures grew larger. He co-founded ParaGraph, a Soviet/American enterprise that developed pattern recognition tools to automatically translate handwriting into machine readable text. Then, as one of the first entrepreneurs to harness the power of the internet, he founded webcasts.com and later sold it for $115 million. Today Scott is a partner at TriCorps Cybersecurity and a founding partner at Future Point of View. Of the latter he says, “We help organizations gain a two year lead on their competition with the use of technology as a tool.”
But technology as a tool, unlike macramé, will never go out of style. So the entrepreneur with a “Future Point of View” is already considering his greatest venture of all: “The world needs an international body with oversight over the healthy implementation of technology,” says Klososky. “An International Digital Oversight Coalition (DOC) that might look a little like the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and the role it plays internationally with electronic products and safety.”
Do digital tools really wield that much power? To answer that question, Scott points to the malware in the technology products from Huawei. Then there are AIs and their inherent bias. And the ongoing dangers of texting while driving.
“If you think forming a coalition sounds difficult,” he says, “think about some of the other precedents for managing behavior around the world when it falls outside of acceptable norms. The UN monitors how countries treat their own people and their enemies in some cases. We have Amnesty International and the Red Cross, and the list goes on. These organizations were all formed to assure humanity is humane and to resolve conflicts.”
Does Scott look into the future and picture himself as part of an International DOC? “If someone asked for my help,” he says, “I would serve on it. I would build it. I would design it,”
“It would be an end of career thing, to build an international committee to help control technology so that it’s healthier. Whoever helps build it will be doing humanity a big favor.”