Joey Widener began his technology career at MindSpring, a start up Internet Service Provider that grew into a big time player before merging with EarthLink. Asked if it were difficult to transition from a fast-growing, entrepreneurial-based company like MindSpring to a Fortune 500 corporation with nearly 300,000 employees, Widener says not so much.
A self-titled “evangelist for AT&T Hosting & Cloud Services,” Widener has been with AT&T for 13 years and considers himself part of “an emerging small business within a large company.” He says AT&T’s leadership has provided an open environment for Widener and his cloud-based counterparts to try new business ideas and “see them come to life,” he says.
Widener considers himself “a strategic thinker with the experience to find new ways to solve old problems,” and the bio on his LinkedIn page points out his love of technology: Techno-Geek Dad of two who spends way too much time reading about gadgets and surfing the hyperweb!
Widener thinks about how his kids, six and two, don’t give technology a second thought. That his two-year old knows how to swipe an iPhone and get to the puzzle apps; that his six-year-old uses Google to do her homework. “The older generation has had to adapt and get used to the pervasiveness of technology,” explains Widener. “These kids are used to always having access to the ‘network.’”
Widener looks forward to the advent of gadgets and services that will make life easier. While FaceTime on the iPhone is cool and he uses it when he’s out of town to chat with his wife and children, Widener anticipates the day when his VMI (Virtual Machine Interface) device alerts him that he needs milk or dog food, needs to lock a door remotely, or preheat the oven. Telepresence is another technology Widener is high on, calling it “a game changer in terms of the ability to collaborate.”
One thing Widener won’t give up in favor of new technology? His turntable and vinyl records. Even a techno-geek has his limits.
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