Clayton Tino, PhD is a product and engineering leader with experience in platform design, software development and engineering leadership, product strategy, and product delivery.
Prior to Beep, Clayton established the Managed Cloud Platform organization at Virtustream, responsible for the development and operation of Virtustream’s private cloud offering—Azure VMware Solutions by Virtustream—in partnership with Microsoft and VMware.
We spent a few minutes with him to get his insights on his new role and found out a few other interesting factoids along the way!
Describe yourself using 3/5 words?
Driven but Trustworthy
Why did you pick Beep?
I chose to join Beep because of the people. The leadership team has a demonstrated track record of successful technology ventures, and I know through personal experience, that this is a fantastic group of people to work with.
How do you motivate others?
I motivate others by holding myself to my own standards. I believe in the power of servant leadership, and I try to hold myself accountable for putting my organizations in the best positions to be successful. Successes are ours and failures are mine. I’ve found that being transparent in my view of my own ability and performance as a leader has been my greatest tool in motivating those who report to me.
What do you think other people should know about Beep?
Beep should surpass 10,000 passengers in the next month. Being new to the industry, I was surprised at Beep’s effectiveness in driving real-world outcomes for customers looking to join the AV space. There is significant buzz / media movement speaking to the impending boom in AV technologies, but very little concrete evidence of real impact in the U.S. market. Beep has been extremely effective in deploying functional AV services in an extremely short period of time.
What is your vision for Beep?
I believe that transportation is one of the great barriers to economic prosperity in today’s society. I envision Beep becoming a means by which both private and public sector stakeholders can increase access to affordable transportation across multiple communities. I view Beep’s unique business model as a valuable resource, especially in the public sector, to drive down the cost of transportation services granting access to mobility in otherwise underserved communities.
What problem do you hope to solve for your customers?
I hope to make a business case for autonomous mobility. We are currently operating in a market in which technologies are expensive and complex, where they do not need to be. Beep provides and will continue to evolve layer of technology and expertise that makes autonomous mobility accessible.
How do you see yourself commuting 10 years from now in 2029?
I will likely still own a vehicle, but it view it more as a hobby / toy than a necessity. My wife and I are both heavy users of public transit and ride-shares, and we are looking forward to the day when we do not need to rely on owning a vehicle to get to work, the grocery, etc.
What do you work toward in your free time?
My wife and I used to competitively powerlift. I still snag whatever time I have available to regain some semblance of ability in the gym. I love training, lifting, and interacting with the lifting community, but haven’t been able to manage the work/life balance with respect to recovery. Challenges aside, I still love getting in the gym and pushing Iron. To quote Henry Rollins,
“The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.”
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
I usually listen to sports talk radio or podcasts, so 9/10 trips I’m catching up on Atlanta United or Georgia Tech sports news.
What’s the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it?
I’m going to count Netflix as television… I last watched The Witcher, and I chose to watch it, because I’m a huge fantasy literature and media nerd! I’ve played the video games, love the world developed in the source material, and have to admit that Henry Cavill did an amazing job as Geralt of Rivia—simply amazing. Toss a coin to your Witcher, O’ Valley of Plenty…
What did your parents do and how did they influence you?
My mother is a first-generation college graduate, raised my sister and I largely as a single parent, and spent 35+ years as a registered nurse. Though I never got over my aversion to bodily fluids, I will forever appreciate her dedication to ensuring my sister and I valued the importance of learning. I chose the word “learning” specifically, because she always pushed us to ask questions, understand, and ensure that we that we owned our own points of view. She taught me to believe in myself and my decisions, and I will forever appreciate her sacrifices to ensure I grew to be the independent person I am today.
What would your college roommate say about you?
I had two roommates before moving into a shared town home (private room) with a few fraternity brothers. They would all say that I am extremely fussy, and I’m sure my wife would agree!
What was your biggest epiphany or moment of life-defining change that shaped you into the person you are today?
I have always held myself to an extremely high standard, and I have at times perceived everything going on around me to be a pure reflection of my own ability. I had a former manager who at one point said during a review, “Not everything is about you.” That is such a simple statement, but it really helped to reframe both my expectations and my view of my performance within the organization. Moreover, as a 20-something, type-A go-getter, it was something that was very hard to hear. Ever since, I regularly remind myself that “it’s not about me”, and I try to focus on those things that I can control while keeping an eye towards how my actions either enable or detract from my organization’s success.
What was the last movie you watched?
Star Wars, Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker, and it was great. No one could have made a movie that made every fan happy, and I was satisfied with this conclusion to the Skywalker Saga. That said, John Favreau needs to have significantly more input into the evolution of the Star Wars Extended Universe under Disney’s control. The Mandalorian is essentially Joss Whedon’s “Firefly” set in the Star Wars universe, and it’s everything I want in a television series.
What was the first concert that you went to?
There are multiple tiers to this question. The first concert I attended was a Billy Joel concert, while my mother was pregnant—yes, I’m still a Billy Joel fan and believe he should be in the rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The first concert I remember attending was a free concert in Indianapolis sometime in the mid-90’s featuring the Spin Doctors, Shawn Mullins, and Loverboy. What a line-up! I consider the first concert I truly attended to be Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds at Appalachian State. It was an amazing show, and I maintain my formal membership in the Dave Matthews fan club (The Warehouse) to this day.
What was the last thing you googled?
“sae government/industry meeting 2020 hotels”
I’d love it if no-one ever asked me this question again…
“Hey, can you help me with my computer?”
I have a real fear of…
Heights. I don’t do heights. I don’t care if it’s a ladder, a step stool, or a tall building with windows, I do not like heights.