Interview by Amanda McIntyre-Chavis
Meng He is an entrepreneur, an innovator, and artist. She often describes herself as a math and science nerd who stumbled into sales and marketing, but the one thing has never changed over the years is her passion and love for art. Her career started in data modeling and forecasting, and was followed by product management and business development in high tech companies, including Cypress, Maxim Integrated, and zGlue.
Meng, what are your biggest achievements so far? Both private and professional ones.
My biggest achievements to date (not in order):
1. Mother of two strong-willed little girls
2. Presented and published the paper "Wireless Charging: Past, Present and Future" at Design Con 2016
4. Launched the nanoPower product line at Maxim Integrated to deliver the longest battery life for IoT products in 2017 (https://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/prnewswire/SF33676.htm)
5. Launched zOrigin, the first wearable reference design with active 2.5 chip stacking in 2018. (https://www.crowdsupply.com/zglue/zorigin)
6. 15 publications across multiple technology fields, from IoT, user interface to power optimization.
7. Still makes time to draw and paint!
Is #WomeninTech movement important to you and if yes, why?
#WomenInTech movement is important. Since I have been in the tech industry, 80% of the meetings I have been sitting in has no female at the table. It is a fact, but it is a fact that women shouldn't have in our heads while in the meeting: focus on the meeting subject and focus on what is in our head, and fight for what we believe in.
It is not only important to have more women in the tech industry, but also critical to have women supporting and nurturing each other. I often tell my daughters to "Be Brave" --- Bravery is a habit that can eventually be part of who we are.
What's the most important piece of advice you can give to all female founders and female entrepreneurs out there?
1. If you are passionate about a business idea, just get on it. Just do it. There are no instructions, just do something. Don't wait.
2. Don't settle for being "fine", thrive for being "fabulous". Believe that you can do more.
3. Never, never give up and surround yourself with people who believe in you, who encourage you to challenge the impossible and who can pull you up when you fall.
What will be the key trends in the wearable tech industry in the next 5 years and where do you see it heading?
I think the revolution will be in the medical industry. When it comes to wearables, the line between medical and consumer industry will become more and more blurred. More advanced sensor hardware and algorithms will be available for vital function monitoring.
Wearables are such an intimate product. They needs to be loved by the consumers through deep relationships over time. This sounds weird, but it is true. A successful hardware product is not only essential and seamlessly integrated into our lives, but it is loved. There is an emotional bond with it.
In the past decade of IoT, there has been so much data being collected, but only a small percentage actually gets analyzed (according to National Instrument, 22% of the Big Data is documented well enough to be analyzed, while only 5% actually get analyzed). Data cleaning, growing and modeling techniques will be the driving force to explore the full potential of IoT. For example, raw data is not meaningful for a cardiologist to detect heart disease symptoms, but data trends over time can reveal any outliners given a specific day of the week, week of the year. Historical data can be grown based on the latest modeling parameters, therefore producing more accurate forecasting results.
Who are your inspirational women in tech and business?
Definitely Dame Stephanie Shirley. She has a incredibly strong heart, mind and a sense of humor. My favorite quote from her is: "Work is not just something I do when I'd rather be doing something else.”
Limor Fried: "It's emotionally fulfilling for humans to create things.” Creating new things and tabbing into new territories can be intimidating, but there are no barriers we can’t overcome with patience, courage and intelligence.
LinkedIn: Meng He
This interview was conducted by Amanda McIntyre-Chavis, Women of Wearables Ambassador in New York, USA. She is the CEO and Founder of LegendFactory, a interactive brand management company and two new tech initiatives: Muzaik, a social media aggregator and Myndfull, a wearable tech company. She is also an active mentor, arts advocate and supporter of various social causes. Based in New York, Amanda is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc. (NARAS), the National Association of Black Female Executives in Music & Entertainment (NABFEME), National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), the ELLEVATE Network and Women In Music. Follow her on Twitter @AmandaMcChavis.