Yes, We Can Thrive As Tech Accelerates

Yes, We Can Thrive As Tech Accelerates

1024 576 Tom Seery

The rate of advancement in tech has officially outpaced our ability to keep up, and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has said the people and businesses poised to thrive are those that are prepared for lifelong learning as the new status quo.

As Friedman’s friend Heather McGowan put it, “the days when you could get a four-year degree or six-year degree and dine out for 35 years on that knowledge” are no more. Complex algorithms and AI are driving this exponential advancement in tech. In addition to making continuous learning a habit, keeping up requires data-driven insights, not just anecdotes.

Case in point: at a recent meeting, I shared the trends we’re seeing on Instagram reach and engagement via the RealSelf Social Index. This index tracks over 2,400 aesthetic accounts that are purely organic (no fake engagement or followers being purchased). It’s an affirmation of our commitment to being guided by data and systematic testing akin to the scientific method: setting a hypothesis, running experiments, and iterating.

Times of radical change might also call for a radical new attitude. That’s why I recently sat down with Dr. Chase Lay, who is one of the most creative and radically authentic surgeons I know. Dr. Lay is unrelentingly transparent with his patients, an approach he embodies everywhere from his consultations to his Instagram feed. At a time when organic growth is tough to come by, maybe the authenticity and differentiation Dr. Lay brings to his interactions is the antidote to stagnation.


How can we continue to put data at the center of our decision making, and can we become “tactical radicals” in ways that help us ride the wave of change—and not be wiped out by it? Could be useful for all of us to keep in mind as we set our new year/new decade goals ahead of 2020.

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Tom Seery

Tom Seery is the founder and CEO of RealSelf, the most popular online resource that helps consumers research cosmetic treatments and find the right medical aesthetic provider. Each month RealSelf attracts 10 million unique visitors who view 50 million photos. Another 500,000 people contact doctors and clinics seeking more information or appointments. Integral to RealSelf is a model that showcases the expertise of aesthetic providers. Experts have posted two million answers to questions and routinely upload educational videos, and patient before & after photos. Prior to RealSelf, Tom was a member of the founding team at Expedia, where he conceived a $1.2b private-label travel business, launched the cruise travel line of business, and introduced search marketing long before Google was a household name. Tom sits on the board of ReSurge International, a nonprofit that builds plastic reconstructive surgical capacity in developing countries. He also regularly lectures on innovation and serves on the board of the entrepreneurship programs at the University of Washington. Tom holds an MS from Drexel University, MBA from University of Washington, and BA from Connecticut College. He resides in Seattle with his wife and two highly energetic boys. He is @seery on Twitter or @realself_tom on Instagram, should you wish to connect.

All stories by:Tom Seery