One of our top Executive profiles is of the multifaceted professor, Michael Tchong. Raised in Aruba and educated across several countries, he brings a valuable vantage point to the realm of academia. Michael attended high school in both Aruba and Holland. Next, he moved to New York to study at Fordham University-where he obtained a BA in Economics. After college, he worked in the printing industry as a press assistant; this was a strike of continuance from his gig as a part-time newspaper boy at the age of 13. At the advertising agency, Doyle, Dane & Bernbach, Michael accrued a passion for marketing and creativity. This group was known for innovation-some may recall a popular Volkswagen advertisement merely titled “Lemon.” This company culture resonated with Michael’s artistic side, but he also engages in activities that reflect another dimension of his person.
Career and Interests
Critical of both professional and societal complacency, he finds purpose in public stewardship as a captivating public speaker. Beyond this niche, his professional mission runs deep as he refined his career focus after challenges as an early entrepreneur. When his digital marketing company, ICONOCAST, was forced to end operations during the Dotcom challenges of the early 2000s, he resolved to commit his talents to the prediction of consumer behavior — fulfilling this mission by speaking on industry trends and latest innovations. He promotes a science behind his approach as well as his prospect for our emerging age in his recent publication, “Ubertrends-How Trends and Innovations are Transforming Our Future”. The progressive professional may want to take a read, as Michael’s extensive track record has proven ahead of his time. For instance, his Ubercool Innovation venture provides pre-formulated innovation tools to organizations across five main realms, including consumer entertainment, digital marketing, hospitality, real estate, and restaurants. These ideas are based on a framework of eight “Ubertrend” waves detailed in his book. The markets have supported his predictions, and he still touts market demands identified earlier in his career that remain unfulfilled. One such opportunity is that of a personal communication system he developed for the Mac at his first company, Atelier Systems, in the 1990s. More than two decades later, no one has implemented this idea of a modularly configurable communications toolbox. His foresight speaks to the unprecedented emerging capabilities that will be afforded by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. He believes that the organizational and societal shortcomings that define his mission will be significantly improved by the ability to use AI to produce code that solves real problems.
Advice and Inspirations
Though a brilliant executive, Michael is quick to laud insightful mentorship as the pillar of his success. He credits managers David Yoder, media director at Chiat/Day, and Ken Koppel of Ziff-Davis Publishing Co. lending him open-mindedness and outstanding business acumen. Also, he cites the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes book series, as a source of inspiration and a platform for his predictive nature. He has his very own inspirational content on the way in the form of a book dedicated to his mother, titled “Fountain of Youth.” Further, he would like to acknowledge his father’s gracious influence on his life. We are grateful to feature this cosmopolitan leader, and he humbles us with his fantastic journey.