Episode 27
Tatjana Dzambazova
The Art of Asking The Right Questions.
Technology whisperer Tatjana Dzambazova on asking the right questions to avoid the waste of talent, connecting and inspiring others, becoming vegetarian, and the myth of a better life.
January 15, 2020
1 hr 16 min
0:00 / 1:16:55

0:00 / 1:16:55

Episode Notes

Technology whisperer Tatjana Dzambazova on asking the right questions to avoid the waste of talent, connecting and inspiring others, becoming vegetarian, and the myth of a better life.

Tatjana is Director of product management, software solutions, at Bright Machines, a software-driven-manufacturing start-up based in San Francisco. 

Tatjana's career started as an architect—she practiced over 12 years in Vienna and London. In 2000 she started her 18-year design technology journey with Autodesk, mainly in dual role of product manager for many new, disruptive software solutions, and a global technology speaker. In her two decades working in the digital design industry she was Autodesk's first product manager for Revit and a pioneer evangelist of the BIM Building Information Modeling approach in architecture and construction. During the Maker movement, she was employee number one and helped launch the Autodesk's consumer group, helping create innovative, disruptive digital fabrication and 3D printing solutions (the 123D line of products, such as 123D Make now known as Slicer for Fusion and many others). This group transformed into Pier 9 and led to a new phase 'Design and Make' in Autodesk, and the creation/acquisition of fabrication tools that complement the design tools. She also led the computer vision initiatives and the ReMake & ReCap Photo product.

Tatjana was also on the forefront of web story telling through visual programming, leading the Smithsonian 3DExplorer software effort and Project Play and project manager for Dr. Louise Leakey of African Fossils.

Before joining Bright Machines, she spent a year at Velo3D as director of product management, UX, and design, leading Flor, the printing preparation and simulation software of the solution, along with scientists and engineers who are pushing the limits of industrial-grade quality metal additive solutions for aerospace, medical, and industrial applications.

Tatjana is a technology book author and an energetic, passionate "Technology Whisperer." She presented at conferences around the world, including TEDx and Future of Storytelling FoST, and gave many talks on the convergence of technology trends and their impact on the future of design and manufacturing, covering Generative Design, Additive Manufacturing, IoT, Robotics, and Machine learning.

Don't get confused if you google Tanja and find lots of photos of her and lions, leopards, tigers and jaguars, or mentions of movies where she acted, such as Witness 11 or RICE. Still her, but that's a story for another podcast.

Connect with Tanja on LinkedIn and TatjanaDzambazova.com.

Favorite quotes

  • "I have chosen a life in which I want to learn a little about many things. Although in reality I respect the opposite, I respect people who have dedicated their entire life to do one thing perfectly."
  • "People love to learn. There's nothing more beautiful than when you give a talk or a lecture and you see somebody's face light up. That's because you opened a new door or opportunity in their mind, and you taught them. They want to know more."
  • "You inspired me so much. I want to be you when I grow up."
  • "For me it's a failure not to try. Innovation is not safe. People who change the world don't rely on talent, they rely on work."
  • "Don't ever let the disbelievers steer you away from a good idea. Just run with it. Believe in yourself and go with it."
  • "How does the world look like with my solution already adopted, fully implemented in the world?"
  • "I feel I'm postponing life."
  • "There's never a later. If you don't do it now you might never do it."

Episode links


People who inspire Tanja (and others we mention)

Part 1 — Tatjana Dzambazova [1:16]

  • Think Different by Apple. [2:54]
  • The misfits and the crazy ones. [3:13]
  • Connectors. [4:01]
  • Messengers - Spreading ideas is as (or more important) than coming up with ideas. [5:22]
  • Inspiring others. [6:39]
  • Who is Tatjana Dzambazova? [9:34]
  • Your mission. [10:37]
  • Wasting talent. [11:49]
  • Solving the problems the right way. [12:49]
  • The bullet hole misconception. [13:07]
  • There's a better, new way. [17:55]
  • The most rewarding ideas you've pursued. [20:02]
  • Computer vision, Photogrammetry, Memento, and Laser scanning. [20:58]
  • Technology vs. product. [24:43]
  • The myth of a better life. [26:57]
  • Tatjana's habits to slow down. [29:22]
  • Work culture and being more empathetic. [32:06]
  • Serendipity and creativity at the office. [33:27]
  • A connection you've made. [35:41]
  • Programming teaches you how to think. [36:18]
  • HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, SQL, Flask, Django, and Jinja. [40:12]
  • People who inspire you. [41:50]
  • How do you disconnect? Going to Africa, hiking, paddling, sewing, and more [46:10]
  • Being a vegetarian, the Dzambazova zoo, and plant-based meat products. [48:03]
  • Connect with Tatjana. [58:56]
  • Book recommendations. [59:47]
  • Your message to the world. [1:01:18]
  • What would you do if you were rich? [1:02:10]
  • Slowing down. [1:03:25]

Part 2 — Tanja asks Nono [1:05:25]

  • Tanja asks Nono: What do you want to be when you grow up? [1:05:48]
  • Tanja asks Nono: What would you do if you were a millionaire? [1:09:48]
  • Tatjana's retiring dream. [1:13:37]
  • Outro. [1:14:48]

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Theme song Sleep by Steve Combs under CC BY 4.0.