Ernesto Tagwerker: The Precious Value of Time

As a husband, father, and the founder of software boutique, OmbuLabs, Ernesto Tagwerker has many demands on his time. Fortunately, his experiences growing up in Buenos Aires, traveling, and starting his own businesses have taught him to value his time and to use it wisely.
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Ernesto Tagwerker

Founder and Senior Software Engineer, OmbuLabs

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Ernesto Tagwerker grew up in Buenos Aires in a time before the internet, with limited access to computers. Still, he felt an early spark to pursue computer programming as a career.

Soon after college, Ernesto started an agency with some college friends, building on an entrepreneurial drive that continues today.

Ernesto’s parents taught him the value of time and an understanding that you need to be protective of your time so you can focus on what’s most important.

As his studio, OmbuLabs, has grown, he has tried to loosen his grip on the work to concentrate on team culture, helping people thrive, and spending more time with his family.



IVAN STEGIC: Hi there! You’re listening to ONE OF 8 BILLION, a podcast about all of us! I’m your host, Ivan Stegic. This podcast is supported by TEN7, a technology studio whose mission is to Make Things That Matter. Online at

We all have a story, don’t we? We’ve all had successes and failures, joy and disappointment, love and sadness. And yet, we’ve all made it to here… to right now! Our stories are one amongst eight billion others… eight billion other stories, each of them unique, each of them grand in their own way, and each of them a window into the humanity that connects us all. ONE OF 8 BILLION tells the life stories of people from around the world.


Our story today is about Ernesto Tagwerker, the founder of a software boutique called OmbuLabs, an immigrant from Argentina, a husband and father.

As a business owner and family man, Ernesto obviously has many demands on his time. Fortunately, his experiences growing up in Buenos Aires, traveling, and starting his own businesses have taught him to value his time and to use it wisely… let’s listen!


IVAN: Welcome to ONE OF 8 BILLION, would you please introduce yourself.

ERNESTO TAGWERKER: I’m Ernesto Tagwerker. I'm the founder of a small agency called OmbuLabs, and I live in Philadelphia, PA. I’m originally from Buenos Aires, but I have been in Philadelphia for the past five years or so with my wife and kids.

IVAN STEGIC: That’s awesome. And what does your now look like. What’s going on in your life right now. What are you thinking about? Whose around you? What’s it like in Philadelphia?

ERNESTO: I think right now it’s a constant game of is it a flu? Is it the cold? Is it COVID, with the kids? It’s a really fun game that I don’t really recommend anybody plays, but it’s the game we’re in. Can the kids go to school and does my week look like a productive week, or I’m going to be default parenting all week. So, yeah, it’s fun on that side. On the other side, in terms of business, things are going really well. We are growing. We have been a small agency for a long time, and now we’re scaling pretty quickly. But I’m just grateful that things are going well overall, and we have been pretty healthy in spite of all the colds that have been going around.  

IVAN: Yeah, there’s a lot of things going around. And you realize that’s the case when masks start coming off, and when you’re not as protected as you used to be. It felt like we were so locked down for COVID, but there were all these other things that we were preventing as well.

ERNESTO: Yeah. I know a lot of people, including myself, have been waiting for COVID to be over for so long that we started super strict, and we had a baby that we needed to protect, and now that the baby’s almost a two year old, we’re like, Okay. Our comfort level is a little less restrictive and we’re sending our kids to school with masks, but at the same time, yeah, the mask mandates are being withdrawn and it’s like, Okay, now people are not wearing masks indoors, and numbers are looking better. So, is it over? Who knows?

IVAN Who knows. Is it ever going to be over?

ERNESTO: The pandemic has definitely turned me into a total optimist. Everything’s going to be okay. Everybody’s going to do the right thing, and this is going to be over in a few months, into a super pessimist and we can’t trust the people to do the right thing.

IVAN: I hear you. I still think that I’m a little more of an optimist than the average Joe, but I think my optimism has certainly been challenged by what large groups of people can do. Speaking of large groups of people, there’s a lot of people on the planet. We’re each one of them, one of eight billion. When I talk about that and when I think about being one of eight billion, a whole bunch of different thoughts and feelings come to mind.  What does it make you feel? What thoughts come to mind when you think of yourself and maybe your family, and then eight billion others?

ERNESTO: Oh my gosh, it’s such a good question. I don’t know. It just makes you feel so small. Right? It makes you feel like you and your problems are pretty small compared to everybody else’s problems. And at the same time it makes me, as an entrepreneur, try to do more to improve things in my community and in my city, and in the world. It’s a big challenge to be one of eight billion, and also be a type of person that wants to make a difference and make the world a better place. So, definitely a big challenge.

IVAN: It certainly is. Where does life start for you? Where in the world did that happen? Who was around you? What did that look like?

ERNESTO: I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1982. So that's almost 40 years ago.

IVAN: Congratulations, you're going to be 40 this year. 

ERNESTO:  I’m going to reach 40, and I don't know, inside of me I’m still like a little kid sometimes where I just like to play jokes with my kids and be the fun one out of the two parents. But yeah, my childhood in Buenos Aires was pretty easy. It was pretty much playing with my friends in the neighborhood, riding our bikes around the block and stuff like that. Then at some point, we started moving. We moved to Mar del Plata, which is a city by the beach in Buenos Aires, in the province of Buenos Aires. Then eventually my parents got divorced, and I moved back to Buenos Aires with my mom. And eventually I became an exchange student, and I moved to Eastern Washington State for a year, and I feel like I haven't stopped traveling the world since.

IVAN: And your last name feels very Germanic.

ERNESTO:  In Argentina we got a lot of immigration from mainly Spain and Italy, but there were some German and Austrian immigrants too. I think my grandparents moved to Buenos Aires before the first war. They just settled in Buenos Aires, and I was the third generation of, I guess German Argentines in my family. We don't have a long history in Argentina.

IVAN: What’s your earliest memory of Argentina?

ERNESTO: I think just playing with my friends on the block, riding our bikes, playing a lot of soccer.  I can't believe the U.S. doesn't play as much soccer as we did. But I understand this is more of a basketball country, or more of a baseball country. But in Argentina, it was just so easy to start playing. Even if you didn't have a ball, you just put socks together and you made a ball, and you played soccer with that made up ball during the recess. I remember having a really nice and happy childhood. And made my dad being excited about gadgets and computers and all that. And I think that's probably where I got the bug of tinkering with computers and technical stuff.

IVAN: And when you were in Argentina, did you have access to the internet and the computing that you wished you could have access to? What was that early life like? Obviously the internet only came around later in the nineties.

ERNESTO: This is so funny. Both you and me know what life was like without the internet. Right?

IVAN: Yes. Yes.

ERNESTO: What was that like Ivan?

IVAN: It sucked. It totally sucked. It sucked without the Internet. It sucked not being able to have access to what everyone in the first world had access to. I mean, that's what it was like for me. Was it the same for you?

ERNESTO: Yeah, yeah. I think every time I hear people talk about computers here in the U.S. in their childhoods it’s like, they're talking about computers that I don't think were available in Argentina. I remember the computer that we had was a Talent and I don't know what it is now, but I remember pretty clearly that the first computer we had was a Talent, and I think maybe it even had a cassette player that you could plug in cassettes to play games. And I was like, Oh, this is so cool. You can just play games here and move the little guys and stuff

But yeah, internet came, I feel like I was probably 12 or 13 at the time. So maybe in ‘95, where we basically got a modem, it was a 14 or 28K, I don't know. But for the first month or so we were just like, What do we do with this? We just had the modem, and we didn’t know what to do. 

And I think for a while we would use it to call my school. We were just kids, silly kids calling my school with the modem and just having people pick up and be like, “hello, hello,” and just hear them through the modem and be like, “okay, ha-ha that’s so funny.” 

And that's what we did before the internet. But then at some point, it was like, Okay, no, there is a company I need to go to and sign up for a contract to get internet. So, we went to the office, and this was in Mar del Plata, and we recently signed up and I was like, Okay, this is internet now. But I don't know, I think I used it mainly for doing school homework or stuff like that.

IVAN: What did you want to be when you were younger?

ERNESTO: Oh, what a great question. I don't know what I wanted to be. I know, very early on, I wanted to play with computers or do stuff with computers. And I noticeably remember reading in a magazine that computers were going to be an in demand technology, so if you wanted to study them, it was very secure, because you would have a job for a really, really long time.  

And it's just funny that as a teenager or a kid I was just like that tracked with me. And I was like, Yeah, I want this because as an adult, I'm going to need to have a job. So better to be in a field that you know, there's going to be a job.

IVAN: Then not.

ERNESTO: I guess I was an engineer before I even knew I was an engineer. And yeah, that's, that's how I remember it happening. I was like, I want to be playing with computers. I think initially, I just wanted to get paid to play with computers. And it is funny that these days I do get paid to solve people's problems with code. And I think that's one of the coolest things in the world.

IVAN: I agree. I feel exactly the same. I've wanted to play with computers my whole life. And I feel like I get to do that every day. It's not at a deeper level, closer to the hardware as it used to be, but there's still that same satisfaction that I'm using the technology that I thought was so neat when I was so young, to do the good things that we're endeavoring to do at TEN7. Did you ever go to school for computer science or for anything related to the job you have now?

ERNESTO: Yeah, I'm kind of one of the weird people that actually went to college to study information systems engineering. What I love about Argentina is that we have universal healthcare, and we have free public universities. And I went to a free public university in Buenos Aires called Universidad Tecnologica Nacional, and I studied Information Systems Engineering, which is not really computer science heavy. I really wanted to do computer science, but for two years, it was about chemistry and physics and calculus, and I was like, Okay, but when are we going to actually do stuff with computers? And it's like, No, before you actually write the code, you need to write on paper, the algorithm. And this is how you write down the diagrams for the algorithms and stuff. And anyway, there was a five year program that took me six years to finish. 

But basically, year three and year four were the most interesting to me, because it was more code heavy, and tinkering with different programming languages and, programming paradigms and stuff like that. And I was like, Oh yeah, this is really cool, and I want to do this. And then the last part of the career was more about management. At the time I was like, Oh my gosh, this is so boring. I don't want to be doing anything related to budgeting or finances. And now that I run an agency, now it became clear that I should have been paying a lot more attention during those classes.

IVAN: That's so funny. So you went to high school in Buenos Aires, and college in Argentina? I'm assuming it's also four years after high school.

ERNESTO: Yeah, it's usually seven years of primary school and then five years of secondary school. I actually never graduated high school in Argentina.  I actually graduated in the U.S.  When I was in the last year of my high school career, I went and did a Rotary Youth Exchange Program in eastern Washington state, in a little town called Othello, Washington, which had 3,000 people at the time. I was coming from Buenos Aires, which is a 10 million people, huge city, so it was quite the change. But the true story is that I never graduated high school in Argentina, I did graduate in the U.S. and did all the paperwork I needed to go to a university in Argentina, with a high school diploma from the U.S.

IVAN: Very cool. And when you graduated from university, what did life look like after that?

ERNESTO: So, after that, I really just wanted to travel, and I moved to Berlin for a bit. I was actually working while studying. So, I want to say year three of my college career, I started working full time and going to college at night. And that's the best move I ever made. That made a huge difference, because the kids or people at night school, in the University in Argentina, are all about getting shit done. It’s like, Okay, I had a really long day at work, I need us to take this assignment, ship it so I can go home, have dinner and go to sleep. But yeah, that was a major change in my life, where it was like, before I was taking classes in the morning, in the afternoon, and the kids there were just really not, not really involved. 

So, when I started going to school at night, it was like, Okay, I'm actually getting paid for programming. I'm actually making progress in my career. And I made some really good connections in school. So, when I left college, I started working for a startup. The startup didn't really work out, so I ended up moving to Berlin, where I worked for an English company in Berlin. But always in the back of my head, I had this idea that I wanted to start a company with my friends from college. At some point, I left that company in Berlin, and I moved to Buenos Aires, and I started an agency with my friends from college. And that's basically how my first years off of college were like. Just working for companies and working for a startup and then, Why don’t I start my own company. I can do this.

IVAN: That's awesome. I started TEN7 by mistake. You had purpose and wanted to start a company and knew you were going to start a company. I wonder how that makes you feel. You wanted to be on your own and I sort of did it by mistake. How does that make you feel?

ERNESTO: Wait, how do you do it by mistake? I want to know that.

IVAN: I left the job I was in because I burned out and didn't really know what I wanted to do. And I was volunteering, doing some web design, and web development, and then they asked me to build a site. And I thought it might be a good idea to actually ask them to pay me. And when that was the case, I had to create a company, so I formed an LLC. And as they say, the rest is history. I started the company because I needed to get paid. 

And then when I started doing that more full time, I basically got more and more work as a result of the original work that we did. So, I never really set out to start the company. But you knew you were going to start one, also with your college friends, also in Argentina, while you were still in Germany.

ERNESTO: Yeah. Wow, that’s amazing how you stumbled into your company. But it's a fascinating story. I'd love to talk more about that some other day. With my friends, the thing was, the last year we worked on a final project that was this kind of health record system that we built from scratch, and we thought, Oh, this is so cool, where we can build a product from nothing and solve a real problem. And we were like, Yeah, we're going to go and talk to doctors, and we're going to basically try to sell this product to everybody and it’s like, Yeah, that's probably going to take a lot of time and investment. And I don't know if we have the money for that.  

So, I think I proposed that at the time, “Hey, why don't we start an agency where we can get paid for our work, and work on products on the side?” And that's how it started. It was like, Okay, yeah, that's kind of cool. Let's build an agency. And the very first client that we had was an old boss of mine. He was looking for engineers to work with either Django or Rails, and we did some research and we're like, “Okay, yeah, sure. We can learn Rails, and we'll do all this Rails work for you”, and that's basically how I started my first agency, with our first client. From day one we had a client. And the good thing about being in Argentina is that the economy always makes it very easy for you to have a profitable business, if you're charging your clients in U.S. dollars. So, we had that bonus going for us.

IVAN: And, presumably, that's still the case with Argentina.

ERNESTO: Yeah, that's certainly the case even now. There's definitely an art to moving money in and out of Argentina. I don't want to get too into that detail. But yes, if you are running a business in Argentina, you should be investing in having people that can speak English clearly, because then they can talk to clients in the U.S. and the U.K., and it basically becomes a win-win situation for everybody. People in Argentina charge slightly less expensive rates than in the U.S. or maybe not as expensive. 

And you can have a good business. The tricky part in Argentina is taxes and regulation, and just basically, the government is constantly putting roadblocks for you to sort out and get by. But, unfortunately, I had to, at some point, close my company in Argentina, because it didn't really make sense to keep it there. 

So, at some point, I was like, Well, there's like really no benefit to having the company there. I can just hire folks from my American company. And that's done. I just pay them a U.S. wage, I send them the payment, and I don't have to have an Argentine company anymore.

IVAN: That makes sense. Did you ever have a memorable boss or leader that you worked for, that you learned something from? Maybe it was someone that you learned things not to do from?

ERNESTO: Yeah, I always thought that my mom was not the entrepreneur of the house. I always thought that my dad was the entrepreneur of the house. I was mistaken. I was very mistaken. My dad worked for Siemens, the German company, for a long time. And at some point, Siemens was like, Okay, you need to move to Mar del Plata, and that's when we moved to Mar del Plata because it's like, Okay, now you own a branch of the company here in this city. And then at some point, the company was like, Okay, now we're going to cut ties, but you're going to be the exclusive vendor in this area. And he kind of ended up being a business owner by mistake. Kind of like you. Right? 

IVAN: [laughing] Yeah.

ERNESTO: It just happened. My mom is a different story. She studied to be an attorney, she became an attorney, even being pregnant. And I think she took probably the last final exam while pregnant with me. But she's actually been the entrepreneur  of the family all along. And I learned so much from her. And I've learned a lot from my dad, too, but definitely learned a lot from them, and just making sure that I am getting as much value for my time as I possibly can is a big lesson that I have from my parents.

IVAN: Tell me a little more about that.

ERNESTO: Yeah. I think at the end of the day, there have been a lot of teachings from them. Some of them I have applied to my current company, which is not my first company. But this idea of work/life balance, and having money to travel and enjoy life. One of our values at OmbuLabs is that we don't want workaholics, we don't want people working weekends or extra hours. We want you to come to work, do your best work, and then go enjoy your time off. Travel, work from anywhere. Even before the pandemic we were like, Yeah, work from anywhere. That's okay. It wasn't so like at the beginning, but it eventually became clear this is the way to go. 

So, charging for your time, I think it's something that I learned from my mom, as an attorney, where, before you even talk to someone that could become a client, you charge them for a consultation. And it's like, yeah, getting time from an expert, you should get paid. And that's why, for instance, I'm trying to connect the dots here, but that's why we don't do RFPs. Or we don't do a lot of work estimating your project before you pay us. We don't do any free work to be honest, right now. 

We will get on a call to tell you how we do things, and how you can pay us to solve problems for you, but we're not going to do a lot of free work. Many years ago, we were like, Okay, we're not going to do fixed bids on these sorts of projects anymore because it's not Agile friendly. It's really hard to estimate. We're going to spend 100 hours or more coming up with a great proposal and an estimation, you're not going to pay anything for that. And then you're going to say no and go with the cheapest option

So many years ago, we're like, Yeah, we don't do fixed bids anymore. We do time and material. We do audits, but basically for an audit, you pay us first, and then we do the audit, and then we show you the report. And if you're not happy or you think the quality of the work that we did was bad we're happy to pay you back. It's not a big deal. But yeah, basically, that's one piece of advice that I would have for everybody, don't do any free work for anybody. And if you do, make sure it's very limited.

IVAN: That's great advice. So, I love the idea of avoiding estimates, and selling your expertise as time and materials. How do you get around the problem that clients sometimes have a fixed budget? That they really want to get everything done with that money?

ERNESTO: That’s a problem that keeps happening. And we try to take a very Lean approach as in, Okay, I get it, you only have this amount of money, and you want to do 100 things. Maybe all that money is not going to pay for the 100 things, but maybe it's going to pay for 10 really, really good things. So maybe you don't need 100 features, maybe you just need 10 features that are really solid, work very well, flawlessly. And what we try to do is work with our client’s budget and say, Okay, we really need you to prioritize this list. And we're going to work on the most important features, according to your business or your problem. 

We have been trying for years to sell and to teach this Lean approach where we don't just apply Lean to our own projects, but we apply Lean to our client projects, and we keep running into people, entrepreneurs that are like, Yeah, Lean, awesome. I get it. Yes. A minimum viable product. Yes, I want you to work on that. And we're going to launch that. And yes, let's do it. We start working for them. We deliver the features that we said we're going to deliver. 

And it's like, Okay, we have the minimum viable product, we're ready to launch it, we're ready to get beta users to test the tool or the product. And they're like, Oh, yeah, but I think it needs feature A, and then feature B, and yada, yada. And a few times, we just never launch because sometimes entrepreneur are so in love with their idea and their solution, but they just don't have the budget to do it. And they're afraid to launch. So that's kind of a big red flag for us, is like, people who are like, Yes, I believe the MVP. We launch it. We learn from real people. And then we talk about different features

They say that, but then what actually ends up happening many times is that they are like, No, this is version 1.0. We need to start working on version 2.0 without showing it to real people, real users. And then the relationship crumbles for us. And it's like, No, this is not okay with us. We need to learn from real people. This was not v1, and we're not going to work on v2 without getting real usage on the app.

IVAN: Yes, that sounds like a struggle. And I feel like it's an industry-wide thing as well. Hopefully as we get smarter with processes and older as companies and really more experienced, that we can teach our clients not to do that. And sometimes you just have to walk away.

ERNESTO: And the best thing you can do for your business is have enough leads and enough work that turning down some of these clients is not a big deal. That's something that I learned in this company is the moment we are at capacity. We're working on a lot of projects, and people just want to keep working with us. If there is a client that we see a red flag in, then it's okay to say no, it's to say like, Hey, you know what? I don't think this is a good fit, and maybe you can find someone else to do this for you.

IVAN: I want to switch gears a little bit and just ask, what do you think has been your greatest struggle in life?


IVAN: Sorry man. Sometimes I do that. 

ERNESTO: Oh, man. So many struggles, to be honest, so many struggles. I come from a family where I thought we talked about everything. I recently learned only at 30 years old, that no, we don't talk things out. We are not open and transparent about the things that go down. And it sucks. It sucks to learn that. To be like, Oh, I thought I grew up in a household where we talked about things and we shared our feelings and stuff. I was like, No, now that I think about it, that was probably something that we said in my family, but we didn't really do. 

Definitely one of my biggest struggles these days is to address that with my own family and to have more patience and to communicate better with my kids and my wife. So, the good thing is, therapy has helped my family and me a lot in processing all this. 

Fortunately, I don't have huge mental health issues, but there are definitely some mental health problems that I need to continuously think about and get better. And they kind of boil down to patience, just being more patient, listening more, being less solution driven. Sometimes your wife is not reaching out to you to get a solution. Sometimes they just want to share their feelings and talk about it. And that needs to be okay. Everybody's entitled to their feelings, and you do not need to solve everybody's problems.

IVAN: I feel the same. It's part of the industry that I'm in and the industry that you're in where we're so solution-driven, because we know we can fix these things. And sometimes that's not the case. And like you said, it's just enough to exist and to listen.

ERNESTO: Yeah, for sure. And I think being in an industry working with computers, seeing that the code needs to be perfect, or there is a bug. Well, life is not code, and every problem is not a programming problem.

IVAN: Exactly.

ERNESTO: And that's hard. And I think I need to invest a lot in my emotional intelligence, to be honest. Another thing that I think is a challenge that I've only recently learned is that there's a lot of privilege in my life. And I need to consider that every time I face an issue, or I'm talking to someone to think and stop and check myself and say, Wait a minute, okay, you're an immigrant, but you're a white immigrant in America. So, there is some privilege with that I am treated differently than immigrants with darker color skin. There's a lot of things that I need to consider and I'm trying to learn more about my biases and my own privilege to be a better ally to people that are part of a minority in my community.

IVAN: I love that statement. As an immigrant with the same privilege, I need to check myself in all stages, and in all walks and situations that I am in. And, I also want to be a better ally, and more cognizant and aware of the things that are going on around me.

ERNESTO: That's for sure. I love our conversations. I know when we met in real life for the first time at Owner Camp, I loved that we went through a similar process as in you migrating from South Africa, me coming from Argentina. We definitely saw a lot of things in our countries that people in the U.S. would be like, Oh, that's a problem? Oh, your money, inflation is a thing? Yeah, yeah, inflation is a big problem in Argentina. So, I value not having it right now and other things, of course.

IVAN: Of course, I value the same. I do love the very similar paths we’ve taken and love talking about it as well. I have one final question. Maybe I'll have another one if we keep talking, I have a million of them. But I would love to find out what brings you joy these days. And what inspires you to keep on building the company and working on the things that you're doing?

ERNESTO: That's a great question. Right now, I'm inspired by delegating a lot of my responsibilities to my team. I've been hiring a few middle managers in the past six months, and they have been impressing me with their performance. And it is definitely going to change my business in the next six months as well. I'm constantly surprised by how well people perform when they can be focused on one particular task. What inspires me, to be honest, is having more time for my family. 

Probably you feel the same way or close to this, but I feel like I will be a successful entrepreneur, once I have built an agency that doesn't need me at all, that basically has a great culture, has a great team, keeps adding great people to the company, and I'm only around to give advice or to answer questions based on my experience. That's success for me, a company that I built from scratch that has a great culture, that's transforming people's lives, and that's improving people's careers. And that doesn't require me to work that much. So, I can spend more time with my family and friends. For many, many years, I spent way too much time working and missing out on things. So, I'm like, Okay, I'm ready for my business to provide for me, so I can have a better life.

IVAN: I totally agree. I'm inspired by that as well. Actively trying to work myself out of my own job, so that others can, not just take the helm, but just build on top of the thing that I started. It is inspirational, and I'd love to hear you talk about it as well. I think it's a good goal.

ERNESTO: Yeah, and you probably might have suffered this as well, this whole idea of Oh, nobody can do it better than me. Nobody can do sales better than me, or nobody can do code better than me. Such a silly idea that we have in our brains. And the more managers I hire that basically take responsibilities away from me, the more I learn that they can do a much, much better job than me. Come to the table with fresh ideas and basically do it way better than me.

IVAN: Totally agree. Totally agree. Well, it's been so awesome talking to you. I am just so grateful for the time that you've spent with me. Time is precious, and I am very happy you're able to gift it to me and to our audience. And I’m just so happy with that. Is there anything final that you wanted to say?

ERNESTO: No, I think it's great to have this space to talk about some of the big questions in life. I really have a hard time answering some of these questions. Anyway, keep doing what you're doing. I think it's great. And keep asking those tough questions because I think everybody can benefit from the answers.

IVAN: Thank you so much, Ernesto. It's been awesome talking to you and I think you did just fine answering all the questions. It’s been a great episode.

ERNESTO: Cool. Thank you.

IVAN: Thank you.



IVAN: I hope you’ll join us in the next episode of ONE OF 8 BILLION… when we hear from the associate conductor of the Seattle Symphony, Lee Mills.

LEE MILLS: If you have a copper wire and you have a battery on one end and the light bulb on the other end, and you put them together, the light turns on.  Because the energy is flowing through that wire. So if you think about the conductor in the concert setting, I'm standing right in the middle at the front of the stage. 

And I'm a point of reference for everybody in the audience to connect through to the orchestra and vice versa. The orchestra is all connected to me. And that energy goes out into the audience, and the audience can look at me to  connect to the orchestra.

I'm focused there because I want the audience to focus, listen to what player is playing.



This has been ONE OF 8 BILLION, a podcast about all of us... online at Join us again next time as we listen to one of eight billion other stories!

ONE OF 8 BILLION is supported by TEN7, a technology studio whose mission is to Make Things That Matter. Find out more at I’m Ivan Stegic. Thank you for listening.


This is episode 134 of ONE OF 8 BILLION. It was recorded on March 18, 2022 and first published on May 25, 2022. Audio length is 40 minutes. Transcription by Roxanne Chumucas. Summary, highlights and editing by Brian Lucas. Music by Lexfunk. Produced by Jonathan Freed.

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