Once a month, C Magazine sits down with a prominent Columbus figure to understand their vibe at 5:01. This month, we play mental tennis with local visionary Ted Ford, President and CEO of TechColumbus.
C Magazine: Forbes recently rated Columbus the #1 up-and-coming tech city. What do you think spearheaded that rating?
Ted Ford: It is the work that has been done at Battelle and Ohio State University over many years. But really how that work has spread out into the community. It has been recognized by the number of patents and number of tech personalities we have in the region. It’s the booming next place to be.
C Magazine: Do you collect anything?
Ford: Books. History for the most part.
C Magazine: What angers you more: liars or thieves?
Ford: I don’t care for people that don’t have the strength to tell the truth.
C Magazine: What is the key to leadership?
Ford: Being able to look ahead and beyond the horizon and to have the confidence to move in that direction and not constantly doubt yourself. Be willing to take the responsibility for leading other people.
C Magazine: Will you disclose one secret to running a successful company?
Ford: You need to be honest with yourself about what you are getting into. You need to be optimistic and confident and set goals for yourself.
C Magazine: What is the most underrated technological device? Overrated?
Ford: We are so dependent on technology that we underrate everything that we rely on. The most overrated is the iPhone.
C Magazine: Is there any aspect of our lives wherein the human element may be fully replaced?
Ford: No. I think the whole structure that we live in is based on creativity and the ability to apply it.
C Magazine: Tron or Terminator?
C Magazine: Is money the reason why we haven’t yet cured cancer?
Ford: In any kind of a human enterprise, money becomes as much as a distraction as a way of focusing effort because it becomes the thing you have chosen rather than the end point that you are focused on. But without a hell of a lot of money, we will never solve the problem of cancer.
C Magazine: Name three of the world’s most mind-blowing marvels?
Ford: Human creativity, complexity and capacity for both achievement and destruction.
C Magazine: You are walking down death row. What did you just eat?
Ford: A meal by Alana’s.