Today we are talking to Ed Kuzemchak, the CTO of Software Design Solutions. And we discuss finding people strong enough to tell you to step away, lessons learned going through the acquisitions process and creating an inviting culture where people want to come to work.

All of this, right here, right now on the Modern CTO Podcast!

Ed is the founder of Software Design Solutions. He has been creating embedded software solutions for nearly 30 years and has been the president of Software Design Solutions for over 13 years. The company provides embedded system software development, desktop application development and software process improvement consulting.

Software Design Solutions is also able to provide temporary software engineers for projects greater than the scope of its clients abilities and to provide experienced programmers to companies who need to focus on other lines of business.


  • It’s not easy to do the founder thing.
  • First hires were people who could manage to get their own benefits
  • HR person is a SaaS app these days.
  • As they’ve grown, you have to start to think where do I spend my time and where do I bring value
  • Find people who are strong enough to tell you step away
  • Perfect is the enemy of good
  • Culture – spacious offices – 4 monitors – space to call their own
  • The best projects were the projects where you didn’t want to leave the people – Joel
  • Does a lot of IoT – machine communication.  A lot of industrial control, sensing, transportation
  • Was acquired 2 years ago by Applied Visions
  • Has been apart of 4 acquisitions – 2 on the buy, 2 on the sell
  • Was a technical lead during the Texas Instrument acquisition and then went to the buy side
  • What was the experience like being acquired.
  • Ed was not allowed to put engineer on his business card so he called himself Chief Software Architect. Tried to herd the cats and organize the businesses together.
  • In a phase where you’re trying to build trust and you don’t want the people to stall or give up
  • What was the big experience you learned from the Acquisition.  Don’t try and fix things that are already working. Sometimes you will change your plans.  You have to be very flexible
  • How did you meet your buyer?  They put the company on the market and were brought together by a third party.
  • Was the limiting factor by having his fingers in every project
  • Figure out a way to get out of the code.  Find a few things you can do so you can spread wider
  • First computer was in early high school 4k of memory. Got a lot done with 4k of memory in BASIC
  • Heading to ID tech X in Santa Clara – IoT, 3D Design – Promise and Practice on Industrial IoT
  • When there was an innovation made it was in one domain.  Now a days you have a sensor in one field and can use them in another field
  • How do you get yourself out there? PR / Marketing Firm
  • Sometimes they send someone from the team instead of Ed
  • Goal would be for people to recognize them from a conference and meet them and say oh yeah I saw you

Joel Beasley

Joel Beasley founded the Modern CTO Podcast in 2017 while writing his book, the Modern CTO book, with the goal of interviewing CTOs and sharing their experiences with others in the tech community.

Joel’s conversational style and insightful questions quickly gained traction, attracting high-profile guests such as Microsoft’s CTO, Kevin Scott, and T-Mobile’s CIO, Cody Stanford. With each episode, the podcast’s popularity continued to grow, and soon, Joel found himself with a waiting list of future guests.

Today, the Modern CTO Podcast has become the number one leadership and tech podcast in the world, with over 150k active listeners, including CTOs, lead developers, and rising tech leaders. Joel’s commitment to creating a conversational atmosphere for his guests to share their experiences has inspired a new generation of leaders and innovators.

As the success of the podcast grew, Joel founded ProSeries Media, a podcast production company that helps companies worldwide create their own podcasts. With a team of producers, content creators, and podcast bookers, ProSeries Media produces over ten shows, providing a platform for companies to connect with their audience and share their expertise.

Through his work on the Modern CTO Podcast and ProSeries Media, Joel Beasley has become a respected voice in the tech industry, inspiring others to share their knowledge and insights with the wider community. His passion for creating engaging content that informs, inspires, and entertains has made him a sought-after speaker and advisor on all things tech.

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