marketer of the month

EPISODE 194: Marketer of the Month Podcast with Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga

Hey there! Welcome to the Marketer Of The Month blog!

We recently interviewed Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga for our monthly podcast – ‘Marketer of the Month’! We had some amazing insightful conversations with Fernando and here’s what we discussed about –

1. Athletic background shapes leadership and innovation approach in tech.

2. Example of quantum navigation using AI to enhance magnetometer accuracy.

3. International collaboration to modernize cryptography across devices.

4. Importance of scalability and diversity in solving large-scale problems.

5. Empathy and understanding enhance collaboration among diverse team members.

6. Facilitates innovation and collective problem-solving within the community.

About our host:

Dr. Saksham Sharda is the Chief Information Officer at He specializes in data collection, analysis, filtering, and transfer by means of widgets and applets. Interactive, cultural, and trending widgets designed by him have been featured on TrendHunter, Alibaba, ProductHunt, New York Marketing Association, FactoryBerlin, Digimarcon Silicon Valley, and at The European Affiliate Summit.

About our guest:

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga, Vice President of Sandbox AQ, is a passionate innovator and strategist dedicated to leveraging AI and quantum technologies to address global challenges. Formerly a professional rugby player for the Spanish National Team, his diverse experience spans energy, aerospace, transportation, and robotics across three continents.

Tackling Tech with Team Spirit: A Former Rugby Pro’s Approach to AI Innovation

The Intro!

Saksham Sharda: Hi, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Outgrow’s Marketer of the Month. I’m your host, Dr. Saksham Sharda, and I’m the creative director at Outgrow. co. And for this month we are going to interview Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga who is the Vice President at Sandbox AQ.

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: Great to be here. Thank you.

Don’t have time to read? No problem, just watch the Podcast!

Challenge yourself with this trivia about the exciting topics Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga covered in the podcast.

Launch Interactive Quiz

Or you can just listen to it on Spotify!

The Rapid Fire Round!

rapid fire Don McGuire

Saksham Sharda: At what age do you want to retire?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: I don’t want to retire ever.

Saksham Sharda: How long does it take you to get ready in the mornings?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: Depends on what getting ready means.

Saksham Sharda: Most embarrassing moments of your life?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: Every interview.

Saksham Sharda: Favorite color?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: Green. 

Saksham Sharda: What time of day are you most inspired?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: I am more creative at night.

Saksham Sharda: How many hours of sleep can you survive on?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: I usually get between six and eight.

Saksham Sharda: The city in which the Best Kiss of your life happened.

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: New York.

Saksham Sharda: Fill in the blank- an upcoming technology trend is _____. 

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga:  AI and quantum technologies.

Saksham Sharda: Pick one Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg.

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: Elon.

Saksham Sharda: The biggest mistake of your career?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: I don’t think there are mistakes I mean they are learnings.

Saksham Sharda: How do you relax and meditate or right well first sports rhymes?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: I meditate or I go sports, runs.

Saksham Sharda: How many cups of coffee do you drink per day? 

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: One. I try not to have.

Saksham Sharda: A habit of yours that you hate?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: Trying to do too many things.

Saksham Sharda: The most valuable skill you’ve learned in life.

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: I like to learn.

Saksham Sharda: Your favorite Netflix show?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: Oh it is not my favorite but I watch 100 years? I don’t remember the name.

Saksham Sharda: One-word description of your leadership style. 

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: Affiliative.

Saksham Sharda: Top priority in your daily schedule. 

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: Be on time.

Saksham Sharda: The ideal vacation spot for relaxation. 

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: Spain.

Saksham Sharda: Key factor for maintaining work-life balance?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: Joy of wisdom. Learn to say no.

The Big Questions!

Big Questions Don McGuire

Saksham Sharda: Okay, well, that’s the end of the rapid-fire round. So the first one is your career journey spans diverse industries and continents, from professional rugby to leading initiatives in AI and quantum technologies. How has your background in athletics influenced your approach to leadership and innovation in the tech sector?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: It’s a question that I get very often. My athletics are probably the basis, the fundamentals of how I approach not only my professional life but life in general, I played professional rugby, which is a team sport. So I see everything as a team, rugby and many team sports, it’s about the collectiveness of the team. It doesn’t matter how good you are individually, if you’re not aligned with the versions of players, you will have the same goal of winning the game. It’s not gonna work. So you bring those concepts that have been integrated into my life. Practice after practice, after decades of training, and bringing it to the highest level possible. In my everyday life, I need to be aligned with the rest of the team members in the company or every project so we can all win together. You will not make it as a company or as a team if you are not together.

Saksham Sharda: And how do you balance the competitive nature of both sports and the tech industry to drive success in your roles? Which one do you think is more competitive?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: They are both competitive in different ways. It’s healthy, right? It’s good that there is competition in business so we can push the limits of our engineers and our PhDs. Right now there’s a lot of competition in AI and the quantum world. That’s good. So you always want to believe when you have to select and focus on which areas you want. Whether you are going to be the best or not. Every team is known for being the best. At someone’s IQ, we are good at the convergence of AI and Quantum. And that’s the field we are competing in. 

Saksham Sharda: So could you highlight or elaborate on a recent project that shows this convergence of AI and Quantum?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: Sure. So for example, quantum navigation is a perfect example. If you’ve ever done an MRI, you will be inside one called a quantum machine or maybe a quantum navigation sensor, it is just a sensor that can tell you where you are located. We have had magnetometers for many years. And the problem was that they were too sensitive. And it was very hard to read the signal, a small signal from the surface of the earth. That’s what we try to sense to know where you are, what we did is we bring new AI models and new AI computational capabilities that allow us to denoise every other signal across the air, also coming from the avionics of the airplanes. So we are, so we can focus just on the surface, the magnetic field that sends us where we are. Thanks to that. Today we have a magnetometer and magnetic project that is working with the Air Force and with Airbus and Boeing, which is complementary to GPS in the areas where GPS is not reliable areas like Ukraine today, or Israel Middle East, where you have companies on. GPS is very easy for jammers. So continental Asia needs a solution already used by waves, for example, that we are enabling thanks to the convergence of AI and quantum technology.

Saksham Sharda: And how long do you feel it will take before the widespread adoption of this technology?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: Hopefully, only a few months. It will probably take a little bit longer in defense, but we are having the right path right now, with the roadmap it is not only a matter of technologies, we have to do it as a partnership with the industry players, with the commercial airplanes, with the Air Force, with the different governments, we have to bring it all together. And it has to be reliable enough that you can trust it in every situation. And we have to be a long-term process to be able to meet that scale. So I can give an exact timeline, but we don’t have the right path to enter.

Saksham Sharda: So you have also been instrumental in founding the Linux Foundation’s post-quantum cryptography Alliance, PQCA. How do you envision this alliance driving advancements in cryptography? And what impact do you hope it will have on the broader tech community?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: Yes, the alliance is a very oriented step forward on international collaboration to solve these problems. The problem is very critical for every nation and infrastructure, we have to make a great 20 billion devices for the new standardization products, and we have to make every big organization, and every government infrastructure for the new products to modernize encryption. And you cannot do that alone. You can use the background as a company or you need to be collaborative with academia, the private sector, and the public sector together. And that’s what we have. And the more we are, the more we collaborate.

Saksham Sharda: So you find that open-source initiatives play a big role in accelerating innovation and progress?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: Yes, especially in the cyber security space open sources are a very important channel to arrive at and help to share submissions because everyone’s always trying to protect it. It’s a very collaborative space in our community, and sometimes around the product that you believe some others will have to keep for your product.

Saksham Sharda: So your experience also includes leadership roles at Alphabets X, focusing on AI and quantum technologies. What lessons did you learn from your time at X? And how have they influenced your approach to leadership at Sandbox AQ?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: My time at X was very beautiful. I spent six years there. I worked on many different projects. There are two main things that I learned when I was at X. The first one was scalability, the way of thinking, thinking in a way that will be better to change the entire humanity, and we may be able to bring that mentality to somewhat secure, someone secured has been designed and built to change humanity and has become the biggest, most impactful company. The second one is diversity. We must try to solve these skeleton projects and problems. We need diversity of thought, and to have the diversity of thought giving a diversity of experiences and backgrounds of people you need a doctor in the room, you need an engineer, somebody that knows when business in the energy industry has a robotic solution that things  X had. I think we’ve been very successful in bringing into something so huge where we have computational chemists, cryptographers, biologists, engineers, these people, and that combination of experiences is what makes your conversation so rich, to have a different approach.

Saksham Sharda: Do you feel then companies not as big as Google or Alphabet can flexibly maneuver faster or better?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: Every size has its processing costs. Of course, Google is a 100,000-person company, so it will take longer to do some things, but it has a lot of trust. And at Sandbox, I think we’ve been able to take the best of both worlds, the startups where they are smaller, so easier to change. So we are very nimble. And at the same time, we have the size of the company and the structure of a big company. That’s what we’re working with partners like Accenture, Rent Media, Deloitte and EY. So I think I found that perfect middle ground between being more nimble and being ambitious.

Saksham Sharda: So you’ve also emphasized the importance of creating empathy with partners and leading teams to propel projects from concept to launch and in challenging environments. Could you share a notable example where your leadership skills were crucial in overcoming obstacles and achieving success in a project? A memorable story?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: Okay, I’ll tell you the story for example, I feel a key element of a leader that needs to be able to find the resources when you don’t have them and be able to inspire the teams under you when it’s hard that they can’t see the end of the tunnel. So quantum navigation, for example, is correct, and begin was worrying so to us 20% project,  and 20% of those that are not familiar, a price where you can put a private company that can like somebody you can work with 20% of your time, something that is not related to the product. So we started with Luca Ferrara, who’s our current general manager for the project. And it’s our side project. So those skills have empathy and understanding that we have resources that have to be allocated or something else. Have you found a resource without the structural team? How do you scale that project and support that person to grow into becoming probably the one person that went just 20% or two today to be a general manager?

Saksham Sharda: So moving from empathy to ethical issues now, you’ve worked in a lot of AI and quantum fields, how does the company deal with these ethical issues in these projects that might arise?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: Yes, that’s a great question. At SandboxAQ, we take this very seriously. And fortunately, we have a great AI cross-functional team. But we also have great advisors who are pioneers and very experienced in these fields like Fei Fei Li, who runs AI Lab in Istanbul, or Josie Brown, who was one of the co-founders and Cheyer of Siri. So great advisors that can guide us, a great team on operations is how many, we can ask ourselves those questions at the beginning of the project before we integrate AI into drama.

Saksham Sharda: Could you now describe what your typical day at a sandbox looks like when you wake up in the morning, and then?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: I wake up in the morning, I try to work out. And then just meetings, and brainstorming, and everything else. Every day it is that your brain is stimulated constantly by challenging problems and situations. And it’s just great to be working with such a great amount of talent that people have, one of the best things some execute has is a culture and the people. So when you run it to me, you know that you’re gonna have fun.

Saksham Sharda: And how do you deal with working with culturally different people or a diverse team? What are your thoughts on that?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: It’s a great question. But it’s like going back to the first question of athletics, rugby. I played rugby for five different countries with more than six different teams. And at the end of the day, it’s about integration. So the fact that we have a culture, employees that come from all around the world, we have the best talent wherever they are located. And it just brought us together. It’s those people who have also been living abroad. And we heard that culture learns to adapt but to benefit from your side you need to have empathy and understanding of how the other person feels. What is the context for the person for this other team once you’re able to pay that empathy, things work very well together in the same direction.

Saksham Sharda: The last question for you is of a personal kind, what would you be doing in your life if not this?

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: I don’t know.

Let’s Conclude!

Saksham Sharda: Thanks, everyone for joining us for this month’s episode of Outgrow’s Marketer of the Month. That was Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga who is the Vice President at Sandbox AQ.

Fernando Dominguez Pinuaga: Pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Saksham Sharda: Check out the website for more details and we’ll see you once again next month with another marketer of the month.

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