Suren Rodrigues

Observe the traits of successful people around you, and ask one of them to be your mentor. A mentor is an invaluable asset. Their experience, knowledge, and insights can guide you through the corporate and professional maze.


Suren Rodrigues is an avid scientist and technologist in the Greater Denver Area. Since receiving his Ph.D. from the University of South Florida, he has worked for over twenty years building enterprise-scale software systems, and carrier-grade telecommunications systems, by leading complex and diverse project teams. Recognized for using creative problem solving, empathic management, and industry-leading practices, Dr. Rodrigues strives to deliver the best possible results.

Dr. Rodrigues is a Metro-Ethernet Certified Professional and stays on top of new developments and trends in his industry. Suren is also a traveler. He loves to explore the outdoors whether he’s hiking in Colorado or visiting other exciting locales. He also makes sure to spend plenty of time with family, and weekends are often reserved for his kids. On a typical Sunday afternoon, he can be found relaxing with a book or listening to music.

Helping others has always been of paramount concern to Dr. Rodrigues. He tries to use his knowledge and expertise to prepare others so that they may be better equipped to interface with this rapidly changing technological world. Financial literacy education may be Mr. Rodrigues’ next big project – this crucial skill is too often neglected as we prepare the next generation for their entrance into the workforce.
Suren considers himself a traveler through life – and he delights in the journey.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I try to keep to a routine as much as possible. Even though I’m not a morning person, I wake up by 5:30 AM, then spend some time meditating and thinking about the coming day, before I go into work.

For effective ideation, you must make time outside your regular work schedule. It may be at the gym, or while swimming or hiking, or at a family event—that is when you get the “eureka” moment.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Artificial Intelligence. Though it’s a nascent promise currently, it has the potential to radically change human life for the better, freeing masses of people from poverty, drudgery, and grind.

Of course, like most revolutionary technologies, it could be used destructively, but this is where scientific and technological forums play a role (that can positively steer AI development).

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

With experience, I have learned that not every issue, item, or even crisis, brought to you, needs to be addressed right away. Rapid decisions can be hasty, emotional, and reactive.

Most times, pondering a situation, and analyzing it carefully, with detachment, leads to a much better outcome.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Get a Mentor.

Observe the traits of successful people around you, and ask one of them to be your mentor. A mentor is an invaluable asset. Their experience, knowledge, and insights can guide you through the corporate and professional maze.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I think the work-life balance has seen a resurgence in corporate America. To be effective professionally, you must have a work-life balance. I encourage that behavior in my teams as well, as it is healthy and promotes innovation and ideation.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Observe the traits of successful people (or people you admire or consider effective). The behaviors, attitudes, and actions of effective people should be a beacon for some of the traits you may want to adopt (and conversely ineffective baggage you may want to discard).

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

I’ll present two strategies:

The first is to be open to change. Change is a constant, and your ally for opportunity and growth. This takes conscious effort, for me and most others, as people are usually resistant to change.

The second is that Emotional Quotient (EQ) is as, or more, important than Intelligence Quotient (IQ). This realization comes with experience and time; you could be the smartest person in the room (IQ), but if you can’t bring the team with you (EQ), then ultimately you may prove ineffective.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Early in my career, I was managing a big project where I was trying to please everyone and avoid confrontation but ended up with a mess.

I learned from experience to directly head-off issues as early as possible, and to manage expectations. Sometimes, that means having difficult and direct conversations, which is essential to the end-game.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

When I was much younger: After my first job, the first $100 I gave (in one check) was to a non-profit. It was such an empowering feeling to be able to help (even in a small way), and kept fueling the desire to do more, with my time, money, and effort.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

Open source software. Support of the open source community ensures neutral software-platform growth, for all.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Non-Fiction: “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. I know this has been around for a while, but it remains a crown-jewel of insightful and well-written “self-development” books.

Fiction: “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway. It’s just a beautifully written novella by one of my favorite authors.