The spirit of adventure: Why not?

In our lifetime, computers have grown from tech gadgets to indispensable elements in virtually every aspect of people’s lives. Yet despite this progress and proliferation of all things digital, there remains a widespread struggle to use digital technology well and effectively. You can communicate instantly with anyone in the world, but in business, getting the right information to the right person at the right time in the right format often seems an impossible task. Many devices are supposedly smart and connected, but they often stop working on a whim. For the past 20 years, we have been searching for a better way to navigate the digital jungle, and we found it. The outcome of our journey is BLU SPHINX®.

Harnessing the powers of technology

It has been one of the greatest adventures of our lives. It started in the early 2000s when Aurelie Beaumel and Thomas Dillig met as students at Stanford in the class “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence”. This was the time when Steve Jobs gave his famous Stanford commencement speech and when the first self-driving car (designed by a Stanford team) crossed the Nevada desert successfully. During his PhD in Computer Science at Stanford, Tom learned that he had what it takes to push the state of the art and to become a creator of technology. Over his scientific career, he pioneered several groundbreaking techniques that made things possible that were not possible before.

Lessons learned in the business world

Aurelie started her career at top management consulting firm BCG in New York. With her can-do attitude and multidisciplinary knowledge, she became very effective at working with senior corporate leaders and adding great value to them. In her international work across industries, she observed that digital systems and technology were more often associated with interminable projects and nightmares than with efficiency and competitive advantage. Most non-tech corporations, even those who are global industry leaders in their field, suffer from this problem.

Meanwhile, in his expert consulting work with leading tech companies, Tom observed that despite their technological know-how, projects kept failing due to lack of strategic vision, poor planning, and weak leadership abilities. Together, Tom and Aurelie concluded that in companies across the board, IT efforts are usually too complex, too specialized, and missing the big-picture view. This results in systems that are brittle, insecure, expensive, and ineffective. As a result, it is no surprise that cybersecurity turned from a niche topic into a key concern on the CEO agenda in recent years.

Solving digital complexity by driving to simplicity

Tom and Aurelie decided to join forces and start their own expert firm to do things differently. Their key insight is that by understanding dependencies and doing things in the right order, it is eminently possible to create digital systems that work well and help people think and do better. Technology becomes an asset that amplifies strategic and operational capabilities in order to achieve desired outcomes.

Using this approach, we have turned a myriad of digital problems into successes, by designing and implementing new and effective digital systems for a wide range of applications. We created a new type of business war-game that enabled two dozen opinionated senior leaders of a global corporation to agree about a new strategy in less than two days, while enjoying the process. We developed a new integrated resilience approach for business and IT for a global bank. We created a new open-source business software platform using new AI technology, with funding from the National Science Foundation. We created for a small manufacturer a custom ERP system that is secure and resilient, easy to use, fits their needs, and requires no maintenance. We upgraded several private homes with digital infrastructure for home automation that is invisible and works reliably.

We have shared our experience and knowledge in executive seminars where participants come out enlightened and empowered, whether senior business leaders, military officers, or employees of all functions.

Home in San Antonio, Texas

After bases in French Paris and Austin, BLU SPHINX® permanently relocated to the Alamo city in 2022. We are excited to have found the perfect fit for our multicultural backgrounds, the pursuit of our dreams, and our commitment to do things differently and better. San Antonio offers a different take on what it means to be a fast-growing American city, with its unique mix of people, nature, and economic potential. It combines in one place multicultural richness, quality of life, and a dynamic diverse economy.