Gordon Jones, co-founder and CEO of Validide, takes on DIG SOUTH’S “5 for the Tribe,” dishing on his career, what he offers the DIG NATION community, and much more.

Describe your company and describe your clients/customers. What does “a day in the life” look like?

“Imagine your daughter is being carded by the bartender at a restaurant. When she hands over her State ID she is giving away more information than he needs to serve her. He doesn’t need to know her name, her home address, or even her actual birth date. All he needs is proof she is over 21. This is not only a privacy issue, in her case its a safety issue. Validide provides an independent digital identity wallet to hold all your credentials not just your State ID. We enable you to get a job faster without putting your personal data on 20 employer databases, go the football gave providing your COVID status without sharing even your name, etc. Validide is advancing the worldwide trend for Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) and the decentralized control of Personal Identity Information by the Individual. Validide enables people to move their identity from the physical and centralized world to today’s advanced digital world, both safely and securely.”

How can the DIG NATION tribe help you most? What do you need and what can you share with the community?

We are launching our wallet and service in Q1’22 and we are planning to scale fast. We are looking for talent to help, investors to fund, and both businesses and individual people to become customers.

How does the South (or your city) stack up as a place to work, grow or launch a company? What does the region need more or less of and how would you change it?

One of the reasons we are launching out of Columbia, beside living in the area, is because we would rather be a big fish and a smaller high tech city rather than Greenville or Charleston where we would not be able to create so much attention. Also, our vertical model includes pitching the Governor, state agencies, and legislature who are in our backyard here in Columbia. We see Validide being one of the linchpins that anchor a new high impact digital center for the State of South Carolina!

Describe your earliest, best or worst memory of using technology. Or, project what year will we finally have flying personal vehicles and what yours will look like.

For my doctoral dissertation I surveyed 5,000 people who searched for health information on the internet in 1999 to ask them if they would switch from their family doctor – who did not let them schedule appointments online, text message them, and use email to exchange documents electronically – to a new family doctor who would do all these things. The basic answer was YES and $5 Billion in primary care dollars from just those 5,000 would shift from the digital deniers to the digital adopters for patient engagement. The sad part is after 20 years of being published the healthcare industry still sucks at leveraging digital based communication tools with their patients.

How would you react to being stuck in an elevator with Elon Musk and what would you ask him?

Dude, did you really design that stupid looking pickup truck or one of you lackies?